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.
All Articles


Two photos merged in Photoshop

The ability to merge multiple photos is a useful skill for real estate photographers. Even though most of them want to get the photo right directly in the camera, there are certain scenarios where merging the pictures together is proven useful and nece ...



The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion


View Now


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. 

Contest Rules


View / Submit


View Archive


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.

Conference News

No items found

Congratulations Matt Van Emmerik--July 2019 PFRE Photographer of the Month!

Published: 23/07/2019

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Congratulations to Matt Van Emmerik from Kelowna, BC--July 2019 Photographer of the Month! The theme this month was Master Ensuite and we had 43 entries from around the world. As always, a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated and to the jury who continue to volunteer their valuable time and thoughtful insights.

  1. Matt Van Emmerik - #38
  2. Brian Covington -#42
  3. Dana Thompson - #26
  4. Andre Mckenzie - #2
  5. Tacey Jungmann - #32

Please feel free to view and comment on any of this month's entries here.

Thank you! It's an honor to win POTM! Thanks to the judges as I know how much time you invest into studying these images and commenting on them.

This image was originally shot for high-end real estate in a $6million waterfront home with a higher than normal budget. It was captured on my Canon 5D Mark IV with a 16-35mm f/2.8 II lens at 24mm plus Godox and Canon lighting (AD200 AD360 TT685C Speedlight, Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight). It was a composite shot built from 4-6 exposure frames (flash and ambient). The judges' comments are correct in saying it looked like one of those difficult layouts to capture.

There was a flash set in the bedroom camera right (AD200 ceiling bounce mistake) as well as in the bathroom camera right (Speedlight) bouncing on a white closet door to brighten up the white cabinets a smidge (barely used this portion) plus my light on a stick for some fill. Then the flashes were moved camera left for a more natural light direction and a large shoot through umbrella (AD360) was used in the bedroom by the window for a soft but hard punch of natural-looking light as the bedroom was actually quite dark and tricky to light with beams shooting across the ceiling. I honestly didn’t do a great job with the bedroom as you can tell; when looking at the mirror, there are two shadow directions but I was good with it as you’d never know if there was a window or a skylight camera right, so it works.

I actually thought after submitting this photo that it would get shredded by the judges. There are a couple of things I missed when retouching this image and after looking it over a million times, didn’t see it until I clicked submit and saw it on the contest page the next day. The bedroom lighting was one; and I accidentally desaturated the window in the shower with the Soffit and tree reflection. Thankfully, it’s not a distraction or even that noticeable but I wanted to point that out because these sorts of things can easily happen no matter how much time we spend working on and studying an image.

I’ve noticed a lot of natural light entries have been winning lately, which is great to see it’s going back in time to a film-look again and away from the over-lit, picture frame darken mode window-pull shots that were becoming so popular in real estate.

Anyways, thanks again for the honor; and to the judges. Cheers.

Brandon Cooper

15 comments on “Congratulations Matt Van Emmerik--July 2019 PFRE Photographer of the Month!”

  1. Congrats on the win, Matt! Loved your image. I really enjoyed your backstory and I agree with you that's it's awesome to see a bunch of natural/ambient-looking shots doing so well in the contest lately.

  2. Congratulations, Matt! That is a beautiful but deceptively difficult bathroom to capture and you did great job. Incorporating the column actually balances the floor to ceiling shower to my eye and I don't know that I would have seen that as I would have been too busy thinking, "How am I going to avoid that massive column?" I am curious...was it structural or was there shelving or storage on the other side?

  3. Hi Brian, thank you! Your image was a beautiful capture and similar colour palette too! I ended up capturing multiple angles of this ensuite to capture it all. For this image I got back as far as I could and zoomed in to 24mm which was the sweet spot. I didn't give the column much thought to be honest I just went with what was pleasing to my eye. You're right in that it does balance out the shower but this was not a deliberate or well thought out approach to the composition as much as I'd like to say I struggled for an hour for these reasons 😉 The column itself isn't a major structural element other than for the double sided vanity itself nor is it storage (sadly). I'm posting a link to another angle which shows it better and will make more sense of it's purpose. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *