Freelancing Photography for Real Estate

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by IGDesigns, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. IGDesigns macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2008

    I got a D-60 SLR Nikon for Christmas and have been using a TON since. I want to start doing some photography on the side. I was asked to start taking the interior and exterior photos of homes for sale for Remax. I'm thinking probably 20-25 photos/editing and emailing per home. Any ideas what I should charge? This will be for suburbs outside of Boston. I know it varies per location, I just don't know where to start with the pricing.

    Any ideas? Advice?


  2. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    What are they offering? Have they already been paying someone to do this before you? Try to find out what other photographers in the area are charging for similar work.

    The problem as I see it is that most realtors take their own pictures, although with varying degrees of success, so they may not place a lot of value on it. If you can deliver professional quality results that are well exposed, nice and sharp and well composed, you might be able to justify them paying you more. You might be better off coming up with a flat rate for the assignment, with a set number of images, like 10 exterior and 10 interior... something like that. If you get yourself a nice wide-angle lens (10-20mm) and a tripod, you should be able to get in the groove fairly easily, and take a handful of assignments per day.

    Decide what your time is worth for strictly shooting without any post-processing, and go from there. If you could get $50/house for 20-30 shots, and get 5-6 houses a day... well it could add up. Just some thoughts...
  3. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I can't comment on what you should charge, but don't forget that you will be driving to/from each location and such, I am thinking you could claim the miles on your taxes when used for work purposes but they might also reimburse you, if not you might need to charge more per shoot. You could maybe do this as a flat fee... $x for the shoot + $10, you might need to charge more depending on where you call home base and how far they may want you to travel.
  4. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    I'm curious how you get these assignments, it seems like it would be nice way to get some extra spending money doing some of these jobs.

    Do you just go into the their office and ask?

    But on a side note, I doubt you will be making as much right now as you would in a normal economic climate, realtors seem to be really hurting for business/cash right now so you might want to set your prices a little lower right now and move up as the economy gets better.
  5. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    I couldn't tell you what to charge either as I don't know what your time and energy is worth but I have done some work around here in Vermont for a few Realtors. All high end homes. Most Realtors don't seem to put much value into photos. At least around here. I know a handful that use there cell phone for all there MLS listings.
  6. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    You should charge how much you'd want to get paid. Since you live in Boston and the cost of living various by city and state, we won't give you the best insight.

    Personally, I charge $30 --> $35 per hour for shoots involving NO toning or adjustments, with them it's a flat out $50 per hour no questions asked but open to negotiation based on the job. For travel I go by the local newspaper rate of $.55 per mile and when working with a NOT non-profit I plug in tax.

    So if you have a job already, and you know how much you make per hour then you can judge what you would charge based on that. If not, charge but what bills you pay monthly and how many jobs they want to give you.

    If you don't have a job or any bills whatsoever then you don't need the money that much, you aren't in need of any income, and a basic $75 per house or something like that would be good.
  7. IGDesigns thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks for all the feedback, much appreciated. I got the gig because I'm selling my home right now and I offered to take my own shots because I told her I do photography on the side. She was real excited about that and asked if I could take their headshots and a group picture. That will be $25/a head plus CD of pics. She said I could freelance for them by taking shots of homes if I was interested. Of course I jumped at the idea, just wasn't sure what to charge when asked. I will take the information provided and work out some number with her. I do have a full time job and piling bills so this is just extra $$ on the side. Always looking for more!

    Take Care
  8. Holgapics macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2008
    North Oregon Coast
    I recently saw a video bit on a photographer who does high-end real estate photography. It was all about his artistic and sometimes unusual compositions which became the selling of an image or style of life. I could tell he incorporated some HDR processing into the final shots though they were not over done or had that artificial look sometime associated with HDR.

    It got me thinking about maybe trying something along that line in the area I live. Let's face it, most real estate shots are marginal at best and more than likely terrible in conveying any sort of feeling towards the listed property. In other words realtors seem to have very little visual imagination and generally go the quick and dirty route. To me that benefits the seller very little.

    To get into this field I would try and build a small portfolio of interior and exterior shots and shop those around. The key is to show something much better that they have been used to seeing. And I wouldn't be afraid of charging for it. To me a $300-$500. fee for helping move a property worth upwards of a few hundred grand is minimal in todays market. To some that may be excessive but the right visual interpretation of an item for sale can speak much louder that a washed-out thumbnail exterior shot lumped in with a number of others in a newspaper ad.

    How they would use the pictures is another matter. It would certainly be important that prospective buyers be able to see the images in some sort of a full screen format via a web-site or in-office setting. Coordinating all of this would also be an important part of the job. Good luck in your pursuit.

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