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Are the Big Companies Taking Over in Real Estate Photography?

July 30th, 2017

Kathy in the Baltimore area asks the following question:

I am looking into manning a booth at our local realtors EXPO.  I am wanting to get ideas from others that may have already done something like this as to how to jazz up a booth to get people to come to you, and if a booth is a good idea for marketing your services.  Any ideas and info would be greatly appreciated.

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Who Do You Recommend as a Voice Over Artist?

July 28th, 2017

Ken in Georgia asks:

Many of my clients don’t want to be on camera in real estate property videos and they hate doing voice overs for their property videos. Can you recommend a good voice over artist that can do sound tracks for my property videos?

The video above is a video that Malia Campbell shot for me when we sold a rental property in the Seattle area. Malia used Jamie Hill as a voice over artist for this video. I think Jamie does an awesome job. Her website is voicesbyjamiehill.com. She is very easy to work with!

Who do you recommend as a voice over artist?

Are 3D Virtual Reality Tours Practical for Real Estate?

July 27th, 2017

Dave in California says:

Realtourvision.com (RTV) is now into offering 3D Virtual Reality Tours. I bought approx. $450 worth of software to do the same thing called 3D Vista before I did a survey of approximately 25 agents. None of them would purchase the tours based on not wanting to subject their clients to wearing headsets, the cost of headsets, or taking them to their office to view them. Sanitary concerns were also brought up about wearing the headset. They did not want to mail a cheap or otherwise headsets to out of town clients and links to these 3d tours.

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Making Slideshows of All the Listings You Shoot

July 26th, 2017

Patrick in Texas says:

I am feeling like I’m not taking advantage of all the listings I am shooting. I want an automated way of building a gallery and putting it up on my website so I can refer to it, build meta data, and link to it as needed. Is there a discussion on this? I could certainly do it through Lightroom, but I am sure there is a better and easier way.

I don’t believe we’ve discussed this specific subject before.

The two classic ways of doing this are:

  1. Using Lightroom or one of the many other products that let you create HTML5 slideshows for your website. Using Lightroom is probably the most automatic approach.
  2. Doing inexpensive tours for all your shoots. For example, TourBuzz.net costs $12/tour.

Which you choose depends on how you are going to use the gallery and if you can find a gallery style that you like. I did my own galleries for years and ended up using Tourbuzz.net because I like the styles and they have many other great features. I find the gallery styles you can create with Lightroom lacking.

Tips for Shooting a Log House Great Room

July 25th, 2017

Brad in Idaho says:

I would love some specific advice on one room of a house. It’s a gigantic “great room” and very very dark. There is also a large emphasis on the view. I shot it last year before I knew how to use multiple flashes and was still doing HDR. I was very disappointed and it has bugged me ever since. The house is for sale again and I am lucky enough to get another chance.

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Will Increased ISO Make Your Images Sharper?

July 24th, 2017

Waldo in South Carolina says:

Am I crazy or does shooting with a higher ISO result in sharper looking photos? I accidentally shot a house at ISO 640 instead of my usual 400 and I was surprised how good the photos looked. What causes this? I would have thought effect on sharpness would have been just the opposite.

Increasing ISO can allow you to shoot at a higher shutter speed or a smaller aperture either of which could make for a sharper image. If you are shooting on a solid tripod the higher shutter speed shouldn’t make a difference but shooting with smaller aperture could be what you are seeing. Without knowing more details it’s hard to tell exactly what is happening.

Traditionally, a higher ISO means grainer images but with today’s DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, you can still get very good results at a high ISOs so don’t be afraid to boost your ISO when needed.

Congratulations Michael Lefebvre – July PFRE Photographer of the Month

July 23rd, 2017

Congratulations to Mike Lefebvre of Sherborn, MA whom the jury voted the PFRE Photographer of the Month for July! This is Mike’s first win!

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

  1. Michael Lefebvre
  2. Wade Steelman
  3. Peggy Parr Wright
  4. Julie Legge
  5. Garey Gomez
  6. Matthew Stallone
  7. Andrew Pece

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What Are the Recommended Photo Delivery Methods for Real Estate Photographers?

July 21st, 2017

DeliveryBill in Northern Virginia recently asked the question:

I have been experiencing some issues in sending clients their photos and videos. What are some recommended photo delivery services to use?

First of all, I would not send video files to Realtors. Most Realtors won’t have a clue what to do with a large video file. Host the video some place like YouTube, Vimeo or iPlayerHD and then send your client a link to the hosted video. Continue Reading »

What Virtual Staging Services Do Real Estate Photographers Use?

July 20th, 2017

Jack in Florida asks:

Do many real estate photographers get requests to virtually stage vacant homes? If so, what do they use – virtual staging services, special software or Photoshop?

Virtual staging requires an extensive library of 3D furniture and a lot of Photoshop skill. While some do virtual staging themselves, most have a virtual staging service do the work. Continue Reading »

Real Estate Photographers Should Be Very Careful about Signing Non-Compete Agreements

July 19th, 2017

Just a few weeks ago, a beginning real estate photographer told me he planned to work for a local company to learn the business and get some training.

On the surface, this seems to make perfect sense. The part that most people don’t seem to understand is that real estate photography companies hiring photographers are very sensitive about the photographer quitting and becoming a competitor. So most will want you to sign an agreement where you agree that you won’t compete with them (a non-compete agreement) in the future. Continue Reading »

Real Estate Photography Workshop Aug 25th & 26th Stafford, Virginia

July 18th, 2017

Cindy James and Danny Green are having their 5th workshop on Fri/Sat, August 25 & 26th. Click here for complete details and signup.

There is an outline of what we will cover, our backgrounds and each of our websites. Danny is a Top 20 Real Estate Photographer in Washington DC, and Cindy runs a very successful real estate photography business with a team.

 

How Do You Light and Photograph a Large Interior Space?

July 18th, 2017

Luciana in Iowa asked:

I have been asked to photograph the interior of a commercial property. I went there in advance to see how I would set up my lighting, but honestly I’m having a hard time coming up with a plan. It is a gym with huge open spaces and very high ceilings. I thought maybe using HDR would be a better way to go however, some of the shots will need to include people working out. Any suggestions?

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What Training Do You Recommend for FAA Part 107 Registration?

July 17th, 2017

Randy in Iowa asks:

A real estate company I do a lot of photography for has purchased a drone and would like for me to use it to take arial photos. I’ve been practicing and doing pretty well with it, to the point that I’m ready to get it into service. So, I need to get my license. What do you recommend as training to get my FAA part 107 registration?

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How to Retouch Interiors in Photoshop

July 16th, 2017

Alex in Florida says:

I wanted to share this video from PHLEARN on how to remove distractions from your image in Photoshop (cables, and whatever). He does this example on an interior shot, so it should serve as a good lesson to people who don’t know how to do this.

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PFRE Blog Recommended Real Estate Photography Gear

July 14th, 2017

Lisa in South Carolina asks:

I am a real estate agent with no professional photography training. I like to take my own listing photos, and have been using a Nikon D40 with the 18-35 lens that came with it. For a while now, my camera has been leaving spots on my pictures, which take a while to edit out. I live in a small town with no places to have the camera cleaned. So, I want to buy a newer camera and possibly a wide angle lens, hoping my photos will appear more professionally done. I have spent hours on sites such as this, trying to decide which camera to buy, and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed.

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