Gear for Getting Started in Real Estate Photography – by Rich Baum

December 29th, 2017

Do Real Estate Photographers Use Neutral Density and Polarizing Filters?

December 28th, 2017

Mark in Louisiana asks:

Do real estate photographers use neutral density (ND) and polarizing filters?

Yes, here’s how real estate photographers/videographers use these filters:

  1. Neutral density filters: Mostly used when shooting video to get the video frame rate where you want it. See this video tutorial for details.
  2. Polarizing filters: Used on exterior shots where the sun is out. In many cases, a polarizing filter gives an important improvement to colors and sky. Also, in some interior shots they can be used to reduce glare where the sun reflects off of shiny surfaces.

What Are Your Policies on the Classic Real Estate Photography Business Issues?

December 27th, 2017

Ray in North Carolina asks:

I have been shooting full time for 4 years this coming May. In the beginning, I would take any client with a pulse and would do almost whatever they asked without question. Now, having worked with a wide variety of clients, I am eager to steer my business toward the truly professional client.

Continue Reading »

When Is It Worthwhile to Use Google Advertising?

December 26th, 2017

Bill in Portland asks:

I would like to see a discussion on Google advertising. When I do a Google search, there are always a few new ads at the top of the list; some last quite a while and others go away soon. Maybe I’m just cheap, although the wife would argue. But is there that much benefit? I have always (for everything) dropped below the ad to start looking for whatever I am looking for. But I may just be the odd one.

Continue Reading »

Is It Legal to Use Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery on Real Estate Listings?

December 25th, 2017

Leroy in Alberta asked:

I started focusing on real estate photography this year and your site has been a very valuable resource! When I Googled this subject, I saw that some people referring to Google Earth Pro users being able to use images commercially, but sifting through the opinions on the online world to get to the facts is the key.

Continue Reading »

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the People at

December 24th, 2017 is a post-processing vendor in Vietnam and a PFRE advertiser.

What Are These Mysterious Lights in the Sky over Seattle?

December 22nd, 2017

shubumiLightsNote: This post has become a PFRE Christmas tradition. It has some good basic photography advice. Aaron Leitz and I both learned from this exercise!

I put my Christmas header photo up on the blog recently. This header image has an interesting historical story that goes with it. PFRE blog readers have been trying to explain the pattern of five lights (one red and four green) that are in the top center above the two tallest high rise buildings in downtown Seattle (click on the image to the right to see a larger image). I have posted this article almost every year since 2009. After many years of discussion, Aaron Leitz finally solved the mystery in 2014. Continue Reading »

Congratulations to Aaron Kraft–PFRE Photographer of the Year for 2017!

December 21st, 2017

Congratulations to Aaron Kraft, PFRE Photographer of the year for 2017! Contestants for Photographer of the Year were the winners of the photographer of the month.

Below is the result of the jury’s voting. The list shows all contestants that got votes in order of the number of votes received:

  1. Aaron Kraft
  2. Michael Lefebvre
  3. Gary Kasl
  4. Jenn Verrier
  5. Brian Doherty

Continue Reading »

What’s the Right Gear for Shooting Real Estate Video?

December 20th, 2017

Fer in Texas asks:

I’ve been trying to find a post to know what would be a good lens for Real Estate video. I was wondering if you have some information for a person who wants to get the right equipment for video without breaking the bank.

I currently use a Canon 80D and 10-18 mm Canon lens to shoot real estate still photos.

Continue Reading »

How to Find Vacation Rental Property Owners to Shoot Property Photos For?

December 19th, 2017

Don in Florida asks:

I shoot vacation rentals and was wondering about the ethics of using the “contact owner” option on for introducing my services to vacation rental owners. I wasn’t sure if this violated and agreements or was frowned upon. Do you have any suggestions for locating and contacting such clients?

Continue Reading »

Do You Sign Your Local MLS’s License Agreement?

December 18th, 2017

Travis in Central Washington says:

I am a real estate photographer in central Washington and was recently given NWMLS Form 13B to sign (Photographers License Agreement with NWMLS and its members).

In looking the document over, the biggest concern I have is in the license section, #2, where the NWMLS states: “Photographer grants NWMLS the full-paid, nonexclusive, perpetual and worldwide license and right to use and sublicense the photographs, which license shall include, among other things: the right to copy the whole or part of any photograph via and medium and by whatever means, including distortion, alteration, cropping, or manipulation of the whole or any part of the photograph; the right to create any derivative work of the photograph…”

Continue Reading »

Is There an Advantage to Having Tourbuzz Create a Slide Show of Your Still Images?

December 17th, 2017

Bert in Oregon asked:

Is there any advantage to paying Tourbuzz to push the tours out to your YouTube channel instead of just uploading them yourself?

First, I would warn that in general, putting the still images from your shoot into a YouTube slideshow is not visually the most effective way to present a property. A full-size Tourbuzz tour is far more effective visually. A YouTube slideshow is very effective from a marketing standpoint because YouTube is the second largest search engine. Just be clear about why you are using YouTube. Continue Reading »

How to Market Listing Agents When Their Office Won’t Give You Access to Agents?

December 15th, 2017

Brian in Joplin, MO says:

I recently moved from California to my hometown of Joplin, MO and I’m trying to restart my real estate photography business. There is literally one KW office with probably half of all real estate agents in this area. It is impossible to get past the front desk to speak with a listing agent, or broker, as they push joining the vendor program which has hurdles I can’t possibly meet, including being in business for at least 3 years, and a “national footprint.”

Continue Reading »

Integrated Online Management System for Real Estate Photographers

December 14th, 2017

Michael in NJ says:

I love your website. I’ve been doing virtual tours since 2004 and have built up an amazing group of talents over the years. The biggest problem I have is finding an integrated online solution that can handle order entry/scheduling/workflow

Continue Reading »

I Don’t Need No Stinken Gray Card!

December 13th, 2017

Recently, Brad in WI asked the following:

Does anyone use several grey cards in a room to get accurate color balance? There are plenty of tutorials on how to use a single grey card but they frequently have it placed near a window or tungsten light. Frequently, it’s near the edge of the frame which can influence color. Even twisting it one way or another can alter the white balance. If several were placed in a room at various locations, each could be on a separate layer and blended or painted out to ensure correct color in all areas of a room. Even an Expodisc varies depending on where it is placed in a room.

Continue Reading »