I recently ran into a realtor who asked me if I had ever done real-estate photography for home or commercial listings. After a brief discussion with her I talked with a few of my friends who happen to sell real-estate. It seems as though that there is a general consistency regarding the issue of having good digital images produced affordably and within a reasonable period of time for property listings.
Apparently, there is a world of two extremes regarding real-estate photography.
On the one hand there is the world of high end studios that come from the market place of wedding and portrait photography. They are often busy and hard to schedule. When they are able to do the job they treat the shoot as if they are documenting the Sistine Chapel and charge accordingly.
On the other hand there is the world of trunk slammers (or do it yourselfers). These photographers often have limited media experience, show up with a camera that is equipped only with a small pop-up flash, or has an image quality that is just barely above what the built-in camera of the average smart phone has available. Trunk slammers frequently only want paid in cash and provide weak expense documentation.
I have been producing media that is a part of wider projects involving other professionals for a long time. I am aware of the importance of the value triangle in relation to these projects. There is cost, time, and quality; the more of any of these two that you want it will come at the expense of the third. The key to being a good media sub-contractor is to provide a quality yet practical body of work within a timely manner that does not compromise the budget of the overall project for your client.
The essence of real-estate photography is being able to communicate with agents in the field as listings become active, arrive at the scheduled time and take good pictures resourcefully, and then make those images available for upload to the realtor’s site in a well-timed manner. In addition, provide the realtor with a genuine business invoice that is easily payable with a corporate credit card online via PayPal or whatever method they may choose.
So far, this is what I am getting from the world of real-estate. If you are a realtor and have any further input I would love to hear from you.