Billy posed the following question recently:
With there being so much mobile traffic now a days and their native resolutions being in a portrait/vertical orientation vs landscape - have you or any other photographers considered framing more shots in this manner? I've yet to run across a real estate specific website that will auto scale and display portrait oriented photos correctly without just adding space to square them up, but on more specialty websites or property specific ones I can see this being a benefit.
I've always found shooting portrait mode real estate shots generally ineffective because most interior spaces are wider than they are tall. So I avoid portrait mode completely unless I'm doing a shot that I know is for a magazine or portrait mode flyer.
Another big reason for me not to shoot real estate in portrait mode is that most real estate sites as you say don't handle portrait mode well. I find a series of interior photos that switches back and forth from portrait to landscape to be extremely annoying.
You are right about mobile Apps, like the Zillow App, dealing with the switch back and forth from portrait to landscape smoothly and easily. Just rotate the device and either mode looks good.
I still would rather look at interiors in landscape mode unless there is some compelling reason to frame it vertically. It feels more natural. As a confirmation of this, look at all the winners of the still photo contest. A portrait mode photo has never won the monthly contest although many portrait mode photos have been entered.
I recommend only shooting portrait mode only if doing so makes a stronger image or you know you are going to use the image in a vertically. What do others think?