Hmmm......I think she was misinformed-I think he was likely pulling her chain. Two things strike me as fishy here. First, real estate agents pay PEANUTS-the worst in the industry for architectural photography (unless he is shooting mansions in one of the major markets, but there would be serious established competition there) and second in 95% of the the country the real estate market SUCKS. He may be TRYING to make a living as a "leisurely" real estate photographer, but as they say "you shouldn't give up your day job".
On the other side of the coin. A very fine waiter at my favorite local restaurant, used to talk to me about launching an AP career when I was in there for dinner. This discussion went on for a couple of years.........and he did it and is well established now-but that was before the recession.
Yes, it is a bad market here, too.
A guy I met at a new artist group that I’ve been invited into told me that he had built up a very good client-base shooting houses for estate agents, and that after working with most of them on the island, the recession bit and prices and need for pictures fell, and so his way out was to use his agency contacts to create a huge list of rental properties which he now uses as a business – he says.
Whatever the truth is – it’s no longer photography for him. Other than as within this art group.
As a filler between calendars, years ago, I used to do work for tour operators, covering hotels and villas and providing atmospheric stock images too. The prices there also shrank until I called off, and that was in the 80s! I did a few estate agent things as well, but that was for top-end places and the last one of those came to me because the agent knew we were friends of the late owner whose kids in Britain were selling up. That was a spooky, unpleasant job with shadows and memories.
I believe that the future is going to be one with fewer pros: some very well paid ones, with the rest surviving and little more. I guess the tops of most markets will always either need or simply enjoy working with the top dogs.
Actually, I think it will work itself out because people will discover that they can do much better staying amateur and earning their bread elsewhere. After all, where are the people that once inspired so many kids to take it up in the first place, their minds on the excitement and imagined glamour and seldom on the money? I know of nobody practising today who would inspire me the way Bert Stern, Peter Gowland, Peter Basch and John French did. Yep, the web is full of agents and their flocks of stars, but to my eye, they are interchangeable. The Sarah Moons, Lindberghs and Feurers, as well as the David Hamiltons and Sam Haskins are/were more or less my generation – too late to serve as inspiration to start
in a career, but highly encouraging to remain in it and try harder once I was