Which Drone Should I Buy To Shoot Real Estate Property Video?

January 21st, 2016

DJIPhantom3Manuel In New Jersey says:

I want to buy a drone for real estate, my question is if you know what are the minimum requirements or if you know any web page or any tutorial.

Here is my take on this question along with some real estate drone resources: Continue Reading »

Resources For Getting Started In Real Estate Property Video

January 20th, 2016

Robert is looking for some resources for getting started in real estate video. He says:

I’m chopping at the bit to learn more on video and how to use it for real estate. I need baby steps and Adobe Elements is too intimidating for me. In addition to performing simple cuts, jump cuts, blends, text overlays, I’d like to get into time-lapse too. I run a Windows machine with plenty of processing power, so my hardware is up to the challenge. I’ve got some DSLR equipment that should do the trick, but I just need some software for it. Any info you could share would be great! Also, where the best source was to grab royalty free music?

For video editing software Allan Mackenzie in his PFRE post from a number of years ago suggests that Premiere Elements (Win/Mac) or iMovie (comes on Macs) are a good video editing applications to start with and then move up to Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro (Mac) as your skills and needs increase. Continue Reading »

Tourbuzz.net – An Easy Way To Provide Tours For Real Estate Photography Clients

January 19th, 2016

TourBuzzDave in Toronto asks:

I’m a Real Estate Photographer in Toronto and I’ve been looking for another source for making websites (tours) for my client’s listings.  At the moment, I’m using Rapidweaver.  It does the job but I’m looking for something easier.  Do you have any suggestions?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I use TourBuzz.net and I believe that it is the best tour hosting company available for independent real estate photographers. This is coming from someone who has made their own tours for years, tried almost everything out there and participated in founding a tour hosting company.

Here are some of my favorite features of TourBuzz: Continue Reading »

How To Connect Small Flashes To Tripods And Light Stands

January 18th, 2016

JustinClampWaldo recently asked:

…I generally do what the “Lighting for Interiors” guy does and it has taken a long time for me to even begin to get comfortable withe technique – a long learning curve as you put it.

I had been mounting the camera and my main flash on an L bracket and then mounting the bracket to the tripod. An electronic trigger is on the cameras hot shoe and it controls all the flashes including the one on the bracket. The bracket made by Quantum has a detachable handle to which the flash is mounted. This allows me to hold the light in different positions if required. But most of the time the light stays on the bracket. This bracket is just worn out from continuous use and quantum doesn’t make them any more. I’ve been looking for another bracket which is sturdy enough hold the light and be steady on the tripod or lightstand. … I wonder if you might have any recommendations. At this point I don’t care if the flash is easily detachable, I just want it to be off-camera and steady on the tripod.

Continue Reading »

How I Use @PFREblog Twitter Stream On The Right Side-bar

January 17th, 2016

TweetStreamReaders frequently send me links to interesting articles around the net related to real estate photography that would be nice to quickly and easily share with the PFRE community. Much of the time these links don’t warrant a complete blog post but some time ago I realized that a great way to share these links was to Tweet the link in the form of the title of the article followed by a link. But for PFRE blog readers to be able to see these links, I needed a widget that would display the @PFREblog Twitter stream on the blog. After struggling to find a good WordPress Twitter Stream widget to display the @PFREblog Twitter stream on the blog I recently I discovered the one that I’m now using on the right sidebar. It has the minor problem that it wants to display wider than the sidebar. But that doesn’t seem to be a show stopper problem on the devices I’ve checked it. At first, it looks a little strange on iPads but you can easily adjust the screen to fill the screen or not. Continue Reading »

Still Contest Closed, Video Contest Open, Changes In Video Contest Submittal

January 15th, 2016

ContestsToday (Jan 15) the PFRE still contest  closes and the PFRE video contest opens.

And most significantly, the submission process for the PFRE video contest (contest rules) have changed.

New Process For Submitting a Video Entries:

  1. Join the PFRE Video Flickr group. You have to signup for a Yahoo account/email to join Flickr because Yahoo owns Flickr.
  2. Upload your video or a still from the video and a link to the video in the description field.
  3. For the purpose of identity and communications, video entrants must have their full name, location, e-mail address and website URL in their profile. This is so I can identify and contact the winner. Entrants that don’t have these items in the Flickr profiles they use to submit entries will be deleted before voting.
  4. The video contest Flickr group will only be open for posting videos from the 15th through the 23rd of the month.

Yes, I know, this process makes it so the entrants are not anonymous but most all the videos are branded anyway so this isn’t that big a change. This change in process makes it a lot easier for me to manage the contest.

Help Create A PFRE Trusted Post-Processing Vendor List

January 14th, 2016

filesharingThis week I’ve had discussions with Andre in Toronto and Anil in Dehli about creating a list of recommended post-processing vendors. Anil said, “I suggest adding a list of trusted overseas real estate photo retouchers on your website“.

For years, I’ve been resisting the whole subject of outsourcing because I don’t do it and there are many vocal PFRE readers that make a case that you can live without it. At the same time, there is a growing group of successful readers that choose to outsource at least some of their post as they become more successful and do a high volume of work and need help. There is also, a growing number of readers that do post for others. As long-time readers will recall, I’ have a mixed record at choosing trusted photo retouchers so I’ve set up a scheme where you can help me. Continue Reading »

Losing Control of your Copyrights on Social Media

January 13th, 2016


This is a guest post by Joel Rothman of Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group, PLLC.

It seems innocent enough. Your interior designer client has posted one of your beautiful photographs of her latest installation to her Instagram account. The photo highlights your client’s design of an expansive living room with vaulted ceiling and massive stone fireplace.

Occupying the lower right corner of the frame is a demure crimson love seat by high-end furniture designer Donghia. The viewer almost does not notice the love seat, it is so unobtrusive. But, in a nod to its source, your designer client has “tagged” her Instagram post with #donghia.

A few months pass and you receive an excited call from your client. Her design has been chosen for an Architectural Digest feature! Of course, that is great news for you too! Soon the phone rings and an assistant art director from A.D. agrees to pay you a generous fee in exchange for an exclusive license for your photographs.

Life is good, you think. But wait, there’s more. Continue Reading »

Updated Photo Posting Rules For The PFRE Flickr Group

January 12th, 2016

As a result, of the discussions and polls on the subject of photo posting rules for the PFRE ( discussion thread in the group and the post here on the blog) I’ve updated the photo posting rules.

By update, I mean that I’ve just added some text to rule #3 and rule #5. Below is the text of the new rules. with the text that I’ve added in red.

Notes On Enforcement:

  • We won’t delete images posted to the group that don’t comply with rule #3. In cases where there is no information about how the image was created we’ll just remind the poster of rule #3
  • Even though rule #5 says “no advertising in this group” photos won’t be deleted because they have a link to the posters website although moderators may delete blatant cases at their discretion.

Continue Reading »

Effective Social Communication for Real Estate Photographers

January 11th, 2016

This is a guest post by Suzanne Feinberg.

I wanted to pass along some valuable information regarding LinkedIn as it relates to best business practices. When your page and profile are designed to attract attention; when you use posts to convey important information (regular or sponsored posts); when you belong to groups that improve your technical or business skills; and when you belong to groups that your potential clients belong to – you can create an engine that drives your business with relatively little effort each week.

A professional LinkedIn network can become a real estate photography sales engine if nurtured properly.  Unfortunately, many real estate photography professionals have not taken the time to grow their network effectively. Continue Reading »

Who Owns The Photos Shot By A Non-employee Contract Photographer?

January 10th, 2016

WhoOwnsThePhotosGavin recently posed the following question:

I worked for a RE Photography business for a year and then bought it outright. Business is going well but I have a question about stock images. We have an extensive stock library from before my time. I understand the Photographer owns the images but does the business also retain full rights? I believe the photographers were 1099 contracted or 1 might even have been an employee. Do I the business still have the right to sell these images?

My plan is to sell limited use packages as an add-on to RE customers when they order a shoot, but also sell individual images at a higher price for unlimited use (useful for agents who sell many homes in the same community).

I know I didn’t sign any work for hire agreements with the company so doubt the others did.

Continue Reading »

Should We Require Better Lighting Descriptions Photos Posted To The PFRE Flickr Group?

January 8th, 2016

PFREFlickrGroupThere’s a discussion in the PFRE Flickr group going on about requiring better lighting descriptions on photos posted to the PFRE Flickr group.

The current PFRE group posting rule language is:

Please give photo setup, background information and lighting info in the photo comments to facilitate feedback and education.

Tony Colangelo has suggested that we expand the current language above to encourage posters to include the following 5 points that he currently uses when posting photos to the group: Continue Reading »

How Do You Deal With Mixed Color Temperatures In Interiors Photography?

January 7th, 2016

John wants to know:

How others fix white balance issues on white ceilings. Color casting from adjacent walls, interior lights of varied temperatures and some sunlight all make for a challenging fix. I have been adjusting by using local adjustments brush on the ceilings and using WB tool, a little desaturation and increasing brightness. Wondering if there are other techniques out there.

There are several approaches to fixing the color problems arise from mixed temperature light sources that are common when shooting interiors: Continue Reading »

Beware Of The Licensing Agreements Provided To Realtors By NAR

January 6th, 2016

copyrightDerek in NYC pointed out the following:

I recently watched a video on Realtor.org about “Listing Photo Copyright Issues”

In it, they present 3 types of agreements for realtors to use as templates when hiring photographers (all available for download)

The first is a “Work for Hire” which I know few RE Photographers would agree to as it transfers ownership AND all rights to the realtor.

The second is an “Assignment Agreement”, again – transferring title and ALL rights to the realtor

The third, however – while a more ideal agreement type “Exclusive License Agreement”, but the reason for my email is they have included the below language:
“Photographer hereby grants to Brokerage an exclusive worldwide royalty-free license in perpetuity to reproduce, distribute, display, prepare derivate works of, and publicly perform the Images in connection with the real estate industry, including without limitation such uses of the Images in connection with advertising real property and to authorize and sublicense such rights to third parties at Brokerage’s discretion.

Continue Reading »

How Much Work Do Real Estate Photographers Do For Stagers, Designers and Builders?

January 5th, 2016

ArchetectureDave in New York asks:

I am wondering how much work real estate photographers do for businesses such as home stagers, interior designers, builders, remodelers, etc. And how that is different from basic real estate photography.

1- From a photography standpoint: I assume there would be many of the same concerns as with real estate photography. In addition, I assume you’d need to deliver product close-ups (in a kitchen or bath remodel, for example) and well composed vignettes (for a home stager, for example). What other differences are there? Is a wide angle lens generally the best choice or is lens choice more situational?

2- On the business side: I assume the license would be for a longer (and clearly dated) term and that the value (and therefore cost) would be greater. How do you determine the value of (and how much to charge for) a license for home stagers, interior designers, builders, remodelers, etc.?

Continue Reading »