As recently as 1995, only 2% of all home buyers used the Internet to search for a new home, according to Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research for the National Association of Realtors. But now, “virtually everyone” shops for homes online – and the need for high-quality photos for online listings has led to the rise of highly successful real estate photography firms.
"There's no limits to buyer expectations," said Brian Balduf, founder and president of VHT, one of the nation's biggest real estate photography companies. "If the house photos aren't stunning and attention-grabbing, buyers are just going to move on." VHT has shot over 10 million rooms since its founding in 1998, and grown 35 to 40% annually over the past two years.
Some real estate photographers, such as Spacecrafting in Minneapolis-St. Paul, are expanding their offerings into commercial shoots for home builders and architects.