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Is The New Canon 5DMkIV for You?

August 29th, 2016

Canon5DMKIVNormally I don’t do posts on camera gear unless there some feature that is important for real estate photography. But I decided that need to bring up the new generation of Canon 5D’s that was announced last Thursday (August 25). Not that the 5DMkIV has any features that make it super significant for real estate or interior photography; it’s just that from polls we’ve done about 25% of PFRE readers use a 5DMkII, 5DMkIII or 6D (the target audience for the 5DMkIV). At the same time, there are many real estate photographers and videographers moving away from the Canon 5D line of gear. All the more reason to carefully analyze this body compared to the alternatives.

There is a huge amount of coverage going on now in the photographic online world about this new body and the new lenses announced with it. I ran across this unusually in-depth video review by Tony Northrup of the 5DMkIV and how it compares to the other alternatives available today. I think Tony does a remarkably good job of putting the new features in perspective. It’s long (close to 35 minutes) but I think it’s something to watch if you are even thinking about a 5DMkIV.

I have a 5DMkII that’s getting long in the tooth, so I’m in that target audience. I could make a case for upgrading to the 5DMkIV but there is a lot I like about Sony too. After you use a body for 8 years it’s hard to give up an old friend. My guess there are others that feel as conflicted about this as I do.

Update: A great question was raised, “Can the 5DMkIV do more than three brackets?” The answer is: yes, according to the Auto Exposure bracketing on the 5DMkIV is +/-3 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV) which is the same as the Canon 5DMkIII and 6D but significantly better than the 5DMkII which is +/-2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV).

The FAA is Ready For You To Get Your Part 107 Registration

August 28th, 2016

Part107The new Small UAS (Drone) Rule (Part 107), including all pilot and operating rules, become effective today (Monday, August 29, 2016). Here’s the FAA’s official announcement.

Here is the FAA’s page that explains how to become a registered FAA drone pilot. It has links to suggested study materials.

They have a link to a list of testing centers. Continue Reading »

Using Video For Property Marketing

August 25th, 2016

VideoMarketingJack in Florida asks:

I am thinking of adding videos to the services we provide for real estate agents. I am curious of how much in demand videos are elsewhere and how they would be incorporated in virtual tours. Would it be best to take a short video of the exterior features and then only shoot the highlights of the interior to show the flow? We would then provide stills of the exterior and interior as we currently do. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Continue Reading »

Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos – Updated List Of Sites

August 24th, 2016

Over the years I’ve made it a habit to occasionally pass along some of the sites that feature bad MLS photo. These sites are always good for a few laughs. In recent years the fascination with bad real estate photos has expanded. Now besides more sites, there is a book on Amazon on the subject and a twitter account dedicated to bad real estate photos.

Here is a new and improved list of bad real estate photo sites: Continue Reading »

Track Your Expenses And Understand If You Are Making Money

August 23rd, 2016

REphotoChallengesThere are beginning real estate photographers that don’t know what the lower limit is for what they can work for. $99/shoot may make sense in rural Iowa but it may not make sense for New York or Southern California.

Over the years I’ve talked to photographers are doing shoots for $30, $50 and $99. The cases where the photographers were making $30 and $50 a shoot were for large nationwide companies. So they didn’t have marketing expenses or post-processing expenses but still, everyone should keep track of their expenses and do the arithmetic or they could actually be losing money. Continue Reading »

Transitioning From A 9 to 5 Job To Full Time Real Estate Photography

August 22nd, 2016

ChangeMichael in Atlanta asked the following:

I’ve shot professionally 3-4 years ago (while in college) and have since taken the more traditional career route of a 9-5, however, as of late I’ve felt an overwhelming urge to go back to my roots. Photography is definitely a passion, but the lifestyle it affords is almost as, if not more, attractive.

My question revolves around the schedules that most real estate agents prefer – I’m ready to begin pitching listing agents, though I’m hesitant as I’m still currently employed for 40 hours per week. Have you found agents willing to schedule shoots on the weekends? I would like to have a longer “proof of concept” that this idea could work prior to leaving my secure job.

Do you have any advice for those making the transition from a traditional 9-5 to real estate photography?

Continue Reading »

Congratulations Aaron Kraft – August PFRE Photographer Of The Month

August 21st, 2016

2016AugustAaronKraftCongratulations to Aaron Kraft of Jackson, Wyoming who the jury as voted PFRE Photographer of the month for August 2016. Aaron’s stunning daylight exterior photo won by a huge margin!

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

  1. Aaron Kraft
  2. Tony Colangelo
  3. Barry MacKenzie – Photo deleted from the contest pool by entrant
  4. Caleb Vandermeer
  5. Gary Kasl
  6. Michael Lefebvre
  7. Ryan Wicks
  8. Nathan Philps
  9. Paula Cheese

Continue Reading »

What Is A Good Photography Portfolio Hosting Service?

August 18th, 2016

SquareSpaceGeoffrey says:

I purchased and read The Business of Real Estate Photography and Photography for Real Estate books. I would like to make a website with a slideshow of my portfolio on my home page.

Do you know any web hosting companies that automatically provide both HTML5 and Flash format for slideshows (for Apple, Windows, and Android devices)?

I would like to make a website that is an easy DIY type of website. Also, I’m looking a very low priced web hosting company. I live in the US.

Continue Reading »

How To Photograph Interiors With Challenging Problems?

August 17th, 2016

EnfuseLR6Kathy in Maryland asks:

Can you give me any pointers on photographing kitchens that have black cabinets and light or white countertops? I just photographed an empty townhouse, that had that and very light colored bamboo flooring open concept main level, yellowish tile and counters and black cabinets, with stainless steel appliances. I also find open concept style homes challenging too with my multiple lights. I tried an umbrella in this kitchen, but the darn umbrella just was getting in my way and reflecting in the stainless steel. I find these types of kitchens to be my biggest challenge. I follow Scott Hargis’s pointers a lot. But still struggling with this.

Continue Reading »

Update On Tyra Pacheco!

August 16th, 2016


Tyra Pacheco’s daughter Emma recently sent out the following update on Tyra’s condition. For those that don’t know Tyra see the June 17 post on Tyra’s accident:

It has been just over two months since Tyra’s terrible accident. After enduring countless operations and procedures, she is on the mend!

Continue Reading »

What Can A Real Estate Photographer Do If The Client Doesn’t Pay?

August 15th, 2016

3rdParyViolationA reader in New York asked the following:

What is the best way to make a formal complaint against a broker/agent that has tried to cheat me on the invoice. First time… so annoyed.

PFRE readers report that this kind of thing is a rather rare occurrence. Here are some actions you can take: Continue Reading »

Real Estate Photographers Make Sure You Are Not Using Adobe Flash ASAP

August 14th, 2016

Occupy-Flash-Logo-658x297About a year ago I described why you should make sure your website or tours don’t use Adobe Flash. I’m always amazed when I find a real estate photographer who is still using a product that uses Adobe Flash. Flash can’t be seen on any iPhone or iPad. Back in 2007 when this all started one could easily blow it off. Not anymore. Massive numbers of agents and home sellers use iPhones and iPads so using Adobe Flash in any way eliminates all these viewers. Continue Reading »

When Can Someone Call Themselves a Real Estate Photographer?

August 11th, 2016

TourVendorsHeather in Kentucky asked the following:

I have been working hard on applying the tips you gave me to make my photos better! I know I still have aways to go, but I can already see the improvement. Thanks! I was also wondering… when can someone call themselves a “real estate photographer”? Is there an association to apply for an join, or a degree to earn? Or can just anyone say “oh yeah, I’m a real estate photographer”? Even if they have no real experience or equipment?

Continue Reading »

What About Self Hosted Slide Shows?

August 10th, 2016

TourBuzzJohn in Texas asks:

I did a quick search on the PFRE blog and did not see any recent discussion about tools that can be used to create and host slideshows. Any suggestions?

The last post I did on real estate photographer hosted slide shows was here, back when SlideShoPro discontinued their product. Probably the best alternative for hosting your own simple slide shows is Juicebox. Continue Reading »

Ten Business Essentials For Real Estate Photographers

August 9th, 2016

It just dawned on me that for years I’ve had a ten essentials list for the technical aspects of real estate photography that I promote in my Photography For Real Estate book and the free PDF on What Real Estate Agents need to Know About Photography but I’ve never summarized the business things that we always talk about here on the PFRE blog in the same way. So here is the first step towards fixing that. My first cut at 10 business essentials for real estate photographers: Continue Reading »