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While we can discuss how to capture it, the fact remains that the front exterior photo is THE most important photo in real estate marketing. It's my understanding that, before the advent of online listings, agents were only required to choose one photo ...

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LATimes Article: Shoot — It’s For The Web

Published: 08/06/2007
By: larry

The recent latimes.com article by Ann Brenoff is another must read real estate photography article for your marketing kit. Much like the NYTimes article I featured last February, this article gives a some good real estate photography statistics and some shooting tips from Santa Monica-based Nick Springett and Everett Fenton Gidley, the big guns of real estate photography in the Santa Monica area. The article contains a bunch of great quotes and insights. One insight I particularly liked is quote by Everett Fenton Gridley (photo above links to his web site) that full screen  flash slide shows make it so web viewers don't have to open and close each photo by clicking on it. Gridley says:, "You have to make it easy or they'll quit on you".Be sure to explore Everett Fenton Gidley's web site. The images are masterful and there are many links to recent property sites that he and his team have built. I declare Gidley the king of property sites. His portfolios and property site examples show how he implements his "...make it easy or they'll quit on you" site design. One click delivers the whole portfolio or the whole property site content. Very simple and effective use flash slide shows of large images.

10 comments on “LATimes Article: Shoot — It’s For The Web”

  1. "full screen flash slide shows make it so web viewers don’t have to open and close each photo by clicking on it"

    Flash slideshows as the answer to popups 🙂 I agree that you have to put the least possible difficulties for the viewer. But you don't have to open each photo in a new html page! standard links or enough, and javascript interaction is way sufficient.

    Flash is great for interactive games or applications, but it's a bit too much for a gllery. W3C Web standards are the better way for presenting online information.

    For example, flash photos are outside the searchable world (for yesterday's San Franscico Addams' family Mansion) but my simple html gallery a href="http://images.google.com/images?q=appartement%20toutes%20aides">shows first for "appartement" in "toutes aides" neighbourhood.

    And it's just one of the benefit. Using standards permits to not make assumptions on the access device, be it a mobile phone, a TV set, a web-fridge or whatever, with growing importance on PCs.

  2. Marc,
    When you use flash galleries your whole site isn't necessarily done in flash. Good example is google(scott hargis). Scott uses several flash galleries but searching finds the site and anything he chooses to have in HTML.

    Also, on your search example all John has in the HTML is 2901 Broadway Street. He could easily add more search able text in the HTML.

    You are right tours, sites and galleries need to have search able text and may don't. I think you can have it both ways. Use flash galleries and include search able text.

  3. Great images, but I can't stand flash slideshows that cannot be controlled by the user. What if I want to stop the show and take a closer look at the kitchen? Or go back and take another look at the living room?

    There are flash-based gallery templates out there that allow you to quickly view photos without opening them in a new window. I'd rather scroll though all the images on a single html page (like Tere Foster's and most of the top Seattle agents' pages) than sit through a flash slideshow.

  4. Aaron,
    You raise a good point. There are many viewers that would like to control their experience. Yet there are some viewers with short attention span and low navigation skills who's attention must be captured in a short time. Gidley's design is only aimed at the second type of user and I would guess that Gidley would say this is the most important type of users when you are selling upper end homes.

    Perhaps the best design is one that would default to a rapid automatic slide show that would allow a viewer to browse if desired so both viewer styles would be accommodated.

  5. Buildatour.com offers the type of slideshow that you are referring to, and they only charge $9.95 to build a tour. It starts automatically, but also allows you to scroll through a set of thumbnails, return to a previously viewed image, or advance forward to see additional images.

    I'm impatient and I cannot wait for things to move about, for instance, I always want to the see the Kitchen and the yard first, then I move back to see the rest of the property.

  6. @ Matt - I like your gallery. I really like how the images scale to the size of the browser window. It does come at the expense of image quality though. Tough call to make.

  7. I read that article when it first came out, and was going to forward it to this site but forgot to do it.

    While it raises the profile of real estate photography, I also wonder if it will end up scaring away potential clients with the high prices it mentioned.

  8. The clients who would be scared off are the agents who still don't believe high grade photos are really that important, and think they can do well enough themselves. Those folks will always be "problem clients" anyway. Better to concentrate our efforts on the agents who are selling things!

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