3 Things to Look For When Selecting a Real Estate Photographer

by McKenna Hogan, on Apr 15, 2021 11:30:06 AM

Finding a real estate photographer can be quite difficult if you don’t have much experience.

And since it’s not “one size fits all,” you’ll want to assess your make or break needs for your property photography in advance to decrease the chances of an unwanted surprise.

Although there are a handful of qualities to search for in a real estate photographer, below are three essential things to consider when selecting one for your photography needs.

1. Are they license free?

Perhaps the most important thing to look for in a real estate photographer—do they offer license free photography?

For those that don’t know, a license on photography basically determines how the client can market and distribute their photos in an agreed upon way.

The reason some real estate photographers do this is because they want the safety of knowing how their work will be utilized—and it helps clients with portfolios and marketing their property photography in a professional way.

If this doesn’t sound like something you’d want, there are license free photographers, but they do charge a fee that’s typically included in the overall cost.

With license free photography you can pretty much do whatever you’d like with it without having any restrictions or needing to pay credit to your photographer.

Here are a few ways of marketing and distributing photos that you can do license free:

  • Post to social media
  • Add to blog posts
  • Place throughout your website/portfolio
  • Add to ILS
  • Use with other digital content, such as virtual tours or virtual staging
  • Put it in pamphlets or on a billboard

Not to say you can’t do this with licensed photography, but you won’t have to worry about any possible restrictions.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll definitely want to inquire about this automatically so that there are no surprises after receiving your photography.

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2. How does their pricing work?

Real estate photographers charge clients a few different ways, and depending on your property type, budget, and photography needs, the type of professional photographer you pick might differ.

One of the ways photographers conduct pricing is by how many images you need. So let’s say the photographer you’re looking at has different sized packages (like small, medium, and large), and so you pay a set rate for whichever you choose.

This option is great for those that have a specific budget and don’t want to end up paying more than anticipated.

In addition, some real estate photographers may offer a price for additional images in case there’s a specific area you’d really like to capture in addition to the others.

The negative to this type of pricing is that you might not get an equal amount of photos to square space.

Another way photographers charge is by square footage.

So let’s say this individual charges seven cents per square foot—depending on how large your property is, this could be beneficial if you’re looking to get photography of the entire property as opposed to picking and choosing which areas to capture.


Lastly, some photographers will charge by the amount of time it takes to conduct a shoot.

This can be tricky because you may not know how long it’ll take to conduct a photo shoot, so the price could range drastically.

For an average pricing seen in 2019, businesses should expect to throw down around $650-1,500 for a professional photoshoot. This would include not only the photos themselves, but costs for production, photographer, and digital fees.

In addition, if you’re looking for drone photography or 360s, the pricing will most likely be by area, or amount of images.

However, if you’re looking for either of these services, you’ll want to ensure your real estate photographer offers them beforehand.

Note: remember to check for any additional fees like editing or a drive out fee before signing any contracts so you don’t get a surprise invoice for more than you thought you agreed to.

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3. What kind of equipment do they use?

Perhaps not something you’d typically consider important when commissioning a real estate photographer, but definitely something to consider.

The type of equipment a photographer uses can be very important to how your property photography turns out.

This is because professional equipment typically equals professional results—so here’s what you need to look for.


First, take a look at their photography portfolio. This will be a good indication of whether or not you even like their work. And not to mention, you can see the diversity (or lack thereof) between properties to better understand their skill level.

After that’s been decided, look for any content about the process of commissioning photos. Is it just the photo shoot? Photos + editing? Know exactly what you’re getting so that you know exactly what to ask when the time comes.

Next, if there isn’t any information on the equipment they use, you might want to ask.

And if you’re uncertain about what to ask for, here are a few essential tools every real estate photographer should have:

Most professional real estate photographers will have all of this, but if they don’t, that’s something to look out for.

At the end of the day, knowing what kind of equipment that’s being used can give a good indication that your property photo shoot will run smoothly and effectively—and not to mention, your images will be high-quality.

Shop smart

With all of the real estate photographers out there, it will bode in your favor to conduct some research while keeping all of the above in mind.

And if you need assistance, contact our team today to learn more about your photography needs.