Back to the thing that I do, with an idea for a post that will help you if you have been thinking about this but not managed to get started with your own real estate photography business.
To start your own excellent real estate photography business you need to be able to take and produce professional standard real estate photos efficiently and professionally. You need to have solid workflows to ensure quality and consistency. You need the business side of things sorted. But most of all you have to be an excellent communicator, service provider and business person. A people person. You have to put your clients first at all times and provide a better service than anyone else.
And there is some shock news for you in this post – brace yourself! But I will save that to the end.
Sorry, first who am I?
It is awfully rude for me to assume that you know who I am, so I will tell you briefly. I am Rick McEvoy, well I hope that you know that much about me! I am a professionally qualified photographer (ABIPP). I am also professionally qualified in construction management (MCIOB) so this is my thing.
And this is what I do. I photograph buildings, construction sites, architecture, real estate.
And I am the creator and all things at the Photography Explained Podcast.
So you are in safe hands with me ok?
And I even have my own course all about how to become a real estate photographer – more on that at the end.
Back to the question, “How To Start Your Own Excellent Real Estate Photography Business in 2022”.
Take real estate photos to a professional standard
This is pretty much a given. If you are charging money for photos they have to be to a professional standard. No exceptions, no debate. You just have to do this ok?
Real estate photography is just like any other profession. Let’s not overthink this now. If you we employing a plumber, an electrician, a surveyor, an architect, yes even a real estate agent – any professional – you would expect a professional standard of service.
Think about your expectations of a professional that you are engaging to provide a service for you, and apply those expectations to everything that you do for the people who are paying you to take photos for them.
Take real estate photos efficiently
To be able to run a successful real estate photography business you have to be able to take photos efficiently. You will probably have the client with you when you are taking the photos, and if you are fiddling around with your camera, changing lenses all the time, and giving the general impression that you don’t really know what you are doing, then guess what?
Produce the goods and you will get paid, but they will probably not use you again. He/ she will report back that you weren’t that great and that there are other photographers who they should consider. People want to work with people that they like working with, that they trust.
And if the photos are not up to scratch just forget it.
Produce real estate photos to a professional standard
Again. A must. An absolute requirement. No excuses for anything other than professional standard real estate photos.
Produce real estate photos efficiently
Again, efficiency of image capture. You need to be able to work in a controlled, logical manner with all your camera stuff sorted.
When I am on a real estate shoot I only change the point of focus, and not that on every shot. Everything else is dialled in in camera so all I need to worry about is getting the composition sorted, getting what is in the photo sorted.
I do not change lenses unless there is something highly unusual that I am photographing, I don’t change any camera settings unless there is a problem which again is highly unusual.
For 95% of my real estate photography all I do is compose, focus and shoot. And clients are given a huge feeling of confidence when they work with me.
Workflows. What is a workflow anyway? Well there are all sorts of fancy answers out there, but this is my answer.
A workflow is steps to get something done. And a proper workflow is written down. And this is one of my workflows, well here is a link to the blog post Lightroom Workflow 2022 – How To Work Like A Pro – Like Me!
Check this post out, use it, copy it if you want. But at least have a look at it and learn from it. This is genuinely how I work in Lightroom from start to finish.
I have these main workflows
- Image capture
- Image processing
I have shared my image processing workflow with you. If you want me to share my other workflows with you then drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How I prepare my gear and myself. I arrive at a shoot fully prepared, with all my gear fully prepped, and everything in the right place.
I have the stuff that I need for a shoot in a small backpack, and the spare everything else in another bag that stays in the boot of my car.
And on 95% of shoots I never need to go to the spares. The camera, lens and tripod that I pack are all that I use.
I have already said this. My camera is set up before I get to a shoot so when I get there all I need to do is this.
- Put the camera on my tripod.
- Turn the camera on.
- Take the lens cap off.
And I am good to start.
Imagine being the client, and me turning up and within seconds I am ready to start. They get a huge feeling of confidence from me.
And I work in a consistent, logical way. I photograph the exterior first, one photo at a time working around the property and the grounds.
And before I go inside I wipe the feet of my tripod with a wipe, so I am not getting the lovely carpet dirty. This is a point of detail that has been commented on, favourably of course. It is little things like this, little considerations, which can make the difference.
Next time the agent goes on a shoot with another photographer when they don’t do this it will get noticed.
Do these small, thoughtful considerate things and you are setting yourself above everyone else. They cost nothing and can only enhance your reputation and standing. And they are nice things to do of course.
I have shared my Lightroom workflow with you. So all I will add here is this. My workflow helps me to work consistently, effectively and efficiently.
I do not spend long editing real estate photos – there is no need. And the work that I do gives me a consistent high quality, look and feel to my images.
Quality is very important to a real estate agent. A consistent look and feel is important to me. I want my images to look like my images.
You need some key things to run a real estate photography business. Now these days running a business from home is more acceptable than ever, but there are a few things that you will need.
Making money from photography – you need proper business insurance. Take the worst case. You injure someone on a shoot and they sue you. You need insurance to cover that.
Simple. Get professional advice and get the insurance that you need. Some real estate agents will ask for a copy of your insurances, and if they do and you do not have them they will go somewhere else.
If my go to gear fails I have a spare everything. I have a complete spare set of gear as my backup.
Talking of backups. You need not only a professional processing workflow, you also need a professional backup in place that is fully integrated into your image processing workflow.
Taking photos for money is different to taking photos for yourself. You need a different mindset, a different approach to this.
You are taking photos as a service to a client, not so you have something shiny and new to play around with in Lightroom and Photoshop. You have a job to do in professional, timely manner, satisfying the brief the client gives you.
It is different when starting taking photos and charging for it, but you will get used to it in time don’t worry.
Business side of things
This post has moved from the photography side of things over to the business side of things. And this is where the real difference is in how successful your real estate photography business is. No it won’t be your great photos that make you a success – more on that later.
This is all about dealing with people. This is the number one thing that you need to really work on.
You need to be an excellent communicator, and that starts with being an excellent listener. You need to really listen to your clients, and act on what you hear. And if you are not sure then clarify.
You are a service provider. Not a photographer. A service provider. You provide a service, and part of that service is great real estate photos.
But the photos are just part of the service.
People work with people they like. And it is easier for a client to go back to someone they know rather than find someone new. Be nice, courteous, considerate and professional. Be the nicest, most charming version of you.
Does this sound like a load of soft old rubbish? Am I talking nonsense? Surely my great photos are all I need to be able to produce?
Yes, really. But the good news is that the things that you have to do to make you stand out, they are free. They cost nothing, they just need some thought, practise and action.
And if you still don’t believe me I would like to give you one thought – who would a client rather work with.
- The charming photographer who provided a great service and photos that were just fine.
- The miserable photographer who provided the photos eventually that were just fine?
Simple isn’t it.
Which to prioritise – service or photos?
And the shock news
OK – here we go. You won’t like this but I am going to tell you this anyway. Anyone potentially can take real estate photos to a professional standard. Anyone with the right equipment and training can do this.
And the entry bar to working as a real estate photographer is lower than it ever has been. Advances in equipment and technology have made it easier than ever for anyone to buy a camera and start taking photos to a good enough standard to make money from real estate photography.
So shall we all just give up now?
If anyone can take real estate photos how do we set ourselves apart? It is the service that you provide. Taking photos is just a part of this particular jigsaw. And if you want to know more about this then I am going to shamelessly direct you to my course.
How to become a real estate photographer – my excellent course.
But first check out the Real Estate Photography page where you will find all the blog posts I have written about real estate photography. And there are quite a few of them, and it is all good stuff.
And you can find out more about my courses on the courses page of my website.
And finally I would like to bring to your attention this blog post – Don’t Buy My “How To Become A Real Estate Photographer Course” – Read This First and the accompanying video on my You Tube Channel.
OK – that is the not so hard sell over.
One last thing.
Being a photographer is not all about taking photos. Oh no. If you want to run a successful real estate photography business prepare yourself for another shocker. You will not be out every day taking photos. Oh no. You will be
And when you get some work in you will have that work to do, the taking of the photos and all that good stuff.
- Backing up
See you will spend a lot of time marketing yourself, and I tell you how to do this in my course.
But you will probably be very surprised how much, or rather how little time photographers making money from photography spend actually taking photos.
But real estate photography is a great potential business to go into so if that is what you want to do then go for it – you will hopefully not regret it. And I am here to help you.
My You Tube Channel
Check out the video for this blog post right here on my You Tube Channel.