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Real Estate Photographers Need To Look at Adobe Spark!

Published: 27/12/2016
By: larry

I have to admit that I have been aware of Adobe Spark for a while (I think it has been available since May of 2016) but until Wayne Capili sent me this example of how he used Spark Page to build a tour of a property that he shot in the Oakland Hills, I completely missed the potential of Adobe Spark for presenting real estate images.

Wayne's example speaks for itself but here is the essence of Adobe Spark:

  1. Spark is quick and easy to use.
  2. Spark is free.
  3. There are three different Spark Apps, Spark Page, Spark Post, Spark Video. The same functionality is available on laptops/desktops.
  4. The results are mobile friendly.

Real estate photographers should have a look at Spark Page and Spark Video because it's a quick and easy way to produce very modern, elegant slide shows and marketing materials.

15 comments on “Real Estate Photographers Need To Look at Adobe Spark!”

  1. Nice presentation Wayne! And thanks Larry for the Adobe Spark info: this could be so useful for, as you say, photographers' own marketing fliers/ newsletters as well as a great way to deliver shoots. Investing time/ money in the more complex Adobe graphics/ video products is just not an option for so many sole traders, so this is a great way in.

  2. Very nice Wayne! The only thing missing is the listing company and agent's contact info. In NH we are required to include the company name and main phone number of the broker even if we (the photographer) promote a property. I would also want to include the agent, their photo if possible and their direct phone number.

  3. Larry Fields...it has begun. Looking over Adobe site noted "Sneak peak - removing Spark branding." Creative Cloud members can flip a switch in Spark setup. Adobe makes some great products and can't blame them as a leadin to CC membership, but hopefully doesn't progress to a freestanding product like Muse. Trying to wean myself from the $49/mo to at least the $9.99/mo plan as eliminating is probably unrealistic. While should publish new website in week after family visiting for holidays leave - only lacks photo of self for "About Me", and a screen video explaining delivery process for "Client Login" as it jumps to my existeng Zenfolio site for photo delivery that is confusing to some, requiring alternate means. With the desire to downgrade CC membership, Dreamweaver was out of the question but ran into problems with Sparkle (Mac only) and resorted to Adobe Muse just to get the site done. Very nice program for web design with structure similar to InDesign and as easy as Sparkle where will try to resolve the issue as time permits after making site live.

  4. My own personal experience with Spark is that there are a lot of products on the market that do similar things and if you are using one - then unless you are unhappy why switch. It seems that there is a new product on the market with just enough extra features to make it confusing - upgrade or stay at same level, buy new or keep old, etc. Spark is cool and easy to use, but unless they include the pro version with the full CC, I don't want to end up paying extra. When I was at PDN Photo Expo in New York this past October, I had some intense discussions on products, pricing etc with some Adobe higher uppers and it looks like Adobe is going to keep expanding ever outward with their products reaching out to larger and larger markets. Staying focused can be hard especially with such tempting new technology on the market. BTW - we decided on the Osmo mobile for our iPhone 7Plus rather than drone technology. If we need a drone - we call a licensed, insured drone expert in Real Estate and subcontract. Hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season.

  5. Spark is a great looking product... BUT.... It's always smart to keep in mind when you start "using" another proprietary system for displaying photos, videos, etc., you are at the mercy of that company. Especially if it's "free". Down the road, they may start charging. They also may get acquired by another company who changes their format or policies. They may discontinue the app for whatever reason ....Google is a perfect example of that - they get people all excited about certain "free" products (think Google Video, Google Glass, Picassa, Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Buzz, Google Plus, etc.) and then out of the blue, they pull the rug out from under you and discontinue it altogether. I have dealt with video products that also either were sold to another company, discontinued, etc. and that put my business into a tailspin as I had links to hundreds of listings..... linked to the MLS... that I had to go back and research, relink to something new, etc. It was a nightmare to say the least.

    If you're doing a reasonable amount of business, I think at the end of the day it's worth investing in your OWN products so you have full, 100% control over them and your business.

    Not to say that everyone should do their own thing all of the time, as that isn't always practical or affordable, but you need to keep in mind that the internet is a moving target - and YOU are the last person these companies care about. When you invest YOUR business into theirs, you are now at their mercy - and it usually doesn't end well for the end user unfortunately.

  6. Tablets are Consumption devices, not Creative devices. I can type like the wind on a regular keyboard with all ten fingers but screen devices don't give any tactile feedback and slow me way down. I've also grown up using a mouse and it's even more second nature than using my finger at this point. Further, while I've used Macs as my primary computer for my professional life, I really don't like the walled garden that is IOS. The cost differential between the iPad and an Android tablet is huge. While a desktop can last many years, tablets can be considered disposable.

    Spark looks interesting but not interesting enough to make me want to run out and buy an iPad and work very slow on a tablet. It's never come up that I have had the opportunity to "work" on a empty stretch of white sand beach nor do I spend my time sipping $7 coffees at a cafe during working hours.

  7. Hello Ken: Agree with your sentiment about tablet on-glass keyboards. For years now, I have used a Zagg folio with my iPads. It increases productivity with the tool -hundreds- of percents. Enough so that when I travel by air, I typically leave laptop at home and just take the iPad. I don't want to do heavy 'production' work on it, but with keyboard, its at least good enough for 90% of day-to-day chores.

  8. @Larry, I only found links to download the application from the Apple Store and didn't see any reference to a desktop version. The web site was big on graphics and thin on useful information.

  9. @Ken--there is no desktop app, it's a web app for the desktop. Log in to spark.adobe.com with an Adobe ID and use the web-based app on your desktop.

    Adobe has a history of launching products and apps that live in the marketplace for a while and then are 'retired'. I'd be hesitant about using this service and building it into your business model (you get no finished video product to download and keep or deliver to someone else--it's all hosted on the web and you get links to your work). It's probably fine for current self-promotion, but if you start building it into something you deliver for clients and Adobe pulls the plug on it (or starts making it a paying service at a rate you don't want to pay), you'll have issues.

    You can download the Spark Post items as a very low rez jpg, suitable for online use or printing at very small sizes, but the videos and 'web' pages are Adobe-hosted and all you'll get is a link. You might be able to download the video output using a third party app. Also, the Spark Video web app requires flash to create (the IOS apps would be a work-around). Using flash is a show stopper for many because of the ongoing security concerns--others aren't bothered.

    And, as noted above, you can turn off the Adobe branding for free as a trial or, of you are a CC subscriber, for free as part of your subscription.

    So, my take on it is use it for free if it fits your business model for self-marketing, but at this point I wouldn't recommend offering Posts, Pages, or Videos from Spark as a free or paid service to your clients unless you have a backup plan to continue to provide the service with alternate software and hosting in the event Adobe pulls the plug or makes it too expensive for you. Everyone's tolerance for this kind of risk is different.

  10. @John Driggers, I was beginning to think that it was web based. I'm not into using web based applications. The only one I do make use of is The Photographer's Ephemeris and there are several other applications I could use if that were to go away. My internet connection (Charter Cable) seems to go out whenever I have a critical deadline or plan on working late to get jobs delivered quickly. Adobe doesn't care about me or my business individually, so they aren't going to care very much about my customer relations and promises I have made. Spark might be a simpler way to create certain items, but I don't see anything that I can't do in a reasonable amount of time with applications that I have already purchased (licensed).

  11. I have just started using Spark and found it to be a great marketing tool. Do any of you charge your clients/realtors for this service? Just wondering. Thanks for the helpful info.

  12. Here are a couple of questions for those who may have used Adobe Spark (I have searched and found no answers)...

    1. Can the the URL address be changed? That is, can the suffix part of the URL for a PAGE or a VIDEO be changed from .../xYz123ijkL to .../JoesListing003?

    2. Is there a way to remove the last slide of a VIDEO where it will say Created by Adobe Spark, etc? I know the watermarks on each slide can be removed if you have a CC account, but what about that last slide?

    Thanks! phil

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