Back in the late 1980's when I started shooting my wife Levi's listings. She represented a builder in neighborhood of new homes on the Sammamish Plateau on the Eastside of Seattle. She insisted that when the home was sighted above the street (many homes in this neighborhood were) we had to shoot the front shot from at least the level of the front door or preferably above. Her approach for shooting elevated shots was to either stand on the top of her Mitsubishi Montero or get the developer's superintendent to bring his big rig over in front of the listing and stand on top of it to get the the front shot. We had never heard of PAP. Cameras used stuff called film back then.
I started using a fold-up ladder in the back of my Toyota Tacoma to solve the elevated shooting problem because I didn't like waiting for the superintendent. This was a pretty good solution but there were some situations where getting about 10' above the street was jus not enough. About 2005 I discovered the painters pole. It's a great alternative and gets the elevated shots you need for real estate about 95% of the time.
Nowadays most serious real estate photographers use some form of PAP (Pole Aerial Photography), ladders, or standing on vehicles. There are a bunch of good alternatives for putting cameras on hand held poles from 10' to 20' and higher. To do the best job of doing front shots you frequently need to get higher than street level.
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