Nina in Florida asked the following:
How do you find high-end properties to show on your website? I know you need to show your best work to get started. Is going to interior designers a good idea to shoot their projects?
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 that has some high-end model homes. New home 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. Usually, they will let you shoot their model homes unless it is extremely busy. These new home open houses are better than a standard open house where someone is living because many people are sensitive about having their private space photographed.
- 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 shoots for them if they will let you shoot one or more of their listings. Give them a reduced price or free, if necessary.
Both of these approaches work pretty well. Number 1 is the easiest but the very high-end homes are usually custom homes so you may have to use number 2 if you want upper-end homes.
Does anyone else have tricks for building your portfolio?