Real Estate Photography

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by hogdoc, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. hogdoc

    hogdoc Been here awhile

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    Has anybody done any real estate photography?

    I am looking into partnering with a local agent for his listings and hoping for some tips. I've been doing samples with HDR and processing with Photomatix trial version.
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  2. TiPirate

    TiPirate Adventurer

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    I've done it in the past. 2 things I've learned:

    a) always have your camera level and at the exact middle of the room, height wise, to avoid unwanted distortion.

    b) realtors are both amazingly cheap and fickle.

    HDR is more work for results that aren't typically that good. The trap people fall into (myself included at one time) is going just a little too far and ruining the photo. The slightest hint that the photo has been altered or doctored really turns people off. Try and shoot on the correct days and at the right time of day to get the best results. If you feel you're getting paid enough for your time, don't be afraid to bounce some studio strobes around and fill in the dark spots as well as balance for outside ambient.

    [​IMG]

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    As examples, all these use HDR.
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Not moto related, moved to Shiny Things.
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  4. hogdoc

    hogdoc Been here awhile

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    Thanks Ti those are really nice photos.

    Sorry GB, thought pics was a good place to ask a picture related question.
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  5. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Try making a late-50s 24x50 ranch look good.
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  6. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I'll give you a tip from a semi pro real estate investor and photographer.

    HDR sucks. It doesn't help sell house it just covers blemishes. I'm less likely to go look at a listing that has been post processed.

    Learn good solid lighting. Take great shots that are inviting. HDR is a trend in real estate photography that will go away.
    Prove that you have chops well beyond it and you will have work after the trend is over.

    Oh yea and real estate agents are cheap, finicky and did I mention cheap?

    So think about doing work for vacation rental by owners and hotels as well.
    #6
  7. TiPirate

    TiPirate Adventurer

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    Let's not forget that Realtors are cheap.
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  8. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    Between HDR and strobes...strobes are *the* way to go, no doubt about it.
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  9. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    I hate realtors
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  10. Shadow10

    Shadow10 Been here awhile

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    I wish you the best of British in this line of work. I've been asked at semi regular intervals over the years to do picture stuff for estate agents. Moving and still.

    The conversation always ends up the same. They want a production to rival the quality produced by Hollywood or Vogue. For this they are willing to part with a can of coke and "how soon can you deliver?"

    Anything goes providing the agent gets lots of money and pays nothing. I used to be surprised at their tenacity. They don't like hearing "no" when they want something and their efforts and methods (read - con) at trying to get someone to do something for nothing are very impressive.

    As mentioned, if you go ahead, stay away from all the wiz bang trickery that technology has promised. Despite all of this, the fundamentals of photography still apply. Theres no substitute for good lighting. No point having a $50k camera if you're using a $10.00 lens, etc.

    Has anyone pointed out how cheap estate agents are?
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  11. hogdoc

    hogdoc Been here awhile

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    I know real estate agents are cheap, suck and are CHEAP! This one is actually my boss at the shop and hates most agents ways also, kinda why he got into it part time. His plans are for a stager and photographer for his listings so we'll see how it goes. He's shown me dozens of istings where the crappy cell phone pictures were barely good enough to make out what the room was and hates those. When I sold my last house the agent used her flip phone, left her car in the drive, purse on the counter, shot into the sun in one room, etc etc etc.... I took good pictures and practically had to force her to use mine, saying hers where "good enough"!

    Thanks for the advice, I'll keep working on the lighting.
    #11
  12. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    :lol3

    Gotta love a buisness with virtually no barrier to entry, the illusion of 'easy money' and the need to look successful but no actualy requirement to be so...
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  13. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    My realtor's husband is a semi-pro photographer, and it shows. All of her ads have great looking pictures, which is in stark contrast to the norm around here (and elsewhere). I can't stand searching for houses and the only pictures available of a house that on paper at least fits my family are severely over/under exposed , grainy, and taken with a 0.01 mp camera (read: flip phone from the 90s).
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  14. A-Bone

    A-Bone Indubitably

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    There are some pretty good realtors around here that spend time learning how to use a camera as well as frame and light a shot properly. It really does make a difference... Great photos really let people dream..

    I guess the down side is that if the photos are too good and the house doesn't show as well as the pictures, you have the makings for some serious disappointment.

    I'd love to see some stats on how many more hits and showings a house with great photos gets vs listings with sub-par photos..
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  15. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

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    Funny thing... When we saw the photos before the ad went up, my wife and I looked at each other and were like..."That's OUR house?" :lol3

    So far everyone has liked our house, but it is normally something outside the house that has kept them from putting in an offer. Too far from X, too many kids in the neighborhood, etc. One couple told their realtor that they would have put in a full price offer on the spot except for one thing: they did not like that one of our neighbors was riding his 2 year old daughter around on a four wheeler :huh They didn't want to be in a 'hood like "that".

    Oh well. The current neighbors would have probably hated those people :deal

    About the stats. If they are out there then even most realtors don't seem to care. As soon as they saw that the neighbors house got twice as many showings based off of good pictures I would assume any halfway motivated individual would learn to do that themselves. It only affects their bottom line. For example, there is an 8,000 sq ft house for sale down the street from us that has truly remarkable features, that are framed horribly, underexposed, and shot from weird angles that do no justice to the space. Its a shame really.
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  16. Dave

    Dave Huh?

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    I'm on a team, and we sell quite a bit of real estate. True, there are some agents that will take the time to frame the shots carefully, but most will just whip out their phone, and snap away. And it shows.

    We're busy enough, that we keep 2 photographers on a rotating basis. They have the decent equipment, know how to frame the shots, then make them look even better with software. Entirely worth it.

    BTW, what not to do.
    #16
  17. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    When I first got a job at the Monterey bay Aquarium, the guy who I worked with was a weirdo. He quit soon after I got there thinking he was going to make his mark in real estate photography, and videography. After about three months at it he was about to kill himself.......literally! I saw him editing a video for a property for sale at a buddies edit suite. His comment was, Hi Kevin! Look at the level I have stooped to! I asked about the client, he said it was one of the premier real estate agents on the Monterey Peninsula, sold about 20 million a year and said the guy was such a fucking putz low ball cheapass, he wanted my buddy to do each house for like 300 dollars. He added the guy use to spend that on lunch daily.
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  18. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    That what not to do should be required reading for all who buy a camera or want to shoot photos or video! :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
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  19. HighAlpineDrifter

    HighAlpineDrifter Long timer

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    Still an order of magnitude better than what passes for RE photography in Switzerland.
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  20. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    [​IMG] :lol3
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