Three Wall or Two Wall Composition?

September 3rd, 2017

As you shoot interiors it’s important to think about composition and how your decisions about where to shoot from affect the end result.

One of these composition decisions is whether to use 2 or 3 wall composition. The two shots of the same room to the right are an example. Here are some key differences between a 3-wall shot and a 2-wall shot:

  • The two wall shot does not show the whole room or give the viewer a reference for the size of the whole room so the size of the room is ambiguous.
  • The three wall shot gives the viewer an absolute reference for the size of the room by showing all three walls. Three wall shots usually make the room feel smaller.
  • Because the ceiling line of the far wall may not be straight, the composition can feel visually uncomfortable.
  • Shooting a three wall shot with a UWA can create some very exaggerated perspective.

Here is a very old discussion (9 years ago) from the PFRE Flickr group that discusses 2-wall vs 3-wall composition. I think this discussion gives a lot of great insights on this subject!

[Webinar] Beat the competition with 3D photography and VR

September 1st, 2017

The 3D & VR revolution is here. In a 2017 survey of real estate professionals, 76% stated they either plan to use or are already using virtual reality to stay competitive. Are you prepared to offer the comprehensive property marketing package that real estate agents and property managers are starting to demand? Register for the live webinar today to learn how you can stay ahead of your competition by adding 3D and VR to your photography packages. Click the link below to register:

In this webinar, speakers Scott Matalon, CEO of Beyond Gravity Media, and Mark Tepper, VP of Matterport, will teach you how you can grow your photography business and beat the competition with 3D photography and virtual reality. Hear firsthand how Beyond Gravity Media, a small real estate marketing company, was able to upsell 40% of their existing client base with 3D and virtual reality and grow their business by 65% by expanding into new markets. Continue Reading »

Real Estate Office TV Slideshows of Active Listings

August 31st, 2017

Todd in New Mexico says:

A realty company I work for wants to install a 32″ TV in their lobby and have a constantly running slideshow of still shots of homes for sale interspersed with various scenery shots from around the area. I would be in charge of putting the photos on a USB stick and bringing that to the office every week or two.

I know my home Samsung TV can do a slideshow and does a nice job of it. I see that Vizio models have a slideshow function, but details in downloadable manuals say nothing about how it works.

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What Lenses Do Real Real Estate Photographers Use for Exterior Shots?

August 30th, 2017

Heather in Calgary, Alberta asks:

I have a question about exterior real estate photography. I currently have a Nikon D3S and use a Nikkor 14-24mm lens. The issue I am running into is lens flare when shooting exteriors. You can’t put a filter on this lens because it is convex and the fixed lens hood is quite short due to the focal length. As you know, most often you have no choice in changing angles or shooting directly towards the sun. Is there any technique I’m not aware of to help with this? Or can you recommend a wide angle lens with a longer lens hood that can add filters too?

The Nikkor 14-24mm lens is one of the great wide angle lenses, but frankly, I would never use it to shoot exteriors because wide angle lenses give exteriors perspective distortion. I like to use a longer lens for exteriors. My favorite is my Canon 24-70mm. Sometimes 24mm is OK for exterior shots, but I think these longer lenses create a much nicer look and also will solve your problem of lens flare. I recommend that you take a look at the Nikkor 24-70mm or something similar.

The Bottom Line on The Nik Collection by Google

August 29th, 2017

Sharon in Los Angeles asks:

What are people doing about the demise of The Nik Collection?  I know many use it for real estate photography but will eventually lose it due to computer updates.

First of all, I think it is important to be clear about what has actually happened with the Nik Collection by Google: Continue Reading »

Would It Work to Start a Drone Photography Service by Subcontracting Out the Drone Operation?

August 28th, 2017

Alice in Texas asks:

I am not a drone pilot – can barely spell drone. But I’m an old hand at sales and marketing and setting up successful small businesses.

I am getting ready to set up a drone photography service for realtors and construction managers in Texas where I live. I have a pretty good ‘in’ with several of those folks, and I can see that the demand is there. So I’ll be the sales and marketing frontend, looking to partner with professional drone pilots.

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Shooting Video for Zillow/Trulia Listings

August 27th, 2017

John in Virginia says:

I am a real estate agent here in Williamsburg. Have been using professional real estate photographers since 2003. Not sure if you have seen the Zillow feature to add video. It can only be uploaded from a phone. Does anyone have a workaround for this? My phone videos suck. I want to use the video shot by a professional. Seems like a silly feature but listings that have those videos are boosted by Zillow to the top of the search.

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How Do Real Estate Photographers Charge for Community Amenity Photos?

August 25th, 2017

NeighborHoodBraulio in Florida asks:

I have been charging community amenities photos separate from property photo shoots, and I also think that community amenities should be charged by standard and wide license. How are other real estate photographers charging community amenities photo shoots?

There are a number of ways to use photos of community amenities: Continue Reading »

Congratulations Franz Rabe – August PFRE Photographer of the Month

August 24th, 2017

Congratulations to Franz Rabe of Pretoria, South Africa who the jury has voted PFRE Photographer of the Month for August. This is Franz’s first win!

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

Does a Client Modifying Your Video Constitute Copyright Infringement?

August 23rd, 2017

Ken in Texas said:

I recently shot some photos and video of a vacant lot for a Realtor. I asked him if he wanted music on the video and he declined. A few days later, I saw the video on his YouTube channel and he had added music to it. He also linked to that video from other real estate sites.

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What Is the Best Way to Control White Balance When Shooting HDR or Enfuse?

August 22nd, 2017

EFplusflashCharlie in Illinois asks:

I bracket my photos and the white balance of the merged pictures is rarely accurate. I currently don’t change the white balance of the RAW files in Lightroom before exporting to Photomatix. Should I? Since each bracketed photo can have a different white balance, I wonder if that’s the reason my white balance is off. And no, I don’t/won’t shoot a flash frame because I shoot many houses in a day and can’t take a lot of time on site, and want to avoid Photoshop.

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Photos from Eclipse Totality Here in Salem, Oregon

August 21st, 2017

I just finished processing the images from this morning’s total eclipse here in Salem, OR.

An amazing spectacle and a real photographic challenge! The photo to the right is a composite of four different images (click it for a larger version). Left and right images are about 10 min before and after totality. The bottom center is totality, and the upper center image is the moon just breaking out of totality.

Shot these with a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 on a Canon 5DMkIV and a 16.6 stop ND filter for before and after totality, and no filter for the center two images.

What Is the Best Way for Real Estate Photographers to Increase Income?

August 20th, 2017

Ryan in Texas asks:

What is the point at which real estate photographers should hire a contractor or employee to take on shoots for them? I have years of experience in RE photography, but a lot less in the business side, especially marketing. Would you take on an apprentice and let them go on their own when they are ready? What would you pay them?

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Control Small Flashes with Your SmartPhone

August 18th, 2017

I knew this was coming sooner or later. Smart phones have amazing cameras and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to do everything and more with your SmartPhone that you can do with your DSLR. This little guy will be available on August 25 for $70.

I’m still waiting for a wide angle attachment for SmartPhones that isn’t garbage.

For more details on the Godox A1 see this article over at

Update 8/20: Readers have recommended the following SmartPhone wide angle adapters:

Update 8/23: I just got the ExoLens wide angle adapter that Gary Kasl recommended in the comments below. It is a 18mm equivalent converter for iPhone 6/6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus. It is awesome very sharp and little or no distortion. Thanks, Gary! This is what I’ve been looking for.

How to Control Reflections on Walls Produced by Flashes

August 17th, 2017

Polina in Florida asks:

How does everyone deal with light reflections on the walls that come from the mirrors or glass doors on the opposite walls and produced when using flash?

Do you control it at the shoot somehow or there is a good trick to edit these big lighter spots on the walls?

Continue Reading »