What’s Happened To Real Estate Photography Income Between 2007 and 2014

December 9th, 2014

2007to2014A week ago I did a post/poll on the income potential of real estate photography. The post was partly about raising your prices, but it also had a net income poll. Due to the format of the poll and the earlier similar poll I did back in 2007 it was a little hard to compare the two polls unless you put them in a spreadsheet and made your own graph. I did that and the result is very interesting.

The result is shown in the bar chart to the right. Click on the figure to see a larger version that easier to read. Even though the polls themselves are not perfect for reasons I’ve discussed in last week’s post, I believe the difference in the polls tells us something about the real estate photography industry.

Here are some interesting things:

  • Notice that in 2007 52% of real estate photographers were making below $20K. That’s dropped to 22% in 2014.
  • In 2014, there has been a big (10%) increase in the number of photographers making over $100K.
  • In 2014, each income range we polled has increased 3% to 7% over 2007
  • There are still 45+% of photographers making under $39K. Presumably these are people just starting and/or people doing it part-time.

This result is what you would expect to see in an industry that is growing like real estate photography. There are significantly more people making a good income in 2014 than there was in 2007.

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7 Responses to “What’s Happened To Real Estate Photography Income Between 2007 and 2014”

  • this is such great info, thanks for taking the poll and making the graph Larry!

  • I have to say Larry, the last month or so of information found on your blog is out of sight. Terrific information! Thanks for all your hard work and your dedication to helping our profession.

  • That increase may be partly due to guys like me who converted from portraits, and we’re already skilled at the business side of things.

  • Kelvin- Sorry to be a downer, but driving a bus because your business is so slow leads me to believe you are not that skilled on the business side of things!

  • @David – No one appreciates a snark. I have a lot of respect for anyone who doesn’t think driving a bus is beneath them – such that they were willing to admit that that’s what they had to do. When the bottom fell out of the housing market, I saw top producers bagging groceries at Trader Joe’s. They weren’t ashamed of what they had to do – and they shouldn’t have been. $hit happens, even to the best of us. Just remember that karma is a bitch.

  • @David – I currently hold a Class B CDL license in New York State, although I haven’t driven a bus in 20 plus years. You do what you have to do to pay the bills when your primary source of income either disappears or takes a hit because of the economy.

  • Great information – Thanks!

    I do however disagree with the presumption in bullet point above, “There are still 45+% of photographers making under $39K. Presumably these are people just starting and/or people doing it part-time.” That may be true in most cases, BUT many of us are full time — yet living in areas that do not support a living wage; yes, we are married to people with steady jobs. 😉

    Just a couple hours in any direction, it WOULD be full time and probably over $39K, because RE agents are having to compete more and struggling to differentiate their listings. Where I live (not my choice, by the way), not so much. If I made $39K, I’d think I must have died and gone to heaven.

    Thanks again for all your great information and articles.

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