Real Estate Photographer Interview – How To Make an Extra $20,000 With

In this video, Zach Calhoon, co-founder of, interviews real estate photographer Mark McKinney of River Oak Media. They are going to discuss his processes and pricing when taking photos and creating virtual tours of residential and commercial real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Click play and watch this video:


It takes Mark 20 to 30 minutes to take photos of a typical 2500 square feet-house. For still photography using his DSLR, it usually takes him an hour to one hour depending on how cluttered the house is. With the Insta360, which has an HDR mode, he can do three exposures of different settings and with one click. Then, he can go back to do the post process put his own spin with his own processing on the files.

So how does Mark process his photos?

His normal process is to dump out RAW files in his DSLR and then run them through a program like a NIC software, Photomatix or even Lightroom. He takes multiple exposures and combines them into one. Then he runs then through Lightroom and does some cleanup. He also uses Photoshop to remove himself from a mirror. He has access to the actual photos, so he can go in and edit them himself, color correct them, and do all kinds of things. Having the preview on his phone also lets him show the customer his virtual tour displays how the house looks like by just turning it from side to side! This is a great advantage for his clients especially when they are competing with other realtors!

Before using Cloudpano, it was usually expensive for Mark to run a report to have the subscription every year with the hosting and processing cost and all the overhead plus the camera. For a three thousand square foot house, it would cost three hundred dollars for him and was getting a lot of pushback especially in the local area. But now, for 15-20 minutes around 50% of his normal shoot rate, he can charge his clients for an additional fifty percent and add the virtual tour option to the store package as well. So with 360 virtual tours, you can increase your transaction value per customer and you always have that upsell available!

As a photographer, you want to be the team player with a realtor. A whole office of realtors calls Mark every time because of the products that he can deliver. When upselling to their clients, the realtors can go to his website to easily and quickly show Mark’s 360 tours!

Mark now charges 50 percent more of his typical real estate photos by making 360 virtual tours a part of his suite of products. Now, he is looking into doing luxury homes in the Dallas area and hoping to upsell by around 30 to 40 percent.

He uses 50 percent as a general rule of thumb. Her standard fee for his clients is $150 for a normal photoshoot. Then he would charge another hundred for a 360 virtual tour, which is a little more than fifty percent. There are even plenty of clients with bigger homes whom they can charge $125-$150 for this kind of tour.

Mark has added two more photographers to his team. Having assistants helps him make sure things are staged properly. As he starts shooting the room with his camera, they go going through behind him which won’t cost extra time if he does it right. So by spending 0-15 extra minutes, he can add in $12,000 to $20,000 to his bottom line! And this is CloudPano’s goal: to empower you to expand your business!

Here Mark’s tips for other photographers who want to add 360 virtual tours to their business:

  • As a photographer, you should think about you’re providing as far as a value. There are so many people shopping for houses online they’re just scrolling through the photos. Your job as a photographer is to catch their eye and get them hooked into looking closer at that property and contacting your client.
  • Another thing is that you actually help them get a feel for the property. If somebody who is in California got a whole bunch of money and want to spend it in Dallas but don’t have time to go to catch a flight and go visit a lot of houses, it would be much easier for them to look at these 360 virtual tours and literally walk through a house without actually being there. With CloudPano, you’ve got an incredibly powerful technology to add to your arsenal in tow! is partnering with business owners to help them create amazing 360 virtual tours on our platform. Being a Pro Plus member, you can private-label the software by putting your domain name at the forefront while making the creation, hosting, and displaying of tours in virtual reality simple.

You also get added to our VR directory so if someone searches in your area for virtual reality or virtual tour provider, plus a certain area that you are dedicated to on our directory, your name pops up and you get more leads coming your way! It’s this kind of additions and services and the way we have crafted and built this software to make sure you as a business owner succeed at the highest level you possibly can!

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