Colleen Scott Photography's 1st Workiversary

As I approach the first anniversary of my most recent business venture, Colleen Scott Photography, I have decided to reflect on and share my progress as well as the challenges I have faced and continue to face. The way I operate has significantly transformed within the past year and I am continually making adjustments to better my craft. 

 Interior design by Oyster Creek Studios

Interior design by Oyster Creek Studios

First and foremost: To address the most common question I receive: “How did you decide to get into real estate photography?” The answer is super riveting. Are you ready? My dad suggested it. Trust me, I wish I had a cooler story. I had recently moved back home from living in Rome for a year and I didn’t know what on earth I was going to do for a living. I’m not an extremely conventional person, so there has always been appeal to the idea of making my own schedule and working for myself. With my background in photography and love for home design, which developed by watching endless hours of Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, this idea my dad had seemed relatively feasible and potentially fun. I took to the internet and watched hours of video tutorials before photographing a family friend’s house for practice. It didn’t take long to realize that this type of photography was a completely different beast. There was gear and equipment involved that I was not familiar with and Photoshop tools I had never touched, which made this all feel a bit overwhelming. After tackling the first house, I was hungry to do more. I landed my first paying gig with friend and realtor Garrison Fuller shooting a beautiful custom home in Lumberton, Texas. (Shoutout to Rick and Joanna Edgeworth with Acadian Dream Homes.) I was incredibly intimidated upon arrival and it took everything in me to keep anxiety levels at a manageable rate. Go big or go home, they say. Well, I went big, and shockingly enough I was extremely satisfied with my results and realized that I had an actual chance at making a career out of this. It’s funny to look back at those photos, which I’m still impressed with considering it was my first legitimate shoot, but my current shooting and editing knowledge base would have produced a completely different set of images. 

 Contact Swede's Real Estate in Crystal Beach, Texas to rent this cabin, "Bach Haus". 998 Austin, Gilchrist, TX

Contact Swede's Real Estate in Crystal Beach, Texas to rent this cabin, "Bach Haus".
998 Austin, Gilchrist, TX

#blessed: I fortunately was able to talk a few other local realtors into hiring me and began to build a portfolio. (Shoutout to realtor Amy Chance for helping me gain momentum by booking me again, again, and again.) Now, almost a year later, I have booked shoots with realtors, custom home builders, interior design firms, and even a catering company. I have shot everything from beach cabins to a company’s break room. I feel extremely blessed when I think about the amount of jobs that have fallen in my lap out of pure luck or random connection that led to a referral. All of my marketing has been either digital or word of mouth. I could not be more thankful for social media and how easy it is to share my images in hopes of booking that next job. I am constantly blown away by the support of my friends and family through simply liking or sharing posts of mine. This is how it happens, people! 

 Interior Design by Oyster Creek Studios

Interior Design by Oyster Creek Studios

Real talk: With all that said, it has not been an easy journey. It has been a challenge to establish and prove my worth as a photographer and it continues to be an uphill battle to educate others about how professional images can be an intensely powerful tool for improving the quality of their brand. Help me help you. I still wake up some days terrified that this is all going to crumble in front of my face. I have had weeks when I literally turned down jobs because I was too busy to take on any more and I have had weeks when I did not have one single job. I know the sporadic work comes along with building a business, so I am trying to keep it all in perspective, continue to hustle, and cross my fingers that year number two will prove to be fruitful enough to keep pursuing this dream.

Shameless plug: If you know any realtors, interior designers, home builders, architects or anyone else that could benefit from hiring me, please send them my way! You can view my full portfolio of images via the 'Portfolio' tab on collscott.com.

 Listing in Crystal Beach, provided by The Amy Chance Real Estate Team

Listing in Crystal Beach, provided by The Amy Chance Real Estate Team


Business Inquiries: (409) 679-0456 or collscottphoto@gmail.com

Follow me on Instagram! @collscottphoto

Like me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/collscottphoto

Professional Photography for Real Estate: Luxury or Necessity?

The love of taking pictures began at a very young age for me. My family got our first point-and-shoot digital camera when I was 10 and I found it difficult to put the thing down. I took pictures of our dogs, plants, my friends, and even shoes depending on my level of boredom. It wasn't until I was gifted my first DSLR (the kind of camera with interchangeable lenses) at the age of 20 when I began to realize that taking a picture is not synonymous with making a photograph. I began to turn the wheel away from 'automatic' and towards 'manual', opening a world of creative opportunity. What started as a fun hobby has turned into the exploration of multiple visions for my professional career. Now, at age 26, after much trial and error, I am attempting to navigate the world of freelance.

These past couple of months I have directed my attention towards photographing real estate. I have come to find that this type of photography strikes that perfect balance between technicality and creativity. It's all about focusing on what makes a space truly unique and displaying those features in a beautiful light to catch the eye of potential buyers, in the hopes of getting top dollar for the listing. 

According to an internal case study conducted by IMOTO, a leading real estate photography company, professional photos are statistically proven to help agents:

  • Sell listings 50% faster
  • Sell listings 39% closer to list price
  • Generate 118% more online views

With 92% of homebuyers using the Internet as part of their buying process (source: Realtor.com), the first impression of a listing is absolutely critical. 

However, with all of that said, deciding who to hire as your photographer will be the key to living up to the success of these statistics. Just because you are paying someone to take pictures of your listings does not mean you are receiving professional-level photographs. Before hiring, ask to look at their portfolio. Do their photos make you want to inhabit that space or would you continue scrolling to see the next listing? Are they taking pictures and simply documenting a space exists or are they making photos through knowledge of lighting, simple staging, and other photographic techniques? 


The Ultimate Test: iPad Snapshots vs. Professional Photography + Post Processing


If you ask me, the proof is in the pudding.

You're always going to come across that person who says, "I sold that house with pictures from my iPhone!", but at the end of the day, it's about having the right buyers at the right time. iPhone photos do not equal sales and, as statistics show, you are much less likely to sell a house with amateur photos than with work from a professional photographer. With most commissions in the five to six figures at risk, are you willing to take those chances? It's up to you. Luxury? I think not.