Three years ago, when Kirk and I moved to California, we hunted for any opportunity to fill our photography portfolio with SoCal real estate. We shot the exteriors of houses from the sidewalk and ‘snuck’ into a hotel to get interiors. After launching our website, we ran a special advertising 50% off photography shoots. That, off of our already low rates, meant the first few shoots we did we worked for a fraction of minimum wage.

Since then, I’ve raised my rates dramatically — to match what I feel my work is worth to my clients and what my time is worth to me. My photography has improved, and so have the properties I’ve shot. Besides more money, the other benefit of charging higher rates is attracting clients with higher quality subject material (read: nicer houses).

It’s a positive upward spiral. Charge more, attract better clients, upgrade the portfolio, charge more…

Of course, there is a limit on how high rates can go based on the market you’re in. Right now, my rates are on the upper end for the real estate photography market. If I’d want to charge more, I’d start moving out of real estate and into the commercial and architectural photography markets. This would be a nice move up, but would also require upgrading my equipment, learning different shooting techniques and rebranding the business. It’s something to think about should I want to invest more time and money into a photography career.

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This vacation rental in Carlsbad, a duplex with a 2/2 upper unit and 3/2 lower unit, has phenomenal views of the lagoon and ocean. The interior is pretty nice, too. ☼

Exterior

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Upper_Kitchen1

Upper_Kitchen2

Upper_Deck

Upper_Living1

Upper_Living2

Upper_Dining-Living

Upper_MasterBed

Upper_MasterBath

Lower_Exterior

Lower_Kitchen1

Lower_Kitchen2

Lower_Living

Lower_LivingView

Lower_MasterBed

Lower_Bath

Lower_Bed2

Lower_Patio1