To make some money with my camera, I’ve taken to real-estate photography. In this modern day, home buyers do their scouting online by looking at photographs of the interior and exterior of the property they’re interested in.
That’s where I come in. When an agent gets a new listing, they will send me an email and tell me when they want to list the home online and when they’ll need the pictures by. We set up a time and then I go with the agent and spend an hour or more photographing the house and yard.
Normally, my customers need very fast turnaround on images - as in less than 24 hours.. That means as soon as I conclude the shoot, I go home and spend the next several hours doing post-processing. Once the images are all to my liking - I push them to a file sharing site which sends a note to my customer.
Real-estate photography is quite different from shooting in the Cathedral of the Great Wide World. The shoot itself is very time-constrained because quite often my customer is pressed for time. I have to quickly assess the best views of each room and get the shots down. I never know what I’ll find in a house. I never know what the lighting conditions will be. Sometimes I’ve had to make friends with four-legged house guardians trying their best to keep the house safe from me!
The thing that is most poignant for me in this work is that I am coming in to document a huge transition in people’s lives. Home selling/buying can be more stressful for the participants than divorce or bankruptcy. I know I am treading on sacred ground. I know I am pointing my lens at spaces where families have been raised, relationships begun and ended and mended again, struggles overcome, storms weathered, losses endured. Some homes have been modified by their owners who often take pains to point out to me the improvements that they’ve done with their hard work, their “sweat equity.”
The whole thing slays me.
And so - I take pains to make these images be the best rendition of homes that I can possibly do. My images are online ambassadors and help attract new families, new stories to folks' front doors so that they themselves can turn the next page in their own adventures.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly helpful and supportive Doff has been during this new venture. She’s set me up with my first customers. She has a great eye for what is important in a real-estate shot. She’s also helped me with customer relations and responsiveness. What a peach!