The PFRE Idol voting results are in and Linda Sabiston, of Sunshine Coast, BC (flickr handle: Coastalpics ) is the winner of this months PFRE Idol contest. Congratulations Linda! This is indeed a very special image! I has a combination of soft, even lighting inside and nicely exposed windows. Linda said she knew this image was special as soon as she made the shot.
Linda's winning shot above, was shot with a Nikon D40/Sigma 10-20mm/SB-600, with a Gary Fong Lightsphere, used on-camera, late in the day. To see the entire shoot of this property see Linda's complete tour for this home.
Linda describes her background and getting started in real estate photography as follows:
I have enjoyed photography since I was about 14years old. I recall watching my Dad with his old Voitlander and light meter. I never knew what it was for, but it sure looked like an important part of his process. When he passed away, I got his camera. It took gorgeous pictures and I used it for a year or so, but the need to stay up to date with new technology lead me to purchase a Minolta Maxxum 7000. I used the Minolta for many years, then downsized to a pocket film camera when we started our family in 1992.
In 2002/03, the 2010 winter Olympics host city was announced (Vancouver/Whistler) which increased our property value incredibly! It was our turn to get out of a townhouse and into a house. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay in our community of Squamish, BC, simply because the prices has risen so high, so we turned to the internet for house hunting help. My husband and I decided to look on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, which was a 45 minute drive and a one hour ferry ride away. As he would be commuting by ferry daily, it was important to stay in a community close the the ferry terminal...as I would be driving him there every weekday at 6am! Our very first experience on MLS was disappointing. As was each and every other time we looked! The pictures did nothing for the homes, and on one occasion, when we thought we'd found "the one", we quickly discovered after we made the 2 hour trip to get there, that the pictures on MLS were of another house! Once we finally bought and settled in I continued to check MLS, in our area and in Vancouver. I noticed that many of the Vancouver listings has great photos, but even better...they had 360° Virtual Tours! I thought those were pretty cool!
My husband bought me my first digital camera the Christmas of 2005. It was a Canon Powershot. I then upgraded a year and a half later to the Panasonic FZ30. Then upgraded again to the Panasonic FZ50. It was during my "FZ" faze that I considered calling one of the companies that produced VT's and asking about working for them from my area. I knew I could do better than what I saw on the internet and I wanted desperately to help the Realtors in my area, by offering them a service they couldn't resist. But then I started thinking...and researching...and I knew I could start my own company! I researched many VT providers, software programs, hardware and cameras.
After 6 months of research and 4 years of procrastination, last March was the launch of First Impression Virtual Tours and Photography. I started the business promoting virtual tours, but within the last 6 months or so, I've really been encouraging single property websites. I love doing still photos. I can be so creative and a still image can pack so much punch. The images people see online really are their "First Impression".
Within the past 6 months or so, I upgraded cameras again. This time to a Nikon D40 and SB600. What a combination! I'm so happy with the results I'm getting. I have gained so much knowledge from the PFRE website and learned so many techniques from the the flickr PFRE site.