Real Estate Photography Business: How to Get get Started

Michael • February 6, 2023 • 11 min read

How to start a real estate photography business

Real estate photography is not just about taking pictures of houses. It’s about showcasing a lifestyle and selling a dream. But before you can start selling that dream, you need to know how to build a successful real estate photography business.

I’ve been in the game for a while, and I’ve seen it all. From the amateur with a camera phone to the seasoned pro with a bag full of lenses. And I’m here to tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks. But with the right know-how and a little bit of hustle, you can make it to the top of the real estate photography game.


1. What Does a Real Estate Photographer Do?

As a real estate photographer, your main job will be to take good photos of houses and apartments that are for sale or rent. This may involve visiting properties in person to take photos, or working with clients to provide virtual tours or other online marketing materials.

You’ll need to be able to show off the property in the best way possible, highlighting its size, layout, and features in a way that makes it appealing to potential buyers or renters. Read also what is a rel estate photographer.

Research and know your market

2. Research: Know Your Market

Before you jump into starting your own business, it is crucial to conduct market research. To make a successful business, you need to know who your target market is and what their needs and wants are. This will also help you analyze the competition and determine your unique selling points.

The main people who use real estate photography are real estate agents, brokers, and property managers. Research the types of properties they sell or manage and the specific photography services they require.

Look at the websites of your competitors and analyze the types of images they use, the quality of their work, and their pricing. This research will give you a better understanding of the industry and help you make informed decisions when starting your own business.

Target Market

The main people who use real estate photography are real estate agents, brokers, and property managers. Get to know the types of properties they sell or manage and the specific photography services they require.


Analyze the websites of your competitors and take note of the types of images they use, the quality of their work, and their pricing. This will help you learn more about the business world and figure out what makes you special.

Customer Demands

Find out what real estate agents, brokers, and property managers expect from a real estate photographer. Ask for their input on the types of images they prefer and the services they need. Use this information to tailor your business to their needs. This also includes checking the demand in your area.

Define Your Niche

Once you have a good understanding of the market and its niches, you can begin to define your niche. What sets your photography business apart from others? What are your unique skills, and what types of properties are you most interested in photographing? For example, you may specialize in luxury properties, or you may have a unique style that sets your photos apart.

Start by creating a business plan

3. Creating a Business Plan

With your market research completed and niche defined, it’s time to create a business plan. When starting a business, it’s important to find a balance between being confused and having a lot of ideas.

A well-crafted business plan can help to navigate these waters and provide a roadmap to success and can tell if a real estate photography business is a good carreer. And, in the world of real estate photography, a plan can make all the difference.

The importance of having a business plan cannot be overstated. It’s not just a theoretical exercise, but rather a practical tool that helps to ensure your business will thrive.

A plan gives you a clear understanding of your objectives and how to achieve them. It also helps you to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by unrelated tasks or shiny objects.

A business plan for real estate photography needs a few key components to be successful.

A. Marketing Strategy

For your real estate photography business to be successful, you need a good marketing plan. A good marketing plan should take into account both your target market and what makes your business different.

Whether you choose to focus on digital marketing, networking, and word-of-mouth referrals, or a combination of the two, it is important to consistently spread your message and build brand awareness.

Remember that marketing is an ongoing process that needs constant attention and changes, but with the right approach, you can build a strong brand and bring in new clients for your real estate photography business.

B. Pricing Structure

When it comes to starting a real estate photography business, one of the most important aspects to consider is your pricing structure. This is not only crucial for determining the profitability of your business, but also for attracting and retaining clients.

It is important to research the going rates for real estate photography in your area and to determine the costs of your equipment and operating expenses. From there, you can determine a pricing structure that allows you to make a profit while still offering competitive rates to your clients.

Also, it’s important to think about offering package deals or discounts for repeat business, since building strong relationships with clients can lead to long-term success in the industry. 

C. Client Acquisition

Getting new customers is important for any business, and real estate photography is no different. The key to successful client acquisition is to have a clear understanding of your target market and to develop a strategic marketing plan. Whether it be through networking, advertising, or leveraging social media, it is important to get your name and portfolio in front of potential clients.

In addition to marketing efforts, it is also important to deliver exceptional customer service and to consistently exceed clients’ expectations.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool in any business, and happy clients who need real estate photography services are likely to tell others about you. Read this article if you have trouble finding jobs,

Building strong relationships with clients and getting a reputation for doing good work can also lead to repeat business and opportunities to grow in the industry. When it comes to client acquisition, it is important to approach it with a long-term mindset and to focus on building relationships rather than just making a sale.

D. Lead generation KPIs

Lead generation is a key part of any business that does well, and real estate photography is no different. As a seasoned entrepreneur and business consultant, I can tell you that tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is a valuable tool for measuring the effectiveness of your lead-generation efforts.

These KPIs can include metrics such as cost per in-person meeting, cost per signed contract, and conversion rates. By keeping an eye on these KPIs on a regular basis, you can find places to improve and make smart choices about how to use your resources for the most impact.

It is important to remember that lead generation is not a one-time effort, but rather a continuous process that requires ongoing attention and optimization.

This could mean trying out different marketing channels, tweaking your message, or changing who you’re trying to reach. Your real estate photography business can grow and stay ahead of the competition if you keep making improvements to how you find new client

More insights:

Important equipment for real estate photographers

4. Essential Equipment for Real Estate Photography

To get started in real estate photography, you’ll need a few key pieces of equipment. Here are some of the essentials:

Camera body

You’ll want a high-end camera with a full-frame sensor and interchangeable lenses. With a full-frame sensor, you can take high-quality photos with a shallow depth of field, which is important for real estate photography. Changeable lenses will give you the flexibility you need to take pictures in many different situations. Consider a camera with good low-light performance, such as the Canon EOS R5 or the Sony A7R IV.


A wide-angle lens is a must for real estate photography. You’ll need to capture large rooms and spaces in one shot, and a wide-angle lens will give you the field of view to do that. A lens with a focal length of around 16-24mm is ideal. Consider a lens with image stabilization for stable shots, such as the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM or the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS.


For real estate photography, you need a strong tripod so that you can take sharp, well-exposed photos even when there isn’t much light. You may also want to invest in a monopod or a shoulder rig for added stability and flexibility.

Lighting equipment

Depending on the property and the available light, you may need to use artificial lighting to get the best results. A range of lighting equipment, such as strobes and softboxes, can help you create the right lighting for each shot.

Reflectors can also be a helpful tool in real estate photography. With a reflector, you can bounce light into shadowed areas to make the exposure more even. Look for a 5-in-1 reflector with different colored surfaces, such as the Fotodiox 5-in-1 Reflector Kit.

Other accessories

There is a range of other accessories that can be useful for real estate photography, such as polarizing filters to reduce reflections and remote triggers to take photos without touching the camera. As you gain more experience, you can experiment with different accessories to find what works best for you.


Software is also an important aspect of real estate photography. Image editing software can help you enhance your photos and make them look more professional. Lightroom and Photoshop are two popular options for image editing.

A file management system, such as Adobe Bridge or Lightroom, will also help you keep track of your photos and ensure that you can easily find the images you need.

Create a portfolio with photos

5. Building a Portfolio: Show, Don’t Tell

Your portfolio is your calling card. It’s how you’ll get hired. And it needs to be good. Very good.

Start by practicing on your own. Take photos of your own home. Take photos of your friends’ homes. Take photos of houses that are for sale in your area. Use these to build a portfolio of your best work.

Once you’ve got a good selection of photos, it’s time to start networking. Reach out to local real estate agents and offer to take photos of their listings for free. Give them a copy of your portfolio and ask for a referral.

  • Practice
    Take the time to practice your photography skills and improve your work. Look for opportunities to work with real estate agents or photographers to gain experience and build your portfolio.
  • Specialties
    Focus on showcasing the types of properties you specialize in. For example, if you have a particular talent for photographing luxury homes, make sure to include these types of images in your portfolio.
  • Quality
    Make sure that the images in your portfolio are of high quality. Invest in editing software to enhance your images and make them look professional.

Start marketing to clients

6. Marketing Your Portfolio to Prospective Clients

To get the word out about your business, you’ll need to develop a marketing plan. Social media is a great way to reach a wide audience, so consider creating a presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Use these platforms to share your work, network with other professionals in the industry, and promote your business. You can also reach out to real estate agents and brokers in your area and offer them a discount on your services.

7. Setting Up Your Business

Once you have a solid portfolio and marketing plan in place, it’s time to set up your business. You will need to register your business, get any licenses or permits you need, and make a business plan.

Your business plan should include details on your target market, services and pricing, and your marketing strategy.

Pricing is a critical aspect of your business, and it’s important to get it right. When setting your prices, you should look into the prices of your competitors and think about how much your equipment and software cost. Offer competitive pricing and make sure your services are clearly outlined on your website.

Pricing and Contracts

8. Pricing and Contracts: Know Your Worth

Now that you’ve got clients, it’s time to start getting paid. But how much should you charge? And what should you include in your contract? 

First, do your research. Look at what other real estate photographers in your area are charging. And don’t be afraid to charge more. You’re offering a professional service, and you should be paid accordingly. At this point you should already know who pays for your real estate photos.

Include a detailed contract that outlines exactly what you’ll be doing and how much you’ll be charging. And don’t be afraid to ask for a deposit. It’s a good way to make sure your clients are serious.

9. Marketing and Networking: Get the Word Out

Now that you’ve got clients and you’re getting paid, it’s time to start building your business. And the best way to do that is to get the word out.

  • Website
    Start by building a website. Make it easy to navigate and include a portfolio of your best work. And don’t forget about SEO. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines so that people can find it.
  • Networking
    Next, start networking. Attend local real estate events and meetups. Join real estate photography groups on social media. And don’t be afraid to reach out to other professionals in the industry. They can be a great source of referrals and new business.
  • Online marketing
    Another important aspect of marketing is social media. Make sure to have a strong presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Share your work and engage with your followers. This will help you build a following and attract new clients.

10 Legal and Financial Aspects: Protect Yourself

Starting a business can be exciting, but it’s important not to overlook the legal and financial aspects. Make sure you have the necessary licenses and permits to operate in your area and a understanding about copyright issues. And don’t forget about liability and insurance. You’ll want to protect yourself and your business in case anything goes wrong.

It’s also important to keep track of your finances. Create a budget and stick to it. Keep track of your expenses and income. And make sure you’re invoicing your clients correctly. 

11. Delivering Quality Service

To have a successful real estate photography business, you must give your clients good service. Make sure to communicate clearly with your clients about their needs and expectations.

Give them a detailed contract that explains the services you will provide and how long it will take to get the images back to them. Pay close attention to the details and always strive to exceed your client’s expectations.

Keep up with changes in the industry and in technology to make sure your services stay competitive. Continuously evaluate and improve your work, and be open to feedback from your clients. Building a good reputation and giving good service will help your business grow and bring in new customers.

Stay up to date with industry trends

12. Staying Up-to-Date with Industry Trends

It’s important to keep up with industry trends and technological changes if you want your services to stay competitive. Here’s how to stay ahead of the curve:

Industry Trends

Attending trade shows and events, as well as reading trade magazines, will keep you up to date on the latest trends and developments like home staging  in real estate photography.


Evaluate new technology and software that can improve your work and make your services more efficient. Think about buying new tools or software if you think it will improve the quality of your work.

Continuous Improvement

Evaluate and improve your work all the time, and be open to what your clients have to say. This will help you stay relevant and deliver top-notch service to your clients.

Learn from professional real estate photographers

13. Learn from the Pros

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to real estate photography, and one of the best ways to do that is to learn from the pros. Look for experienced photographers in your area, and ask if they would be willing to mentor you or share their knowledge.

Read books and blogs, and watch online tutorials to learn more about the art and science of real estate photography. Attend workshops and classes, and take online courses to improve your skills.

14. Frequently Asked Question

What are the best camera and lens combinations for real estate photography?

I recommend using a full-frame camera with a wide-angle lens. The Canon EOS R or the Sony A7R III are great options for full-frame cameras. And for lenses, the Canon 16-35mm f/4 L IS or the Sony 12-24mm f/4 G are both excellent choices for wide-angle shots.

How can I build a strong online presence as a real estate photographer?

Any business needs to have a strong online presence, and real estate photography is no different. Start by creating a professional website and making sure it’s optimized for search engines.

Use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share your work and engage with your followers. And don’t forget about local SEO by creating a Google My Business page.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when taking real estate photos?

One common mistake is not using a tripod. This leads to blurry and shaky photos. Another mistake is not using proper lighting. Make sure to use a flash or other lighting equipment to illuminate the room. And avoid using a wide-angle lens too close to the subject, as this can cause distortion and make the room appear smaller.

How can I find new clients as a real estate photographer?

Networking is key. Attend local real estate events and meetups. Join real estate photography groups on social media. And don’t be afraid to reach out to other professionals in the industry.

They can be a great source of referrals and new business. And also, don’t forget about online marketing, like SEO, Google My Business and Social Media.

How should I handle the post-processing and editing of my real estate photos?

Post-processing is an important part of real estate photography. I recommend using software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit your photos. These tools will allow you to make adjustments to exposure, white balance, and color.

And don’t forget about creating virtual tours, which can be done using tools like Matterport and Cupix. Just make sure you know how to use them properly to get the best results.

15. Conclusion: The Sky’s the Limit

Starting a real estate photography business is not easy, but with the right know-how and a little bit of hustle, it can be incredibly rewarding. Remember to do your research, invest in the right equipment, build a strong portfolio, charge what you’re worth, and never stop networking and marketing.

With the right approach and a lot of hard work, the sky’s the limit for your real estate photography business.

Further readings:
The Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Ratio
Business Plan Financial Plan Sample Excel and PDF
Lifetime value, the lifeblood of your business
Customer Acquisition Strategy for Startups: 23 Techniques to Win New Customers

How to start a Real Estate Photography business? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Michael
Furoore Team is here to assist you in capturing the most significant moments in your life. To create exciting photographs, discover photography guides, find unique photo ideas, and limitless image inspiration.


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