Photography is an incredible passion, hobby, and profession. I have been working as a real estate photographer for over a year now and am absolutely loving it. Photography is something I’ve always loved; I shot anything and everything and always had my camera with me. I went on to incorporate it in my studies at college, and was fortunate enough to be able to find this opportunity right after graduating in May of 2015. Much like any other job – or anything life throws at you – there will always be ups and downs throughout the experience. However, I am pleased to say that there have been far more ups than downs in my past year, and I am grateful for all of these experiences.
As photographers, we are faced with many challenges when going out into the world and expected to create masterful content. Various factors include light, weather, time of day, clients needs, the list can go on. There are specific obstacles I’ve encountered as a Real Estate Photographer that I’ve learned to work through, overcome, and resolve, through my experiences on the job.
I believe the most challenging obstacle that I have faced while shooting is finding the proper angles to best showcase a room or space. Due to the limited time of an appointment and no prior knowledge of the property, I am constantly finding myself working through this task.
When I first started out it seemed very daunting due to the pressure of pleasing the client and their needs. As the weeks and months went on, I became better at surveying a room/space and noting what features are most important to showcase. For a while I thought I developed a method that enabled me to walk into any room and shoot it. WRONG.
Every property, every room, every layout is different and that is one of the biggest obstacles I am faced with everyday. Without any prior knowledge, I must survey, scan, and study each room that I’m photographing. I still believe that I am forever learning and continuing to practice these steps in order to best shoot and showcase a property.
Second, and most important, is lighting conditions. When shooting 3-5 properties a day, there is a limited timeframe for each appointment; throw weather and lighting conditions on top of that, and your creativity skills are tested. I find myself trying to juggle many different variables in my head effectively, but most importantly in a timely manner. I do not have the luxury of spending an entire day at one location in order to make sure everything is just right for me. Instead I take the light, weather, and time of day I have and work with it.
The challenge to shooting interior pictures is balancing the natural light from windows and artificial light within a room, and translating it across the entire space. Balance is key in order to make the room look as natural as possible. Using an off camera flash enables me to expose for highlights around the room, and brighten the very dark areas where the natural and artificial light can’t reach. Similar to finding the right angles in a room, light will always be a variable factor and continue to change from job to job and day to day.
Last but not least is time management. It is very easy to get carried away at a job site- whether you’re enthralled by the details or appearance of a property, or you have difficult lighting conditions or angles, time management skills are a necessity. A good plan is to ask the real estate agent what rooms are most important to them so your focus can be a little heavier on those. We skip garages and laundry rooms unless specifically requested in order to showcase intricate details, and what makes the property special.
Honing in on your skills and perfecting your craft comes with time, experience, and of course passion. If you’re enjoying what you do, you’re always eager to learn more and be better because of it.
Michael D’Amore is Lead Photographer at Remark Visions. He is an outdoor enthusiast, which has led him to his love of photography and the arts. Some of his hobbies include Snowboarding, Hiking, and Fishing. Follow his adventures on Instagram!
You can check out one of our favorite recent shoots from Mike here!
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