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How Good is the Benro 3-Way Geared Head Compared to Manfrotto tripod-heads?

November 18th, 2018

Andrew in Indiana asks:

I have worn out 3 Manfrotto tripod-heads and was thinking of getting the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head next but the reviews are mixed on the longevity of the product and a consistent report of a little head movement when its all locked-down. Instead, I am curious if any PFRE readers are using the Benro GD3WH 3-Way Geared Heads? Does anyone have any feedback in-comparison to Manfrotto’s 410?

I believe the Benro 3-Way Geared Head has only been on the market for about 6 months. Are there any readers using the Benro head that can compare it to the Manfrotto heads?

Overview of Sony a7III, Canon 17mm Tilt Shift & Sunwayfoto L Bracket for Real Estate

November 16th, 2018

Why Would You Have More than One Domain for Your Website?

November 15th, 2018

Jonathan in New York asks:

I just came across something that I hope you might have some thoughts on. Is it common for real estate photographers to have more than one URL exhibiting the same content? I was updating some SEO stuff on my site when I came across two sites with the same content, some differences, but generally the same. While it’s advantageous, it does sort of feel like cheating. Am I right, or short-sighted?

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What Options Are Available to Real Estate Photographers for Insurance?

November 14th, 2018

Alan in the Seattle area recently asked:

Do you have any recommendations for where to get liability and gear insurance? How much liability coverage is suggested?

Here are some companies recommended by PFRE readers in the past:

Check out what works best for you and understand exclusions up front. Based on readers’ input, you’ll need to spend between $300 and $1000 a year on insurance which gets you gear and liability coverage. If you fly a drone, don’t forget to include coverage for that as well.

Any other suggestions?

What to Do When Your Realtor Client Wants to Give Your Video as a Gift to Their Client?

November 13th, 2018

Diane in Colorado asks:

I had a client ask about giving my video to her clients as a gift. The way I see it, with regards to photography, is that the images have value to the agent beyond the listing i.e. can be used on their website/marketing as stock images so they would have to purchase a more comprehensive license for any images they want to use beyond the listing. But for video, because it is so specific to that property after the property has sold its only value (to the agent) is to serve as an example of the quality of marketing they offer to their clients which is also selling my services. I could charge a fee to put the video on a DVD for her clients but what is to stop her from doing that herself and undermining me in the process. Do I just say, “Sure, have at it”?

The video/photos you did for your Realtor client have value to their home seller clients because they likely have special memories of the property which the video and photos evoke. Back in the early 2000’s when I shot stills and 360s for all my wife’s listings, we were very frequently asked by the home sellers for the marketing photos. I would create a DVD that had all the marketing photos on it (that was before video was used in real estate marketing) and gave it to the home sellers as a gift. These gifts always turned out to be great marketing for us!

I would recommend that you create and provide the gift DVD so it is done professionally and has your brand and contact information on it. By the way, if you use the standard TV DVD format (as created by iDVD on Macs) for the DVD, it can be played on any DVD player and only geeks will be able to get the video/photo files off the DVD.

Charge your client a small fee if you feel you need to but having happy home sellers running around the world showing your work to their friends is great marketing!

There is probably a strong argument to be made that DVDs are soon becoming obsolete and the best way to create a gift like this is to have it in the form of an online tour or simply a YouTube video so that homeowners can see it on their SmartPhones. My grandkids’ devices have no way of viewing DVDs!

Real Estate Photographer in Paradise, CA: His Home Destroyed by the Camp Fire

November 12th, 2018

Steven in Butte County California says:

I would say I am one of the top real estate photographers in Butte county and have been for the last 5 years or so. I’ve recently lost my home in the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA and really don’t know what the future holds. I’ve already been asked about photos of places I have shot. I was able to get most of my photo files out of my home before it was destroyed. When insurance companies ask for photos should I charge them? How much?

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Holiday Gifts for Real Estate Photography Clients

November 11th, 2018

Peter in California says:

I wonder if our crew would like to chip in on ideas of what to give their clients for holiday gifts, if at all. I am hopeless. If they like wine, I get them a nice bottle. If they don’t, I am at a complete loss. We have given some a gift basket of edible goodies that don’t go off with nuts, dates from Hadley’s, cookies, etc. A few years ago, I sent a box from Harry & David, the delivery was late and arrived the day before Christmas when they were all gone to regions far off and the fruit and cheeses were all squishy and moldy awaiting their return. Not the message I meant to send! I would welcome ideas.

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Steamboat Springs Colorado Realtor Charlie Dresen Debates Himself

November 10th, 2018

Charlie Dresen, Realtor in Steamboat Springs Colorado and longtime PFRE Video Contest juror created this video of him debating with himself about the Steamboat real estate market. Great job Charlie!

A Portfolio Website Is Essential for a Real Estate Photography Business

November 8th, 2018

SquareSpaceIn the past several weeks, I’ve noticed several real estate photographers who don’t have their own portfolio website. They have a FaceBook page but no portfolio website.

While a Facebook business page is an important way for real estate photographers to connect with and market to Realtors in their area, it is not the best way to show off your portfolio. To show off your portfolio, you want a clean site that’s not jammed with distracting advertising. I’ve seen some real estate photographers who have their domain name pointed at their Facebook business page and don’t appear to have a portfolio site that they control. I think that’s a bad idea. You should have both. Continue Reading »

How Do You Get a Good Deal When Buying a Higher End iMac?

November 7th, 2018

Summer in California says:

I need to upgrade my computer. Does waiting for a Christmas or a “Black Friday” deal really make a difference when buying a higher end iMac? I use to a buy refurbished machines from Apple but I never see those deals for what I’m looking for now (other than the iMac Pro which I can’t quite afford). I understand you can get bundle deals, etc., but in the long run, am I really only going to end up spending the same amount and getting a few freebies. I would really appreciate any recommendations.

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How to Setup Auto White Balance on the Sony A7III

November 6th, 2018

Steven in New Jersey says:

I am a run (sprint) and gun kind of guy. Recently, I switched from a crop sensor, Nikon D5300 to a Sony A7III, and while I knew there would be a big learning curve, I find there are some things in the Sony that are just a bit odd, or I just haven’t figured out the proper settings. I shoot RAW and use LR5 but I strive to spend as little time in post as possible. I find that with the Sony, more often than not, the windows are blown out, and sometimes the Auto White Balance is on vacation so the colors will often appear too blue. It would be great to hear from some other A7III owners.

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Onsite Dangers for Real Estate Photographers

November 5th, 2018

Dave in Australia pointed out this article on Fstoppers titled: The Biggest Dangers Photographers Face. The article points out several  specific on-site dangers for real estate photographers:

  1. Make sure homeowners are expecting you. One Atlanta real estate photographer was shot by a surprised homeowner who wasn’t notified of the shoot.
  2. Beware, many listing agents aren’t very good at making homeowners aware that pets should be contained or not in the home during shoots and showings!
  3. In some areas, real estate photographers encountering squatters in vacant properties is not uncommon.
  4. Many real estate photographers are confronted by nosy neighbors who demand identification or simply call the police at the suspicion of criminal intent by the photographer.

Have you encountered any of these issues while shooting property?

Does Anyone Use an Independent Light Meter to Shoot Interiors?

November 4th, 2018

David in Alabama asked the following:

I’ve recently been reading about the Sekonic C-700 color and light meter. It seems like an amazing tool with great potential for PFRE users but how would you best use a device like this to sort the perennial problems of WB and color accuracy in rooms with multiple light sources? If my priority is not saving money but instead pushing the quality higher, would you invest the bucks or stick with something more conventional?

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Introducing HD PhotoHub

November 3rd, 2018

Answers to Three Questions that Just Might Help You Build Your Real Estate Photography Business from HDPhotoHub on Vimeo.

Background

Herb has been pioneering marketing technology for real estate photography since 1997. While Chief Technology Officer and then CEO for TourFactory, he drove innovation there for 18 years. The only thing he loves more than developing new technology is helping others use technology to grow their businesses.

What Is HDPhotoHub?

HDPhotoHub is a platform for real estate photographers that quickly creates feature-rich property websites and social media marketing tools. It also includes the business tools real estate photographers need to efficiently manage their business.

What Sets HDPhotoHub Apart? Continue Reading »

Why Is My iPhone XR Taking Better Photos than a $5,000 Canon?

November 2nd, 2018

I couldn’t resist passing this on because I have both of these cameras (5DMkIV and iPhone Xs) and noticed this phenomenon when I started using my iPhone Xs. The Xs produces better video at a higher frame rate than the 5DMkIV too. Pretty amazing.