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What Should Real Estate Photographers Charge for Cancellations?

August 15th, 2017

Don in Florida asks:

I’ve recently run into quite a string of cancellations of shoots. What is a fair charge for a canceled shoot?

I think there are several considerations when you are thinking about what to charge for cancellations:

  1. Your cancellation terms must be clear and up front.
  2. There must be a specified amount of time before the appointment that cancellations can be made or the client must pay the full price.
  3. I think how much you charge for cancellations should be totally driven by how busy you are. That is, if you are not busy and a cancellation doesn’t cost you anything, don’t impose a cancellation fee but if you do high volume and a cancellation will cost you the price of a shoot, charge the price of a shoot.

I think the way to be fair is to pass on what it costs you. In some markets where vendors are dispensable, you may loose the customer if you impose a fee.

 

How Do You Properly Use a Slider to Make a Great Video for Real Estate?

August 14th, 2017

Paula and Don in Southern Ontario ask:

How do you properly use a slider to make a great video for Real Estate?

This is a pretty good video on the mechanics of how to use a slider. As far as how to use a slider in a real estate shoot, I think it is instructive to look at how experienced real estate videographers use a slider to put together whole videos. Here are two examples of two real estate videographers that use sliders extensively in their videos: Continue Reading »

How Do You Market Undeveloped Forested Empty Lots?

August 13th, 2017

Trav on the Northern Oregon Coast says:

I’d love to hear how other photographers plan and shoot undeveloped, forested lots. I am in the Pacific Northwest, and shoot many wooded properties near the ocean. The drone isn’t a fantastic asset, and I tend to shoot ground-level images on overcast days to avoid intense dappling.

Continue Reading »

An Update on a Great Success Story!

August 11th, 2017

Earlier this year, I posted this success story about a young photographer named Christian Knutti from Youngstown, OH, who started Real Estate photography when he was a senior in high school.

Just recently I got an update from Christian so I thought I’d pass it along:

Hi Larry, I just wanted to let you know that things are going better than ever for me. Shortly after you wrote that story on me a few months ago, I had a major turning point in my photography business. I attended a workshop in Las Vegas that you told me about put on by Brandon Cooper and Tony Colangelo. I learned so much, including the things to look for to set up a good composition and how to light a room really quickly. Before the workshop, it felt like I was unsure and guessing a lot of the time at a shoot. But now, feel confident and don’t take nearly as much time. I’ve been using this extra time to market my business. Even though my market has really slowed due to lack of inventory, I have gained about 20 new clients since the workshop.

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What Do Real Estate Photographers Use to Carry Gear?

August 10th, 2017

Pelican1510Tom in Maryland asks:

I am still fairly knew to real estate photography, but I’m gaining experience and buying more gear. I am looking for a good way of carrying all of this gear with me to client locations. I’m using two camera backpacks right now, but there something a little better and more convenient?

Continue Reading »

Should I Invest in Providing Matterport Tours as a Product?

August 9th, 2017

Bill in South Carolina says:

I own an aerial videography company and have done several virtual home tours using an Osmo with my DJI X5 camera for interiors. I recently started researching the Matterport camera system for actual 3D virtual tours, but it just seems too good to be true and I don’t want to invest money into something that may not perform like it is advertised.

Do you have any experience with this camera system, and what is your opinion of it?

Continue Reading »

Some User Feedback on Fotokite the Tethered Drone

August 8th, 2017

FotokiteBack in 2014, Fotokite was announced and I’ve been following its development ever since. The only thing that kept me from getting one was the fact that it hasn’t been available on the US retail market.

Just a few days ago I got some feedback from Tom in Colorado who took the leap and purchased one. Here is his feedback: Continue Reading »

How to Shoot Real Estate Video

August 7th, 2017

I recently ran across this 20-minute tutorial by Parker Walbeck.

I think it contains a lot of good information so I thought I’d pass it along. Parker shoots many other types of video in addition to real estate video.

I like Parker’s style except for the fact that he doesn’t pay much attention to keeping walls straight up and down. I guess the vertical wall thing is just a still photographers obsession. Videographers that don’t shoot stills aren’t bothered by walls that aren’t vertical. We’ve talked about this issue recently. There are a variety of opinions on this.

How Can You Determine if Your Interior Images Are Properly Exposed while on Site?

August 6th, 2017

Ryan in California asks:

I was wondering how you would suggest I shoot a whole house without editing until I get home.

Currently I have to retake shots after editing on site after making sure they are exposed correctly.

Should I shoot bracketed shots from the dark to light? Like 9 shots total for each photo required by the client?

Continue Reading »

Drone News: The World Is Moving in on Lawless Drone Operation

August 4th, 2017

Several things happened this last couple of weeks that indicate moves toward stricter drone regulations:

Seems like everyone is going to help you follow the rules!

Lightroom Mobile on a 12.9″ iPad Pro Is Faster than Lightroom CC

August 3rd, 2017

This video by Tony Northrup about Lightroom Mobile running on a 12.9″ iPad Pro is worth 10 minutes of your time.

I have the older 12.9″ iPad Pro (not the 2017 model) and the speed of Lightroom Mobile on it is truly amazing! I’m working at getting adept at using Lightroom Mobile and the pen. I’m having a hard time giving up the mouse. Tony makes it look easy.

As Tony says, Lightroom Mobil doesn’t yet have all the features of Lightroom CC but it has enough to be very useful. There are even parts of Photoshop and Affinity Pro that provides layer features. The most important feature is that if you have Adobe Creative Cloud everything you do on Lightroom Mobile is synced to your laptop/desktop and vice-versa so Lightroom Mobile becomes an extension to Lightroom cc.

Warning! Beware of Cashier’s Check Scams

August 2nd, 2017

Cameron in California told me last week about a possible cashier’s check scam:

Hopefully no one will fall for this, but I got an email solicitation the other day from someone who claimed they found me through Houzz and they wanted me to photograph a rental property for them.

Continue Reading »

Changes in Rules for the Photographer of the Month Contest

August 1st, 2017

The August contest is now open with new rules.

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about how to improve the monthly stills contest (PFRE Photographer of the Month contest). So I’m changing the rules a bit in an effort to improve the contest.

First of all, the contest goals are as follows: Continue Reading »

When Flying a Drone, Do You Need a Property Release for Neighboring Properties?

July 31st, 2017

Peter in California says:

Grant Johnston, who advertises on your blog, had a good question on his own Video blog. Is there an existing photo consent form that includes drone shooting as well as property release in existence? I have left this up to my clients who have photo consent as part of their contracts with their owners, however, I have been discovering that all too often they have me in to shoot before any paperwork is actually signed since seeing the photo results can help make the owner commit.

Continue Reading »

Are the Big Companies Taking Over in Real Estate Photography?

July 30th, 2017

Kathy in the Baltimore area asks the following question:

I am looking into manning a booth at our local realtors EXPO.  I am wanting to get ideas from others that may have already done something like this as to how to jazz up a booth to get people to come to you, and if a booth is a good idea for marketing your services.  Any ideas and info would be greatly appreciated.

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