PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities.
PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.
Jordan Powers sent me this video he made explaining real estate photography licensing. He originally made this video to give to the agents he works with. Jordan's YouTube channel is a weekly real estate photography vlog you may want to check out.
I like the idea of having a video you can give to your clients that explains photo licensing.
Photo licensing is a subject that we've talked about for many years on PFRE and I wanted to distill the insights that have come out of those years of discussions. Here's my attempt at a summary:
Only 49% of real estate photographers discuss this subject with their clients because they don't relicense their photos. This, of course, contributes to agents lack of understanding of photo licensing.
Even if you don't intend to relicense photos it's a good idea to discuss photo licensing or send Jordan's video to each client. Otherwise, you are likely to find your client giving your photos away to others.
Real estate photographers that do intend to relicense their photos should have a written license agreement and have each client sign it a least once. Although Joel Rothman would recommend that clients sign a license agreement for each shoot.
Your MLS may claim that by uploading listing photos to the MLS site, you (the agent) transfer ownership or copyright of the photos to the MLS. Court cases have shown this to be false. The agent cannot transfer the copyright because they do not own the copyright. Copyright can only be transferred via a signed document.
Larry Lorhman is the founder of the PFRE website, blog, and community. Over the decades, he came to be known as one of the founding influencers in the real estate photography industry. He is the author of many books, including the popular “The Business of Real Estate Photography“.