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Photos of Sexy $15.95M Malibu Beach Home by Mike Gardner

Published: 26/05/2011
By: larry

Malibu PadMike Gardner, a Malibu Realtor and photographer, just showed me this great listing he shot for Jeff Chertow and Caroline Lindqvist, of Pritchett-Rapf & Associates in Malibu.

Mike says he shot 1200 images and distilled the presentation down to the images you see in the slide show. I have to say, I like the presentation that Mike has created for the home's website (! Clean, simple and elegant with a dazzling set of images that show off this 4,500-square-foot, John Staff designed ocean front home with 65 feet of Malibu ocean front. Great job Mike!

Mike says an added bonus for his photography clients is that when the listing is truly outstanding, like this one, he sets up listing coverage on AOL real estate and Huffington Post. AOL real estate featured this listing as home of the day on May 23 and Huff Po is featuring it next week.

Update June 1: Mike managed to pull some strings and get this listing on Huffington Post. This is always a big plus for any listing.

20 comments on “Photos of Sexy $15.95M Malibu Beach Home by Mike Gardner”

  1. I shoot over three days and did tons of 7 shots brackets for hand layering, not hdr. On top of the there were the flash shot (few). In the brackets there were often a set with the white balance adjusted for the interior lights, then a set with all the lights turned off and white balance adjusted again for the ocean shots. Heading in to the job I heard the owners were very particular. My goal was to give them an extensive amount of images to choose from. The 1200 was reduced to about 100 selects and from that the main website ended up with under thirty. The MLS features more pictures included the butt shot and a bunch of other erotic art shots.
    D700 fine setting 17-35 f2.8 lens about 80 percent done in India and the rest by me.
    The full screen layouts are what the high end listing agents are demanding.
    Mike Kelly, why don't you show us what would have been a better full screen solution.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Just curious, and I don't need to know your exact price but what is the ball park cost of something like this type of shoot? I'm guessing you did the shoot/website/domain name/hosting? Three days seems like it would cost thousands also how did you get the realtors to allow you that type of access?



  3. About $1000 and let me be more specific about the three days. There was an evening shoot from about 5-8:30 on one day. Another evening from about 7-9 for the rest of the bedrooms and some exterior. Then a last day for daytime beach and deck shots for 1.5 hours.
    Access is always easy because most beach homes are second homes and the owners are rarely there. I also have a RE relationship with the agents and they trust me enough just to turn me loose with nobody around.

    Here is the gallery I turned in password is pfre

  4. Yikes! how long did that take you in post? I know you said you had india do alot of heavy lifting but it sounds like you STILL had 3 business days (or more) tied up in the job after all the file transfers, travel, shooting and dealing with client, etc. $1k sounds way to cheap to me..

  5. I am not sure that 1k and all that work balances out. You also had India handle the post so you lost some of your profit margin there. I also worry that you are over exposing your clients to editing that you should be doing. Many of the photos are just slightly different by one or two degrees left/right up/down. It is hard for a trained person to edit that down properly at times. I think it would be nearly impossible for most people to make sense of that many photos. Sometimes to many images can be a bad thing.

    If I let agents/owners edit the images down I usually only supply around 20 and let them edit it down to 15 for the MLS. I also never give them the "same photo" just tweaked by a couple degrees or something. I offer them 20 distinct photographs taken from very different angles.

    Editing down your work is one of the hardest things an artist can do. I spent so much time in college just shooting rolls and rolls of film and learning how to edit them down and I personally still struggle sometimes. So if I struggle with the training and education then I wonder how agents/owners who have none can make sense it.

  6. There are a lot of factors that should be thrown in the equation for price. A couple of things....
    One, the listing agent is the manager of a branch with many agents and shooting this has lead to me already booking another shoot at a beach house with one of his agents. I cut him a break to out-compete the other photographers and to get my foot in the door of a brokerage that was looked up by the competition. So my rule of thumb is when the manager calls.....give him a special rate and tell him to keep the price between the two of you.

    Two, I sell houses like this and got a one week head start on trying to sell it to clients because I knew it was going to be for sale and got to shoot it week early. That's a huge bonus to me and I got to skip out seeing it on caravan since I already saw it!

    Three, the house was less than a 5 minute drive from my home and a 2 minute drive from my office so commuting wasnt an issue.

    What I'm doing more and more is being flexible with prices. If I dont have anything going on that day and an agent calls and says that another co. will shoot something for x I'll try to cut them a deal.

    I probably did overshoot it but I had to answer to two listing agents who had to answer to an executive assistant who answered to two owners. They said they wanted to pre approve all photos so I gave them a ton. Malibu's a funny place in that a lot of these owners are in the entertainment business and later call to see if I want to do other jobs.

  7. Hi all,

    I'm not sure where to post such a comment so I landed here.

    I've been shooting RE on the side since 2009. It was some additional income to supplement my other photographic revenue. 3 months ago I was drawn back to corporate america and as luck would have it, my job is being eliminated in the next couple of weeks. That being said I'm going full tilt back into photography (to try to keep the roof over our head) with more focus on building the RE side of the business. I'm shooting a Canon 7D, will be picking up a Sigma 10-20 and have 2 800 watt studio strobes and will be adding a 580 flash. The biggest complaints in my area are agents complaining that their pictures look horrible after being uploaded to the MLS, which is very true indeed. I'm looking for options for high resolution galleries / tours and the details (or links to) details of how such sites work and how to integrate these galleries / tours with the agent's site and or MLS.

    On a separate note - what about HDR tools. I'm using Nik Softwares HDR Efex Pro in other areas, is this a suitable HDR program for RE?

    Thank in advance!


  8. As I was looking through the images, I felt that they lacked some of the life and sexiness that many other photographers would have brought into them. When I read that they were outsourced to India, it became clear why.

    The results are satisfactory, but nothing above that. I can't imagine handing off photos of a special home like this to people overseas. Mediocre, in my honest opinion.

  9. I always find it interesting when someone feels entitled to make a rather disparaging comment that they have no work of their own to show? The photos are beautiful, they probably didnt even need that much retouching.

  10. Great shoot!
    I shoot similar projects, and indeed go back a few times as necessary.
    Here's the problem with price: too little, and you're not covering the time and effort involved. Too much, and they will simply hire another photographer., this is a RE shoot, not an architectural portfolio. He could have sent the photos to a local retoucher, but would have had to charge much more (as I do for willing clients).
    Many agents expect 25 shots in a 1 hour shoot and for only ~$125 in this market. To get your foot in the door for high end RE work paying around the $1000 mark is excellent!

    The ONLY concern I would have with your project is using a Flash website. Which is funny, seeing my personal site is Flash. But for a RE Listing, I'd want the agents and potential clients to be able to view it on mobile platforms. My personal site is hosted by A Photo Folio, which fortunately provides an HTML mirror and even an iPad specific mirror. That being said, I'm currently looking into creating full screen websites for myself using Javascipt. I've seen some architectural firms with them, and will post the links if I can find them. Full screen images are awesome!

  11. I'm am too getting more and more concerned about working on the flash platform. I do publish a Iphone version, but truth be told, it's clunky. Right now I'm explaining it to agents that theres a small percentage of the population that is actually searching for real estate on their Iphone or Ipads and we still have a few years before the number concerns me. Regardless, Im still looking for alternatives now because the perception of how important its is exceeds the reality. Im really liking and spoke with the owner today. Seems like a clean design and I especially like the use if the QR codes.

  12. Is there a quick tutorial on how to embed the SSP director verision? Ive done it before on a very simple web site but it would be great if someone did a screen cast on creating a clean websites similar to the platform i used.

  13. Good idea Mike, I use the SSP lightroom plugin, not director itself for the moment, so can't help on the specifics of using director. There is pretty good documentation on the site though... and an active support forum as well...
    I'm sure you could get an answer to any quiries you might have there.

    I had dismissed SSP director as a solution because I had [ wrongly ] assumed that you needed a separate licence for each domain, but re-reading their T&C I see that you can use one instance of director to publish content across multiple domains, so I think I'll have another look at it myself.

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