April 30th, 2015
I want to start a real estate photography business in Canada. I have some business experience and photographic experience and have the required equipment. I’m not sure how to decide if it’s possible to make real estate photography a full time business that will support my family. My main questions are:
1. How do I determine of the market here is large enough for me to support my family with a real estate photography business?
2. How do I manage a business in winter?
Assessing the market for real estate photography:
Yes, some cities are more difficult to build a real estate photography business in than others. Here’s what I would do to assess the real estate market in Winnipeg: Google “Winnipeg Manitoba real estate photography” to get a feel for how many real estate photographers there are in Winnipeg.
I find at least the first two pages of search results are filled with websites of professional real estate photographers in Winnipeg. There’s no way to know if these are people making money full time, but this looks encouraging! I think it is very likely that it is possible build a full time job doing real estate photography in Winnipeg. When you are starting up from zero success won’t happen overnight. People find that it takes a year or more in this kind of market to build a business. Be warned that your success will depend more on how you are able to market yourself than how good a photographer you are or what the market is like. It takes perseverance! Have a second source of income to fall back on while you are starting up.
Managing a business in winter:
Generally in most of North America the winter doesn’t stop the real estate photography business because 99% of it occurs inside. Where it’s very cold and snowy it’s customary to re-photograph exteriors in spring when the snow disappears. Real estate photography slows down from November through January everywhere anyway, because of the holidays. People are busy with other things during those months. So expect that time of the year to be slow.
There are likely readers that can give better advice than I on issues with real estate photography in the far North. We have one reader in Norway that goes to shoots in the winter on skis! Karl can give you advice about winter shooting, he is 140 km inside of the Arctic Circle!