It’s no secret – most professional photographers will accept almost any kind of gig to keep the lights on. In fact, many of the skills required in one niche of photography spill into the other areas – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work the same in all situations. However, there is no denying that the more one practices a specific skill the better he/she becomes.
Portrait and wedding photographers get good at posing people. They understand how light should play across a face and how to capture interactions between people. After a few years of experience, they should be creating reliably good work. However, when you take them away from their practiced specialty and put them into a different niche of photography, how well do they perform? This is the crux of the problem when it comes to generalist photographers taking on real estate photo work. Does a wedding photographer’s work in the real estate arena hold up to a specialist in the real estate photography niche?
I was recently called in to re-shoot a listing that had been photographed by a wedding photographer. The Realtor wasn’t happy with his work and sent me samples that clearly showed why. I went to the photog’s website and discovered that he specialized in wedding and portrait photography, and although he claimed real estate as part of the photo services he offered, he did not show any on his site. His work in the wedding field was professional. However, in the real estate arena, he fell short – by a lot!
Bottom line – see the work! If his/her real estate work is not displayed on their website, ask for a link to a recent property so you can see the level of their work. TIP: Also ask about their other services for real estate marketing, such as video walk-throughs, 3D Tours, floor plans, etc. Offering multiple services demonstrates a commitment to the real estate arena and most likely a greater expertise in the field.
Finally, here are four good reasons to hire a real estate photographer:
1. Real estate photographers know the right angles, lighting, time of the day, and elements to focus on.
2. Good real estate photos are specifically designed to appeal to potential buyers and are optimized to draw in as many buyers as possible.
3. Good photos grab the attention of a potential buyer and have been proven to increase the perceived value of a property, leading to faster sales.
4. Finally, homes that use a professional RE photographer on average sell $11,000 over market value and sell 50% faster than homes with inferior photography.
So do yourself a favor and hire a professional “real estate” photographer, or you may end up photographing the listing twice. Ouch!