January 12th, 2015
Hello! I just found your website and I was wondering if you might be able to recommend a classroom setting where they teach real estate photography in the Southern California… I am primarily an outdoor, family photo session photographer and want to get into real estate photography.
The short answer is no, I don’t know of ongoing classroom settings that teach real estate photography. The reason is real estate photography education is a niche market and the top real estate photographers in your local area are unlikely to want to help educate their competitors. Undoubtedly there is a handful, but the ones I’ve heard of, are not taught by professional real estate photographers.
The evolution of the PFRE blog has been driven by many of these related issues underlying the answer to this question:
- Education is the goal of PFRE Blog: The primary goal of this blog is to help educate real estate photographers. This goal grew out of my frustration in 2000 with the lack of resources available for learning real estate photography when I needed it.
- PFRE e-books: The first e-book I wrote, is a direct result of helping agents in my wife’s real estate office in Issaquah, WA market their listings. We’ve expanded the number real estate photography training e-books over the last several years so we now publish five.
- Workshops: Scott Hargis and I and others did one of the first real estate photography workshops in April of 2008 in Seattle. Seeing Scott’s lighting technique at this class lead me to convince Scott to write his e-book lighting interiors. Scott went on to do many workshops around the world for many years. Scott does a great workshop! Attend if you ever get a chance.
- Video Tutorials: Scott and Malia, also created Scott’s lighting video series which I believe replicates 90+% of Scott’s workshops. Sure, it doesn’t replace the social and networking part of the workshops. But if you just focus on the real estate photography education part, I claim that Scott’s Lighting Interiors e-book and video series together do a better job of teaching you Scott’s lighting technique for less money than it would cost to attend one of Scott’s workshops. Even if it was right where you live.
- Revolution in Education: Education in general is evolving rapidly towards online video learning. Khan Academy and MIT’s MOOC experiments are showing that online classes mixed with a regular teacher personal interaction is highly effective, inexpensive and scalable to large numbers.
- PFRE coaching network: This last summer we launched the PFRE coaching network which is a group of some of the very best real estate photographers worldwide that are willing to coach beginning real estate photographers. These coaches use Skype and Google Hangouts to tailor their coaching to students needs. Coaching provides that much needed, complementary personal contact to e-books and video tutorials
In summary, I’m a big advocate of the classroom style real estate photography and videography workshops that Scott, Malia and Oliver provide. They are the best choice if they are available. However, the fact is, in the future there is going to be more training done in this new online/personal style than there is in a personal face-to-face classroom setting. That’s just a fact of life driven by the cost and effectiveness of online/remote learning. Here at PFRE we are going to be evolving and expanding this video/coaching model of real estate photography education in the future.