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Congratulations Brian Doherty – June PFRE Photographer of The Month

June 23rd, 2016

BrianDoherty2016JuneCongratulations to Brian Doherty of Boston MA who the jury has voted PFRE photographer of the month for June. This is Brian’s second win as the PFRE photographer of the month. His first win was back in July of last year.

Here are all the entries that the jurors awarded points to this month:

  1. Brian Doherty
  2. Tony Colangelo
  3. Alasdair Macintosh
  4. Thom Neese
  5. Kledge
  6. Timmy Krueger
  7. Charles Lynch
  8. Canek Estrada
  9. Tommy Daspit
  10. Swizzler
  11. Matt Davis
  12. Matt Parvin
  13. Matthew Stallone
  14. Orazio Pugliese

Brian says:

Wow! Thank you jury, I’m honored to be this months winner. I photographed this home during a rain storm and it produced some of the most beautiful light I have ever seen. The soft paint colors, large windows and contrasting elements made for some great ambient images.

I think I actually spent more time on this foyer than the kitchen that day which is very rare for me. Normally for RE I do not mess with staging that much, but that day I just saw a beautiful image in my mind. I removed about 15 jackets of the hooks in the back and left the two rain coats. I moved the bench from the right side next to the door to where it is now and also added the pillows and nautical door stops. This was shot at 22mm F11 at iso 640. You can see the reverse angle in my feed.  What’s funny to me is the last time I won I used an ambient only shot as well. I think the ambient gods are trying to tell me something, maybe its time to throw away all my flashes!

Announcing A Workshop By Brandon Cooper and Tony Colangelo

June 22nd, 2016

SummerlandBrandon Cooper, 4-time winner of PFRE’s Photographer of the Month contest, and Tony Colangelo, who coached Brandon and has won 3 POTM contests himself, are joining forces to provide a highly engaging and informative workshop, October 14 & 15, in Summerland, BC, right in the heart of Canada’s beautiful wine country! This two-day workshop will be loaded with content, covering everything from the thoughtful development of great compositions to quickly and efficiently achieving natural looking lighting. A different home will be photographed each day, followed by an in-depth editing session where Brandon &  Tony will walk through their step-by-step, editing workflow. Only 20 seats available with the first 5 at a special early bird rate, so don’t hesitate!  For full details and registration CLICK HERE.

Getting Started With Property Video?

June 21st, 2016

Caleb is thinking about adding property video to his services. He says:

I have been thinking about adding property videos. I have looked at all the information you have on the blog, but I was wondering what gear you and the amazing people here on the PFRE blog would recommend for someone just getting started. I am hoping to stay at about $1000, or is that even possible? Should I stick with sliders, and pan heads, or should I go the stabilizers route. With my budget I don’t know if I can afford both.

Most real estate videographers do either walk through video (with a stabilizer) or cinematic video (with sliders, jibs or cranes). There’s no right way, it’s more of a stylistic choice. So starting out doing one or the other makes good sense. You first need to decide which style you like best. I’ll let readers promote their favorite style. Continue Reading »

Are There Photographers Rights Violations Going On Here?

June 20th, 2016

BillyJoelThomas in Houston pointed out this listing and said:

I was surfing RE porn and this listing came up. I noticed that Zillow claims the copyright to the photos. I doubt that anyone from Zillow took those pictures. I guess this happens when the portals strip the meta-data and claim the works as their own. Interested in your thoughts.

A couple of things about this listing:

  1. First of all. My interpretation is that the little copyright symbol and the words “image provided by Zillow” in the bottom left of each image isn’t Zillow claiming they own the copyright to the image, it’s the DailyMail.com indicating where they got the photo… they are just saying we got the photo from Zillow… obviously Zillow just got it from some MLS in Florida.
  2. Notice the Billy Joel photo. It says “Copyright Getty Images”. Getty Images has lawyers and will come after publications that infringe on their rights. The Daily Mail probably paid Getty Images or got permission to use that photo.
  3. To really understand whether or not the Daily Mail is out of line for using the listing photos, you have to check with the listing agent. The use of these photos is well within the standard photo licensing that listing agents get from real estate photographers that allow the photos to be used to market the home. Having the photos in the Daily Mail is marketing.

The Bottom line is there likely are no rights violations going on here.

Is There A Cheaper Alternative To The CamRanger?

June 19th, 2016

CamRangerDaniel recently said:

This might be a good alternative to a CamRanger at a cheaper price:  https://alpinelaboratories.com/pages/pulse.

I’ve evaluated several apparent alternatives to the CamRanger. But what I find is the gear I’ve tried that is $80 and $125 is in my opinion junk. I think what it boils down to is that to create a good piece of hardware a good application and good support is around $300 (what the CamRanger costs). Anyone creating a product less than that has to make shortcuts some someplace.

By the way, I tried my CamRanger out with my iPad Pro (the 12.9″ one) and it blew me away. It is an awesome combination. You don’t need a screen that large but it sure is cool. I like it much better than using Lightroom on a tethered laptop!

What do you think has anyone tried a less expensive alternative to the CamRanger that they really like?

One Of Our Own – Tyra Pacheco Was In A Helicopter Crash Today And Is In Critical Condition

June 17th, 2016

TyraPachecoOur thoughts and prayers go out to Tyra Pacheco who was in a helicopter crash today while shooting real estate near Chatham, MA. Tyra is at Massachusetts General Hospital (55 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114) in Boston with critical injuries. Here is the link to the CBS local coverage about the crash.

Tyra was the very first PFRE photographer of the month winner in July 2008 and is a PFRE contest juror.

I just sent flowers to Tyra at Massachusetts General with the following message (taken from Ethan’s first comment below): “Tyra, Our positive thoughts, and prayers go out to you tonight for a speedy recovery and full healing. We love you and cherish you! Love and Aloha,  your PFRE family

Thanks to Ethan Tweedie who told me about the accident.

Update 6/18: That Dan Milstein has verified this site with Tyra’s family: gofundme.com/tyrapacheco so it is safe to use it to donate to Tyra.

Update 6/23: Note the update from the local news that Dave posted below.

 

 

Property Video That Doesn’t Attempt To Be Entertaining Is In High Demand If Done Well!

June 17th, 2016

FredLightFor a number of months now I’ve been featuring some of my favorite property video. A couple of weeks ago Fred Light, who I believe is the father of property video, pointed out that:

Real estate videos are generally not produced for ‘entertainment’.  Having a bunch of photographers, videographers and friends give their opinion of a video is really worth very little since NONE of them are seriously interested in buying that particular house or even hiring that particular agent to market their own house.  So the video is strictly a curiosity for all those making judgments – nothing more.

Clearly people in different geographic areas find different types of video worthwhile.  Some find showing “too much of the house” boring.  If you’re NOT actually interested in buying the house, I totally agree.

I think Fred’s approach to doing property video is a  great example of the importance of property video. Fred makes it look easy. As those who do it and those who are working at doing it know, it is way harder than it looks. Fred describes his property video business as follows:

…with absolutely zero marketing in 11 years other than word of mouth and a website, I am booked out two weeks in advance for more than half of the year, have a waiting list daily for cancellations, and shoot 4-5 of these boring, “most people won’t watch them” videos every single day of the week.  Oh, and my repeat business is 99.9%.  So in an industry where agents are well known for not wanting to part with a buck for marketing, I have agents shell out $400-$500+ for these boring videos all day long, over and over again.

So for those of you working at doing property video, I think that studying Fred’s approach can be very useful. His recent video above is a great example.

Does Novelty and Entertainment Help Market Real Estate?

June 16th, 2016

PandaHousePaul in the UK says:

I’m a fan of your blog, despite not shooting real estate myself, as I enjoy reading many of your discussions and like picking up relevant tips and ideas for my product and editorial shoots.

However seeing this going around on local media. I felt I had to share with you as I feel there’s some intresting questions.

What is your view on ‘novelty’ elements like this? Obviously it’s got this seller a lot of press, but if someone were to ask for shots like that would you accommodate them, reject the idea outright, or shoot both for ‘coverage’? What about other ‘distracting’ elements like art/posters etc that could be picked up by social media – which may help sell the house, but may also distract from it’s pure photographic representation?

Continue Reading »

What Are Good Sources For Errors and Omissions Insurance In Canada?

June 15th, 2016

InsuranceHeather in Canada wants to know:

My friend has a Real Estate Photography business in Canada and we are looking at partnering up to provide additional services such as home measurement and floorplans. The realtors she has spoken with, want the service but also want her to be insured for it. Some of her competitors here, do advertise that they’re fully insured. She has been having difficulty finding information on errors and omissions insurance through her insurance broker. I’ve heard that it can be difficult to obtain it without a professional designation, is this true? Do you know of any insurance companies in Canada that would offer this to a photographer? How much should we be covered for?

 

Hopefully, there are some Canadian readers that can help out Heather with her question. We’ve talked about this subject before but not specifically in relation to Canada. Here are some general suggestions: Continue Reading »

How High Should Your Camera Be When Shooting Real Estate Interiors?

June 14th, 2016

CameraHeightKen asked the following question:

What heights do you set your tripod/monopod at? Do you shoot kitchens and bath lower or higher ? Do you shoot from an average height – 5′? or do you shoot higher ? Do you change shooting heights thru out the property ?  What is a comfortable height for the viewer? Any advantages from shooting higher or lower?

Here are my camera height rules. I have to admit that I’ve learned most of these rules of thumb from Scott Hargis so more accurately these are Scotts rules of thumb: Continue Reading »

Pursuing Success in Real Estate Photography – A Few Thoughts From Brandon Cooper

June 13th, 2016

This is a guest post by Brandon Cooper of realpics.ca:

I’m writing this article today for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, to offer a heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone in the PFRE community who’ve shared their good wishes, prayers and support to me and my family, as we try to rebuild our lives after the terrible fires in my hometown. As I’m sure most of you have seen on the news, the fires have been devastating. My family and I got out just in time and it has been so comforting to have people in the PFRE/Flickr community reach out to offer their support. It’s amazing (and humbling) to have people from all over the world reach out to express their concern and offer best wishes. It has meant so much to my family and me.  The recent outreach has allowed me to start new friendships in our great community; and has strengthened existing ones – and I’m very grateful for all of them and for the opportunity to share conversations/emails with colleagues in the field – talking shop with other shooters is always a great time. Throughout these conversations, a number of colleagues have asked me if I’d ever consider writing an article about how I started as an exposure fusion/HDR guy and then transitioned to using more off-camera flash. I reached out to Larry for his blessing and he gave me the green light, so here’s my story! Continue Reading »

Do Real Estate and Architectural Photographers Need their own Association?

June 12th, 2016

JoelPostThe following is reposted from Joel Rothman’s site sriplaw.com. We’d all like to hear your opinion on this subject.

Our firm represents many real estate and architectural photographers. Our experience suggests that the unique challenges facing real estate photographers are not currently being addressed by the different photography associations.  Which raises the question, should real estate and architectural photographers unite and form their own association to represent their interests?

The Existing Photography Associations do not Cover RE and Architectural Photography

None of the existing photography associations address the day to day concerns of real estate photographers.  The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) serves the needs of independent photographers who freelance for written and on-line publications.  The American Photographic Artists (APA), of which I am a member, focuses heavily on written and on-line advertising photography.  The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) focuses on wedding, portrait and studio photography.  While all these groups do wonderful things for their members, the have to date failed to address the unique challenges that real estate and architectural photographers face in the current marketplace.

Another great organization is PAPA, the Professional Aerial Photographers Association.  To the extent that real estate and architectural photographers are flying drones, balloons or taking pics from the air, this is a great group. But its only focus is aerial photography and it does not cater to the needs of real estate and architectural photographers. Continue Reading »

Lightroom CC 2015.6 and Lightroom 6.6 – With New Guided Upright Feature

June 10th, 2016

LRccThis last Wed there was an update to Lightroom that has a new feature called Guided Upright that is useful to real estate photographers. It also has some changes to the Lens Corrections and Transform panels. Nothing earth shaking but a nice refinement for making vertical and horizontal corrections.

Laura Shoe has a good explanation of these features. I installed this version 24 hours ago and so far it is working fine for me. But if you are busy, there’s no big rush.

Scott Hargis’s New Real Estate Photography Basics Class On Lynda.com

June 9th, 2016

LyndaVideoScott has a great new 3 hr 19 min class on the basics of real estate photography on lynda.com. Here is Scott’s description of it:

The latest installment in a series of real estate photography courses I’m making with Lynda.com went live just a few days ago — this one has some pretty cool stuff in it!

This one is called “The Basics” and it’s coverage of an entire shoot, start to finish. I traveled down to Ojai California and we spent an entire week filming to get this 3+ hour video. In it, I take you through excruciating detail on the pre-shoot walkthrough, shooting the small easy rooms, shooting the more complex living room/family room, shooting the kitchen, and then the rear and front exteriors. There’s even a post-production video or two, showing what I did to re-touch some of the images.

Continue Reading »

What Should You Have In Your Real Estate Photography Terms of Service?

June 8th, 2016

BusOfREPAnnette asks:

I am working on my website and want to include “Terms of Service”. I searched your site and see individual questions but no printed statement that would cover all of the situations. I could then tweak it to be my own. Do you or any of our fellow photographers have such a document.

Annette,

There isn’t a Terms Of Service (TOS) that works for everyone because the TOS is where you document all the details of how you provide your services. So your TOS should address all these subjects:

Continue Reading »