Alternatives to Drones for Elevated Real Estate Photography

May 19th, 2017

Jack in Florida recently asked:

Is there an alternative to using a drone for real estate photography? In my local area there hasn’t been a huge demand for drone images/video. I have used an extended pole to capture some elevated images but it is very awkward. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Should Real Estate Photographers Charge Extra for Photo Editing?

May 18th, 2017

Polina asks:

Recently I’ve started researching what other photographers offer in their packages and I still can’t make up my mind on what is the best way to deal with Photoshop work. While I deliver completely ready-to-go images for a flat rate, I see some others charge separately per image for editing other than basic color correction. I’m talking about stuff like cord removal, dead grass spots, etc. What do you think is the proper way to do it? Is there an “industry standard” on final image? I personally don’t understand why would someone deliver a customer half-way done image and expect a request for touch ups for extra money.

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Do Real Estate Videographers Outsource Their Video Editing?

May 17th, 2017

Patrick in California says:

Can you recommend or do you know of any off shore companies that do video editing?  I am so busy shooting that I just don’t have the time to learn video editing, so for, I believe my product will be best by using external sources.

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Should You Work As a Contract Real Estate Photographer?

May 16th, 2017

John asks:

I am an aspiring photographer but I’m trying to decide if its worth it for me or not. I have tried to contact some of the regional real estate photography companies to contract shoot for them but I can’t get a good read on the photographer compensation. How much do real estate photographers usually charge when contracting? Do we charge by a percentage and if so what percentage would be normal to ask for? Or is it more common to charge a flat fee?

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What Are the Most Common Methods Real Estate Photographers Use to Deliver Photos?

May 15th, 2017

DeliveryFred in Florida recently asked the question:

I have finally had my first real estate shoot after much work getting my learning curve down. I need to send the files to the Realtor but when I upload them to Google Drive, they are sent as individual images so you have to click on each link separately to view each one. Is there a better program to use so that the images all appear at one time or by clicking an arrow to go from one image to another?

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What is the Minimum Yearly Amount You Would do Contract Real Estate Shooting For?

May 14th, 2017

Marek in Boston says:

I am interested in what photographers that just take photographs (no Post-Processing or marketing) and supply those photos to a contracting company make. I would keep them busy up to maybe 8-9 hrs per day and much less in off season.

I am seriously considering hiring some contract real estate photographers that I could engage as contractors (not as employees, so we don’t have to pay workman’s comp, their taxes, etc). They would have to supply their own equipment. I know this way they’ll take care of it. What level of income would I have to pay them?

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Do Real Estate Photographers Use Time Trackers in Photoshop?

May 12th, 2017

Joseph in Chicago asks:

Does anyone use a time tracking program for Photoshop for longer edits? and if so which ones are recommended. We sometimes spend up to an hour working on windows and item removals and want to track and send stats to client to prove the editing time.

I wasn’t even aware of time trackers for Photoshop but I see by googling “time tracking program for photoshop” that there appear to be several such trackers.

To me charging by the time spent in Photoshop makes more sense for someone in a photo editing business rather than a classic real estate photographer. As a real estate photographer, you need to quote a price for a shoot and limit the time you spend photo editing to fit the price being charged.

How Can a Real Estate Photographer Compete with Low Prices?

May 11th, 2017

Aaron in Columbus, OH asks:

How can we compete with photographers offering $100 HDR photography and $100 property videos? In my town, HDR, free drone’s, free sky replacement seems to be the new thing and it feels like an impossible business model to survive on. At those prices, after taxes, time, travel and costs, I might as well work a 9-5 job and make more money with far less stress and time.

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Real Estate Photography Is a Combination of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

May 10th, 2017

This is a guest post by Michael Yearout of Breckenridge, Colorado.

I have come to believe property photography (be it architectural, real estate, rental management, interior decorator, builder or designer) could be considered a combination of photojournalism and documentary photography.

The traditional definition of photojournalism is defined as a unique and powerful form of visual storytelling originally created for print magazines and newspapers. But it has now morphed into multimedia and documentary filmmaking. Through the internet, apps and the mobile device explosion, photojournalism can now reach audiences never before imagined with immediate impact. Continue Reading »

What Do You Do When You Need Your Drone Repaired?

May 9th, 2017

Craig in VA asks:

Is there a database of drone repair and maintenance shops in the US?  We have learned that you can’t necessarily count on the manufacturers.

I don’t know of a database or directory of drone repair shops but when I Google “drone repair” I get a lot of options like:


What drone repair services can readers recommend?

How to Get Rid of Orange Windows in Real Estate Twilight Shots

May 8th, 2017

Shannon in Bend, Oregon asks:

I was wondering if you or anyone else had any tips on the best way to remove the orange color cast from windows and porch lights during a twilight shoot? I’ve tried to desaturate them and also turning my white balance to tungsten but I can’t get it to look the way I want. Getting true color for this shot has somehow eluded me.

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What’s a Quick and Easy Way to Capture Floor plan Sketch with Dimensions?

May 7th, 2017

Brandon in LA says:

I recently purchased a Leica DISTO D2 and am planning to offer floor plans (just 2D to start) as an additional service. I’ve thoroughly researched the various vendors you have listed in previous posts on this subject, and have played around with Leica’s own Sketch app (which unfortunately seems way too basic even to create a rough sketch). My plan was to create either hand-drawn sketches and send them to an outsourced company for final creation, or use MagicPlan or another iPad app to create the final plan on-site (or at least rough it in for completion later). I would rather use the laser tool than try to have MagicPlan determine room dimensions via the camera.

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Should Real Estate Photographers Write Text for Listings?

May 5th, 2017

Daniel in New Jersey asked:

I’m curious to know if any photographers are writing listing descriptions for their agents as an add-on? I’ve recently been contacted by an agent who was interested in this service and gave me some figures as to what he was willing to pay. I must admit, I’m a bit tempted. I know there are agencies/freelancers who write listing descriptions so outsourcing it is definitely an option. However, I guess the main issue that comes up is getting into the details of the property. How old is the furnace? Have the windows been recently replaced? The roof, etc… A photographer obviously gets a good first-hand look at the property but beyond that we typically don’t know much. If there is anyone out here offering these services I’m curious as to how they are going about it.

Continue Reading » is Using an Image Stolen From Scott Hargis’s Book to Market Their Services!

May 4th, 2017

Matthew Stallone pointed out to me a few days ago that a marketing email being sent to many real estate photographers by Images Re-Touch is using an image stolen from Scott Hargis’s Lighting Interiors book (Figure 14.8 on page 169). They cropped the image to get rid of the “Figure 14.8” on the lower left of the image.

So I would check their website and other marketing materials to make sure they haven’t stolen your image(s) too.

Also, given their attitude toward ethics, we do not recommend them as a retouching vendor!

Thanks Matthew for alerting everyone of this issue!

Is There a Trend in Real Estate Photography Toward an Architectural Look?

May 3rd, 2017

Dave in California asks:

I have noticed a new trend in real estate photography. Some of the real estate photographers are now producing architectural images for real estate photography prices. They are not using a wide angle lens. Instead, they are taking images of furniture and features. They are not showing details or brightness. It is being called the natural look. I’m not saying it is wrong. Instead of selling the home they are selling the life style. Do you see this becoming the trend?

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