April 2nd, 2014
I answer a lot of PFRE reader questions via email. I thought it may be useful to answer these questions publicly so more people can join in answering the questions. Answers from several thousand people are better than answers from just one person! Here are some recent reader questions:
Tom’s Question: I am new to this and was wondering if a light meter is needed or handy for setting up flashes and exposure?
Answer: The light meters built into modern DSLRs are adequate to deal with shooting real estate photography. It’s quite easy to setup flashes with a couple of trial and error shots and looking at the resulting LCD screen of your DSLR, also called “chimping.” This is not to say you couldn’t figure out a system of using an external light meter if you had one, but you don’t need one to do a good job of shooting interiors. For a good summary of how to do the whole process see this post by Scott Hargis.
Todd’s Question: I just read an article from Inman News regarding a new feature that Welcomemat has where you can pull still frames from videos. Do you see new ground being broken? Do you think photographers will embrace this and move to creating more video?
Answer: This is not new technology that is going to change anything because no competent interior photographer will be willing to simply pull a frame from a video and use it as a still. Here’s why:
- When shooting interiors, lighting is important. Professionals shooting stills use either flash lighting or shoot bracketed images and post process to get a bright well lit room.
- On the other hand when you are shooting property video you have to make lighting compromises like shooting at much higher ISOs than you would shoot a still and having to let the windows be brighter than you would allow when shooting a stills.
Jason’s Question: I have been asked to add a virtual staging to one of the properties I am going to shoot. Any chance of an article on virtual staging.
Answer: I’ve only ever talked to one real estate photographer that did virtual staging , and he’s since given it up. My sense is that a few people provide this service because it’s not a ragingly popular product. My guess the reason is that good listing agents are concerned about both what the property looks like on the web and how it shows when potential buyers get to the property. Virtual staging only deals with part of the problem. As an ex-listing agent I’d never use it! If you have a client that wants the service, they could send your finished photos to the virtual stager for virtual staging.