Home Sweet Homes

©Travis Jack

Real estate photographer Travis Jack photographs eight to 10 houses a day, four to five days a week. He offers tips for photographers breaking into the fast-paced field of real estate.

  • Buy quality gear. Don’t try to save a few dollars on cheap tripods or lenses. You will only end up spending more money in the long run and your photography will suffer.
  • Back up each piece of gear. That way, if you drop a camera and it breaks on the job, you’re not out of business.
  • For precision’s sake, use a geared tripod head with metal gears. The plastic gears wear out. He prefers the Manfrotto 405 Pro heads.
  • Learn as many lighting techniques as you can. “Having more tools in your bag will allow you to adapt to challenging lighting without having to reschedule.”
  • Get a remote trigger, preferably wireless. That way, you can get your reflection out of the home’s mirrors.
©Travis Jack
  • Use a camera with dual memory card slots. “Card one gets dumped to the laptop after each shoot, and card two stays in the camera. Card one is formatted after each shoot, and card two isn’t formatted until the start of the next shoot day in case something goes wrong with card one.”
  • Use a quality circular polarizer with your lens. It will allow you to remove glare from hardwood floors, tables, and windows.
  • Have plenty of batteries on hand. “I carry eight to 10 batteries for our two primary cameras and have the ability to charge in the van if needed.”
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. “If your client doesn’t trust your judgment and abilities, then you probably shouldn’t be doing work for them.”
  • Stick to your pricing and don’t race to the bottom. “Many of the companies in my market try to undercut us on pricing and literally price themselves out of business.” 

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.