Archive for the 'Legal' Category

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 […]

Do Real Estate Photographers Need to Ask For Permission to Use Listing Photo For Their Own Marketing?

October 17th, 2016

Summer in California asks: Do I need to ask permission from the realtor, or homeowner to use the photos I take of their listing for my own marketing (website, social media, mailers, etc.)?

Copyright Registration Workflow For Real Estate Photographers

October 11th, 2016

I got a question from Brandon on copyright workflow: I can’t find anything definitive in either the Flickr group or on the website/blog. Is there a general consensus (or at least a fairly reliable source) on the current exact recommended procedure for “bulk-registering” image copyrights? For example, registering four times per year as groups of […]

What are the rules of selling a license to images with posters or art on the walls homes?

September 26th, 2016

Brian asked the following question: Recently, I was shooting a property that was being relisted. The homeowner had lots of images of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley on the walls of a 2nd-floor loft/pool table area. And this dawned on me; What are the rules of selling a license to images with posters or art […]

Licensed Agent/Photographers May Not Be Able To Retain Photo Copyrights For Their Listing Photos

September 22nd, 2016

Alexander Stross who is a licensed agent in Austin, TX and a photographer sent me a link to Venkat Balasubramani’s article over at  describing a suit that Alexander filed against Redfin. The 5th circuit court recently ruled against Alexander. The essence of the case is as follows: Stross is a photographer and broker who participates […]

What To Charge For Neighborhood Photos For Real Estate Use

September 18th, 2016

Brad in Idaho asks: I live in a resort town and have a couple clients that would like to use my touristy (non-real estate) photos on their listings and websites. I have a lot of questions and I’m not sure how to go about charging them. Do I charge a per listing fee? Is $25-50 […]

Are Real Estate Photographers Open To Risk Of Liability From Privacy or Security Issues?

September 8th, 2016

Jonathan asked the following question: I just got off the phone with a potential client whom after nit-picking my service agreement brought up a point that made me wonder if I’m missing an important indemnification point in my contract: She told me that her new listing agreements state that there may be “residual exposure” After […]

Can I Relicense A Photo? Do I Need A Property Release?

July 26th, 2016

Nicola (on the West Coast of the US) asked the following: I was hired by a local newspaper to photograph a real estate piece for a high profile house sale that used to belong to a celebrity politician in the old days but was owned and redone by another owner. The house looked completely different […]

Update On The CoreLogic Class Action Suit

July 12th, 2016

Today Joel Rothman sent me the following status update on the CoreLogic Class Action suit we’ve been following for the last 2 years: On behalf of plaintiffs Robert Stevens and Steven Vandel, we are disappointed at the decision of the District Court for the Southern District of California dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint against CoreLogic for removal […]

Are There Photographers Rights Violations Going On Here?

June 20th, 2016

Thomas 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. […]

Do Real Estate and Architectural Photographers Need their own Association?

June 12th, 2016

The following is reposted from Joel Rothman’s site 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 […]

Are You Confused About US Drone Regulations?

June 6th, 2016

Jack recently asked: I am confused about the rules and regulations about flying a drone for aerial photography. If a person is a license commercial pilot can they fly a drone for commercial/real estate photography purposes? Or are they required to be certified by the FAA? Real Estate agents in this area are very leery […]

Why Is Image Theft So Common In Real Estate?

May 19th, 2016

I recently talked to Nadia Reckmann, over at, which is a site that helps photographers find and fight image theft. Nadia was working on an article on why image theft is so common in real estate. She just finished the article and I think it is worth reading for real estate photographers. She says:

NAR Makes Changes to its MLS Policy that are Good for Real Estate Photographers

May 18th, 2016

Yesterday Joel Rothman pointed out to me that the National Association of Realtors has recently made some important revisions to its Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy that is intended to clarify the NAR’s MLS policies to highlight the importance of licensing. Here is Joel’s full explanation. This is a great follow-up subject to yesterday’s post about […]

Should You Ever release Your Photo Rights To Your Client?

May 17th, 2016

Randall poses the following question: I just received an email from a new client I did a shoot for. They asked me to sign a release that would release my copyright to them. My terms of service on my invoice says the Realtor is granted a usage license to use the images in any manner they choose as […]