Property photography has become ever more important as most property searches now start online. The best way to get prospective buyers through the door is through photography that creates a welcoming atmosphere and showcases the best features of a property.
Aside from having the essential camera gear in your toolkit (read The Essential Kit List for a Property Photographer) and knowing your way around a camera, flash and tripod, there’s a lot more to becoming a great property photographer.
1. Learn the specifics of property photography
What is quite unique about property photography for commercial purposes is that while a lot of photography centres around capturing a subject, property photography is about capturing and visualising space.
Property photography can involve still shots, slideshows, virtual tours and videos — whatever it takes to show the property off in its best light. Speaking of light, perfecting the balance between natural light and artificial light (your flash) is vital in bringing a home to life and creating natural the right ambience.
You can learn about the specifics, both through online resources such as the PFRE (Photography for Real Estate) blog and by studying the work of exemplary property photographers.
2. Stick to a routine
Working as a property photographer means you may have a varying schedule week to week, with meetings, shoots and editing to juggle. It may be difficult to adhere to a rigid daily structure, but building some sort of routine around your jobs, diary management and calling your various contacts is invaluable.
Having a well-structured routine will ensure that you always get the shots you need, you will always have time for editing, the client will always receive a consistent service, and you never get caught out having forgotten to charge your batteries. It is also likely that you’ll want to spend a large chunk of your time networking and reaching out to estate agents and property owners, so make it a priority to set aside time.
3. Please your clients
Gaining positive references, referrals and repeat business with previous clients hangs on the quality of the service you provide. As well as taking beautiful photos and editing them to a high standard, you should aim to delight your customer base by being professional at all times. Being a property photographer is about more than your creative skills; it's about business knowhow too.
Commit yourself to working in a reliable way: showing up on time, showing attention to detail and great care. Get a good understanding of each client's individual requirements, sharing your insight and ideas with them.
4. Network to grow your business
If you want to make a living out of property photography, it’s necessary to have a constant stream of clients and jobs.
Consider setting weekly targets such as the number of hours you devote to winning new business, the number of people you reach out to or the number of new jobs you acquire. This will keep you focused on growing your business.
5. Constantly improve your skills
Your work towards becoming an extraordinary property photographer is never over. You can continue to hone your skills and style as you progress over the coming weeks, months and throughout your career.
Keep becoming a better photographer. Get into the practice of taking photos every day and picking up new skills such as natural HDR (bracketing), and in editing and lighting your shots. Look to others in the property photography field, and in other fields too, to provide inspiration. Reach out to them if you like their work. You may find you can mutually share advice and experiences.
To add another string to your bow also learn how to draw floor plans. This will provide added value as a property photographer by being able to provide accurate floor plan sketches for your clients.