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Becoming a real estate photographer involves developing your skills as a photographer and marketing your services to real estate agents. Listing agents recognize that providing images of property, including photos of every part of the home or business, creates a collection of pictures that give potential buyers useful information about the place for sale. Develop expertise in using a camera with a special lens that allows you to photograph the entire room. Learning how to take photos for real estate agents also involves developing your communication skills so you can sell your services effectively. The Real Estate Photographers of America and International Trade Association allows you to register so real estate agents can find you to obtain your services.
Take photography courses at your local college, community center or school. Learn how to capture, shape, transmit, save and print digital photos. See how to use both digital and film cameras, lenses and film. Get experience developing film and setting different exposures. The PhotographyCourse.net website provides free access to online courses.
Get a credential. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission allows you to take an exam and obtain the Certified Professional Photographer certification. The Photography website provides access to study questions, links to online resources and a glossary of terms. Use these resources to learn the basic operations of film and digital cameras, how to use the viewfinder, load the film or memory card and take the picture control exposure. Judges review 20 images you submit as representation of your work. They assess your skills, knowledge and ability to produce pleasing photographs. For architectural photos, judges look for good quality of light, color, density and appropriate contrast.
Create a website to market your services. Using free website development tools, such as Wix, Weebly or Intuit, create a site to showcase your work and attract new clients. Advertise your business in real estate trade association publications for your area. Compare your site with websites produced by other real estate photographers to get inspiration. The American Society for Home Stagers and Redesigners provides tips to set up vacant homes so they look more attractive by finding focal points, scaling the space, managing traffic flow and using the best color schemes.
Use the SCORE website to locate a mentor in your area. Observe a real estate photographer on the job to learn tips and techniques for taking attractive pictures of property. Real estate photographers also use multimedia, such as video, to show off properties. Producing comprehensive virtual tours and using advanced editing techniques allow real estate photographers to help agents sell more efficiently.
- “Photography: The Essential Way"; Barbara London, et al.; 2007
- American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners: ASHSR Frequently Asked Questions
- Real Estate Photographers of America and International: Home
- Photography for Real Estate; How To Create Your Own Job In Real Estate Photography; October 2010
- Professional Photographic Certification Commission: Home
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.