A real estate photography invoice contains detailed, orderly information on professional home or building photography services that are rendered at the request of a real estate agent or home seller. Photographers that focus their craft on the imaging of property often employ a vast array of tools and equipment, such as cameras (with many different types of lenses), tripods, drones, and photo editing software. While hourly rates can be charged, the majority of photographers charge on a per-service basis, with several factors determining the cost of each service.
What is Real Estate Photography?
Real estate photography is a subset of professional photography that focuses on the act of taking carefully executed photos and videos of residential and commercial property for the purpose of marketing the property to potential buyers. On the surface, the thought of taking photos of a home or building may not sound complicated – and for subpar to average looking photos, it may very well be relatively simple. However, taking breathtaking photos that stand out from other images of residential homes on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) takes a considerable amount of skill and time that only professional real estate photographers can bring to the table.
Real Estate Photography Equipment
The level of expertise, budget, and experience of the photographer all contribute to the types of imaging tools a photographer may require. One such tool is the drone, which has taken the photography industry by storm, adding a completely new aerial perspective photographers can add to their portfolio of services.
The Essentials – For those just testing the waters of real estate photography or using it as a part-time gig, there are three (3) fundamental pieces of equipment that should be acquired before anything else. With the assistance of SLR Lounge, they are the following:
- Camera body – The camera body is not nearly as important as the lens due to real estate photography requiring both an abundant use of tripods and a need for non-blurry back and foregrounds –
- Lens – The price spent on a lens can range from moderately pricy to very expensive. SLR Lounge states that because the lens aperture doesn’t need to be very fast for photographing homes, lenses such as “f/4 zooms” or “variable aperture zooms” are solid choices and can save photographers a significant amount of money.
- Tripod – Taking steady and level shots is an essential part of the job due to lengthy shutter speeds; purchasing a large and heavy tripod may seem counter-intuitive for lugging around a property, but can keep images framed consistently to minimize the need for taking repeated shots of the same angle.
- Carrying gear – To save time and reduce the chance of damaging photography equipment, purchasing a soft or hard carrying luggage is indispensable. The best part? It won’t need to replaced when newer upgraded is purchased down the road.
Intermediate to Professional – Professional, full-time real estate photographers need the tools and equipment they purchase to provide them with both consistent and high-quality images to match the fast-paced demands real estate agents frequently place on them. According to PhotoUp, the following are more than necessary additions to the professional photographer’s gear bag (in addition to those mentioned above):
- External flash units – Adds light to areas that need it the most. Can utilize one (1) to several units for the desired effect.
- Photo editing software – With an ample amount of practice, the right software allows photographers to make scenes that would otherwise look subpar, appear extraordinary.
- Light meter – Used for determining the correct amount of exposure for a photo, aiding photographers in selecting the correct aperture and shutter speeds.
- Drones – Although they are not listed as a recommendation of PhotoUp, the use of drones can undoubtedly set one photographer apart from the rest due to the unique aerial viewpoints they can capture.
Real Estate Photographer Salary & Hourly Rate ($/hr)
Salary: $35,726/yr (source: glassdoor)
Hourly rate: $21.50/hr (source: PayScale)