Commercial Photography: What Makes It Different

Clients sometimes ask us, “Why is there a separate order form for commercial/rental/Air B&B properties”?

Well, the main reason for this distinction is because of the difference in licensing rights for the images versus a standard real estate listing photography photoshoot.

stylish kitchen photograph for interior designers and architects

Residential Real Estate and Commercial/Rental/Air B&B photos have different licensing rights.

Photos taken for the purpose of posting to the MLS and advertising a home for sale are licensed for that specific limited use. A rental or AirBnb owner will post the photos multiple times over the course of the unit’s rental lifespan, thus the license for these properties are extended. 

This is somewhat similar to how music rights work. Van Halen will let you purchase one of their songs for personal use for a set price but will charge you a different rate if you are using the song on a TV commercial. 

close up photo of blue cord MRI machine in a hospital

Commercial/rental/Air B&B photography is also generally photographed with a different style. 

Particularly with vacation rentals and Air B&B, clients often want to showcase the amenities offered (appliances provided, toiletries, entertainment pieces, etc.) in addition to the space. With regular real estate listing photography, we often do not focus on these things as they are usually not a part of or critical to the sale. Long term licensing photoshoots often take our photographers longer as taking stylish and attractive photos of these amenities usually takes more finesse. 

smiling female real estate photographer headshot black and white


Article by Lindsey Cox of HD Showings and StratCat SEO & Digital Marketing

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