Happy New Year! I thought now would be a good time to look back on my first year running Rochester Real Estate Photography and reflect on all the things I learned along the way. To briefly summarize… it’s been a great year! I got to shoot some amazing properties and met some wonderful people.
Consistent and Steady Work
I started out not knowing if I would actually get calls for Real Estate Photography Services from any local Real Estate agents or home-owners. I quickly created a simple web-page with basically just a logo and a contact form, and to my surprise, people started contacting me. It was pretty obvious right away that there was a need for Professional Real Estate Photography in the Rochester, NY area.
All-in-all, I shot almost 30 properties during this past year. Not bad for a part-time business. I really only started shooting in late March and I definitely felt the market surge this past Spring and Summer with May and June being very busy months for me. I had to turn down work during the months of July and August due to my purchase and subsequent move to a new home as well as a planned summer vacation with my family. So in total, I had about 7 months of steady shooting. That averages out to about 4 shoots per month!
Building a Better Website
Shortly after I started getting contacted regularly for more info about my Photography Services, I put together a more robust website with sample portfolio images, service offerings and information about the business. I implemented a blog and social media presence on facebook, instagram and houzz.
I optimized the website myself and am proud to say it ranks quite high on Google and Yahoo using only organic SEO techniques (not paid placement tactics). I created a Google Business Account to help promote my services online. I continue to update the site and track its performance on a regular basis.
I’ve met some wonderful people doing this. I’ve gotten to know some repeat clients pretty well and am always happy when they call on me to shoot their properties. Surprisingly I’ve also met a lot of great home-owners looking to list and sell their homes themselves. They realize the importance of professional photography to make their listings stand out.
I also presented my work to a local Real Estate Agency where I met a number of Realtors who called on me for my Photography Services. The presentation I gave was very rough as I really had just started out so I didn’t have a lot of marketing collateral, but I certainly appreciated the opportunity and I look to do more of this in the coming New Year.
I’ve shot many wonderful properties over the course of this past year. A few that really stand out are the Pillars Estate in Albion NY (rumored to be a haunted Victorian Mansion listed for $1 Million). I also shot a number of properties for The Reserve in Brighton, NY. And my first commercial property shoot was a local CVS Pharmacy.
Even though the high-end properties are great fun to photograph, I’ve also enjoyed shooting for several home-owners looking to have their listings stand out from the competition. I treat each property the same and strive to deliver quality service to all my customers.
I started out not sure how I was going to photograph the homes I was getting booked to shoot. I could use on/off-camera flash or I could try a multiple exposure technique I learned about online. I tried both at first and found that the multiple exposures method worked best for me and my clients. I have since refined that technique and have a proven workflow that creates excellent results quickly. I am able to turn-around most jobs in 24 hours, though I always appreciate more time when customers are willing to allow for it.
Looking back on it all now I’m amazed at how quickly this business took off for me. I am still pleasantly surprised when I receive a contact form request or a phone call from a new potential customer. I hope to build on this success in the coming New Year and grow this part-time business into something more.