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How to Help Ensure You Get Credit When Agents Use Your Photos in Large Publications

April 22nd, 2018

Cameron in Southern California said:

I just found out that Realtor.com ran a feature story on their website about a property I photographed. They credited themselves on all the images. The listing agent contacted me when he saw the article reproduced in its entirety on the website of the Seattle Post Intelligencer. A Google search shows the same article reproduced on the websites of the New Haven Register website and the San Francisco Chronicle.

While the publication of the photos on all these sites is well within the usage license agreement I have with the listing agent (because they are licensed to use the photos for marketing the property while it’s on the market), it is a good thing I have a stipulation in my T&C that all editorial use of my images must have a proper photo credit. That’s the “payment” I expect from those publications in return for the benefit they gain from using my images; gain that is apart from the benefit my client gains from the publicity for the listing. Because of my T&C, the listing agent followed up and got Realtor.com to correct the error in photo credit.

In other markets, a photographer’s insistence on photo credit may not benefit his/her business. Here in Los Angeles, people find me because they read photo credits on Curbed, LA Times, Dwell, CA Home and Design, WSJ (although that’s a sticky issue now since they are trying to grab rights to photos they publish), and even Instagram. So I try my best to stay on top of wherever my images appear. It’s part of my marketing.

This seems like a great policy for those who shoot upper-end properties that are likely to be promoted in large publications.

Zhiyun Crane 2 for Real Estate Video – Grant Johnston

April 20th, 2018

What Do You Charge to Relicense Real Estate Photos to the Stager?

April 19th, 2018

Randy in Pennsylvania asks:

I photographed a home for a real estate agent that was professionally staged. The stager is interested in obtaining some of my photos. How much do I charge? Never done this before.

First of all, I would license the photos to the stager for a specific use and length of time and have the stager sign a license agreement.

Does the stager just want to use the photos on her website or does she want to use them in printed marketing materials? Charge more for printed use.

My guess is that if the stager just wants to use the photos on her website, you should charge at least as much as the agent; probably more because the stager will want to use them longer.

What do readers think?

How Can Real Estate Photographers Create Short Teaser Videos?

April 18th, 2018

Ashley in South Carolina asks:

I am looking for a new way to do what our Realtors call “teaser” videos. Very short, fast moving, less than 30-second videos to generate interest in a property. I would like a program that will generate different looking videos if possible.

I assume you are referring to short videos like this. Although you say you are looking for software to do it, it sounds like you are wanting to do it from a series of stills. While there is software like Animoto, Magisto, Smilebox, and many others that do this, I think it would be much more effective to just create your own with a series of video clips from the shoot. To me, these days, shooting and editing video is so quick easy, it’s always a big turnoff when I see video constructed from a series of stills.

What Are the Requirements to Shoot Drone Video for Real Estate in the US?

April 17th, 2018

Don in Florida asks:

I’ve recently bought a DJI Spark Drone and need to make it as legit as possible to add to my commercial real estate services. I’ve read that I need FAA registration but others have said I need a pilot’s license? This is kind of confusing for me. I live in Florida and want to make sure I am operating without any legal anxieties. I’d love to know everything we are required to do in order to be legit, if you would be so kind.

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High Volume Real Estate Photographers Should Consider Outsourcing Their Post-Processing

April 16th, 2018

Marlize in Perth, Western Australia says:

I am a real estate photographer in Perth, Western Australia.
I have been using Cross Digital for quite some time now for all of my shoots. They do my processing as well as my virtual staging. Their turn-around time is well within the 24-hour time-frame (more like 12 hours in most cases) and their virtual staging is usually ready within 24 hours; though they have a time limit of 48 hours. They are always happy to make amendments that I request.

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Example of the Pixel Shift Algorithm on the New Sony A7RIII

April 15th, 2018

Candace in the Chicago area says:

Just thought you might be interested in seeing the result of using the new Sony A7R III with Sony’s proprietary Pixel Shift algorithm. Here is a comparison I did between shooting with and without Pixel Shift.

When you “pixel peep” the originals, there is a huge difference!

There are more details in this PetaPixel.com article.

Using the Auto Settings in Lightroom Classic CC

April 13th, 2018

Example of Interior Video that Can Be Shot with a DJI OSMO

April 12th, 2018

Alan in NZ says:

I’m looking at buying some LED lights to help with real estate interior video while using an X5 and DJI Osmo. All suggestions welcome. How many do I need to illuminate an average room?

I would encourage you to hold off on buying LED lights for shooting interior video because the top interior videographers do not use LED lights to shoot interiors.

As an example, this is an interior video done by Zoltan Prepszent with a DJI OSMO. Here is a post I did on the PFRE blog a couple of years ago where Zoltan explains why he was forced to shoot with the DJI OSMO. This is one of my all-time favorite property videos!

Also, I recommend Grant Johnston’s video series on “Using the DJI Osmo to Shoot Professional Real Estate Video”.

When Does the Quality of a Wide Angle Lens Become Overkill?

April 11th, 2018

Peter in Alberta asked:

Is anyone shooting with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens?

I may have overreacted when I told Peter that I thought that the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens is overkill for shooting real estate.

Here’s why I think the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens may be overkill for real estate:

  1. I’ve been “balled out” many times for racking wideout to 16mm (on my full frame Canon DSLR) when shooting my wife’s listings. I can only imagine how she would react to shots done at 12mm! It wouldn’t be pretty!
  2. Even though back in 2003 when I purchased my full frame Canon DSLR, I bought a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens to go with it for real estate work. I know now that a lens for half the price would have been more than adequate for real estate.

Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate high-quality gear. I love geeking out and getting the best quality available but it frequently doesn’t make good sense. The fact is, when you pay twice as much to get a little bit better quality, your clients usually can’t tell the difference!

What Is the Most Efficient Way to Do an Intensive Amount of Photoshop Work?

April 10th, 2018

Mike in Florida says:

My question concerns post-processing automation. The process I use is flash plus ambient based, and the results are very good. As I have refined my process, I have done quite a bit of automation within Photoshop. But there are repetitive actions that I do for every job that I would really like to automate but have been unable to. I wind up stacking photos either in Lightroom or Bridge and then sending to Photoshop to blend layers, color correct, etc.

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Sotheby’s International Realty First Real Estate Brand to Launch Augmented Reality App

April 9th, 2018

Reed in Missouri recently pointed out that Sotheby’s International is introducing a mobile AR (Augmented Reality) app called “Curate” that will:

“Allow consumers to visualize a house as their own before purchase, thereby curating the homebuying experience. Working closely with Google in the run-up to ARCore’s release, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is the first real estate brand to launch and implement a virtual staging AR App, transforming the home buying and selling experience for sales associates and consumers.”

See more details here.

This looks like an interesting app. If Curate gets wide usage, it may reduce the need for listing agents to stage empty listings.

Urbanimmersive Announces Letter of Intent to Acquire Tourbuzz

April 9th, 2018

Thanks to Dave in Perth, AU for pointing out this news that many readers will be interested in:

LAVAL, Quebec, April 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Urbanimmersive Inc. (“Urbanimmersive” or the “Corporation”) (TSX VENTURE:UI.V) (OTC PINK:UBMRF), the real estate content marketing platform, and Tourbuzz, LLC (“Tourbuzz”), the leading real estate photographer software solution provider in North America, are pleased to announce that the two companies have signed a binding letter of intent (the “LOI”) on March 30, 2018, for the acquisition of Tourbuzz by Urbanimmersive (the “Transaction”), subject to the conditions contained therein which are summarized below.

Congratulations to Alan Pinstein and Paul Rodman (founders of Tourbuzz). They both have done a great job in creating a fantastic product for real estate photographers!

Giving Discounts to Clients Who Give You More Business

April 8th, 2018

Gary in the Chicago area says:

One of our competitors in the Chicago area is Fotosold. If you look at their website, their prices seem average, if not a touch high.

I’ve been a little under the weather recently and unable to get out taking pictures. One of my favorite agents stopped by the house to visit me and see if anything had changed so that I could work for him. The brokerage he works for has an agreement with Fotosold, so we both decided he should use them for 2 listings that had to be done now.

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Using Lightroom to Make Precise Selections with Color Range Masking

April 6th, 2018