RSS Feed Photography For Real Estate

Can Previous Listing Agents or Homeowners Control the Use of Your Real Estate Photos?

January 16th, 2017

Jim in New Mexico asks the following question:

I recently shot a home for a new broker who just got the listing. Since I photographed the same home 1 year ago for another broker and the previous seller, I felt compelled to use some of the previous summer season shots of the yards. All interior shots were new. I received an email from the old broker telling me the old seller is demanding I immediately take down the photos because 1. they are hers; 2. the pics contain their outdoor furniture and art; 3. it is false advertising.
I am really concerned about number 2: the fact that the photos contain the old sellers property (nothing valuable) and using them for the new MLS listing. Am I in the right to use them for the new agent with the old sellers stuff?

First, this situation suggests that you need to be explaining photo licensing better to your clients. That is, your clients need to understand that photos are not theirs. You own the rights to the photos and you simply license them to use the photos for marketing for the duration of their listing.

I’m not an attorney and I don’t give legal advice but you are probably completely legal reusing the summer photos as you’ve done. The previous listing agreement and your agreement with the previous listing agent gave you permission to shoot their lawn furniture and you own the copyright. But it’s not worth the time, energy, or money to legally prove you are RIGHT. Better to retain good relations with clients.

I would take down the photos so the previous seller is not upset and move on. But I would explain your photo licensing agreement to the previous client. You do have a photo licensing agreement, don’t you?

Here is a Targeted Approach to Email Marketing That Works For Real Estate Photographers

January 15th, 2017

Here is a focused approach to email marketing that one reader reports a 25% success rate with. Usually, email marketing tends to not be very focused. That is, you perhaps send emails to a thousand agents in your local area once every few months. The more focused and targeted your emails are the more effective they will be.

Here is the targeting process that this reader uses: Continue Reading »

Will the Latest Gear Improve Your Real Estate Photography?

January 13th, 2017

Diana recently asked me if she needed to upgrade to the new Canon 5DMark IV or the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III:

I was wondering if there was any benefit to the different Canon EF 16-35mm Lens. I use the f/4L now, but I was just wondering if there was any benefit in upgrading to the 2.8L III.

Also, I am considering the new Canon 5D Mark IV. Has anybody noticed how much of an improvement that one is for picture quality vs. the Canon 5D Mark III for real estate purposes.

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A Real Estate Photography Marketing Success Story

January 12th, 2017

There’s always a lot to be learned from studying real estate photography success stories. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a success story but recently I ran across one that is worth passing on. Remember, this is one person’s approach in one location. There is no one way to build a successful business.

Here is the background of the real estate photographer that this post is about:

  1. Location: The location is the Seattle area. Note that the Seattle real estate market has been very good for several years. This probably plays some part in the success story.
  2. Time in business: This person has been building their real estate photography business for the last two years (2015 and 2016).
  3. Previous experience: Extensive background in auto sales.
  4. Net income in 2016: As of the end of 2016 this photographer is netting $80,000/year.

Here is the marketing approach in the form of a list: Continue Reading »

Which Interiors Photographic Approach is For You? LR/Enfuse Or Small Manual Flash?

January 11th, 2017

Fred in FL asks:

So the big question: I know that you’re high on both Scott Hargis’s and Simon Maxwell’s work. But they have totally different approaches to interior real estate photography. Scott is all about the lighting, whereas Simon is all about using LR/Enfuse to do the heavy lifting and then a little light. So what’s the deal?

Continue Reading »

Marketing Yourself As A FAA Registered Insured Drone Operator

January 10th, 2017

Patrick in Texas asked:

I have passed my knowledge test to be a remote pilot but I am not finding a lot in the form of logos/credentials for the certification from the FAA to market with. I mean, I am happy to have it but I really want Realtors to know that up front. Have you seen what anybody else is doing?

Yes, you are right being legal and insured is a big deal! There are probably people out there flying without the certification you have. Don’t depend on the FAA for your marketing materials! Put it out there that you are FAA Part 107 certified to fly commercial drones and that you are insured (if you are). I’m sure Realtors will respect that and are looking for legal drone operators! It’s up to you to use it in your marketing. I see many real estate photographers promoting the fact that they are legal FAA certified drone operators.

What are others doing to promote the fact that you are FAA certified?

Update: As Jason Jones points out below you can check to see if someone is certified at this FAA site.

About The Requirement That You Have a Website to Comment On The PFRE Blog

January 9th, 2017

Stuart made the following comment about the requirement for PFRE blog commenters to identify themselves with a website URL:

In response to you saying that you are looking for suggestions. your introduction says, in part ” My primary goal for the blog is to help people get started ….” In order for novices to participate in discussions, you require that we have a website? For those of us starting out, that requirement prohibits us for taking part in the blog, we can only be bystanders. A website is the last thing that beginners would consider as our money is spent on equipment, and the quality of work does not justify a website. I wish you could make a website optional and not a requirement.

Continue Reading »

Why Point-and-Shoot Cameras and Smartphones Don’t Work Well For Interior Photos

January 8th, 2017

John in San Francisco who documents interiors as an expert witness and construction defect inspector asks the following:

I’m Looking for a camera setup to take sharp interior house photos for construction defect and expert witness use. I basically shoot the notable points in detail and then generally, quickly shoot the entirety of the property. I’ll walk through and shoot 150 to 300 shots in an hour or two. Under houses, dusty environments, and in attics, as well. I am currently shooting a Fuji F900EXR. My biggest complaint is that the Fuji images are out of focus 10% of the time and the detail level is way below what I need due to low light graininess or underpowered camera mounted flash. These are not meticulously setup tripod cover photos, rather a way that I can go back through the property and revisit details photos for reports. The photo to the right is an example taken with my Fuji F900EXR.

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What PFRE Blog Improvements Would Readers Like To See In 2017

January 6th, 2017

It’s time to be thinking about goals for 2017. From time to time I get valuable input from readers on what I should be doing to improve the PFRE blog. Here are some things on my list for 2017:

  1. Make the PFRE blog mobile friendly: This is a top priority. Scott and Wayne told me clearly recently that I should be “eating my own dog food” and getting the blog mobile friendly!
  2. Look at alternatives for Flickr to run the monthly contests: Yahoo and Flickr may be in financial peril so I’ve been looking at alternatives for some time. I’ve had more than one reader confused by Flickr. Cristi, my WordPress mechanic has suggested some plugins that could integrate the contests into the blog better.
  3. Do things to engage and attract more experienced real estate photographers: My primary goal for the blog is to help people get started and be successful in real estate photography. This may naturally result in some people drifting away as they become more experienced. At the same time, there are many very experienced people who regularly contribute and provide a great diversity of opinion. While several people have brought this issue up, I’m not sure it’s an issue that I need to focus on. What do you think?

I’d be interested in reader input on what needs to be improved here on the PFRE blog and what things you like. Don’t be shy, I have a thick skin.


How Do Real Estate Photographers Carry a Tablet Around?

January 5th, 2017

Daniel in Ohio asks:

Any suggestions for carrying a tablet around? A lot of photographers, including me, use the cam ranger, and it can be a pain to always have it under my arm (the most convenient spot to carry it for me). I use a Samsung Tab A, but maybe you have some good ideas that would work for any tablet?

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Both PFRE Monthly Contests Are Now Open

January 5th, 2017

Just a reminder that both PFRE monthly contests are now open:

What If It’s Too Windy To Put Lights Outside Like Scott Hargis Does in His Videos?

January 4th, 2017

Ron in Northern CA asks:

I’ve been watching Scott Hargis videos on shooting real estate and I am in the process of getting flashes to light my shots instead of continuing to use LR HDR. He often shows placing a flash outside with an umbrella to give good light. But he says nothing about what he does if it’s a windy day. We seem to have a lot of windy days where I live so I’m curious on solutions for this.

Continue Reading »

Two Day Real Estate Photography Workshop – Jan 27 & Sat Jan 28, Stafford, VA

January 3rd, 2017

Cindy James and Danny, who is on Cindy’s real estate photography team, are offering a two-day real estate photography workshop. One day business and one day off camera flash and Lightroom. The workshop is on Jan 27 & Sat Jan 28 in Stafford, VA. Here is Cindy’s workshop website for more details and signup. Continue Reading »

How Is Shooting A Bat Mitzvah Different Than Shooting Real Estate?

January 2nd, 2017

Chip who is a real estate photographer in NH asks:

I know this is not the forum, but I have no one else to ask. I was asked to shoot a Bat Mitzvah next year. I quoted $350 based on the time, and the mother said I should look around because I was way underpriced. So there will be 2 hours for the ceremony shoot, and 4 hours for the reception shoot and I would guess a couple hours for post-processing.

Continue Reading »

Congratulations to Matt Van Emmerik 2016 PFRE Videographer of The Year

December 31st, 2016

MattVanEmmerikJun2016Congratulations to Matt Van Emmerik, PFRE Videographer of the year for 2016. Contestants for Videographer of the year were the winners of the 2016 Videographer of the month. All 2016 Videographers of the month are shown here.

Below is the results of the PFRE video jury’s voting. This list shows everyone that received votes in order of the number of votes received:

  1. Matt Van Emmerik
  2. Hamish Beeston
  3. Rachel von Nordeck
  4. Anders Carlson
  5. Sharon & Lyndon Davey

Continue Reading »