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How to Become a Real Estate Photographer?

how to become a real estate photographer

If you are interested in photography and have a knack for taking photos, Real Estate photography is a great career choice.

It is a challenging job but fun, and you can use it as a side hustle for extra income or choose it to be your full-time career. Although it may seem simple, go into houses and take photos, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. You have to be familiar with photoshop, be especially aware of lighting, and conduct your work at certain times of the day.

As a real estate photographer, you first have to find potential clients, have excellent communication skills, and ensure customers are happy with the outcome.

So, let’s take a look at How to Become a Real Estate Photographer and increase your income!

how to become a real estate photographer

What Is A Real Estate Photographer?

A real estate photographer is a professional worker who has the correct equipment to create wonderful images for people who wish to sell or rent their property. It can range from a small two-bedroom home to exotic mansions and workplaces.

Photographers work with real estate agents or homeowners to create images appealing to potential customers. The job doesn’t stop there. You may also take photos for model home builders, architects, or interior designers.

Read more: What Is Hot Shot Trucking?

Competition is fierce…

If you are very experienced and people love your work, you may have the luxury of shooting for magazines or editors. People have incredibly high expectations from a real estate photographer. Therefore, there is a lot of competition in the field.

How Much Does A Real Estate Photographer Make?

Depending on your experience and client base, this will differ. It also depends on your location. For example, a real estate photographer in California will make more than a photographer in Kentucky. As of November 2023, the average salary was $51,589. However, it can range anywhere between $40,000 and $63,000.

It also depends if you make this your full-time career or do it as a job on the side for friends, family, and returning clients. Your best bet on successfully making lots of money as a real estate photographer is linking up and creating solid relationships with realtors. After all, they are the ones who are going to find you a range of clients and recommend you if they enjoy working with you.

What Does A Real Estate Photographer Do?

There is a lot of behind the scene preparation for real estate photographers. Before you shoot the photos, there has to be a clear plan and schedule of what the customer wants. Once the images are captured, the photos are edited and delivered to the client. Arguably, the shooting takes the least time. The work before and after is more time-consuming.

Staging homes and properties

As a photographer, you will have to create visually pleasing homes. It is likely that your client will already have it looking in tip-top condition; they want to sell or rent it after all. This makes your job a little easier as you may only have to perform a few tweaks to get it looking photo-ready.

Plan a List of Images You Need to Take

Once you have spoken with your client or real estate agent, you should be knowledgeable and prepared for the images you need to take. Creating a checklist and bringing it with you will ensure you won’t forget anything.

Taking Pictures Inside and Outside the Home

The pictures don’t stop at the appealing bedroom or fancy bathroom. You have to shoot the house’s exterior, including the garden and driveway. Taking multiple images allows you to choose the best from the bunch.

how to become real the estate photographer

Preparing Equipment

No one will hire you again if you turn up to a shoot with a dead battery and a missing lens. Make sure you prepare all your equipment with extra SD cards and batteries, so you don’t make any silly mistakes and look unprofessional.

Editing Photographs

You must be familiar with programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Canva, and Aurora HDR. These are great editing tools to color correct, adjust lighting, and design and edit real estate images. There are excellent online courses and free tutorials on YouTube on how to use photoshop.

Building Your Portfolio

The great thing with photography is creating visually pleasing pictures that will draw clients to you. You have photo evidence of your work and not just a verbal explanation. Make sure to keep on top of your portfolio, even create an online version to give out when you least expect it.

This is an intelligent way to build up your clientele. Use social media too. Create an Instagram account dedicated to your photography; this is another great way to reach a variety of people in your area.


Don’t underestimate the power of communication and relationships in this field. It is super important to put yourself out there and offer your services. Networking and finding the right people is the best way to push your career in the right direction.

How To Land A Job In Real Estate Photography?


There is nothing wrong with building up your portfolio and learning yourself as you go, but studying is a great way to open your eyes and give you a wide range of information in the field. You do not necessarily need a Bachelor’s Degree to be a real estate photographer, but it may help you with your skillset in general.

There are many photography courses designed to cover different aspects of photography. There are also great options for night classes and online courses to perfect your skills, and you can specifically choose real estate.

Camera Equipment

This might be stating the obvious, but you must have the right gear. This is because if you turn up to a booking with your iPhone in hand to take professional pictures, it’s not going to have a great outcome. Photographers are required to take a wide range of shots, steady photographs, and catch the best lighting.

It is suggested that you look for a camera that can take wide shots; therefore, you will need wide-angle lenses. This is because you want to capture most of the room in one picture. Choosing the right equipment can be overwhelming, especially with the cost and the number of available products. However, don’t fret! There are hundreds of online resources and tutorials to guide you in the right direction.

Top 3 Cameras

You will be looking for a camera with a minimum of 18 megapixels; anything lower than that will not capture the high-quality images that clients desire. Here are the best cameras for real estate photography currently on the market.

1 Canon 5D Mark IV

This camera is a show stopper due to several factors. First of all, it can shoot 4k videos, which is excellent if you want to create a virtual tour of the client’s home. This is becoming more and more common, especially in the covid era where often, restrictions don’t allow people to view a property in person.

The camera is also Wifi enabled, which means you can connect the camera to any device. This is especially helpful when it comes to transferring files to your laptop.

2 Nikon D850

This is a 46MP camera which means you are guaranteed excellent quality photos. A special sensor in the camera triggers it to receive better light. This is great if you shoot in a low-light room or a dull day. This camera is also capable of 4k video shooting and has a WiFi connection. However, you have to use the specified Nikon Bluetooth app.

3 Sony a7 III

Coming in $1000 cheaper than the other two, this camera is still impressive and will produce quality images. It has a great feature that allows in-body stabilization. This means that the camera still works the same regardless of the lens to detect any blurs and stabilize the image.

The 24MP will produce lower-quality photos, but our eyes cannot see this. You can only truly notice the difference when you blow up the picture to a larger scale, but it’s unlikely you will be doing that in your real estate photography journey!

Practise, Practise, Practise!

Knowing how to use your camera is something else. Once you have a new piece of equipment, it is inspiring to put it to good use. You will probably spend months researching the right camera for you, so once it’s finally in your hands, it’s time to get started and experiment. Take photos of your home and your friend’s homes. Get advice. Take criticism.

It may even be worth popping into your local real estate agent to see what they think of them and if they have any advice. Offer your services to close friends first for free to build up some pictures in your portfolio. Even if they are not selling their home, it is a great way to show your photography ability, gain followers and get people talking about you.

how to become real the estate photographers

Skills Needed


You will be creating relationships with clients, real estate agents, and business owners. It would help if you showed you have excellent communication and organizational skill. This will lead to using your services again and recommendations.

Punctuality and Schedule

You must manage your schedule and stick to your times. If you are working for yourself, you are in charge. You mustn’t let clients down by turning up late or rescheduling several times.

Time Management Skills

Managing your time can be tricky at first, but it should be much easier once you get into the swing of things. Schedule a reasonable amount of time at a location, especially when you start. Once you know your timings, you can work around this. Remember to include your editing times and commuting times to a customer.

Technical Skills

You need to be up to date with your computer skills and comfortable behind the camera and its settings. Online editing can seem overwhelming at first, so make sure you get the basics and practice before offering your services.

Need More Info On Real Estate Photography?

Look no further; we’ve found a collection of excellent guides and handbooks such as The Real Estate Photographer: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Photography, the Business Techniques for Real Estate Photography, and even the Shot Lists for Real Estate Photography: What to shoot, and why to begin with.

Next, we also recommend taking a look at How to Make Money as a Real Estate Photographer, How To Take Photos That Move Houses, or how to Explode Your Income with Better Real Estate Photos, and Photographing Real Estate Interiors and Architecture all available online in 2023.

And lastly, why not read up on Nathan Cools’ amazing collection of books on Photography for Real Estate Interiors, or Photography for Real Estate Exteriors, Advanced Editing for Real Estate Photography, as well as The Lighting Guide for Real Estate Photography, to get those houses selling!

Final Thoughts

Becoming a real estate photographer is a great career path if you are passionate about photography and architecture. With unlimited ways to market yourself, you can find lots of ways to stand out from the crowd.

Don’t disregard social media for building up your portfolio, as it’s also a great way to showcase your work to the younger generation. It shouldn’t be too challenging to get started, with great online resources and information online.

All the very best working as a Real Estate Photographer!

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