It’s a fair question since the commercial interest property photography images cost double the price of the standard Airbnb / Real Estate shoot types.
When I am shooting any property I follow pretty much the same shooting procedures for both shoot types, but on the cheaper option I am really just pitching up and expecting the property to be ready for photography. In other words all the beds are made, the decor is staged correctly and there’s nothing for me to do other than compose my shots and move freely between rooms. Nothing else needs to be set up. Typically I work very quickly and I can cover an entire 4-5 bedroom house in under 30 minutes if everything is perfect. I go for the shots that will help to market the property and tell it’s story rather than look at small details.
The editing for the cheaper shoot is largely automated, meaning that I feed the source files into my software and I let it churn out the result. In most cases I don’t have to do all that much to an image other than just cursory checks to make sure nothing has gone awry with the automations. This means that if I shoot a property before lunch time I can get the finished images back to the client on the same day. For real estate agents this is usually quite important as they want to begin advertising as soon as possible, especially if they have a time sensitive sole mandate.
A commercial property shoot, on the other hand, sees me getting much more involved with the staging of any scene and if necessary also hauling out some portable lighting to bolster the ambient light. For example, if I am shooting a hospitality establishment I might get involved with setting up a dining table, or folding down a bed to make it look more inviting. Details are more important for this type of shoot.
Then of course there is the editing, which on a commercial shoot is much more labour intensive. Every image is made up of several individual images and a final composite is delivered, ensuring that the colour is right and anything extraneous is removed. In the example below you will see that the verticals are 100% correct, the DB board on the wall has been removed, the colour temperature is closer to what our eyes will see, and the exterior is not so washed out, since it plays an important part in showing where the property is located. All in all the result looks a lot more polished than the standard shot.
For the standard shoot quick turnaround time is the priority, whereas for the commercial shoot quality is much more important and as such images need to be hand edited. This takes much longer and this is why you will pay more for those types of shoots.
Hopefully this explains the differences well enough, but if you have any further questions about these differences please get in touch.