Success In Real Estate Photography Requires More Than Being Creative

July 20th, 2014

FocusHardworkWhat does it take to be successful at starting your own business? Besides all the usual technical photographic stuff that we usually talk about here, there are a handful of very important other things that are central to the success of starting and running your own real estate photography business.

Look around at the successful business people you know, chances are they will exhibit many or all of these traits:

  1. Self discipline: This is the ability to train yourself to do what you don’t want to do. Many of the things you need to do to like creating a plan and doing the items on the plan won’t be your favorite activities.
  2. Planning: Creating a business requires planning, establishing goals and following through to achieve the goals.
  3. Hard work: Many of the things you need to do may not be easy.
  4. Focus: Focus means sustained attention. You need to not let yourself be distracted by all the day-to-day distractions that all of our live’s have. Some people have more distractions in their life than others.
  5. Don’t be discouraged by failure: Charlie Rose interviewed Ruzwana Bashir (founder and CEO of in May. Ruzwana talked about how her father (also a successful entrepreneur) would ask her every night at the dinner table, “what did you fail at today?” The point is as an entrepreneur you can’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a valuable way of learning. Most institutions train us to be failure adverse yet failures can be very valuable if used correctly.

So you typically can’t just start a real estate photography business by being creative. In the end analysis, these traits above are probably more important than being creative.

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4 Responses to “Success In Real Estate Photography Requires More Than Being Creative”

  • Great article Larry! Until recently, I’ve been calling myself a real estate photographer but now I tend to say that I’m a business owner (and if they ask what in, I’ll THEN tell them “real estate photography”). I’m not big-noting myself – it’s just that I consider that the success of my business is now more dependent on non-photographic skills. I believe that an average photographer with excellent business skills is often more successful that the reverse.

    Google “successful entrepreneurial traits” – there’s lots to read.

  • I couldn’t agree more! I’d add that the so called “soft skills” are of vital importance. I’ve been doing real estate photography for 11 years now and the biggest lesson i’ve learned is that people (your clients) want to feel special. You could be the best photographer in the world in terms of skill and have the best equipment ever, but if your client (the realtor and/or the homeowner) doesn’t like you, at the end of the day those technical skills won’t matter. I’ve had clients come to me from other photographers, and it’s never because i’m a better photographer (in some cases i’m alot worse), it’s because my goal in my business is to have the home owner rave to the realtor about me after I leave the house.

  • We have been Realestate Photographers for more than 7 years, We have had the best year yet, because we decided to go full time and get serious.

  • I’ve been a long time follower of this site and took Scott’s course many many years ago. Now because of a change in my employment situation, I may get into RE photography business full time.

    Great reminder that it’s not just about taking the photos and what it takes to have a successful business. I also like Greg’s comments about the soft skills. You should always be working on yourself.

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