April 16th, 2014
Manuel’s Question: I read Scott Hargis’s Lighting Interiors book and it’s awesome, but I have one concern. Why does he never mention white balance?
Answer: Shoot in RAW, set your WB on auto and then touch it up as needed in Lightroom or Photoshop. Also, you’ll find that when using flash, the flash will tend to dominate the WB. I shoot with WB on Auto and very rarely have to change the WB in Lightroom.
Greg’s Question: I’m really confused on how this whole Virtual Tour thing works from the Realtor’s perspective. I understand how to make a basic slideshow in Lightroom, but how is that then given to the Agent? Then what do they do with it from there?
Answer: You can use Lightroom slideshow for tours but I don’t recommend it. If you are going to provide tours (which not all real estate photographers do) I recommend you use www.tourbuzz.net tours. They are inexpensive and allow you to do much more than you can with a simple Lightroom slideshow. In some areas you need to provide a tour with your shoot to compete against the big tour companies. A tour is just a link to a webpage that has the photos/video/360s/agent branding etc. Many agents put a link to the tour on their for sale sign, their flyer, their website and even their MLS. Many MLSs don’t allow branded tour (tours with the agents contact info) so tours are branded and unbranded. Agents want a branded tour to use everywhere but their MLS.
Craig’s Question: My business is booming and I’m getting to the point I can’t handle the number of shoots I have. If I were to add an employee, contract employee or partner what’s the best way of expanding?
Answer: I’m certainly no expert in this area. Since the real estate photography business is seasonal in my guess is the easiest approach may be to find someone that would be a contractor and send them your overflow business as needed during your peak periods and have no commitment to pay a yearly salary.
Taking on a regular employee is more difficult because you have to handle the payroll accounting and make sure you are complying with state and federal legal requirements. As a real estate agent it was easy to hire an assistant because the main broker handled all the accounting and legal issues involved.
What recommendations do readers have that have expanded beyond a single person operation?