Wayne’s Capili Shows How He Travels Light Shooting Real Estate

September 10th, 2017

The post I did back in 2012 titled, “Choosing Gear to Get Started in Real Estate Photography for the Least Cost” has been one of the most popular posts on the PFRE blog for many years. I’ve updated it to reflect new wide-angle lenses but I realized that I need to update it to reflect the Sony A6000 that Wayne Capili pointed out to us all back in 2015. The photo above is Wayne’s (17.60″ x 5.20″ x 11.69″) equipment case. The following is a list of what’s in it: Continue Reading »

A Few Seats Are Still Available: Sign-up Now for September 29-30 Workshop In Ottawa

September 8th, 2017

Last call reminder for anyone still hoping to attend the Cooper-Colangelo Real Estate Photography Workshop in Ottawa on Sept. 29-30. Brandon and Tony have a diverse group of photographers joining them from all over North America and Australia, as well. All skill levels are well-represented and they’ve assured me that it’s going to be a jam-packed two days in Canada’s beautiful national capital!

Click here to register now! Continue Reading »

What Is the Income Potential of an Independent Real Estate Photographer?

September 7th, 2017

A while back, I had an interesting discussion with a real estate photographer in the Huntington Beach, California area who said she “wasn’t making any money” and needed to raise her prices. She said she was averaging 55 shoots a month and getting $150-$200 per shoot. And although she wasn’t the lowest priced photographer in her area she was among the lower priced real estate photographers. Her concern was that whenever she talked about raising her prices her clients complained and she was afraid of losing her best clients that were giving her 15 to 30 shoots a year. Seems like she is doing very well unless she is working a huge number of hours. What is the approximate income potential of being an independent real estate photographer?

It occurred to me that the best way to understand what the income potential of being an independent real estate photographer would be to have a poll of what independent real estate photographers are currently making. Of course, this doesn’t measure geographic variations but that would be very hard to do.

Please take the poll below before you leave! The poll will give us all a better insight into what the income potential of real estate photography is. Remember, this poll is about NET income in USD= YearlyGross – YearlyExpenses and it’s intended only for independent real estate photographers.

Continue Reading »

Can You Shoot Interior Real Estate Interior Video with a Drone?

September 6th, 2017

Russell in Oregon asks:

I’ve been looking at the new DJI Spark drone for shooting interior videos. These drones are almost “micro size” with the 2-axis gimbal and because you are shooting inside, I don’t believe there is any certification required from the FAA. I’m wondering if anybody else is considering this or currently shooting video inside with a drone?

Continue Reading »

Adobe Flash Player Is Officially Dead – Make Sure Your Website Is Not Using It

September 5th, 2017

This weekend I noticed a PFRE blog reader who’s website wouldn’t work with my Chrome browser (Version 60). When I contacted him he said, “It works on our end… maybe you need to update your Flash player.”

My response was: Continue Reading »

Have Drones Made PAP (Pole Aerial Photography) Obsolete for Real Estate?

September 4th, 2017


Recently I ran across the pair of photos to the right shot by Marc Lacoste of Nantes, France. Marc was showing me the difference it could make if you just held your camera on a tripod over your head to get a little extra elevation (3.6 meters).

This graphically illustrates how easy it is to get an elevated shot and what a stunning difference it makes. This doesn’t look like the same property. More importantly, the elevated shot shows more of the features of the home and shows them better.

Given the importance of the exterior front shot in marketing a listing, this suggests that every real estate photographer should be taking elevated front shots for every listing they shoot! I do. I just carry a fold up a ladder in my pickup which allows me to get my heavy DSLR and lens 20′ in the air with no risk. Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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 »