What To Do If You Find Someone Using Your Image On A Website Without Your Permission?

May 8th, 2016

DMCAPierre asks:

I have a question regarding the internet blog “Curbed”. They are using my photos regularly to write articles about the Los Angeles Real Estate Market. They comment on various listings that I shot getting their information and images from the MLS.
They have no way to know those are my photos because the MLS requires no watermarks, however, I am wondering how to go about informing them that I own those images and that at the very least I would like to be credited for the images.
There is a very straightforward process provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) called a DMCA takedown notice. Carolyn Wright of Photoattorney.com explains the process over at the nppa.org site. As Carolyn explains, your photo does not have to be registered to send a DMCA takedown notice.
By the way, Carolyn’s site is a great resource for photographers. She is an attorney that specializes in photographic issues. She has a couple of great Lynda.com classes on Photography and the Law.

What Is The Best Way For Real Estate Photographers Determine Their Pricing?

May 5th, 2016

150unitshootLarry on the Eastcoast asks:

I have the opportunity to photograph an entire hotel and conference center with large convention space, multiple meeting rooms, executive suites, hospitality suites, restaurants, private dining areas, outdoor reception areas, etc. Rooms range from approximately 100’x100′ to 28’x15′ and smaller. I need suggestions as to how to price this. I will need to come out there probably two or three times based on when they set up rooms for photography. I need to submit a proposal to my prospective client asap. I had done a nice job on this person’s luxury condo and now she’s asking me to do a much bigger job. I have Canon pro equipment, including 17-40mm, 24-105mm, 70-210mm and 300mm lenses, 5D Mark III, and 580 EX IIs. I usually post-edit using LR Enfuse. Any advice greatly appreciated.

We have discussed pricing a lot because it is an important subject and opinions on the subject are diverse. In recent discussions, many have advocated the approach of charging primarily based on the number of finished images you deliver. I’ve become a convert. I think the logic of charging based on the number of delivered photos is very compelling. I the case Larry describes above his price doesn’t have much to do with the square footage of the rooms or what kind of gear he uses. It has to do with what level of work he does and how many images he needs to deliver.

Scott Hargis made the case in the last discussion on this subject: “…You can charge any amount you like, but the basic formula would be that the more photos you deliver, the more money you make. Your clients are perfectly able to specify quantities in every other area of their lives – they know that every candy bar they buy, every gallon of gas, every dozen eggs, is a little “cha-ching” at the cashier. They even know that every kilowatt of electricity they use will be billed, even though hardly anyone really calculates their electric usage that carefully. They’ll be able to handle the notion of each photograph being worth a set dollar amount.”

Rosh Sillers over at Petapixel.com makes the same argument for charging by delivered image for photography in general. He has a very detailed approach of how to do this. Rosh makes the case that there are a number of different levels of photographers selling their work. Hobbyists, amateurs, students, semi-pros, professionals and top professionals.

So my advice to Larry is as follows:

  1. Establish what you charge per image based on your assessment of the level of work you do and historically what you have been charging. See Rosh Sillers article for some detailed suggestions on how to do this.
  2. Bid the shoot based on how many images your client wants you to deliver.
  3. Make sure unusual travel costs are covered.

I’m sure others will have advice for Larry.


What Can You Do To Defend Yourself Against Non-Compete Agreements?

May 4th, 2016

NonCompeteAgreementsBilly posed the following problem:

I work as a subcontractor but I’m asl working towards building my own business. This presents the problem that I’ve been trying to solve for a while. For example, as a subcontractor to one photography studio, my invoices are “[My Name] Photography” but I secretly have a separate trading name for my own business aspirations of which I’m trying to get client agencies of my own.

It makes my life really difficult because I have to keep my work a secret from my employer who I subcontract with which I’ve signed a non-compete agreement. I wish I could just operate without any secrets. I have my doubts about whether the non-compete agreement is legal.

I’d appreciate any suggestions on how to handle this situation. This situation is stressful!

I’ve talked to many others over the years that have this same issue. How do you transition into running your own business when your contract employer insists on signing a non-compete agreement. Continue Reading »

Brandon Cooper And Family Have Evacuated Fort McMurray and Are Safe

May 4th, 2016

I just got off the phone with Tony Colangelo who called me to let me know that Brandon Cooper in Fort McMurray, Alberta was able to get out of Fort McMurray safely with his family, camera gear and the clothes on their back last night.

For those of you, that haven’t heard the entire 80,000 plus population of Fort McMurray, Alberta has been ordered to evacuate the area because of a massive wildfire.

Brandon is still planning to attend Barry and Tony’s workshop in Scottsdale this weekend.

What Role Does Cloud Backup Have In Backing Up Your Photos?

May 3rd, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALee in Washington asks about Amazon Web Services S3:

I began looking at the Amazon Web Services S3 product.  However, the maze of individual pricing elements is daunting, so it’s difficult to just get a simple, quick answer to the question:  “What might be a typical, or example annual cost for photographers to use AWS3 for off-site backup?”  Do PFRE members have such experience to report?  What are the most popular off site image storage solutions used by our PFRE members?

In March 2015, Amazon announced two new ‘unlimited’ storage plans as part of its Cloud Drive service. The Unlimited Photos plan costs $11.99 per year and an ‘Unlimited Everything’ plan allows users to store an infinite number of photos, videos, documents and music for $59.99 per year. See this dpreview.com article for more details.

But wait! Serious professional photographers need to have 3 copies (3 is 1 and 2 and 1 are none) of their photos before they start thinking about cloud storage because when talking about the volume of files professional photographers have to deal with, cloud storage is very slow. You want an off-site backup that you can have operational within hours. You can’t do that with cloud backup! Cloud backup is convenient and will allow you to restore a handful of files immediately but it could easily weeks to restore a multi-terabyte disk of RAW files!

Here is a great article by Tony Roslund over at Fstoppers on how to set up a bulletproof Backup Strategy for your digital files. So just be sure you don’t depend on cloud storage for your only off-site backup! Unless you are ok with it taking weeks to restore files.



Congratulations Sharon and Lyndon Davey – PFRE Property Video March/April

May 2nd, 2016

SharonLyndonCongratulations again for the second video contest in a row won by Sharon and Lyndon Davey of Rockingham (just South of Perth) Western Australia. Here is their winning video. Sharon and Lyndon are a husband and wife team that shoot property video for their listings. Sharon does the on-camera work and Lyndon does the camera and editing work.

Here are the ranking results of the video jury’s voting:

  1. Sharon & Lyndon Davey, Rockingham (Perth), Australia
  2. Joshua Vernon-Rogers
  3. Charlie Rount-Turner
  4. Paul Martinez
  5. Peter Bently
  6. Patrick Bertolini
  7. Don Wagner
  8. Jeff Griggs
  9. Jim Altieri
  10. Greg Twemlow
  11. Charles Mackenzie-Hill
  12. Peter D’aprix
  13. Candace Kuzmarski

Continue Reading »

How Long Should A Property Video Be?

May 1st, 2016

KristineLemannPeter who is new to video but not new to photography asks a classic question about property video:

…the main question on everyone lips is “How long should a real estate video be?” followed by “my brother in law (or fill in the relationship) says no online video should be longer than ___ (fill in the blank)” but the usual opinion is around 2 minutes. I am assuming they have read the generic and assessments that no one will watch a video that is longer than 2 minutes without any further examination of what and why. I think that for a cold contact stumbling on a video on YouTube that is probably correct …

Continue Reading »

What’s New in Lightroom 6.5.1 and 2015.5.1?

April 29th, 2016

LR2015.5.1Thursday morning I got a question from Eric in Florida asking if he should install the new update for Lightroom. At the time I had not even heard of it. Apparently the East Coast gets it before the West Coast. Later in the day, I got an email from Laura Shoe explaining the new update. LauraShoe.com is my go-to site for keeping up with Lightroom. She was the first to warn every one of the Lightroom disaster a while back.

Here is Laura’s post on what’s new in Lightroom 6.5.1 and 2015.5.1. If you are a Nikon shooter you should probably also have a look at her explanation of how to get your lens Metadata back if you are a Nikon shooter.

As I told Eric, if you depend on LR every day, you should never update when an update like this comes out. Always better to wait a few weeks and watch sites like Laura’s and make sure there aren’t any big issues.

I installed this update today and haven’t noticed any issues. Anyone have any issues with this update?

Video of A Luxury Condo In Rio Shot With Only A Phantom 3 and DJI Osmo

April 28th, 2016

A while back we discussed the short comings of shooting inside with a DJI Osmo. Zoltan Prepszent of luxhunters.com in Maimi saw that post and sent me another example of what he did with the DJI Osmo.

Zoltan says:

The reason I am writing you is that I remember an earlier article when someone was analyzing if the DJI Oslo was a potential candidate for architectural video or not and I think the verdict was rather not.

Continue Reading »

How To Put The DJI Osmo On A Pole For Elevated Real Estate Shots

April 27th, 2016

DinkumSystemsThis last week I had a chat with John Mans, the owner of Dinkum Systems which makes these cool clamps called ActionPods. I’ve had a similar clamp for many years but I like the ActionPod Pro much better because the part that attaches to the clamp is much longer (8″) and the clamp on the ActionPod Pro is much stronger and has a clamp that is better designed.

John noticed that we’ve talked about mounting DJI Osmos on a pole for elevated photography and pointed out that the ActionPod Pro is a perfect way to mount an Osmo on a pole.

John says: Continue Reading »

Rich Baum Is Doing Regular Real Estate Photography Tutorials

April 26th, 2016

RichBaumRich Baum, in Sacramento, is now doing regular real estate photography tutorials.

Last week Rich told me:

I have recently started posting several short, quick tutorials on shooting and editing for RE photography. These are simple tutorials giving photographers an easy alternative to produce a better product without more gear and needing to do light-painting to get a superior product.
I am not sure these would be something you would like to put a link on your Blog but as I feel so many people were interested in my Pole Photography 101 post these might also be a good addition to your information.

Continue Reading »

Congratulations Brandon Cooper – April PFRE Photographer of The Month

April 25th, 2016

BrandonCooperApril2016Congratulations to Brandon Cooper of Fort McMurray, Alberta who has won the photographer of the month for April. This is the third month in a row Brandon, you need to give someone else a chance!

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

  1. Brandon Cooper
  2. Barry MacKenzie
  3. Justin Jordan
  4. Tony Colangelo
  5. Peter Bentley
  6. Andrew Pece
  7. Mike Burman
  8. Anders Carlson
  9. Jason Lusk
  10. Matt Davis

Tony Colangelo and Peter Bentley tied for 4th place and Andrew Pece and Mike Burman tied for 5th place.

Here are Brandon’s comments: Continue Reading »

Shootly – An Uber Like App For Real Estate Photographers and Clients

April 24th, 2016


Updated 6PM Pacific, 4/27/2016:

This last week Aric, a PFRE reader in NYC pointed out a short podcast that talks about Shootly, a new IOS App that allows people to hire professional photographers much like you would hire a cab with the Uber App. The podcast focuses mainly on the Dronography (Drone photography) part of the App but the App allows anyone to hire a drone photographer, real estate photographer, event photographer, portrait photographer or sports photographer.

While the Dronography part of Shootly would be very useful for real estate photographers that don’t have a drone or agents that want a professional licensed, insured drone photographer, the part of Shootly that caught my attention was the real estate photography part. My question is, would this App be useful for  real estate photographers in finding some extra business in their area?

I couldn’t figure out from the App or getshootly.com website how Shootly works for the person hiring the real estate photographer or how the business process worked for the real estate photographer. So I managed to contact Garrett Henricksen, the CEO and Co-Founder of Shootly, Inc. Garrett graciously answered all my questions.

Here is my summary of my conversation with Garrett: Continue Reading »

What’s Important When You Choose A Domain Name For Your Business?

April 21st, 2016

ComentURLsKeri in Wichita asks for advertising advice:

I’m ready to build a new domain name for my real estate photography. I have KeriPhotography.com
But I need a new name that represents the real estate. I have wichitarealestatephotography.com reserved but not sure I like it.

Any suggestions?

This is a great question! Here are several aspects to consider:

Continue Reading »

Real Estate Photo Licensing For Builders And For Use on Social Media

April 20th, 2016

copyrightCarol in Texas asks:

My question concerns copyright legalities for Social Media. My agent client wants to post my photos various places, as she can legally do under my Terms and Conditions, so long as it is to market a property.  The Agent client has a partnership with a local high-end home builder and also wishes to post my photos on said home builder’s FB page as part of her marketing strategy for his homes.  Agent client believes this should be ok since she has paid me for use of the photos.  Where is the line between using the photos for her own marketing strategy and using the photos to benefit the builder?  On the one hand, it seems to be within her rights to do this; however, the builder is going to benefit from her doing so by being able to use the FB page as a pseudo-portfolio gallery.  WWYD?

Continue Reading »