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What Is Your Origin Story?

Author: Jordan Powers

In my previous post, I talked about our community and how impactful the connections we make can be. Often times the conversations we have are about the present state of our businesses or certain challenges we might be running into. As we are getting closer to the PFRE Conference I am starting to realize that, even though I have had some really impactful relationships, I don’t really know anyone’s origin stories. Origin stories are always great conversation pieces. They really help to get to know people at a deeper level. It humanizes us. Today, I thought I would share mine and hopefully encourage you all to share yours so that we can all start to get to know each other a little better.

I have always been on the creative side of things. I used to draw and paint and do other various kinds of art, but I also had a very logical side to me which made it hard sometimes to conceptualize things. My drawings and paintings tended to lean more toward replicating whatever it was that I saw in front of me whether it be a still life, a portrait, a landscape, etc.

It wasn’t until 2005 that I finally discovered photography which turned out to be the perfect medium for me as it allowed me to capture things as I saw them and edit them as far as my creativity would allow me. I would shoot anything that I could; landscapes, street photography, macro, night photography... anything that helped me to learn the camera and all the different techniques that you could use to make creative images.

Another thing about me is that I have always been entrepreneurial. Ever since I was a kid I have always looked for ways to turn my hobby into a business so the minute I understood how to take a photo, I was already thinking about ways in which I could make money with the camera. As most of us do, I began photographing weddings and portraits and the occasional commercial job.

in 2009, we relocated to another state 12 hours away with my day job. While the move alone was both stressful and exciting, the real challenge was that we had 16 weddings booked for the next year and a half in Ohio and other destinations. That meant 16 road trips from Minnesota to Ohio in the course of 1 1/2 years. That is 384 hours of driving just to photograph weddings. It probably goes without saying, but after about 3 or 4 trips in, I was done shooting weddings.

A few years later, we were looking to purchase our first home. I noticed that all of the photos of the houses in the area were just really bad and we couldn’t really get a good sense of what our options were in the area. Unfortunately, that was causing us to overlook some really nice homes. I was explaining this problem to our agent and just asked out of curiosity if he had ever considered using professional photos for his listings. The thought had honestly never crossed his mind so I offered to shoot a few for him and he has hired me for every single listing since.

I had never really considered photographing real estate before so I wasn’t entirely sure how to approach it. I had all of the equipment I needed and was about 6 years into being a professional so I was fairly confident I could pull it off. Just in case, I did a quick search online for real estate photography and stumbled across this blog. I didn’t do a ton of reading back into the archives, but the articles that just happened to be available around June/July of 2011 were enough to help me understand that my verticals needed to be straight and that this was, in fact, a legitimate business endeavor to pursue.

Since then, my business has seen a steady growth year after year. Now, 8 years into this, I have expanded into a 100 mile radius offering a range of services and have one other photographer who shoots for me. I am now at the point where I am only photographing a couple of higher-end homes each week and the rest of my time is spent working on growing my architecture photography business and other ventures.

What is your origin story? How did you get started in this business and how has it grown?

20 comments on “What Is Your Origin Story?”

  1. "...the rest of my time is spent working on growing my architecture photography business and other ventures."

    Is this to say, RE photography cannot provide you with what you want/need? Are you moving away from RE photography like you did wedding photography?

  2. Interesting question. I think we have all arrived at RE photography from many different routes. I came into RE photography in 2011 since it seemed to be an extension of the hotel journalistic photography I had been doing for quite a few years. But it has been only one of many areas of photography over my photographic life that started professionally in 1969 when I was a photojournalistic student a BU. I love shooting stories but also found myself shooting model portfolios, annual report, brochure and other story telling applications of the style. And that "story telling" using visuals has been the core of my work as I moved to fashion, advertising, product, studio and location photography, shooting for ad agencies, design firms and stories for magazines such as "Saveurs" in Franch shooting food, the people growing the food, raising the geese, fishing the seas and the wine makers and their interiors and fermentation rooms.

    It was with this background that I came to RE work in my later years when most people are retiring. So it paid less than I was making in 1976 when I got into advertising full time, but I enjoyed the new challenge especially as new software started arriving letting me do the HDR that I was doing manually in Photoshop with applications that were designed especially for the task.

    In my small market, agencies are now moving to hiring photo service businesses, setting pricing, moving all costs and responsibilities over to the photographer while demanding ownership of copyright and paying half of what I have been charging. It seems to be a trend and there are enough hungry young photographers who are willing to work themselves into the ground for peanuts. And using many of the techniques popularized here, they are managing to make a living while working fast and processing even faster. And the results are good enough. My clients have said they would prefer to continue to use my but their hands are tied since I will not drop my prices nor sign away my rights. So I am moving away from RE in my area while still retaining certain agents who have the freedom to hire who they want to.

    Since I have been in the commercial photography field for so many years, this is just one of many business model changes I have made and actually am enjoying having a semi-retirement which gives me more time to do the photography I want to do whether it is paid or not. I am moving back to photojournalism using video instead of stills and working on stories in my own little valley using public access. I have the luxury to do so.

    But if someone has been shooting only real estate photography, I can see that trying to take those skills and apply them to other areas of photography might be a bit difficult since RE work is very specific even as it uses all the skills of any photography, how those skills are applied and blended can be a challenge. But as I moved from shooting factories, offices, ranches, and product as well as people allowed a smooth transition to RE, with a little practice reversing that can be done. I find what I have learned from shooting houses and their grounds has been helping me with shooting hotels and restaurants. Everything cross fertilizes. But shooting RE, unless you also do interviews with realtors and/or owners, will not help you a lot with shooting people. This field has been undergoing big changes in just the few years I have been shooting RE. So I expect some dislocation amongst those who shoot as some of their clients are changing their approach to controlling the photography their agents/brokers use and this seems to be a slowly growing practice.

  3. @Frank - that is kind of a deep question, lol. I am just not one to settle on doing the dame thing for the rest of my life. Real estate photography is not something I am going to quit doing anytime soon, but my interest has evolved into shooting more well designed spaces that take an extra level of care and expertise to pull off. With real estate I am literally in and out of a house in 20 minutes. No real challenge anymore for me.

  4. I really go into photography in the late 60's while attending the University of Kansas where I was studing for a degree in Journalism. After college I spent a few years as a photo jounalist for a newspaper in the Kansas City Area.

    After moving to Colorado in 1974 my wife and I did a lot of miscellaneous work for a few years before she got into real estate. Those were the days when the old real estate books came out weekly with black and white photos of the listings. I looked at them and thought I think I can help these people with better photography. Then came the internet age and it just grew from there. I do other types of photography as well: landscape, portraits and architectural. Keeps me from getting bored.

  5. In HS I was studying to become an architect. But the Vietnam war was accelerating, and I didn’t want to be drafted into the Army. I decided to join the navy in hopes of being a draftsman in the Seabees. Instead, I ended up playing guitar in the Navy band and later became a cook on destroyers. As we visited many exotic lands, I bought my first Nikon camera. As a cook, I had every other day off which allowed me to practice and soon fell in love with photography. after the Navy, I attended NYI of Photography and became a NYC commercial photographer. Still looking for the perfect job, I got an interview with Lockheed Martin (called Sperry when I was hired) and for 25 years became an aerospace photographer working at Navy and marine shipyards and air bases photographing ships and planes and products for the marketing and PR department. But I also got to photograph the Companies new construction sites and buildings which is where my architectural training helped me see things and light interiors, in a different way.
    When I relocated to FL from NY, 20 years ago, and selling our home, I told the agent that I was going to photograph our home, as the photos I’ve seen were so bad. When I got to FL, I also noticed the RE photography was horrible. I teamed up with two friends, a Graphic designer and a web designer and we started a real estate photography company specializing in Hi-quality photography. in the beginning the agents were hesitant about paying more than they were used to. Later, a very hi end agency fell in love with our work and we became their #1 company. Later, others followed when they learned about our quality. Since then, we have seen the rise in RE photography quality. And on this Blog site, and our workshops, I’ve seen some very exceptional RE photography, which helped me create a successful business.

  6. My story is kind of different. I was a Broadway touring actor for about 8 years. This was back in the film days just before digital. I was always performing in interesting places like Munich or Alaska or SE Asia doing one show or another and, on our days off, we'd go sight-seeing. I got thinking: "why don't I have a camera?" So I got a Nikon N70, put it on MANUAL, and swore I'd learn how to get a good exposure if it took a thousand black images or a thousand white images. Thankfully it only took about three rolls before I got acceptable exposures.

    I decided I'd get off the road and just stay-put auditioning in NYC... about 30 days before September 11th, 2001. Much of NYC tourism suffered for quite some time and so did the theater scene. So we decided to get out of town (moved to southeast Virginia) and get normal jobs. I had some trouble getting traction with my 'unique' abilities and finally settled into being a Realtor...right as the market crashed in 2007.

    That said, I had a couple miserable listings that were never going to sell. However, a couple agents stared asking me who was shooting my listings. They hired me and it snow-balled from there. I'm hoping to shoot my 14,000th home before the end of this year.

    It's nice, because I still get to exercise the right side of my brain, but have to put the left side through its paces in order to keep the business going. I'd say that about six days out of the year, I think that fast-food might be a more enticing career. But on the other 359 days, I can't believe I get paid to do this job!

  7. @Craig
    Nice story. I have friends that struggled as actors, doing commercials but not enough to make a living and had no idea what to do. Some became waiters or worked in retail.
    But one friend while working at the post office kept going to auditions and open calls and did mostly commercials in Tampa. later, he and his family moved to LA for the work and started dong well. now he's in films, commercials and TV shows. but it was a long struggle and took what ever job came along.
    you never know where life will bring you. again, nice story.
    Good luck with your photography.
    Eric

  8. @ Eric M Hilton
    Thanks Eric. I was very fortunate to have worked exclusively as an stage actor/voice-over actor throughout most of my career, never having to get a second job. (I guess I fooled enough people). I miss it sometimes, but I absolutely do NOT miss being on the road 11-and-a-half months out of the year for years on end. I worked with some very accomplished and/or famous people and - even they - rarely saw their families.

    So far, Ive enjoyed same run with photography. 10 years now without the endless hotels, planes and buses (...and egos).

  9. I unwillingly fell into the paparazzi industry back in 2006. In 2012(ish) I was doing laundry in my apt and having a chat with my lovely and as of a few weeks ago, late neighbor, Donna, rest her soul. She asked how I was doing and I think I kind of complained about the paparazzi industry and not doing that great. She then asked me why don't I look into real estate photography. I had never heard of such a thing and she explained it to me. I was very intrigued by this and thought how great it would be to not have to shoot annoying people! Just be in a house by myself, and shoot a beautiful house! How great! I loved the idea and started looking into it.

    My marketing strategy at the time was mostly visiting some real estate offices in person. I also went out every Sunday to the open houses from 2-5pm passing out my cards. I did this for a year or more with little success. One of the realtors told me about a huge email group for realtors (only) which I [covertly] joined. This was where I started getting most of my business by sending out polite and professional emails to Realtors who posted a new listing without photos asking if they needed professional photos for their listing. This was my main (read: sole) source of business which grew a little over the next couple of years. One day, I sent a message to "Mr. A. S. Shole" asking if he needed photos for his listing and he challenged me by asking if I was willing to shoot for free; only because he didn't like that I "spammed" him via email. I explained to him that I gave him my portfolio and if my photos weren't good enough, then he didn't have to hire me. We bickered back and forth via email and I told him I'll not bother him anymore. Despite that, he complained to the admin of the email group and I was banned. Beyond that, he even went as far as creating a Yelp page for my business and gave me a low rating and telling his story of how bad I was. My shoot rate dropped from there as I had no other resource to get new business and I guess I wasn't good enough or liked enough to retain much of my client base. I rarely got rehired and even those dropped off eventually.

    I did enjoy it and occasionally still get hired for a home shoot now and then but that whole experience really left me with a sour taste so I decided to pursue my real passion of producing music again so maybe it was a good thing (not that I'm doing much better in that field but still working on it)!

  10. I've had a camera of one sort or another in my hands since high school. But I only got serious about photography when I traveled for the first time to a forestry school summer camp in northern Minnesota. After that, I took a camera wherever I traveled, on summer jobs in Montana and Idaho, while I served for 2 years for the US Army in Germany, and for a year traveling overland across Africa. Returning from Africa, I took a job with the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska and had many opportunities to photograph the landscapes and wildlife around the state for seven years. When I left Alaska for a job with a leading software company in southern California, I traveled to more than 80 countries around the world conducting software training classes, and my camera was ALWAYS with me. Landscape and travel photography became my passion. So how did I become a professional real estate photographer now? I attended my first "Imaging USA Conference" three years ago and saw a sign on one of the vendor booths that read, "photographers, we need you"! It was a company in the business of real estate marketing, and I was intrigued by it. So I signed up with them and embarked on a totally new aspect of photography. In the beginning, I had no idea what I would be doing, but in the years since then, I've come to appreciate the craft and enjoy the interaction with the clients and the homeowners. I'm retired, but the part time work in real estate photography is something I look forward to doing for some time into the future. It's shown me that life can take many different paths, and each one is unique and rewarding!

  11. @Roy

    Very interesting pricing strategy you have. I think agents want simple pricing. RE is inundated with HDR. It can be profitable though. Because the tour companies treat contractors poorly (financially and otherwise), agents often complain about how impersonal they are. What RE photographers REALLY need is not yet available. But hopefully someone is working on it. There is simply NO REASON for a middleman in this industry imo.

  12. My mom let me mess with her Argus twin lens reflex camera when I was 10, and I was hooked. Spent all my paper route money on film and developing. Wanted to go to college for photography, and my dad said absolutely not, so I got a degree in Business management from the University of Idaho, while taking every single photo class they offered.

    Got a job as an academic library supervisor, could have still been there today, but I hated it. After a few years, I realized that one of the best commercial photo schools in the country (at the time) was in Spokane, WA about 80 miles from me. So I quit my job, cashed in my 401k and bought a sinar 4x5 view camera, moved to Spokane, and spent two years in photo school (and in poverty).

    2 years later I met my wife, moved to the Midwest (where she is from) and looked for work as a photographer. There wasn't much. I finally got a real estate license because my Realtor looked like he was making a pile of money. For the next 15 years, I was a Realtor during the day, and a wedding-portrait photographer every other waking minute. I figured that was going to be my life.

    10 years ago, Realtors suddenly said, "Gee, we need better pictures", and I was there. I shot 25 the first year, 1200 last year. I have obviously quit selling real estate, but have retained the license so I can get in the houses.

    It was a long strange trip, but I wouldn't change a thing.

  13. I'm a new guy here, and this seemed like a great way to introduce myself.
    (Unfortunately, this site won't let me post my actual website in the required fields because it's one of the newer URLs released ten years ago and doesn't require a ".com" or ".net", so I used my Facebook URL. Here is my actual website, if you're curious. (It really does work without the .com) 😉
    http://www.holtwebb.photography

    So, how did I get into real estate photography?
    On Christmas morning of 2005, I snuck onto the construction site that was doing the renovation of San Diego’s historic North Park Theatre. (I picked Christmas morning because I knew everyone would have the day off.) 😉

    What does that have to do with real estate photography? Well, for me, it has everything to do with it. It’s how I got hired to shoot my first house. It’s how I got noticed by one of the world’s preeminent architects. It’s how I got a cover feature in a big city magazine. The North Park Theatre started it all.

    Built in the 1920s, it had been in and out of abandonment for decades and I would walk by the theater every day on my way to work at the local camera store daydreaming about the history that must be bound up inside those crusty walls.

    The theater was boarded up, but with my old Hasselblad in my backpack and my tripod over my shoulder I climbed a 10ft high chain link fence and started scouting (and sneaking). There was nobody in sight. I had the entire place to myself and I took full advantage. I shot well past sunrise as the bright light streamed in through doorways and windows casting deep shadows and illuminating the original textures and artwork that had been hidden for so many decades.

    I was so happy with the results, that I wanted to shoot more. So I made a portfolio of my prints, took them to the foreman and asked if I could come shoot again, but this time with permission. He liked my work so much that he called the developer and the theater director and not only gave me permission to go anywhere I wanted any time I wanted, but ordered a dozen $250 coffee table books as gifts for the entire board of directors! They even purchased several framed prints to hang in the lobby.

    And when that developer came to the theater’s opening night, he brought along Wallace Cunningham, a world renowned architect and the designer of the developer’s home. When Wally saw my images on the lobby wall, he reached out to me to photograph the developer's home for a feature article in San Diego Magazine. The home? Crescent House. Look it up, it’s amazing. https://www.holtwebb.photography/architecture/e207f2e1a

    I was floored. I wasn’t an architectural photographer. Sure, I had a year of architecture in college, but I just liked shooting old buildings. What did I know about architecture photography?

    But, of course I said “yes” and went about learning all I could about architecture and real estate photography prior to the shoot. I was fortunate that this was back in 2005, when digital was just getting rolling. Being a newb, I don't think I could have pulled it off using film.

    Wally met me at the house. It was amazing. I was in my 30s, but still naive enough to not understand how good my situation really was. Think about it… they asked me to photograph an $11.5 Million custom home on the cliffs of southern California (designed by a world famous architect and owned by one of San Diego’s top developers) as a cover feature for San Diego Magazine. And I’d never shot a house before. I can’t even say it was a dream come true, because if it were, I would surely have recognized the significance of the situation. I just had a top level career handed to me on a silver platter and I was completely oblivious to the implications.

    But what did I do? Well, after I did a killer job on the house, I got cocky. I thought I was already a star and I acted like it. I completely overlooked the fact that I still hadn’t paid my dues and I knew next to nothing about the art of interior/exterior photography. I had merely gotten lucky. And even though I was good at it, real estate photography wasn’t really something I wanted to do... at the time. I was single and adventurous and didn’t want a career to tie me down just yet. Boy, what a mistake. I kick myself for that because 15 years later I’m back to shooting real estate and architecture for a living… and loving it.

    After all those years of shooting weddings, concerts, portraits and parties and taking on all kinds of jobs to fill in the gaps, I settled near Chattanooga where I stumbled upon doing some real estate photography for a friend of a friend. And that’s when everything came flooding back. I remembered I’m good at this and I actually like it now. So, I gradually improved my work and my workflow and have gotten to the point now where I shoot real estate properties in three states, have added two architecture firms and one development firm to my client list and am in the process of partnering with a videographer to create a full service studio.

    My lifelong interest in architecture, my inherent creativity and my artistic ability have brought me back full circle to the career that was offered to me so many years ago. I’m 50 now and though I’m not yet shooting for the likes of Wallace Cunningham or San Diego Magazine, I am heading in that direction. And it's thanks to people like you and websites like this that keep improving the methods and sharing the information to allow people like me to rise to the top.

  14. My parents were killed in front of me at a young age, while coming out of a movie theater. It was 30 years ago, and I havent been the same since. My city was crime riddled, the corruption was high and.... wait. Sorry, thats not mine at all.

    Between 1999 and 2003 my tech company, Team5 was doing a lot of business in the real estate space. Building websites and listing systems mostly. Around the same time, broadband was becoming more popular in NYC. On the second round of websites for some of New York's top real estate companies, I started thinking about the way that photography was displayed on the sites, and proposed designs that were more photo centric, looking to get rid of the 300 pixel wide images. No one had high res media anywhere, as they were primarily getting their images fed into them from MLS and via email. There was no media management. So, the initial idea was to create a platform for Brokerage firms to use with their photographers to manage their media.

    in 2004, I founded a company to do just that. I quickly realized that the platform idea was attractive to the brokerage firms, but it was nearly impossible to get their photographers on it, so - we pivoted to provide the service itself. My partners and I hired some photographers (a few are still with me to this day!), and rebranded as Gotham Photo Company. I was fortunate enough to have stumbled in to really amazing photographers who helped me guide the product to where it needed to be for NYC clientele, and effectively pushed most of my big box competitors out of the market.

    Trial and error, mostly error - with plenty of amazingly bad ideas --- including mylar safety blankets, crates of bulbs, single use hardware riddled Gotham's first couple of years. Post production was in-sourced by a studio team that would work overnight in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Eventually, we "got that right" and around the same time, we launched the industries first full screen widget that was adopted by our clientele. I spent the next couple of years concentrating on the craft itself, training under my photographers (who were far better than I would ever be!) so that I could offer more competent guidance and direction.

    Sold Gotham, took the parent company public, and as the direction of the publicly held parent company went into the wrong direction, decided to act as a broker, bringing the business over to VHT Studios, where I am now. At the time, my intention was to stick around long enough to ensure that my team, who had given me years of their life, was transitioned properly, and eventually fell in love with what the entire team and I could do together.

    Personally, I found creating imagery very rewarding, and found that there were synergies between photography, technology and my side hustle of special effects makeup --- and that helped form the compulsion that fuels my days.

    I am where I am today due to the people that I have been fortunate enough to work with.

  15. @Vince,

    Why was it nearly impossible to get photographers on it?

    "I quickly realized that the platform idea was attractive to the brokerage firms, but it was nearly impossible to get their photographers on it,..."

  16. @Frank - at the time, the platform offering was impossible to get photographers onto because there wasn’t enough value for what we were looking to charge. We iterated through various models, but between the slow NYC photographer uptake, and realizing that brokerage firms weren’t all that understanding of the need for media management and repository, we pivoted to offer the actual media services themselves.

    At VHT, our platform is underlying to every job we create media for, but the challenge of bringing photographers and brokerages onto it is far different nowadays. Brokerages see the benefit of media and rights management and distribution, and our photographers utilize the system as part of our working relationship. It’s how they deliver their work to us, and it’s the backbone for processing, proofing and delivery.

  17. Vince,

    Thanks for answering. I am an independent photographer and am looking for a platform to join. Why (I know I could simply go to vht.com but since I have your ear...), should I consider VHT?

  18. @Frank - I would say that VHT Studios makes sense for anyone looking to focus on shooting, and getting away from editing, billing and the more mundane aspects of the business. I have a fairly strict policy about only adding to the Elite network in conjunction with need, so that volume can a major part of the equation. We will be soon launching tools that make the most of real life schedules for photographers - allowing us to easily create bookings that are convenient for photographers that do other sorts of business, or have other considerations (busy personal schedules, etc). Our licensing model allows money to be made not only at the time of service, but as images see secondary licenses (statistically small numbers currently, but can be very lucrative).

    As the only large brand with an actual photographer in leadership, I like to think that we are by far the friendliest. Much of our work in the last 2 years is centered around providing a career path for photographers who are elevating themselves. We provide opportunities to photographers to be successful. Several photographers make over 100k per year with VHT Studios, and a handful of truly well positioned and diligent photographers beat that by a lot. In 2020 we will be launching tech to make it even easier, and a suite of network benefits that photographers can take advantage of which makes the "running of their business" easier.

    I won't claim perfection by any means. Providing services doesn't always match up to needs, and there are plenty of examples of photographers brought on and not being busy enough. Our contract does include a fairly strict non-compete, but its working well for hundreds of photographers currently.

    We also have our VHT Select network which is based on a much lighter ICA and primarily in place to service the REO / Foreclosure markets, providing easy work to photographers who may not be ready to fully commit to VHT but want to pick up jobs that rarely include agents, etc.

  19. I started as a web designer back in the late 90’s… one thing led to another, and somehow I fell into designing websites for Realtors.

    Unlike most, I started in real estate VIDEO, then moved to photography. As I was churning out agent websites, I realized all agents looked the same. Back then most had template sites from companies like Z57, etc. which all basically looked alike with the same content, different color schemes and different, 30 year old agent photos!).

    I was looking for ways to distinguish my clients from other Realtors, other than their custom website. At the time, 360 spin around tours were “the future” (of course, it was really an early version of Matterport, which everything now thinks is revolutionary!). I couldn’t stand those things, nor could most buyers as most people don’t view space by spinning around like a top.

    So I had the brilliant idea of doing a walk through video… totally made sense to me. Of course, I had no idea HOW to do this, didn’t own a camera, and hadn’t a clue how to begin.

    So, I walked into Circuit City and bought a Sony Handicam, one of the first HD video cameras made. It recorded to mini-DV TAPE. (to get it into my computer, I had to play it back in real time!) This was back in 2000. I bought a Steadicam, and figured out how to do it, of course not realizing many other obstacles:

    -Most agents did not have a computer
    -YouTube and video sites did not exist. I had to host videos on my own server.
    -Most real estate offices had ONE computer. Maybe. And it was old.
    -Smart phones didn’t exist.
    -Most people didn’t even understand the internet, let alone what they could find there.
    -Most were on dialup… broadband was just starting up.
    -Video on the internet was the size of a postage stamp
    -Viewers had to download a plug in to view, so all videos had to be encoded for RealPlayer, Flash, AND QuickTime, with instructions on how to download and install these plugs ins JUST so they could view this tiny video
    -I had to have a small paragraph over each video explaining HOW to view the video (press the arrow… when it stops playing, wait a minute or two, and press the big arrow again…. etc.) Most people had no clue how to watch a video online.

    Needless to say, it was a challenge to sell this to agents. I basically gave up after a couple of years of trying.

    But the stars aligned in 2005 when this new site called YouTube came around as did Google Video, broadband became the norm, not dialup, Flash became the recognized standard for delivering video and the real estate market started to tank and agents needed new ways to market.

    After several years of ONLY shooting real estate video, things began to take off. Pro photography was kind of a new thing in real estate, so I decided to teach myself that as well, so I could offer a ‘package’. Pretty soon business was so brisk I gave up the web design business, and have been doing real estate photography and video full time since around 2008.

    I do only real estate, and have been crazy busy consistently since I started in this business many moons ago. I’ve shot over 15,000 real estate videos over the years, and I still have fun doing it!

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