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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.
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Should You Work As a Contract Real Estate Photographer?

17/05/2017
7 Comments
John asks: I am an aspiring photographer but I'm trying to decide if its worth it for me or not. I have tried to contact some of the regional real estate photography companies to contract shoot for them but I can't get a good read on the photographer compensation. How much do real estate photographers […]
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How Many Photos Should Real Estate Photographers Provide?

14/04/2017
31 Comments
Michael in Illinois recently asked: My MLS has changed the real estate photography playing field. The number of photos allowed used to be limited to 25. They now allow an unlimited number of photos for each listing. So for me, this is a great advantage, since my competition in this market typically provides only 25 or so […]

The Majority of Realtors Believe that They Own Photos They Pay For

16/03/2017
30 Comments
It's pretty clear that the majority of listing agents believe that they own the photos real estate photographers shoot for their listings. Here is some evidence:

Full Frame: Help For Organizing Your Real Estate Photography Business

11/03/2017
7 Comments
Recently, we talked about some alternatives for real estate photographers to get help managing their clients so I thought it may be useful to point out some of the features of "Full Frame," one of the PFRE advertisers. Full Frame Systems started their real estate photography business in 2008 in the Southern California market. They […]

Is There a One Stop for Real Estate Photographer Insurance?

28/02/2017
Bob in New Mexico asks: Is anyone aware of a company that will write a "cover it all" policy? I wish I could just get one policy that covered all my equipment (cameras, lenses, and drones included) for damage or theft, etc., and had a liability policy attached; a veritable "one stop shop" for real […]

Should You Be Concerned When Realtors Watermark Their Listing Photos?

14/02/2017
11 Comments
Ryan in Texas asks: Should I be concerned about listing services that allow a Realtor to watermark their listing photos? The watermarking of photos appears to advertise the realtor's services and prevent the photos' subsequent appropriation by another realtor or broker should the listing agent lose the listing, but it seems like a slippery slope. […]

How Can I Implement a before and after Slider on My Website?

10/02/2017
10 Comments
Peter in Calgary asked: I use Smugmug for my website and I'd like to have some before and after sliders on my site. Can that be done on Smugmug? Has anyone done it? How does it work? Yes, before and after sliders are a great way to compare images, but I don't believe that feature […]

How Should Real Estate Photographers Deal with Non-Compete Agreements?

06/02/2017
9 Comments
I had two questions on non-compete agreements last week. Both readers asked for examples of non-compete agreements as if there is some right way to write one. Over the years everyone I've talked to about non-compete agreements they've signed have found themselves in a disastrous situation after wanting to work on their own. My advice on […]

What are the Requirements for Photographers with Regards to 1099s?

21/01/2017
12 Comments
John in NJ asks: I am a one person photographer. I have a client, the first time in 6 years is wanting to give me a 1099 for services. What are the requirements for photographers with regards to 1099s?

Can Previous Listing Agents or Homeowners Control the Use of Your Real Estate Photos?

17/01/2017
15 Comments
Jim in New Mexico asks the following question: I recently shot a home for a new broker who just got the listing. Since I photographed the same home 1 year ago for another broker and the previous seller, I felt compelled to use some of the previous summer season shots of the yards. All interior […]

What Is The Easiest Method Of Real Estate Photo Delivery for Non-Technical Realtors?

30/12/2016
Bill in VA asks: Has there been any sampling of members as to what program(s) are being used most often for file transfer of final images to realtor clients? I am familiar with Dropbox and Hightail. What other programs exist and what programs are easiest to use for non-technical agents? The reason for my question […]

What Should Real Estate Photographers Charge for Rental Photos?

29/12/2016
Chris in NJ asks: I have been asked to do a handful of vacation rental properties. I'm not sure if these should be priced differently than a house for sale. I'm assuming the cost should be higher since the photos will be used longer. But do you charge double? Triple? I'm not really sure. Any […]

Do Real Estate Photographers Need To Be Bonded?

17/10/2016
4 Comments
Jessica in NC/SC asked: Do real estate photographers need to get bonded to do real estate photography? If so, what kind of bond would your recommend for NC and SC? Blog reader Ken answered your question quite well in a comment to a similar question a couple of years ago as follows:

Should Real Estate Photographers Get An Associate MLS Membership?

29/09/2016
Peggy in Alabama says: I have been asked by a few realtors if I would consider offering the service to upload the photos for them as an add on. I just can't imagine I would recoup the cost of an associate membership to do this, not to mention my time. Do any of you offer […]

Is Getting A Part 107 Certification For Real Estate Photography Worth It?

26/09/2016
Greg in Arizona asks: Now that the FAA has their regulations and testing in place, I'm curious how other photographers are handling the registration process.  They have made the testing and process so onerous I'm questioning whether it is worth it. I've about decided its not worth the expense and hassle to get certified. I'd […]

Transitioning From A 9 to 5 Job To Full Time Real Estate Photography

23/08/2016
16 Comments
Michael in Atlanta asked the following: I've shot professionally 3-4 years ago (while in college) and have since taken the more traditional career route of a 9-5, however, as of late I've felt an overwhelming urge to go back to my roots. Photography is definitely a passion, but the lifestyle it affords is almost as, […]

What's A Zillow Certified Photographer?

29/07/2016
A couple of days ago Cindy in VA asked me: A friend and I noticed a reference on the Internet to "Zillow Certified Photographer".  So we just spent the last 30 minutes on the Internet trying to find anything out about this with no answers, just Everbrite invites to locations in the US on dates […]

Do Real Estate Photographers Need to Collect Sales Tax On Shoots?

30/06/2016
Stephanie in Washington state asks: I have launched my business and finally gotten my first paying job, then I went to make my first invoice and can't figure out if I have to charge my customers WA State Sales Tax? I have been reading the state website about taxes and still haven't figured it out. […]

When And How To Talk About Photo Licensing With Clients

25/05/2016
8 Comments
Brady says: I haven't come upon this pricing dilemma before, but I'm sure its not uncommon.  An agent I work with will be the listing agent for nine (9) townhouses and has asked me to come out and shoot one of two completed units.  She intends to use the images for both listings and possibly […]

What To Do If You Find Someone Using Your Image On A Website Without Your Permission?

09/05/2016
16 Comments
Pierre asks: I have a question regarding the internet blog "Curbed". They are using my photos regularly to write articles about the Los Angeles Real Estate Market. They comment on various listings that I shot getting their information and images from the MLS. They have no way to know those are my photos because the […]

What is A Real Estate Photographer To Do If Agents Don't Pay?

18/04/2016
21 Comments
Priscilla says: My husband just started his real estate photography business. A Realtor hired him to take photos of a listing, which he did. This Realtor requested he send the photos right away and was very anxious to post them on the listing because they had scheduled an open house for that weekend. The Realtor […]

Where Is The Best Place To Build A Photographer Website?

13/04/2016
20 Comments
Glen in North Georgia says: You guys at PFRE are just great...superfab! I'm interested in starting a small business shooting for Realtors in North Georgia and it's very embryonic but I found a goldmine when I found your site. Thank you and everyone that has contributed. Where's a good place to start a website for […]

When Should Real Estate Photographers Get Paid?

18/03/2016
31 Comments
There have been several questions recently about collecting payment. Alex in Ohio asked: I have heard about real estate photographers charging at time of sale instead of requiring payment at time of shoot. What are your thoughts on this? It makes sense because no one gets paid till the home sells, why would the photographer […]

How Can You Reduce The Amount Of Time Spent Post-Processing?

09/03/2016
33 Comments
Robert recently asked: I am wondering if there has been a discussion about ways to improve post processing workflow and reduce the amount of time spent in front of the computer. I typically shoot 30+ photos for each of my agents' listings and I find it takes me about 2 hours to edit/process a shoot […]

What Should I Charge To Shoot Expensive Upper-end Homes?

04/03/2016
33 Comments
Alex asks: I'm running a small real estate photography business since last year and although I've made progress, still have a lot of things to learn. One question I have is how should I price the expensive listings (1 million and more)? Is it based on the same show-up cost, or you charge sort of […]

Tourbuzz.net - An Easy Way To Provide Tours For Real Estate Photography Clients

20/01/2016
27 Comments
Dave in Toronto asks: I'm a Real Estate Photographer in Toronto and I've been looking for another source for making websites (tours) for my client's listings.  At the moment, I'm using Rapidweaver.  It does the job but I'm looking for something easier.  Do you have any suggestions?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. I use […]

Explanation Of Real Estate Photo Licensing For Agents

30/12/2015
Eric in Southern California asked for the following: I've been looking through the site for a basic simple explanation on copyrights and usage for real estate agents to understand. I've been a photographer for most of my life and doing real estate photos for about eight years and in working with several different agents in […]

Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos

10/12/2015
7 Comments
I've pointed out Saskatoon agent, Norm Fisher's really funny presentation of bad real estate photos before but it's so funny I think it is worth featuring again. I feel like inventing a real estate marketing award for Norm's presentation. I was reminded of this subject by the fact that Athol Kay, a Connecticut Realtor got some coverage […]

What's The Best Online Booking Application For Real Estate Photography?

08/10/2015
16 Comments
Wanda asks: Does anyone have a suggestion for a scheduling application that they use for their business. We have been trying booker.com but it just does not fit well for a real estate photographer. I have an assistant that is in the office from 9 -3 but most REALTORS want something that is available to […]

Are There New Rules In California For Real Estate Photographers?

04/09/2015
17 Comments
Micah, a real estate photographer that recently moved to California asked the following: I heard something interesting today that I hadn't heard of before but thought maybe you knew: Someone was telling me that photographers who shoot real estate in California need a real estate license in order to do it legally. Is this true? […]

Do Professional Voice Overs In Tours Help Sell Listings?

28/08/2015
Rob, a professional narrator, asked the following question: Do professional Voice Overs - when appropriately and strategically placed in a tour - help agents sell their listings faster? Does the voice over compel a buyer and say something different that cannot be captured through our lenses? I'm not talking about a one to two sentence […]

What Is A Good Hosting Service For A Real Estate Photography Website?

28/07/2015
Bill asks: I'm about to set up a website for my photography projects. I'll be building the site with the URL "ResortHomePhotography.com", which I just bought through Google Domains. I use WordPress for my (still-under-construction) real estate web site but noted Google partners with several web hosting services: Blogger, Squarespace, Shopify, Weebly, & Wix. Do […]

Do You Need To Register as A Business If You Operate A Real Estate Photography Business?

20/07/2015
1 Comment
Susi in North Carolina asked: I started taking real estate pics for a few realtors I worked for in Colorado and recently moved to North Carolina. I would love to offer my services to real estate companies here in NC, but I have a question: Do I need to register as a business and/or have […]

How Do You Build A Credible Portfolio Of Real Estate Work When You Are Getting Started?

17/07/2015
16 Comments
Renee asked the following: ...perhaps the biggest issue for me starting out is having a body of work in credible interiors on my website. I've picked up some commercial work, but it has not been enough and isn't going to draw in realtors who have residential work. I read a kindle book whose author had […]

Congratulations To Dave Williamson in Perth On Winning His Copyright Court Action

15/07/2015
4 Comments
Dave Williamson in Perth, AU has been engaged in a copyright dispute/misunderstanding since January of this year. This was a typical real estate photography dispute about listing photos being used by an agent different from the one they were licensed to. I wanted to highlight this decision because it helps to have clear resolved example […]

What Do You Charge To Shoot 1 to 3 minutes of UAV Video For Real Estate?

25/06/2015
21 Comments
Anthony recently asked the following: I've searched here and the Flickr group, but the answer to these questions still elude me. What is a reasonable rate for basic video? What is a reasonable rate for drone flights/photos? We've done a poll for standard real estate video that is fairly recent but we've never done a poll […]

Why Not Defer Some Or All Of Your Real Estate Photography Shoot Fee To Closing?

09/06/2015
19 Comments
Because real estate listing agents don't get paid until a sale closes, the deferred payment option keeps coming up. Keith recently ask the following: I've read lots of posts about business models...pay up front, pay at close, pricing, etc. None of the pay at close really seems to address a combo - pay a bit when […]

Help! What Can I Do To Get More Real Estate Photography Business?

21/04/2015
32 Comments
Richard in New Mexico is struggling to get started in real estate photography and needs help. Here is his account of his efforts in the last fourteen months: Beginning February 2014, I began concentrating on residential real estate photography. I have over 50 years experience as a photographer and have worked every area of photography except […]

How Do You Compete With Real Estate Photographers Charging Low Prices?

25/03/2015
56 Comments
Kirt in Connecticut asks: I am based out of Connecticut and competitive pricing is always an issue with every one of us. I can't seem to get over the hump of other locals. Simply said; the one competior here charges $75 a listing. This is based off a 300,000 listing price. I can't wrap my head […]

Real Estate Photography Terms Of Service Summary

29/01/2015
Jason recently posed the question: I am trying to find a sample 'terms and conditions' and a 'contract' to offer agents. I have seen a couple of posts you have previously added, but the web links are now dead. The old podcast you recommend has also gone. Can you help at all? We've discussed the […]
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