Adam in Atlanta asks:
I'm getting killed in my area with an increasingly annoying problem. I tend to shoot properties towards what I call the 'reasonable' end of the wide-angle focal range. I use both 25mm and 17mm TSE's, but the 17mm rarely makes it out of the case. I try to make the 24mm my workhorse, and I can make great compositions with it in nearly every situation. In the last 2-3 years in my area (Atlanta), the run-and-gun national companies have hired "photographers" that have widely utilized the 'as wide as you can possibly shoot' mentality, or, if you like, the 'back up as far into the corner of the room, and try to show the entire home in one shot' method. While I have done a decent job of educating Realtors about the negative side-effects of this method, I'm losing clients to it. In the last year I have lost at least 3 large teams that made up a significant portion of my income.
I came into this business after being a listing agent for several years, and the ultra wide-angle images can actually cost an agent buyers when they show up to see the property and are shocked by how small the property looks as compared to the listing images.
My dilemma is this: I would like to focus on more discerning clientele such as architects, interior designers, commercial builders, etc, but the real-estate clients are really a bread-and-butter business. If I neglect them, things may just get pretty lean. Do you have any advice for how to address the wide-angle myth with agents? I don't want to abandon what I believe is a very effective method of marketing properties for them, but I also have to stay in business.
Yes, we've talked about this subject here on PFRE fairly recently.
Many real estate agents want shots ultra wide. As I say in the above post, I don't think it is worth your time trying to educate clients as to what YOU think is the right way for interiors to be shot. Find out what each client likes and supply it. Just because you shoot wide for those clients that want UFWA doesn't mean you have to do it for everyone and put UFWA shots in your portfolio. There seems to be this idea out there that there is only ONE right way to do everything. That is a myth!