Real Estate Photography is Art or Science?


Real Estate Photography is Art or Science?

When photography was first invented, some called it ‘the most extraordinary triumph of modern science’, while others predicted that it would be the biggest enemy of art. Modern photographers are still debating whether or not they can be called “artists”. So where does this leave real estate photography? Is it an art or is it science or is it the successful mix of both?

Real Estate Photography: Art or Science?

First of all, photography is a highly technical medium simply because there is always a camera between the photographer and his subject; say a luxury real estate property. No matter how talented and creative a photographer is, the medium will also influence the picture, introducing a number of significant changes. For example, almost all lenses introduce some form of distortion, aberration, blurriness….you got the idea.

On the other hand, painters don’t have to deal with these optical difficulties - their brush paints precisely what they want to paint. While it takes years to learn how to use a brush, it still does not have a mind of its own the way a camera does.

It’s safe to say that photography consists of two separate elements: art and science. Only when a photographer successfully combines both of those elements, he can create a photo that is both technically excellent and artistic.

When one part dominates the other, the results are pretty average – that’s why there are so many boring photos out there that look exactly like those before them. Even technically perfect photographs can lack artistic content. The artistic part of photography includes the photographer’s artistic goals, his vision, inspiration, as well as the use of other art-related concepts.

Point-and-click photography doesn’t count – if you want to be a professional photographer, there is so much to learn about art, composition, light, and other important subjects that will help your photos to stand out.

Real Estate Photography: Where Art Meets Architecture

Unlike other photography techniques, real estate photography is almost always focused on showcasing and selling a property. Clients don’t hire real estate photographers to produce "art”, they hire them to sell their property fast and for the best price possible.

Photographers that focus more on a creative side of the photo instead of capturing the feel and flow of the space miss the entire idea behind the real estate photography. The best real estate photos are marketing tools that promote the property, highlight its best features, and attract the potential homebuyers. While creativity also plays an important role in the process, there is definitely science involved in everything from composing to editing real estate images.

Life of Real Estate Photographer:

Real estate photography is more than just point-and-shoot photography: it’s an art of presenting a property like it’s the best on the market. A professional real estate photography shoot usually costs from $110 to $300 per shoot for photos only - aerial photography, floor plans, 3D tours, and real estate videos generally cost extra. Notice that those prices apply to professional photographers only.

Top real estate photographers like Evan Joseph, the leading new-listing photographer in New York City, can charge thousands of dollars for one shoot. The example of the most successful real estate photographers proves once again that in order to stay on top, you should be both an artist and successful marketer. If your goal is to help your clients to sell a property, you are halfway there.

In the 19th century, when photography was just emerging, a lot of people argued that it’s not an art form because it lacks the ability to elevate the imagination. But in 1858, after the first-ever photography exhibition by the South Kensington Museum, many creative changed their minds. If art is something that has an aesthetic appeal, real estate photography is definitely a form of art. Just like a beautiful painting, a photograph has the ability to move, engage and inspire viewers.


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