Looking Back and Looking Forward at PFRE

December 29th, 2011

This is a special week between holidays where, there’s  time to think about what happened  last year and how you are going to try to do it better next year.

Looking Back 
I am continually amazed at how much I enjoy doing this blog. I enjoy it more every year and 2011 is no exception. I enjoy all the great people I meet in this process and most of all I enjoy helping people start out and get established in real estate photography. This is a time when it’s vitally important to be in charge of creating your own success and as the success stories we’ve documented this last year demonstrate real estate photography can be a business where you can do exactly that. The google analytics for the blog show that during 2011 there were an average of 15,000 unique visitors a month that each visited the blog at least three times a month. These numbers are up 25% in 2011 as compared to 2010.

I’ve especially enjoyed the one on one coaching that I’ve done this year with 16 different blog readers. So far I’ve done it on a ad-hoc basis just doing it over Skype for those that seem to need and want coaching the most. I’m going to do this coaching in a more structured way in the future but I haven’t decided exactly how yet. I’m thinking about including some amount of one-on-one coaching with the purchase of my two beginning real estate photography eBooks.

In looking at the posts that were the most popular in 2011 it is very clear that the most popular subjects were those where I talked about the basics of real estate photography and marketing yourself to agents. Subjects like:

  1. Wide-Angle Lenses For Real Estate Photography: How Wide is Wide?– 2007
  2. Interior Lighting With Multiple Strobes: By Scott Hargis– 2007
  3. My Formula For Pricing Real Estate Photography– 2008
  4. Stunning Interior Images Without Lighting Equipment– 2008
  5. Summary of Using HDR for Real Estate Photography– 2008
  6. If You Charge Less Than $150 Per Real Estate Shoot You Have A Problem– 2011
  7. Alternatives For Controlling Window Brightness– 2009
  8. Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos Hall of Fame– 2009
  9. What Should I Charge For A Shoot?– 2010
  10. Beginners Guide to Lighting Choices For Real Estate Photographers– 2008
The dates after the links indicate what year the post was written in. I know, I only did one great post this year but apparently was hotter in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Most of the traffic to these posts come from Google search strings matching something in the title line. This illustrates the importance of choosing words for title lines. The list of links titled “Popular Posts” at the top of the right side-bar undoubtedly helps direct traffic to these posts too but they were all popular before I created this the “Popular Posts” list.

Looking Forward
I have a number of things in the plan for 2012. Some of them are:

  1. I’m very close to releasing the 3rd edition of the Photography For Real Estate ebook. My son Ian is doing the final proof reading and I expect to release it some time in the first few weeks in January. As usual everyone that has purchased the book will automatically get a download link sent to the email they used to purchase the book.
  2. Scott said he is working on an update to Lighting Interiors but his schedule is busy so I can’t promise when that will happen.
  3. I have other eBooks in the planning stages and in progress but none are close enough to completion to talk about details. I think you will like these… stay tuned.
  4. For my eBooks, I’m going to add and increasing amount of video content. There will be six video tutorials that I’ve designed to augment the post processing chapter in the 3rd edition of Photography For Real Estate. There are some subjects that can be communicated better with a video tutorial than with text and I believe that an eBook is a medium that will work well as a mixture of text and video. I’ve been inspired by Salaman Kahn and his Khan Academy. I just wish I could do tutorials like Sal does! I’m practicing.
  5. I am very close to changing the template on the blog. I’m moving to a magazine style template so I am able to better expose and make visible the huge depth of content that is here (1200 posts). It will highlight up to 6 of the most important categories and show the two most recent posts in that category on the front page.
I’d like to thank all the readers who’ve contributed their success stories and real estate photography problems and have been willing to let me talk about them in public. Keep them coming, success storys encourage everyone and if you are having a problem chances are that someone else has already solved it.
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15 Responses to “Looking Back and Looking Forward at PFRE”

  • Congratulations on your continued success Larry and best wishes for more of the same in 2012. Your blog has been an invaluable resource to me during my first year as a “professional” (that just means I get paid for it, not that I’m any good yet) real estate photographer/videographer. Thank you for all that you and your awesome community of readers contribute. Happy New Year!

  • I wanted to jump in and add my THANK YOU! as well. But not only to Larry. The knowledge, experiences, and opinions shared through this forum by all who contribute have helped me to get started in this challenging, and at times frustrating, yet incredibly interesting business. So to all of you who have put the virtual “pen to paper”, I say many thanks. Here’s to an even more successful 2012! Cheers!

  • I second Mike’s “Thank You” Larry! It has been invaluable to me too.
    Here’s hoping that your life has a high dynamic range and best wishes for 2012.

    Craig Ryder

  • Larry,
    I too appreciate your blog and wonder how you manage to shoot and do the blog also. Since I started getting involved with PFRE this year and reading the responses, I have gone back to shooting multiple lighting again and (doing some HDR, and LR enfuse) which I learned about from your blogs and responses. The quality of the work I see is humbling and very impressive.

    Thanks again for all your advice and the feedback from the many excellent real estate photographers. I have always given my professional knowledge freely to anyone interested in learning, and I have found the same kindness from our fellow photographers responding to your site.

    I wish all a very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2012,

    Kindest regards from Eric and the 73 degree weather in Sarasota FL

    PS: is that Maui sand in your photograph or one of the beautiful beaches in Seattle?

  • Congratulations on the continuing success on the blog you’ve created Larry! I can’t wait to see the results of your new design and layout next year! While I’ve been sorta following along with interest mainly to get more ideas on how to use flash in photography (always trying to expand my depth of knowledge of this “hobby” called photography!), your site may be even more important to me in the near future; I may be one of the “lucky few” who will be without a job soon. I won’t know until I go into the office on January 3rd. It’s not that we don’t have work to do, it’s a simple matter of our customers not paying us. So I may decide to launch on a new career with great frenzy next month! Besides, I think I’m ready to change careers anyway!

    I trust you and everyone here had a great Christmas holiday; HAPPY NEW YEAR and best wishes for everyone in 2012!!


  • Thanks Larry for providing this platform and share all kinks of photography information and knowledge from others. This blog is one of my most important site to visit everyday.
    Happy New Year and wishing best of success to everyone!

  • Congratulations Larry! Your impressive success is a great example of what dedication, hard work and a generous heart can accomplish. Thank you for your constant support throughout all these years. Your blog is an invaluable source of knowledge and a great place to connect with the rest of the real estate photographers worldwide. We look forward to the new and improved format!
    2011 was a great year for Artez Photography. In 2012 we plan to continue working hard to consolidate our company. 2012 starts with our first international assignment in Valencia, Spain, where we have been hired to photograph an ocean front resort in February.
    To you and your family, and to all of the PFRE readers, our best wishes for an even more successful 2012, filled with blessings, provision, health and new opportunities to all!
    The Dominguez family
    Ps. Great photo Larry.

  • Happy New Year, Larry!

  • A credit to you Larry, an inspirational resource, worldwide. Thank you. And, thanks to all for sharing.
    A happy, and prosperous, New year to all.

  • Thanks, Larry! You’ve really created something big…more than the sum of it’s parts. Happy New Year, wonder what 2012 will bring?

  • Yes Larry – you’re created something very special. Thanks for having the vision.

  • Thanks for everyone’s feedback. I appreciate it! The best new year to everyone!

  • Larry, to me you are the Steve Jobs of PFRE: smart, visionary and improving the world one step at a time. Fortunately you do reply to my emails 😉

    Keep up the amazing and inspiring work you do!

    Have a great 2012!

  • Happy New Year! Thanks for providing a great forum – I know how much of an inspiration it has been to me and others as well. Keep up the good work! Also glad to see more posts on video this year. Although I’ve been saying it for 6 years, I really DO believe this is the year for video. It’s going to explode. Mark my words!

  • I LOVE the creativity of your 2011 – 2012 photograph!
    It’s especially perfect for those of us who live near the beach.

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