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Insights From Hiring Real Estate Photographers

Published: 28/08/2008
By: larry

Because there have been several times this year that I couldn't get up to Issaquah to shoot my wife Levi's listings, Levi hired various real estate photographers in the Seattle area too shoot some of her listings. Being able to observe the whole process of hiring and getting results from real estate photographers from the receiving end of the process has been very insightful for me.

One thing I learned from seeing how different real estate photographers deliver photos is that box.net is in my opinion a best-in-class photo delivery mechanism. I've used box.net before and even did a post on it back in June of this year but it really didn't sink-in how fantastic this service was for photo delivery until I experienced it on the receiving end. Here's why I think box.net is so great for this purpose:

  1. You can send a client a simple link to a box.net folder to the photos being delivered. No passwords to remember, just a simple link for the client to click to see a folder of thumbnails with filenames.
  2. With one click you can download the whole folder of files as a zip file.
  3. If you like you can browse through the photos, click on any one and view as larger file, and download any single file.
  4. Photos are a breeze to upload.
  5. You get a 1 gig account for free, $7.95/mo for 5 gig and larger accounts available.
  6. Box.net makes the whole delivery process look and work very professional. It makes you look good!

If you do a lot of shoots you would probably need a 5 gig or larger account but if you are just starting out a free 1 gig account is fine for several shoots a week. If you deliver photos to clients you need to look at this service!

23 comments on “Insights From Hiring Real Estate Photographers”

  1. Larry, Thanks for the great info. I haven't heard of box.net yet. but it looks like something I could definitely use in my real estate shoots as well as others. Thanks!

  2. I agree with you about box.net. It's realiable and easy to use and more important it's fast. It will send a link to clients and I haven't had any not be able to retrieve their photos.

  3. Larry:

    Thanks for posting. I am looking into photo delivery sites right now. Great timing as I was not aware of this one yet! Will check it out tonight.

  4. box.net's the best! i've used it since you recommended it some while back. my clients seem to like it, it's very practical and the good thing is the pictures don't loose any quality during the upload/download. you can send a link right from the page, or from your email. aaand, anytime you don't want to share your pics you can click on that option and only you'll be able to see them. it's very versatile. again, thanks for the recommendation!

  5. What are the major advantages of using box.net over using something like flickr? In my experience its very easy to upload to flickr. But maybe its not so wonderful on the download side? I'd like to see virtual tour hosing services offer this service. After all, they have all the photos. Why not provide a download link and eliminate the thrid party? Simple works best.

  6. @ Mike - one [major/dealbreaker] reason to not use Flickr is that commercial use is a violation of their TOS 😉

  7. Someone can give a box.net link to photographies?? , so i can figure out how it is presented,,,

    Thanks

  8. I am going to dig into this more, but do you control when they are able to download the photos? For instance, as I am currently starting to take senior pictures, I'd like to be able to put them up there for proofs, but not download until we settle on which ones are being purchased.

  9. Scott,
    There are many MLS shots posted on Flickr by this groop and more for various reason that come soooo close to commercial. Putting them up there for a short time for distrubution seems safer that posting MLS shots asking for member comments for improvement. If the later isn't commercial, than I need more training.

  10. Mike -- posting images for critical review is not commercial.

    Posting images for sale or license is commercial. Portfolio use is non-commercial - otherwise you'd need a property release to ever show anyone your images.

    But using Flickr as a delivery method when you're being paid - that is very clearly a violation of the TOS. No question.

    It's also tacky, tacky, tacky --- no one is going to take a photographer seriously if s/he uses Flickr/Smugmug/etc. instead of a more professional delivery method.
    A bit like going to a 3-star restaurant and discovering that the coffee is Folger's Crystals...

  11. I just tried box.net and it seems like the end user (i.e. Realtor) has to sign up for a paid account to be able to download the entire folder regardless of what type of an account I have. Has anyone else found this to be the case?

  12. Why not just upload images to your own website and send links to your customers? I don't understand the benefits other then a little time.

    Heck you can even do it within Photoshop.

  13. Box.net is useless to me because no one I know will want to bother signing on to yet another internet site even to share or view files.

    Good idea otherwise.

  14. Has anyone tried smugmug.com? I understand they have a plug in application for Lightroom PC version?

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