Patrick recently asked the following question about his website:
How many images would you showcase for a particular gallery (i.e. Real Estate, Commercial, etc) ? I'm thinking 40. (20 exteriors and 20 interiors).
Sure twenty images per gallery may work fine if you have that may top quality images. After looking at Patrick's site, I realized Patrick needed to have my sermon on portfolio websites. There are many things that are more important than how many photos you have in each portfolio. I've done this post several times over the years and readers always help refine this list. Here is the latest version:
- Dedicate a site to real estate photography: Web sites are not that expensive for the value they provide. Don't mix so many types of photography together on one site your visitors are not sure if you are a full-time real estate photographer. If you are working at being a full-time real estate photography have a site dedicated to real estate photography.
- Portfolios should play automatically: Organize your site so that when a viewer hits your URL a series (8 to 30) of your VERY BEST images automatically play without any action or navigation on the part of the viewer.
- Allow the viewer to easily take control: Have it so if the viewer wants to they can take over control and exit the automatic display and go to some other gallery or page.
- Carefully review your portfolio images: If you are just beginning have someone review your images that can give you feedback on quality. A great venue for this is the PFRE Flickr group. The point is, you want the few images in this auto displayed portfolio to be your very top images because they will be part of you brand.
- Use large images: Large images create more impact than small images.
- If you use vertical images use a diptych: If you use vertical images combine two vertical images side by side to use the same space as a single horizontal image. This this prevents switching between vertical and horizontal.
- Your site must look good on all mobile devices: Your portfolio and whole site must work on all devices (including smartphones and tablets). Check it out to make sure it does.
- Have a photo of yourself on your contact page or about page: This is about giving your site and business a more personal feel. The online world is cold, anonymous and impersonal. Do what you can to give your business personal feel.
- Have your cell phone number on the contact page: This is a customer service issue. As a real estate agent, after I sign a listing agreement with a home seller I know the seller will immediately ask, “when can we be on the market?” I want to call my real estate photographer before I leave the sellers home and book an appointment. I don’t want to send an email, wait 24 hours for a reply etc. In this business, you need to carry a cell phone and be instantly available. This is not that hard to do. Real estate agents do it and expect their contractors to do it too.
- Have as many images of upper-end homes in your portfolio as possible: Upper-end photos say, “I shoot for upper-end agents” whether you do or not. Upper-end homes make you look more professional even if most of the homes you shoot are not upper-end homes.
Here are a few of my favorite real estate photography sites. Most of them follow these rules:
Have I missed anything?