Brief Intro to Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography or also known as architectural photography is an important part of the commercial photography niche. Those operating in the real estate photography business are aware of how challenging and attractive this job is. If you have just began or consider beginning to work in the field, here are some useful tips and information to help you keep up with clients’ demands.

What is Real Estate Photography?

To put it simple, real estate photography reduces to images showcasing properties for sale. This doesn’t mean that this type of photography is less creative than others. It is true that real estate photography limits your artistic freedom and it is driven by marketing purposes more than any other niche. What is the advantage than of pursuing a career in this sector?

Is real estate photography profitable? As in the US today, real estate is one of the most competitive industries, we can clearly say that yes, now is a good time to start a business in this area. Even if you love performing in other areas as a freelance photographer, real estate photography can be a great opportunity not only to earn some extra cash, but also to improve and diversify your skills.

Basic Equipment Needed

What you need to get started is a digital camera, lenses, tripod, and a computer which will allow you managing the post-processing phase.

  • Camera and Lenses

Real estate photography is a competitive area for professionals like you. That is why a good DSLR is your best bet. Choose one with high ISO performance for indoors shooting, and the possibility of using off-camera flash.

As regards the type of lenses you should use, wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses are a must for this type of photography.

While wide angle lenses are meant to help you shoot narrow spaces like bathrooms, tilt-shift lenses increase the depth of filed and enable sharper, high quality images taken outdoors. Tilt-shits lenses are required when shooting wider spaces, mainly correcting converging verticals.

The only thing you need to be super careful with is not to distort images by getting too enthusiastic with the use of lenses.

  • Tripod

Tripods are the key to a professional outcome, among others. We advise you to choose a sturdy duty one used for studio purposes. If you are at the start of your career and wonder what type of tripod would fit your needs best, check our post on top considerations when buying one.

  • Photo Editing Software


Not all images will turn out the way you or the client want. That is why a good knowledge of either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop can save your life.

The Importance and Specificity of Lighting

It is never enough to emphasise the importance of lighting in photography. Needless to say that natural light sources are desirable in comparison to artificial lighting techniques. Let’s have a look at what you need to keep in mind depending on whether you shoot outdoors or indoors.

  • Exterior Real Estate Photography


Once you have been contracted for a real estate photo job, first thing to do is check the weather forecast. Also, planning is really important prior to the photo shooting. Ensure you are there early in the morning, take the equipment you need and get ready to spend a few hours working. Leave some time for post-processing too.

While on the scene, avoid shooting in the sun and search the angles that enable a broader perspective over the property. If there’s a yard, patio or garden, take advantage and capture a wider area.

exterior real estate photography

Great exterior images also benefit from an overcast sky. Don’t forget to take it into account.

  • Interior Real Estate Photography

First thing to consider is profiting from window light. Apart from that, you will need to work with interior light sources and even turn to supplemental light for dark corners.

interior real estate photography

Using flash is common for real estate photography as the time of shooting is too short for mastering sophisticated lighting techniques. In this case, be careful with the exposure of the image. Using a flash requires adjusting camera settings, like ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  We have already discussed about ISO settings in low light conditions. Have a look at our post on ISO and learn more about how to capture high quality interior images.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Post-Processing in Real Estate Photography

Editing tools such as post-processing software are essential in improving images of the property you were assigned to shoot.

The main advantage of post-processing real estate photos is pricing. Special editing will result in some extra cash for you as edited photos are charged more as compared to unprocessed ones.

However, real estate agencies demand accurate images. The key to a successful real estate photo editing process is thus making properties look amazing without distorting reality.

Real Estate Photo Format and Aspect Ratio

If you are new to real estate photography, inform about the marketing media format and aspect ratio preferred by real estate clients and use your equipment and tools accordingly.

Normally, each real estate agency decides on what photo dimensions and format are required for their websites. As a tip, try to get familiar with MLS sites and requirements in your area. These sites usually process and send images to regional and national real estate sites.

If you found this post useful or have any questions and suggestions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Image Sources: 1,2

Google Trusted Photographer – What Does It Mean?

Have you ever played with the Google maps concept? You can search out any address and with a few clicks have a street view of the surrounding area.

This works out really well when you’re unfamiliar with an area, and wish to have an idea of where you are going before you get there.

We used it the first time we went to Italy, and it was very helpful getting an idea of where our apartment was before we ever stepped off the plane. We “recognized” landmarks immediately, and found our location much quicker than we would have without it – something especially helpful when you take the train and walk there yourself without being able to speak Italian!

Now that Google has photographed almost everywhere street view, they are turning to other locations – inside the buildings themselves.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to “see” a restaurant in the city you’re hosting a retreat without having to visit in person? Or to be able to look inside a store to see if they truly have the products you want to look at?

Yes, there are all kinds of reasons to have the inside of your location photographed and placed in Google Maps’ que.

Google Trusted Photographer

But in order for that to happen, you need to have photographs – the right kind of photographs.

No snapping a few images with your iPhone. If businesses want to take advantage of this technology, they need to have the right kind of photographs to present the virtual tour – which means they need the right kind of photographer.

In order to be a Google Trusted Photographer, you have to meet certain qualifications.

You have to be ready to run a high volume photography business – they say you’ll be working 30+ hours per week as a part of the program.

And you have to have business skills behind you – are you ready for door to door or tele-sales in order to reach out to your customers?

Your goal as a Google Trusted Photographer will be to connect with local businesses and educate them on the power of being included in Google Maps Business Profiles. Once you have a new customer, you will spend around two hours capturing the images needed to make the Google virtual tour possible. Then you will work behind the scenes to publish your work into the Google Maps platform.Google Trusted Photographer

That’s it.

You do have to apply for the position, but once accepted they provide all the training.

Right now Trusted Photographers are working with businesses in U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. And of course a lot more to come.

Sound interesting? Apply now. It may be just the boost your business needs in this new economy.

How to Get Published in Fashion Magazines

Guest Post By Lindsay Adler

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Adler

One of the most common questions I am asked is, how do you get published in fashion magazines? Its one thing to take beautiful images but how do you take the next step into sharing these with others in a print publication?


It seems that there just isn’t enough quality advice out there on getting published, making it difficult to know where to start! Here’s a few things I’ve discovered along the way that have helped me start to get published!

1) Start with what’s in front of you

When I started to build my portfolio as a fashion photographer, I certainly didn’t start off with agency models or gorgeous women. Instead, I started out with whoever was willing to pose for me! I had to build a portfolio to show my photographic skill first before branching out to other creative professionals like hair, makeup, wardrobe and models.

The first step is to hone your skills using everyday people, environments, props. No fashion photographer has every made it simply by decorating beautiful people with couture clothing. First and foremost, you need to understand light, composition, and how to create a storyline.


The best way to do that is to start with average, everyday people in everyday attire. Think about all the powerful fashion editorials we’ve seen using nothing more than silhouettes. These shots are powerful, and the model’s role is more of an object than an emotive person. By developing your own style and point of view, you will catch the eye of up-and-coming designers and models.

In October of this year my next book, Creative 52, will be available where I provide you weekly challenges to help push yourself to create an invigorate portfolio no matter what your budget or what subjects you have access to!

2) Approach models

Once you have a small portfolio of quality images that showcase your control of light and make your subjects look phenomenal, models will be more likely to accept an offer to work for you. It’s that simple: make people look good and more people will want you to photograph them. Your pockets don’t need to be deep. Most models who are just starting out will exchange their services for access to your photos. Consider reaching out to local agencies, Model Mayhem or Craigslist and provide your images (TFCD- Trade for CD) in exchange for them posing. Usually 3-5 retouched images suffice as pay for their time.

3) Approach Hair and Makeup Artists

Makeup and hair stylists want to see your command of light and the quality of models. When you have a team or hair and makeup, this helps take your work to another levels; they add their own artful finishing touches, adding a sheen of professionalism to your photographs. If you can show hair and makeup artists that you have a solid portfolio with opportunities to highlight their work, you are sitting in a great position to attract quality stylists. If you are having trouble getting started, try your local high-end salon. Negotiate an in-kind partnership, where they trade their time for the rights to use your photos for their own promotional materials. Also consider cosmetology schools and model mayhem when first getting started.


4) Pitch Online Magazines

Now that you have honed your lighting techniques, composition, storyboarding, all the necessary fundamentals, and have a portfolio of great images with beautiful models and hair and makeup stylists, you are ready to pitch your work to publications. Unlike print publications, online magazines have an infinite amount of pages to fill with new images every day (if not every hour). They are always looking for quality editorial content. You can use platforms like ISSUU and MagCloud to find your niche — type fashion in the search bar and pick which publications would be a good fit for your work. Another way to pinpoint potential online editorial targets is to research where photographers you admire have been published. Also, be sure to ask your own creative team (hair, makeup, wardrobe, models) if they have recommendations. Local or regional publications are a great way to start as you build up your credentials.

5) Approach Print Publications

The final step is all about perseverance. Getting in contact with editors at print publications can be a real headache. When I was first starting out, I would send out 200 emails at a time and only get a handful of responses at best!  Try to find ways to make yourself stand out and show the publications that you are knowledgeable about what they do. When sending them a message, don’t just say “here is my work, publish me”. Instead, tell them what draws you to their publication and what has recently appeared in their magazine that attracts you. Then explain how your work is a good fit and how you propose you work with them in the future. Do you have specific ideas for a shoot? Perhaps a mood board or collection of images to entice them with? Or maybe you have already completed a shoot that fits their magazines that you’d be interested in them publishing. Having knowledge about the publication is key; what types of designers do they feature (if any), what is their ‘look’ of model, and what style of photography to they publish.


Another key element is to get your name out there in any way possible. If your emails aren’t getting through, follow the editor on Twitter, Facebook and find their blog.

Start to make comments on posts and tweets that interest you. Maybe you have a blog post on a similar topic and you share the same viewpoints. If so, let them know in a personal message or a tweet! This might sound like a big time commitment, but it only takes a few minutes a day and pays dividends. After a while, they will recognize your name and when your phone calls and emails roll in, they’ll be that much more likely to want to speak with you. Its essential to get the right people to notice you, so put time and effort into the editors of your target publications!

If you want to learn more, check out my free workshop with Erik Valind on creativeLIVE August 12-14.

Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York. Her editorials have appeared in dozens of publications internationally including Bullett Magazine, Zink Magazine, Fault and more. She regularly contributes to a variety of major photo publications including Professional Photographer, Rangefinder Magazine, and Popular Photography.

How To Make Money As A Real Estate Photographer

What’s the one industry that relies on images now more than ever?

Real estate.

People have changed the way they buy real estate. When they are ready to buy, they don’t drive around or spend days going through house after house. Instead, they use technology to their advantage. They zone in on neighborhoods. They look through listings on real estate sites. They watch and look through virtual tours. They find what they think they like online before going with their realtor and physically viewing the place.

In some cases the photography can sell the property. People can be sold before they step one foot into the home, simply by what the photographer showcases in his work.

Yes, you’ll see “amateur” agents who try and do it themselves with their iPhones. But these are the bottom feeders – the realtors that are at the bottom of the industry just getting by.

The true professional knows today’s real estate market is controlled by the photography.

And the bigger the house, the more they are willing to pay for quality work.

Which is where you come in. Can you make money as a real estate photographer? Definitely. Houses go on and off the market every day. People need real estate photography for all sorts of things:

  • A new homebuilder needs promotional images.
  • A custom builder needs to showcase his style.
  • A realtor needs to showcase her current listings – residential and commercial.
  • Interior designers need to showcase the work they do in a room.
  • Home vendors need professional images for their marketing – think custom stair builders, fireplace mantels, mural painters, custom cabinetry, and more

With so much potential, where do you start?

Design your packages

There are many ways to go about creating your pricing structure. Start by surfing. See what other real estate photographers are doing. Think about what will benefit an agent most. Agents are busy people … if they are good at what they do. They understand the importance of paying someone to do it the right way the first time. They will pay for a lot more than just a few images. They’ll pay for:

  • Virtual tours
  • Panoramic images
  • Website creation
  • Individual domains per property
  • Twilight shoots
  • Neighborhood images
  • Craigslist postings
  • Links to other real estate sites online
  • Custom flyers and DVDs – marketing pieces

Make it easy for your customers to do business with you. And as always, don’t overwhelm. Make it easy for them to choose the right package – the one that ultimately will make your business profitable.

Teach realtors about photography

Just like every other photography niche out there today, many people think their iPhone images are good enough. You have to teach realtors why photography matters and how they can increase their listings and bump up their profits just by spending a little more on their images. You can teach them on your website, your blog, your social sites, by hosting seminars and training sessions, and even though quick infographics that can go viral online. Check out this great one I found:

Professional Photos Net More For Your Home

by Ruxta Realty


Education always makes my lists of “must have”, and this industry is no exception. Head over to sites life Photography For Real Estate or Real Estate Photographers of America and International, and learn all you can. They provide resources, tips and links to everything real estate – improve a little every day and you’ll quickly learn how to make it big within this industry.

Go to where the agents are

Agents are everywhere – its one field in which you can find them just about anywhere. Head to a networking meeting at your local chamber and you can quickly come away with half dozen realtor cards. Stop by and visit broker offices. Join and/or visit real estate associations – Association of Realtors, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, or simply Google your local community – you’ll find them in most cities and counties. Network with them regularly and start up your own mailing list to bring people on board with your packages.

5 Top Foodie Photographers You Should Be Following

One of the most popular, up-and-coming photography niches around is foodie photography. Foodies are everywhere, blogging about what they eat, what they buy, what they make, and what they share. And while the descriptions and recipes can be super important to making the blog a success, undeniably its also the photography. Capturing a great image can make you hungry, right on the spot.

So who are some inspirational foodie photographers that can motivate you to start up your own foodie photography business? I decided to find true, professional photographers that not only were making a full time living at food photography, but were also truly motivated to helping others learn the art of food photography. Read on.

Stephen Hamilton

If you start looking for the best foodie photographer around, chances are you’ll quickly find Stephen Hamilton’s name appear again and again. His photography has appeared everywhere, including national and international magazines, cookbooks, commercial packaging, television including Top Chef, and many blogs, including his own.  If you want to see his work in action, you have a variety of ways to do so. Check out his site, his blog Who’s Hungry, or scroll through one of his issues of Who’s Hungry Magazine. In addition to incredible photographs to be inspired by, you’ll also gain invaluable tips that will help you dive into the world of foodie photography.

Tracey Kusiewicz

With a name like Foodie Photography, it’s pretty apparent that food photography is Tracey’s passion. From advertising and product packaging, to cookbooks and magazine, to college instruction on the art of food photography, this photographer can provide you with all the inspiration you need to focus in on epicurean experiences. Check out her Foodie Files for tips on photographing food.

Andrew Scrivani

Andrew Scrivani has had images published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and cookbooks, including Newsweek, Edible Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal, The Chew and The New York Times. Visit his site to see his work. Then visit his blog to learn more about what he does.

Michael Natkin

This is a man after my own heart. The blogger behind Herbivoracious and a self-taught photographer, his site is dedicated to making sure any meatless meal you cook is hearty and delicious. A few years ago he took a six month leave of absence and spent the time with his family eating his way through Israel and Italy. He gave up the software scene forever after that, and has never looked back. While his site is definitely more geared towards his recipes and his cookbook, you can learn a ton by following him. Create your own niche around your passion and never look back.

Sabra Krock

As a editorial and commercial food photographer, Sabra’s work has appeared in places such as Food and Wine Magazine, and The New York Times. With her blog Spoonful, you can discover recipes and more, including a beautiful sampling of her imagery. One sentence in her About Us says it all:

What started as a passion for cooking, therefore, has also blossomed into a deep interest in exploring the visual art of food via food photography (after all, we eat with our eyes first).

Who would you recommend as a great foodie photographer to watch?

10 Things You May Not Have Know About Copyrights

10. In most cases, a registered copyright will last your life plus 70 years. There are however exceptions to the rule. Cornell has a great resource page showing the common and special situations.

9. If you’ve asked for a copyright, you don’t need to renew it, as long as the work was created after January 1, 1978. Before this date renewal is optional but advised after 28 years.

8. Fair Use is a term commonly used when people use works in different ways. The Copyright office has created a doctrine of “fair use” by developing a substantial number of court decisions on the topic, using it to set precedence in current and future cases. The distinction between fair use and infringement is unclear and not easily defined. The most important thing to keep in mind is that most disagreements when it comes to fair use are settled in a court of law on a case by case basis. [Read more…]

Is Food Photography The Next Biggest Wave?

“Why would I want to use Twitter? Who cares what people are having for lunch?”

Since Twitters inception, that’s been the general consensus among business owners. And as it turns out, there may be some truth to the “Twitter – its what’s for lunch” concept.

People aren’t just talking about what they had for lunch; they’re photographing it too.

According to 360i, by the end of 2010, more than 80 billion photographs were uploaded across a variety of social picture platforms. And at least once a month, 52 percent of mobile users take photos with their phones, and 19 percent upload their photos to the web.

And what is even more fascinating is that people are almost never in these photographs – only 10 percent of the photographs 360i analyzed had people in them.

So what are people taking photos of? In many cases, its food. Check out this infographic 360i did for Mashable.

With that many people taking photos of food, is there a future in food photography?

Even though were weathering a tough economy, we may be forgoing vacations, and passing on pricey cars, there is one thing we’re not willing to part with – cookbooks. While the book industry as a whole is falling, and booksellers are filing for bankruptcy, cookbook sales are up 9 percent last year, according to Nielsen statistics. And with cookbooks come photography, blogs, and a whole new reason to start photographing what you eat.

And while most people think of professional chefs and bakers when they think cookbooks, some of the highest growth in cookbooks aren’t’ coming from professionals, they are coming from bloggers.

Mom blogger The Pioneer Woman started out years ago describing her life on the ranch with her cowboy husband and four children. Now she has multiple books, including a cookbook, and is about to head into a whole new venture with her cooking show on the Food Network.

And if you’re a fan of Tim Ferriss from the 4 Hour Work Week, he’s just announced his new venture – The 4 Hour Chef.

So I guess the only question now is “how can you turn your love of food and photography into a business?”

What Will Costco Do To The Commercial Photographer?

We’re huge Costco fans. We head over every weekend to do our weekly shopping, and buy most of our grocery items there any more. Plus we can buy the occasional television, computer, appliance, and even holiday gift there. We’ve never found anything of poor quality, and really can’t imagine not heading to Costco anymore.

So when I get my monthly The Costco Connection, the magazine put out by Costco, I love flipping through it and reading the articles. Costco caters to small businesses, and they always have a variety of articles based around this concept.

So I read with interest this month about their newest offering – Art and Image Gallery.

Simply head over to the Art and Image Gallery, and browse through over 20,000 digital images of fine art, photography and illustrations that can be chosen and used to create a photo through their 1 hour photo lab.

Costco has teamed with Corbis Images to provide this unique function, and to allow the general consumer the chance to make any type of artwork for their walls for the low price of the cost of the print at Costco. You can produce anywhere from a standard photo 8×10, to a poster print up to a 20×30, to a high quality giclee canvas print up to a 16×48. Prices are at the low price of $1.49 for the 8×10, to the high side of $99.99 for the giclee print.

Within the 20,000 images, you’ll find:

[Read more…]

How To Take Better Food Photographs

What does our world revolve around? Food of course. We eat all the time. And while sometimes it may have to be through the drive-through, sometimes we have fun with it.

Like having a group of friends over for a gourmet meal, complete with wines from around the world.

In any case, food ends up being a natural subject matter in a variety of photographs. Foodie blogs are booming at the moment. Cooking magazines are everywhere. And have you ever seen those glorious food photos on the walls at your favorite quick casual restaurant? They make you hungry while waiting in line.

Want to start your own foodie blog, or sell your recipes and photographs to a cooking magazine? Or maybe work with companies to produce great food images for their products and advertising? Start out with better food photographs.

1. Think presentation, not eating

What do you want the final photograph to look like? Do you want a table scene blurred in the background? How about place settings? Are you focusing on the texture of the foods? Play around with the look of the final image, not the way it will taste when you finally eat it. You might have to stack things to get a better view, or combine items to make it more appealing. [Read more…]

Commercial Photography – How To Photograph A Domino’s Pizza

Ready to jump into the commercial photography business? While a simple commercial or ad can make things appear to be simple, it may take hours or even days of preparation to get exactly what you want on film.

What does it take to photograph a Domino’s Pizza… lots of time, effort and prepping. This video shows you just how difficult it can be getting the perfect shot to market the product.