How Much Can You Earn as a Real Estate Photographer?


In this article, we’ll delve into the question of how much real estate photographers can earn annually, monthly, and hourly. We’ll provide you with updated data and figures for 2022, along with monthly income tables. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the earning potential as a real estate photographer in the US market.

Table of Contents

  • How Much Does a Real Estate Photographer Make a Year
  • Number of Homes You Can Expect to Shoot Each Day
  • Expected Income You Can Earn Per Home
  • How Does Seasonality Affect Your Monthly Income
  • How to Increase Your Income With Marketing
  • Monthly Income of a Real Estate Photographer
  • Hourly Income of a Real Estate Photographer
  • A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Photographer

Getting Started

Real estate photography offers a flexible and profitable career path, whether you’re expanding an existing photography business or pursuing it as a hobby. The industry is seasonal, with the summer home selling season being the busiest. What sets real estate photography apart is the flexibility it offers, allowing you to work on various types of shoots and earn a respectable income.

How Much Does a Real Estate Photographer Make a Year?

On average, a full-time solo real estate photographer can earn between $50,000 to $150,000 per year. This figure can increase significantly if you build a team over time. Committing to sales and marketing can also boost your income. The average real estate photographer, working full-time, can reasonably expect to earn the following:

  • $72,800 annually (estimated figure for illustrative purposes)
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While there are additional factors to consider, such as gear and marketing expenses, being a real estate photographer can be a highly lucrative business. In fact, many photographers have seen great success in this field.

Number of Homes You Can Expect to Shoot Each Day

The number of homes you shoot each day will primarily determine your earning potential. While some photographers may shoot 8-10 homes per day during the summer, this is not typical. On average, a full-time real estate photographer shoots between 2-4 homes per day in the peak summer season and 1-2 homes per day during the slower winter season. The duration of a residential home shoot is usually 60-90 minutes, with larger homes taking longer. Additional services, such as video, aerials, floor plans, and virtual tours, can add more time to each shoot.

Expected Income Per Home (4 Crucial Factors)

Several factors influence the income you can expect to earn per home you shoot:

  1. Client Types: Luxury, Architecture, Commercial, and Real Estate Agents. Real estate agents are the primary clients for most photographers. The base price for a real estate shoot is typically $150-200, but this can vary based on other factors.

  2. Market Location: The location of your market affects the income per home. The cost of living and the population of your city are key factors in determining pricing. Higher-priced homes and larger populations generally allow for higher charges.

  3. Home Size: Real estate photographers often charge more for larger homes. Additional fees are added for each additional 1,000 square feet.

  4. Service Offerings: Offering additional services, such as media and marketing, can increase your income per shoot. Examples include video, floor plans, and virtual tours.

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Taking these factors into consideration, the average real estate photographer can expect to earn around $200 per shoot. Depending on client type, location, home size, and service offerings, this figure can go as high as $300-500 per shoot or more.

Seasonality Can Affect Your Monthly Income

The real estate photography industry is highly seasonal, closely following the real estate market. On average, the winter season is around 60% slower compared to the summer season in most US markets. However, this may vary depending on the region. Cities in warmer areas might experience a decrease in business during the summer due to extreme temperatures, while cities in colder areas might see a smaller dip or even an increase in winter. Generally, there is a drop in order volume from the end of November to mid-January, followed by a steady increase in business through the Spring and peak sales in April, June, or July. August may have a slight dip, and September and October tend to be steady.

Steps to Increase Your Income With Marketing

To succeed as a real estate photographer, it’s crucial to focus on sales and marketing. By driving traffic to your website and connecting with agents in person, you can boost your business and surpass your competitors. Here are two key areas to invest your time:


Attracting real estate agents to your website is an effective way to generate business. You don’t need an elaborate custom website to start. Platforms like SquareSpace or Folio offer great DIY options. To drive traffic, you can rely on paid Google ads or organic search engine optimization (SEO). Running a Google ads campaign, with a monthly budget of $200-500, can yield immediate website visits. Simultaneously, focus on creating valuable content through blog posts to improve your organic ranking. With consistency, you can achieve first-page visibility within 6 to 12 months.

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Building connections with real estate agents is crucial for booking photo shoots. Sending introductory emails and requesting short in-person meetings can go a long way. Engage with agents on a personal level, getting to know their preferences. Most importantly, aim to add value to their business by understanding their marketing needs.

Monthly Income of a Real Estate Photographer

Taking into account the factors discussed, let’s look at projected monthly and annual income based on the following assumptions:

  • Maximum daily shoots during the busy season: 4
  • Average price per shoot: $200
  • Working days per month: 20

By calculating these figures, a real estate photographer can earn an estimated $72,800 per year. While this is a model, it demonstrates that shooting a reasonable number of homes each day can result in a respectable income.

Hourly Income of a Real Estate Photographer

On average, a real estate photographer can make nearly $38 per hour ($72,800 / 12 months / 20 days / 8 hours). However, by increasing the maximum number of shoots per day to three and the average income per home to $300, annual earnings can exceed $163,000.

In Review

In summary, the major factors affecting a real estate photographer’s income include:

  • Number of homes shot each day
  • Average price earned per shoot (client type, location, home size, service offerings)
  • Seasonality of the real estate market
  • Marketing efforts and in-person sales

With careful consideration of these factors, real estate photography can be a highly profitable business. Annual earnings can range from $60,000 to $120,000 or more within the first few years, depending on marketing and sales strategies.

Next Lesson: A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Photographer

Finally, it’s important to understand the day-to-day workflow of a real estate photographer before fully committing to this career path. The nature of the job is fast-paced, seasonal, and a lot of fun. In the upcoming lesson, we’ll provide more details about the daily routine of a real estate photographer.

To learn more about real estate photography and explore courses to enhance your skills, visit Garrity Traina.