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Author Topic: Residential Real Estate Photography  (Read 24008 times)

Colorado David

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Residential Real Estate Photography
« on: July 10, 2015, 08:17:14 pm »

Does anyone do residential real estate photography for realtors? What do I need to know?

mezzoduomo

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 09:16:37 pm »

I've never shot any, but I have seen a lot of it, and apparently....HDR is what you need to know.
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Colorado David

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 09:28:13 pm »

I'm not worried about shooting. Does anyone know about software for real estate photo tours? The realtor that talked to me about shooting mentioned that their current photographer delivers the photography as some type of photo-tour package.

markd61

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2015, 03:46:38 pm »

There are a lot of markets and a lot of realtors.
All want different things but most are uniform in not being interested in paying much.

The key thing is working with agents selling higher end listings. They will be more willing to spend on marketing.

When I do throw for them I shoot a solid group of images ranging from 15-40 views. There are always key images like the rear elevation, master bedroom, great room etc that need a spectacular image to land the lookers.
As for tours, I have found it is a fascination with agents who think more is better. Video is similar despite its growing popularity.
The potential buyers I am working with are successful business people with little patience for a goopy video with breathless VO extolling the virtues of the property.
They want a gallery of images they can quickly flip through to decide if they want to visit the property. They are unromantic and want information to cut to the chase.
Good video takes time and expertise and costs a fair amount. Lousy video that detracts from the image of professionalism is cheap and abundant.
Virtual tours fall into the latter category and are made with a a variety of tools available online.

Look at your market and target the agents with the best listings.
Good luck.
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alatreille

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2015, 11:42:38 pm »

I've never shot real estate, but I know some people using this.

http://www.exposiohdr.com/

Their customers (realtors) are happy and call back!

AL

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rgs

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 07:19:25 pm »

This is a large part of my business. First spend some time on the Photography for Real Estate website And while you are there, there are several nice e-books that are reasonable priced and full of good information. Get them.

Next. Forget traditional HDR. The results are not clean enough and often look cartoonish. Instead, investigate Exposure Fusion if you want to blend exposures. Also learn multi-strobe lighting techniques and how to balance the two techniques.

For software all you need is Lightroom (Photoshop is helpful in difficult situations and I would get that as well), and the LR Enfuse plugin. LR Enfuse is donationware. There is another piece of software that needs to run in the background for the LR Enfuse plugin to work. It's more of a utility and is free. Their website will direct you to it. In spite of what I said about HDR, experiment with LR 6's HDR merge function. It is not traditional HDR and does a very good job.

Get a ladder that will fit in your car and a painter's pole with a tripod head on it. Frequently exterior views are better from and elevation of 4-8 feet. Pole Pixie is where you find out about outfitting the pole. Hope this helps. Feel free to visit my RE website at http://re.myrsphoto.com
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 03:48:40 am »

I'm not worried about shooting. Does anyone know about software for real estate photo tours?

Hi David,

Pano2VR (Pro) is is quite a powerful tool for the creation of virtual tours. KRpano is also very powerful, but last time I looked at it it required much more programming skills to get good results.

I think Pano2VR has a much lower threshold and learning curve.

Cheers,
Bart
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rgs

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 08:19:28 am »

Sorry I didn't mention tours. I use a web-based service for tours. Tourbuzz does a great job of providing a tour that has very good tools for the agents and saves them time. They charge $15 per tour. There is no software or subscription needed. Here is a link to my sample tour That is the branded version but the also give you an unbranded version that is formatted specifically for MLS rules and a very useful client panel so your clients can modify the tour as needed. After you have used it a bit, it's very fast to use. A good service. I recommend it over producing your own. Sorry I forgot to say this in my first post.
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Colorado David

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 11:25:01 pm »

Thank you all very much.  I may have to reconsider.  My other work seems to interfere with residential real estate.  Thank you anyway for the replies and the help.

langier

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 11:39:19 am »

The few times I've been approached amounted to a total waste. They all want Architectural Digest quality for pennies. When I tell them I won't even go out the door for less than they are offering for the entire job, they always want me to find a sucker for them.

Find out the budget before you even bother spending time on an estimate for the vast majority of agents.

The last agent who lived 150 miles from me in a large metro area and had a listing about a half-hour drive away offered me I think $100 to go and shoot this ranch, house and barn, supply him with 40-50 processed photos and 100 sell sheets, just like he got in his market. He was a complete spaz and I kindly told him off. What a joke this guy was.

However, with the right agents who have a clue, it may be workable with selective property and a proper budget. Walk into this with open eyes and realistic expectations. Part of the solution is to educate the agent in the realities of the business and the actual costs involved, that's it's not just "nice camera" and that digital photos cost little to nothing to produce.

Be selective and find good agents to work with and you may do just fine.
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Larry Angier
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rgs

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Re: Residential Real Estate Photography
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 12:35:21 pm »

The few times I've been approached amounted to a total waste. They all want Architectural Digest quality for pennies. When I tell them I won't even go out the door for less than they are offering for the entire job, they always want me to find a sucker for them.
Be selective and find good agents to work with and you may do just fine.

So very true. There are some real tightwads out there. i recently had a call from a broker who managed an agency that had most of the work in a suburban community near my city. He basically wanted a staff photographer who would shoot 5 or 6 (or more) properties a day for pennies. He assured me that there would be plenty of work and he liked what he had seen of mine. I told him I couldn't produce quality work on the schedule he wanted for what he was willing to pay. He agreed and that was that.

I taught HS bands and orchestras for 35 years. I took photographic work in summers and on weekends. Architecture was always an interest of mine so, now that I am retired from teaching and working full time as a photographer, real estate is very appealing to me.

Real estate is all time and no hard expense. My digital files are e-mailed to the client. My only photographic expense is $15 for a TourBuzz virtual tour. I already have all the cameras, lights, and software I need. A few additional lights would be nice but not essential. I am putting about 3-4 hours in each house - on site and in post - and making $200 - $250 depending on the sq ft of the house. So $50+ per hour. Not great but I'm not losing any money. I have had brokers and agents try to get me to work for less but I turn them down. As a result, I get only the best houses (they get the guys who will work for less to do the others) so I don't have to make run down stuff look good. I also get calls from agents who have clients complaining about the cheap work the agent had done and wanting better photography. I figure there is plenty of more upscale work to be done so I don't have to compete with the one flash on camera in an out in half and hour guys. And my business is growing.

But this is a specialty I want to do. I find it interesting and challenging. I have no studio. I've done plenty of weddings and will gladly do more but don't want to pursue that. Too many other businesses are trying to make money from wedding photographers. I shoot class reunions - I've done that for 30 years. The photographic challenges are not great but I make a lot of money in a single evening. I know how to light a large group and, after 35 years of teaching, I feel confident dealing with 200 drunks in one shot. I photograph some (concert) bands and orchestras on stage (I have long-standing clients that I rely on annually) and a bit of commercial/editorial work. But real estate is becoming my day to day work. The next step will be architecture of other types which I look forward to.
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