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There are different things to consider when thinking about becoming a professional real estate photographer in Columbus GA and Harris County GA. How much money should I initially invest? What should be different prices for various photo packages? What equipment should I purchase? What training and tutorials should I attend? How competitive is the real estate photography business in my area? How do I market my skills? You will have to compete with professional photographers who have a foot hold with real estate companies in your area which means you will have to cut their prices and provide better quality of photos. This article provides some things you need to know as a potential real estate photographer in Columbus GA.
So you have purchased a high end DSLR camera, toned your real estate photography skills and ready to market yourself in Columbus GA. I recommend creating a website and display a unique portfolio of your work. How do I get a good ranking on search results for my website? That is another topic you can read about with our article on internet marketing. You can have the best website in the world but if no one can find your site on the top 3 pages of search results, you will not succeed. You could join Business Network International to acquire referral leads but this will require more initial investment because they require an expensive annual fee to be a member. To be a successful real estate photographer in Columbus GA and Harris County GA means not only having great photography skills but also knowing how to market yourself online using social media sites.
Obviously photographers will need a high end DSLR camera and lighting equipment to take great real estate photos in Columbus GA. I prefer Nikon but Canon makes good DSLR cameras as well. The Nikon D750, selling for around $1,500, has 24MP, 1080P video and delivers great noise free photos at high ISO settings which is good for shooting real estate photos indoors at twilight. When entering a home to shoot real estate photography, I always turn on all the lights in each room and open the curtains but on occasions there will not be sufficient ambient light to acquire good exposures. The built in flash for most DSLR cameras do not supply enough light in the room to compensate for shadows in the distance so I recommend getting a good speedlight such as the Nikon SB-700 which sells for around $329.00. This speedlight offers a good balance of exposure and flexible head for real estate photographers in Columbus GA.
More real estate companies are requiring drone photos and videos for properties with large acres such as ranches in Harris County GA. For this reason I recommend investing in a high end drone such as the DJI Phantom 4 which sells for around $1,500 depending on the additional options it might include. Make sure you have spare batteries and micro SD memory cards so you don’t run out of time shooting your real estate photography job in Columbus GA. You only get about 20 to 25 minutes of flight time on a full charge. Also purchase some neutral density filters for your drone gimbal camera to reduce glare from things like water on sunny days.
Photos do not come out of any camera magazine quality so you will need to invest in some digital image enhancement software such as Adobe Lightroom or Skylum Luminar. This will be an additional learning curve to modify and enhance your real estate photos that might not be to your satisfaction. This software is great to compensate for under exposed, over shadowing, clarity, color balance and temperature. So the total money investment for starting a real estate photographer business in Columbus GA could be around $6,000 or more and there is no guarantee the jobs will come flowing in.
Depending on the property acreage and home square feet, a professional real estate photographer in Columbus GA usually cost between $150 and up just for photos and no video. Interior video and outside drone video with photos could easily push the price upwards to $400 or more. One more thing to consider is charging mileage money for out of town for real estate photo shoots due to wear and tear on your vehicle and expensive gas prices. On the bright side, the mileage can be a good write off when filing your taxes at the end of the year. Pricing will vary depending on different regions of the US so a real estate photographer in Columbus GA is more likely to charge less than a photographer in California.
Real estate photographers in Columbus GA can get more money by offering certain services such as like interior or exterior high definition videos. Compared to a slideshow of your photos, a good video with voiceover and background music helps sell the property even more. For this you will need a hand held gimbal with the camera attached to walk throughout the home showing the features and layout. Also to do video post processing you need software like Adobe Premiere which has features to correct video flaws such as under exposure, contrast and color balance. Make sure your videos are rendered at 1080P or higher before uploading them to Youtube.
For invoicing and accepting payments from real estate companies, I recommend setting up a business PayPal account and create an online invoice on your website with the PayPal pay online cart.
Obviously it takes some time for new real estate photographers in Columbus GA to get your business to the point you are making decent money. Again, you have to contend with other photographers in your area who have been embedded with local realtors for some time. This means you will need to put out better quality photos and videos at a more affordable price than your competitors. It would be more logical to maintain your full time job and slowly work up your way part time until you reach a professional real estate photographer level with some clients before terminating your full time job.