July 16th, 2015
Renee asked the following:
…perhaps the biggest issue for me starting out is having a body of work in credible interiors on my website. I’ve picked up some commercial work, but it has not been enough and isn’t going to draw in realtors who have residential work. I read a kindle book whose author had a website which offered jobs for photographers for real estate photography and I found another online. Are these legit ways to get started? I’m doing the usual thing – sending out glossy large postcards to realtors, architects, builders and interior designers, but if I get a hit, I’ll be lucky. Also, I moved from Los Angeles to the boondocks of central NY where I see a lot of websites which look like they need good photography, but again, if there is no convincing them with a lack of content on my site… how can I build a portfolio”
This is a classic problem for real estate photographers getting started. How to build a portfolio of work? Yes, you need a good looking portfolio and you preferably want some images of upper-end homes. There are two approaches that work pretty well:
- Find a new home neighborhood. These neighborhoods always have model homes that are professionally staged and no one is living there… just what you want. Go in and talk to the site agent (the agent(s) that hang out at the office near the model homes) and tell them you’d like to shoot their model home for your portfolio. Offer to give them a set of photos for free if they want. Usually, they will let you shoot their model homes unless it is extremely busy.
- Find some upper-end listing agents in your area either on local broker sites or just drive through some upper-end areas and look at agent names and phone numbers on for sale signs. Contact the listing agent and tell them you are building your portfolio and you’ll do some free shoots for them if they will let you shoot one or more of their listings.
These two approaches work pretty well… these are better than shooting for some company because you can control what kind of homes you shoot and there won’t be an argument about your rights to the photos. You want upper-end homes. Top of the market so your portfolio looks successful!
Anyone else have some tricks for building your portfolio?