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What Are the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

February 22nd, 2018

Don in Florida asks:

I’ve been eating $6 every other day on AA batteries for my Yongnuo YN560 IVs. Could you recommend some amazing rechargeable AAs? Also, is this a case of “you get what you pay for” with the rechargeable battery market?

We’ve had a discussion on rechargeable AA batteries before and to my amazement, there is quite a lot of agreement among PFRE readers as to which are the best AA rechargeables. Readers prefer the Eneloop Pro 2500 mAh.

Are Verticals Important When Shooting Real Estate Drone Shots?

February 21st, 2018

Dave in California asked:

Are the verticals on drone images suppose to be the same as the verticals taken at ground level. That is, how important is it to keep verticals vertical as in other areas of real estate photography?

My take on this question is that if the drone image (still) is being used as the primary front exterior shot then all the same real estate photography rules apply – don’t have wonky verticals that distract viewers attention; but if drone still images are used in other than the primary exterior image and it’s not a big deal to have wonky verticals. That said, look at Grant Johnston’s drone  moves that he demonstrates in his drone training video above. Almost all of the verticals are dead on!

Should Your Business Be an LLC or Sole Proprietorship?

February 20th, 2018

Diane in New Jersey says:

It’s tax season so I would like to know how many real estate photographers are sole proprietors vs. LLCs, or other. Maybe a poll?

Since I’m not a tax or legal expert, I did some research on the question and found Lee Phillips’s Youtube channel who is an expert in this area. As Lee explains in the video above, the primary advantage of an LLC over a sole proprietorship is that an LLC separates your business from your personal assets and protects them both.

I’ve had my business in both forms of organization so I would have said there are no tax differences however, Lee explains that there are indeed tax benefits to an LLC. Here is Lee’s video on taxation of LLCs.

How to Buy a Camera in 2018

February 19th, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, there was a good article over at engadget.com by Steve Dent that reviewed the current state of camera technology.

Steve reviews the state of DSLRs vs. mirrorless vs. compact cameras, sensor technology, video features, and his top picks if you are thinking about buying a camera right now (early 2018).

This is a great camera article for those just getting into real estate photography. Note, this article is about cameras only. If you are getting into real estate photography, you have to pay as much, if not more attention to which lenses you need to choose for the camera. For recommendations in that area see the PFRE Lens page.

More about How YoChicago.com Works

February 18th, 2018

Joe Zekas in Chicago is a long time PFRE reader and in the past year or so, I’ve come to understand better what Joe is doing with his YoChicago.com site and how successful it is. At first glance, I thought Joe was a Realtor but he is not a Realtor. I think Joe has a unique business model as a photographer/videographer. I’ve recently asked him to explain for us what he is doing and how it works.

Here is Joe’s description of his business:
The key to making money from real estate video, in my view, is delivering content that a targeted audience values, and building a platform that attracts that audience.

My target audience was new home buyers until that market collapsed toward the end of the last decade. My current target audience is apartment renters. Continue Reading »

How to Shoot and Edit a Twilight Exterior Shot – by Oliver Pohlmann

February 16th, 2018

What to Do If You Are Asked to Sign a Non-Compete Agreement

February 15th, 2018

Allen in Florida says:

I’ve been working for Circlepix for about three years. They were a nice company to work for. I’m wondering how VHT buying Circlepix will change things.

Before I started with them, I was doing my own and just not getting enough business. I still have those clients and of course, I make much more money doing the privates. The non-compete clause is troublesome for me. I’m not giving up my privates under any circumstances. I just need/want more clients.

Continue Reading »

Is There More Interest in Video Marketing in 2018?

February 14th, 2018

Last week, a number of things occurred that suggest to me that there is a huge increase in online video activity so I think Mia and Alberto Artez’s promo video they sent me is right on target–you should have video in your 2018 business plan: Continue Reading »

Expanding Your Real Estate Marketing Services to Virtual Staging, Video, and Floor Plans

February 13th, 2018

Ashley in South Carolina asks:

We’ve been asked to add video, virtual staging, and floor plans to our real estate photography services. What resources can you suggest in these areas?

These are very common ways to expand a real estate photography business. Here are some useful resources: Continue Reading »

How Do Real Estate Photographers Eliminate Shadows from Ceiling Fans?

February 12th, 2018

Steven in New Jersey asks:

How do I eliminate the upward light shadow caused by ceiling fan blades onto the ceiling?

Rich Baum explains in the video tutorial to the right how to remove the shadow in Photoshop.

But you can also quickly and easily eliminate ceiling fan shadows by the way you position multiple off-camera flashes. Scott Hargis’s e-book, The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors has a whole chapter on eliminating shadows from ceiling fans and other dangling things by flash placement.

How Can You Tell How Many Days a Property Has Been on the Market?

February 11th, 2018

Jack in Florida asks:

Is there a way to determine how many days a property has been on the market and sold after images of the property are marketed on the internet?

Most agents will upload photos at the same time they create a listing. In fact, most MLSs require photos these days. So time on the market is the same as days with images.

The best way to tell how long a property has been on the market is to look at the listing on the MLS. Zillow also shows how long a property has been on the market under the heading “Facts and Features.” Continue Reading »

Panasonic GH5 for Shooting Real Estate Video – by Grant Johnston

February 9th, 2018

Rich Baum Workshop Tour Announces 3 More Workshops

February 8th, 2018

The newly announced workshops are:

  • Auburn, CA – March 21-22
  • Seattle, WA – April 9-10
  • Seattle, WA – April 12-13

If you have watched Rich Baum’s YouTube videos, you can now spend two full days with Rich for a hands-on photography workshop learning all the techniques he teaches in his videos.

 Click here for more details and to signup Continue Reading »

Why Don’t the Architectural Digest and Dwell Websites Give Photo Credit to Photographers?

February 7th, 2018

Craig in Virginia asked:

I’ve noticed that seemingly legitimate websites like AD and Dwell are featuring MANY homes using photo citations such as “Photos Courtesy of Coldwell Banker” or “Courtesy from listing on Trulia.” One in particular from today (1/30/18) is this one.

These are full feature articles written by staff writers of prestigious magazines. Why can’t do the work to look up and see who the photographer was? Never mind that they are potentially using them without proper permission. Is there any way for us to force these journalists to give credit where it’s due?

Continue Reading »

Congratulations to Jordan Powers – PFRE Videographer of the Month for January 2018

February 6th, 2018

Congratulations to Jordan Powers, in Mankato, Minnesota who has won the January 2018  PFRE Videographer of the Month Contest. Here is Jordan’s stunning video. The jurors were very impressed with Jordan’s video. Continue Reading »