How To Choose A Kiama & Wollongong Real Estate Photographer


If you want to kill it in the real estate industry, especially here in the Kiama, Wollongong and South Coast real estate markets there are a lot of tools that you’re going to need to have in your toolbox; unrelenting determination, resilience, a well-developed strategy and great interpersonal skills just to name a few.

But there’s another tool that’s just as important and I'd argue is one of the MOST important tools. Professional real estate photography. Thankfully most real estate agents have caught up and know how invaluable killer photos are, but unfortunately, a lot of real estate agents still aren’t aware of how vital professional pictures are, or they overlook their importance and settle for photos that are "good enough" or better than they can do themselves so they'll do.

Why are professional photos so important? Because they can make the difference between a property that sells in a seconds and at or above asking price and one that sits there for weeks, if not months, despite constant price drops.

Get this right and you're the hero. Get it wrong, and your phone may as well be turned off.

Photos bring a property to life. Before they even consider looking at a residential or even a commercial property, potential buyers want to see photos. Sure, you can paint a great picture with descriptive copy writing and a catchy tagline; but descriptions are limited. Photos however give prospective buyers a chance to see what the property looks like before they even see the description. They can tell if it will fit their needs and tug on their emotional heart strings. The better the pictures are, the more attention they’ll grab, this increases your chances of making a sale and meeting more prospective buyers which may turn out to be sellers them selves. 

Finding An Amazing Professional Photographer

You can certainly take some photos on your own, and some of them might come out not too bad and "they'll do"; however, if you really want to boost the chances of selling a property (and listing another one) and climbing to the top of the real estate ladder, you’re going to want to hire a professional photographer with the right tools and experience for the job.

Before that your going to to need to gather a list of photographers to interview.

You can google search, you can ask others in your industry who they use (if they'll tell you) or you can search industry directories like Houzz. Once you have a list of 3-5 photographers, give them a call and see if they would be interested in coming in for a chat.

Know The Right Questions To Ask!

So how do you hire a professional photographer that you can rely on to take incredible pictures? Do your homework and conduct interviews!

Here are some key questions that you should ask a prospective photographer so that you can find the most qualified individual to bring those properties to life.

Who have you worked with?

Each photographer does one field of photographer better than others. Sure, you’ll find photographers who will say they can do everything, but they are probably not the kind of photographer you want. A photographer who does a little bit of everything is not going to have the specialised skill in what you are after to deliver the best images and therefore the best results.

So if you’re a real estate agent looking for a photographer to shoot your latest multi million dollar waterfront listing then hiring a photographer who normally does weddings, and who says that they’ve photographed the inside of a church so therefore they can shoot your building project, is probably not the best option for you.

Find out who they have worked with in the past, and are currently working with. This will help you find out if they are new to the field or if they have been around for a while. It will also give you a chance to find out how they are viewed by the clients that they have worked with. Plus, you’ll be able to find out if they are working with your competitors. Choosing someone that works with your competition probably isn’t the best idea, as he or she may skew your brand or image.

What about pricing?

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur. Prices can determine a photographer’s level of professionalism. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. If the prices seem too good to be true, they probably are; however, if they are exorbitant, you could end up breaking your budget.

For example, I’ve all been in those situations where you see a cheap deal online, such as Rolex watches for $8 and Gucci handbags for $25. You know immediately that there’s a reason why they’re so cheap, and it’s because they’re not the real deal.

It’s the same thing when it comes to photography. You see one photographer who charges $500 for a small number of images, and then you see another photographer who will give you “unlimited” images for $200 and it’s hard to ignore those cheap offers because they seem too good to be true. Well, they are too good to be true and can cost you more than just money in the long run.

Someone who doesn't specialise in interiors photography won't know how to handle themselves no matter what the situation is they they're faced. They'll guess in certain scenarios because they won't have the experience to know how to handle any given situation that may arise during a photo shoot to make sure you get the best image quality possible. Poor images reflect poorly on you, your brand and your listing. This is not the message you want to give to the market,

What’s your schedule like?

The turnaround times to put properties on the market are super fast and the pressure from sellers is incredibly demanding. With that said, you want to make sure that your photographer will be available when you need his or her services. Find out if they are flexible and if they work with a team of other professionals that produce the same quality photos.  You also want to find out how long they will take to deliver your photos from when the property is shot.  24-48 Hours is the normal standard. You also shouldn't have to pay more for your images to be delivered in this timeframe. If someone suggests this, alarm bells should automatically start ringing for you.

What other services do you offer?

Many professional photographers offer other services, like floor plans, video, and even virtual furniture. Finding someone that offers several services is a great idea because it simplifies invoicing and allows you to get the same quality and reliability from one professional.

At Shutter Speed Studios I offer more property marketing services than any other media provider on the south coast with over 25 different products and services SPECIFICALLY for real estate media.

Do you offer a guarantee?

 A quality photographer will stand behind their work. They should guarantee their services and their turnaround time, which will protect you and your clients if, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied.

Can They Show a Portfolio?

Any experienced photographer will have a full portfolio of past jobs they have completed. Ask to see their portfolio of work and also ask them to reference to their last 5 jobs on  You can also ask them to show you comparable homes they have shot to your local market.

Make An Informed Decision And Cull Your List Of Photographers

Find at least three prospective photographers, and make sure that you ask each one these key questions. Based on the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to get a real feel for the quality of work that the individual provides and whether or not he or she will jive with your needs. 

Finally, try to support  a local photographer. Having a photographer that works and lives local will mean you’re supporting the local business community. They will also be able to react quickly to urgent requests and in return there is a high chance that photographer will refer business back to you.

With the right photographer, you can really step up your success in the real estate game and have work chasing you, not you chasing work.