5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Photographer

By Mediamax Senior Photographer Jeff Davis for Kristi Lucas at Perry & Co.

Maybe you’ve decided to make the switch from DIY to professional photography to market your listings. Or, maybe you need to find a new photographer. Here are five questions to ask before hiring a real estate photographer:

1. Do they have experience photographing real estate?

Don’t assume that anybody who knows their way around a camera can shoot excellent listing photos. Real estate photography is a specialty, just like portraiture or sports photography. A professional real estate photographer is a master at composing shots that captivate buyers’ attention. Ask to look at the photographer’s portfolio and make sure he/she can demonstrate an ability to photograph architectural spaces accurately as well as beautifully.

2. Do they have professional-level equipment suitable for real estate photography?

Never mind their camera brand. Make sure their equipment is up to date and up to the task. Professional real estate photography requires at minimum a 16 megapixel DSLR camera with on-camera as well as off-camera flash. Wide angle lenses – 10mm isn’t uncommon – also are a must. A professional real estate photographer has made considerable investment in the right gear to do the job – and knows how to get the most from it.

3. Do they offer a full range of specialty photography services for real estate?

You can actually find photographers who don’t do HDRs. Some otherwise fine photographers don’t have experience shooting Twilight exteriors, let alone interiors. Most still photographers don’t do video, though today’s digital camera technology certainly is making it more possible. Aerial photography is probably the rarest specialty but when you need it, you need it. The professional real estate photographer offers a full range of services designed to meet clients’ needs and expectations. And they’re invested in keeping up with the changing market.

4. How quickly can they upload the finished images?

The professional real estate photographer knows how important turnaround time is in this fast-paced market. He/she should be able to shoot most listings in under 1.5 hours and upload finished images within 24 hours. That fast, really? Yes. Professional real estate photographers know their craft thoroughly and don’t waste time. They make efficiency and quick turnaround part of their service to their clients. If it takes days to get your photos, look elsewhere.

5. How good is their customer service and support?

How is easy it to place an order? How quickly can they schedule your shoot? What marketing listing platform do they use? Obeo.com has national reach the plus easy-to-use tools realtors need. Make sure your photographer offers a platform that works for you. Also ask whether they have someone locally you can call if there’s a problem with your tour. A professional real estate photographer invests as much in customer service as camera gear and knows their job isn’t done until the tour is online and running smoothly. They also understand they don’t succeed unless you succeed.

Bonus question: How well will they represent you to your clients?

We often hear from our clients that they appreciate being able to trust our photographers to treat their clients with courtesy and respect. Let’s face it, the photographer is as much an extension of your business’ image, as the inspector, the contractors, etc., you work with. Make sure the photographer is presentable, reliable and friendly. A professional real estate photographer understands this is a customer-service job as much as a photography job.

There are plenty of good photographers out there. But when you want the highest quality listing photos, as well as quick turnaround and excellent customer service, be sure you hire a professional real estate photographer.

Mediamax Photography Agency has photographed more than 80,000 residential properties since 2002. For more information about our services, click here.