I had an interesting discussion today with Jaak Nilson, in Tartu, Estonia that has been a professional photographer for 20 years. During that time Jaak has done architectural photography, stock photography, weddings and events. One of Jaak's projects was photographing over 30 shopping centers in Estonia, Finland and Sweden for Citycon group. The photo to the right is one of Jaak's favorite architectural shots that he did of a Olerex fuel company. Great example of how twilight can even make a gas station look good!
Recently Jaak has been becoming interested in real estate photography. He says that even though the world financial crisis the last few years hit Northern Europe pretty hard and unemployment is still around 15% in Estonia, the economy is starting to turn around and some companies are starting to build again.
Jaak says that most agents in Northern Europe are trying to save money and not pay for professional photography so it takes some marketing to get them to purchase professional photography. Jaak's insight on agents is, "if you give one a piano, they think they have a piano, but if you give them a camera, they think they are a photographer". Apparently, agents are the same everywhere in the world! It sounds like Jaak is describing some of the agents that I know.
Jaak is interested in expanding his skills and professional offering by shooting HD video and combining it with stills. He believes that video will play an important role in real estate photography in the future.
Many thanks to Jaak for sharing his story, photos and insights with us. The best of luck to you getting started in real estate photography and hope to have you participate in the blog and flickr group in the future.