Michael in Atlanta asked the following:
I've shot professionally 3-4 years ago (while in college) and have since taken the more traditional career route of a 9-5, however, as of late I've felt an overwhelming urge to go back to my roots. Photography is definitely a passion, but the lifestyle it affords is almost as, if not more, attractive.
My question revolves around the schedules that most real estate agents prefer - I'm ready to begin pitching listing agents, though I'm hesitant as I'm still currently employed for 40 hours per week. Have you found agents willing to schedule shoots on the weekends? I would like to have a longer "proof of concept" that this idea could work prior to leaving my secure job.
Do you have any advice for those making the transition from a traditional 9-5 to real estate photography?
I've talked to real estate photographers who work part time. They all seem to make it work to some extent.
Most listing agents that want a home shot ASAP. When they sign a listing agreement with a home seller the seller always seems to want it on the market right away. So there will be some shoots that you won't be able to do. Having been an agent for 10 years with my wife, agents tend to work on weekends so I doubt weekend shoots are a big issue for most agents. In fact, it may be an advantage because some real estate photographers only work 5 or 6 days a week.
There will still likely be a period of time during your transition where you've quit your 9 to 5 job and still haven't got totally up to speed in real estate photography. So, I would build up a cash reserve that will cover expenses 9 to 12 months before you start the transition.
Are there readers out there that have made this transition that can give Michael some first-hand advice on how to pull off a smooth transition from a traditional job to real estate photography?