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Do You Shoot with Interior Lights on or Off?

December 13th, 2018

Jack in Florida asks:

When I photograph the exterior of a house, I generally like to have the interior lights on especially if there’s impressive chandelier or other lighting features inside. After doing this for over 10 years, I got a complaint from a new agent that she did not like the lights being on in the interior. So I had to Photoshop the lights off. Is there a general rule for leaving the interior lights on/off when taking photos of the exterior?

There are few, if any, general rules in this business. You can find interiors photographers that will argue either way.

Many will argue that a room looks more inviting with the lights on. I suspect that the reason many photographers turn the interior lights off is the issue of controlling the white balance. But I find that if you use even one small flash, the color balance of the flash dominates the room, minimizing the effect of mixed colors from the room lights.

The argument for turning the lights off is frequently that the ambient lighting from the windows will sometimes be more important than the artificial lighting.

As far as when to turn the interior lights on for an exterior shoot, it depends on the time of day. Twilight shots are very beautiful with the lights on, whereas exterior shots on a bright day don’t need interior lights on.

Camera Drones: The Ultimate Buying Guide

December 12th, 2018

Real estate photography is one of the biggest sectors being impacted by the drone industry, allowing real estate photographers to capture a wide variety of shots much cheaper than in recent years.

But how do you know which drone is best for your business? The variety of choices is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there are models for every type of pilot and budget, but the abundance of choice can also lead to decision paralysis.

This guide (from Mark Sheehan at reviews dozens of high quality camera drone models, separated by price range. This allows budding drone pilots to find the best drones in their price range quickly and efficiently. It also breaks down the most important features to pay attention to, how to find the right drone for your needs, and even how to fly one.

If you’re interested in getting into real estate drone photography but don’t know where to start, this is an excellent place to kick-start your knowledge.

What Is Causing the Bright Specks on My Images?

December 11th, 2018

Polina in Florida sent me the photo to the right (I’ve cropped it and circled the specks – click on it to see a bigger version). Polina says:

I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out the issue with my camera. Recently, I started seeing little specks in random places in my photos. Don’t mind the ugly shot, I took it specifically against a darker laundry nook to make the spots more visible. Thanks for your help!

I’ve not seen bright spots like this before. My hunch is that it is something to do with your sensor (Polina is using a Nikon D7100 with a Nikon 10-20mm). When I have dust on my sensor, it results in dark spots, not bright spots like this. There doesn’t seem to be any well-known problems with the D7100 sensor that cause this. Continue Reading »

How Many Photos Do You Deliver for a Typical Real Estate Shoot?

December 10th, 2018

Marea in Florida asks:

What are professional photographers charging for additional photos now that MLS is allowing 50 images?

The fact is that many MLSs have allowed unlimited photos for many many years! So this is by no means a new issue. Back in 2015, we had a fairly extensive discussion on the subject of how many photos PFRE readers provide their clients. See this post.

As you can see from the poll, only 30% of real estate photographers deliver more than 30 photos. This confirms the feeling that I’ve always had that I could present any property very nicely with 20 to 25 quality photos. More than 25 photos become a distraction. This idea that some Realtors have that somehow more photos are better is ridiculous!

Of course, you need to supply your clients with what they want, just make sure you are charging enough to recover your time and energy to supply more photos. Also, check out what others in your market are charging for more than 25 photos if you want to compete with them.

Continue Reading »

What to Do When Shooting Flash-Ambient and There Are Shadows When Using Darken Mode?

December 9th, 2018

Joshua in the UK asks:

I shoot for flash-ambient blending and find that when using the darken-mode window pull technique I get shadows cast on balconies when I flash my windows. Is there a workaround for this?

Yes; with this technique, where you aim the flash(s) directly into the windows your flash(s) can cause unwanted shadows. The workaround is to just remove the shadow in Photoshop or move your flashes around to reduce or eliminate shadows.

One way to control shadows from your flash is to use a single flash and shoot a separate flash frame for each window as Nathan does in this window pull tutorial.

Does anyone have any other advice for Joshua?

What Are the Limits of Photoshopping Listing Photos?

December 7th, 2018

Justin in Australia pointed out this recent article in about the listing photos misrepresenting the color of the Brisbane River.

Some Reddit users noticed that there was a little part of the river in the lower right of the photo that had been missed by whomever did the photoshopping job. This error makes the photoshopping a dead give-away!

This photoshopping job made me think of this post we did a couple of years ago on another possible photoshopping job done to a listing in South Sydney Australia.

These kinds of misrepresentations lead to the question of what are the ethical guidelines for real estate photographers in modifying photos. I’ve compiled a summary from past discussions in this Ethical Guidelines page.

Congratulations to David Iglesias – PFRE Videographer of the Month November 2018

December 6th, 2018

Congratulations to David Iglesias from SFVT in southern Florida who has won the November 2018 PFRE Videographer of the Month Contest! Here is David’s great video.

Here is what David had to say about his winning video:

Continue Reading »

Photographer of the Month Contest Themes for 2019

December 5th, 2018

Another year of Photographer of the Month contests has come to an end and 2018 showcased some amazing work from photographers around the world .  Over the years we’ve seen the contest grow in popularity and become a pillar of the PFRE blog.  As a community, your input has been critical to the development and success of the contest so we want to continue reaching out for your feedback as we make plans for the future.  One of the most popular topics of discussion is the monthly themes.  I think we can all agree that there are a few “no brainers” like: master bedroom, kitchen, living room, master bath, twilight exterior etc. but we would love to hear your thoughts on which themes you’d like to see remain in the line up and which ones we can scrap to make room.

If we’ve missed any potential themes, please feel free to add them in the comments below. Continue Reading »

Announcing an Architecture and Interiors Photography Class by Ethan Tweedie

December 4th, 2018

Ethan Tweedie just told us that he will be teaching a 5-day class in architecture and interiors photography at the Texas School of Photography April 28 – May 3, 2019, in Dallas, Texas and the registration opens January 3rd at 11pm, CST. We are telling you now because the class is expected to sell out the first day of registration. We’ll also do a reminder post on Jan 2nd to remind you to register.

Details below: Continue Reading »

The Importance of Composition in Real Estate Photography

December 3rd, 2018

CompositionThis is a tutorial that Scott and Malia did a number of years ago. I’ve done posts on it before, but image composition is an important subject in real estate photography and this is a great discussion of the subject.

The most important question you need to ask yourself with each photo is what is the story you want to tell with the photo in terms of features, layout, and feel of the room. As Scott says: “What is the photo about?Continue Reading »

2018 PFRE Photographer of the Year

December 2nd, 2018

Every month, since 2008, real estate and interior photographers from around the world have competed in the PFRE Photographer of the Month contest. Some photographers enter the contest to see how they stack up against their peers; others are looking for feedback and learning opportunities but in the back of many shooters’ minds is the thought of competing to be named PFRE Photographer of the Year (POTY), a title that has been held by some of the most talented photographers in the industry. Over the years, the POTY selection process has evolved from simply selecting the individual who shot the best image of the year, to a more in-depth review of the entire body of work each photographer represents. After all, we are naming the PFRE “Photographer of the Year” not the “Image of the Year”

This years candidates for PFRE Photographer of the year are: Continue Reading »

How to Shoot Real Estate Videos – TOP 10 TIPS

November 30th, 2018

Help Us Update the Brand Identity of PFRE

November 29th, 2018

Since 2003, the Photography for Real Estate blog has been built by the input, feedback, and collaboration of the readers along with a relentless commitment from Larry to “help make real estate photographers successful.” When I acquired PFRE back in January 2018, I made a promise to Larry and the community to continue moving forward in that same spirit. There are plenty of things happening behind the scenes right now but one of the main priorities is creating an updated logo/brand for the blog. With that said, we would love for you to click the link below and provide some candid and constructive feedback on a few preliminary logo concepts. Thank you for being so involved and engaged in the PFRE community and we look forward to reaching out for your input in the future.

Please click the link and share your thoughts!

PFRE logo concepts.

What Are the Recommended Photo Delivery Methods for Real Estate Photographers?

November 28th, 2018

DeliveryBill in Virginia recently asked the question:

I have been experiencing some issues in sending clients their photos and videos. What are some recommended photo delivery services to use?

First of all, I would not send video files to Realtors. Most Realtors won’t have a clue what to do with a large video file. Host the video someplace like YouTube, Vimeo, or iPlayerHD, and then send your client a link to the hosted video.

Here are the typical alternatives for real estate photo delivery: Continue Reading »

What Size Photos Should Real Estate Photographers Deliver?

November 27th, 2018

RMLSTom asked about the size of photos he should deliver to his clients:

I have been uploading photo files to my agents at the guidelines recommended in the September 9th, 2009 article you posted titled “What You Need To Know About Uploading To MLS.” Yesterday, I had an agent tell me the 800 x 600 pixels are too small. Up until now no one really complained about it. He also said the minimum should be 1600 x 1200 but prefers 2048 x 1536. What is the new standard everyone is using today? Is there a new standard?

Continue Reading »