GC poses the following question:
As a subcontractor to a larger photography studio who wants to do it on his own, how does one compete with the bigger businesses who offer every service within the field?
Now that the service doesn't only include photos, it includes floor plans, copywriting, and elevated photography at the very least, so is it even possible for a smaller one-man business to compete with one who offers services for every facet in the field? Or can one only just offer photos and hope that some agencies only need them?
Yes, absolutely, the majority of readers of this blog are competing with to some extent with the larger regional and national companies that provide real estate photography services in their area and many do very well at it.
Sure when you are an independent you'll need to master more skills than if you are working for a larger operation where someone else is doing the marketing and providing tours etc. But I think those that have gone through the process of learning how to compete with the bigger companies will tell you that it's worth the extra work! And, yes many independent real estate photographers just do still photography.
In fact, many of the photographers featured in our success stories category started out working for large national tour companies and became independent. One of my favorite independent real estate photographer success stories is Peggy in Tampa. Peggy started out working for a national tour company for $30/shoot and eventually was so successful that she had to hire two employees to keep up with the work. Peggy is now retired and her sister is running FastPix Real Estate Photography.
There are many more stories out there like Peggy's. If you have a story like Peggy's let us know people like GC who are just starting out need encouragement!