2018 was a very big year for real estate photography. Every photographer I know contemplated starting real estate photography, and almost all of them did. The need for it is self-evident, and it’s not a secret anymore. As time goes by, all businesses need to adopt media practices. Real estate agents are a business on their own and they have to market their business harder than anyone else. 6 million homes are sold every year. That is a lot of photoshoots. Photographers and even non-photographers are starting to ride this wave.
What to expect?
If you are a real estate agent, I have great news! The competition for real estate photography is growing remarkably fast. And as all businesses when it gets flooded, the downhill battle begins. Many people are jumping in and undercutting the other photographers. Now, this doesn’t matter for the ultra high end photographers and photographers that use lighting correctly because they have the skill and are very valuable. But, for the people that just use their wide-angle lens and do some HDR processing, the competition is growing. Many agents don’t know the difference between the extremely professional photos and the standard HDR photos. The main feature they notice is the wide angle lens and how it makes the room look big. For all listings under $1 Million these photos will suffice. This is not as much of an art as the professional photography with lighting. It is more of a standardized process.
Will agents ever be able to do it themselves?
Yes, in the next few years expect the technology to be out for agents to be able to take the photos themselves. Phone cameras are already so phenomenal, all we need is a wide angle lens. Some phones already have it. All phones have add-ons for it. Agents will be able to take their listing photos with their phone. App developers will make phone applications that can edit photos for real estate photography. The main aspect will be to adjust the verticals and adjust the HDR. If the apps get really complex they can have color cast adjustments and sky replacements. As stated above, the HDR photographers that do it as a process and not an art will be replaced. Agents will know the process, which isn’t difficult at all, and do the exact same thing.
Around 2025 real estate agents will use their phone or a device that will do the job for them and they will weed out the non-artistic and non-professional real estate photographers.