Anyone shoot property??

Started Mar 27, 2012 | Discussions
Chas P
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Anyone shoot property??
Mar 27, 2012

I have held onto my gear against all wise counsel and am re-shooting long-term listings for local estate agents (realtors) in the hopes that they'll see spending a few ££ as good value. It's a fascinating field, unlike weddings and portraits - how many wedding photographers set out just to try and persuade clients not to shoot their own!

If anyone has the time or inclination to have a look at my site and give me feedback or pointers I'd appreciate it hugely. Thanks.

http://www.charliepryor.com/

This 'before and after' page is the one I'm most please with. I just shot and built it yesterday - the pics aren't all that exciting but I'm hoping the concept will work and I can update it as I crawl up the pile
http://www.charliepryor.com/before-and-after
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nicanddi
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 27, 2012

Hi Chas,

My experience is that UK property agents are more than happy to send out the office secretary with a point and shoot that she/he doesn't know and hasn't been shown how to operate, and are more than happy with the results.

At a time when the UK housing market is generally priced 20-30% higher than buyers are willing to spend, estate agents are selling very few properties. Photography is one area where they will not invest any money.

We have done the photography for a friend selling a £500,000 home and the agents were blown away with the images. My friend told the 'secretary' to return to her office half way through photographing her family home for the brochure, when she noticed that her indoor shots on a typical rainy and low-light UK winter day, were being taken without any flash!

When the house recently sold I contacted the agents and introduced myself to the manager who heaped praise on the images. he admitted that they had in no uncertain terms helped him and his staff to sell the house...but guess what??? he has no budget to employ a professional to help him sell future homes.

We have recently sold our own house (much less expensive than our friends,) but supplied the agents with our own photos. After 12 months the agents begged us to allow them to go an photograph the property themselves (in their own poor way,) as the images were generating so much interest that they couldn't keep up with the demands for viewings! General feedback was that people loved the images but felt that when they went to view the property that somehow it looked different to the photos in the brochure???

My advice, if you're in the UK leave the property photography to the agents, as there aint no money to be made there to keep a professional photographer going through these tough times.

Cheers,

Nic
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http://www.niccleave.com
Nic Cleave Photography

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Chas P
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to nicanddi, Mar 27, 2012

nicanddi wrote:

Hi Chas,

My experience is that UK property agents are more than happy to send out the office secretary with a point and shoot that she/he doesn't know and hasn't been shown how to operate, and are more than happy with the results.

At a time when the UK housing market is generally priced 20-30% higher than buyers are willing to spend, estate agents are selling very few properties. Photography is one area where they will not invest any money.

We have done the photography for a friend selling a £500,000 home and the agents were blown away with the images. My friend told the 'secretary' to return to her office half way through photographing her family home for the brochure, when she noticed that her indoor shots on a typical rainy and low-light UK winter day, were being taken without any flash!

When the house recently sold I contacted the agents and introduced myself to the manager who heaped praise on the images. he admitted that they had in no uncertain terms helped him and his staff to sell the house...but guess what??? he has no budget to employ a professional to help him sell future homes.

We have recently sold our own house (much less expensive than our friends,) but supplied the agents with our own photos. After 12 months the agents begged us to allow them to go an photograph the property themselves (in their own poor way,) as the images were generating so much interest that they couldn't keep up with the demands for viewings! General feedback was that people loved the images but felt that when they went to view the property that somehow it looked different to the photos in the brochure???

My advice, if you're in the UK leave the property photography to the agents, as there aint no money to be made there to keep a professional photographer going through these tough times.

Cheers,

Nic
--
http://www.niccleave.com
Nic Cleave Photography

Cheers Nic - thanks so much for the response. I fear you may be right on all counts. My only hope is convincing agents that £60 represents such a tiny fraction of their 2.5% that making the sale makes it worth it.. we'll see.
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nicanddi
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 27, 2012

I wish you all the luck in the world. It may be different for you working in the London area, to our experiences in a more rural part of the UK. Let us know how you get on and good luck with trying it.

Cheers,

Nic
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Dan Marchant
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to nicanddi, Mar 27, 2012

I think if you want to do real estate photography then you really need to target high end properties where the agent will be producing high quality printed brochures and websites for rich Russian oligarchs who want a London crash pad.

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Chas P
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Dan Marchant, Mar 27, 2012

Thanks - I suspect you may well be right. Them and the Footballers. I'm hoping I can get up to that level before too long but I'm bottom feeding initially to see where it leads. I'd rather be busy and working for lots of smaller clients than waiting for the big guys to call.
Appreciate your thoughts.
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chris_uk
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 27, 2012

This is a site that might be of interest to you

http://photographyforrealestate.net

Much of it is about the American market but a lot of the information is relevant to any country. The monthly competitions, for example, attract entries from all over the world.

The Scott Hargis lighting book is worth getting if you intend to use small multiple flashes.

Within the UK market, a lot of your success will depend on where you are based. Many smaller agents do take their own pictures but a look through Country Life show that the vast majority of the top agents employ photographers.

In general the more the house sells for, the bigger the agents commission and the more likely there are to need good quality photography.

Good luck!

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Chas P
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to chris_uk, Mar 27, 2012

Many thanks for your response. I've been following the PFRE group on Flickr and am aware of Scott and his work - I should read his book, certainly. I appreciate the advice re high end property as well. It's where I'd like to be and I'm getting on one or two lists but I'm curious to see if the agents who shoot their own can be tempted. I'll keep working at it.
Much appreciated.
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chris_uk
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 27, 2012

Yes, do get the book. I have been shooting for estate agents full time for a long time and I found it very interesting and useful.

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Simon Stanmore
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 27, 2012

I would suggest you forget about estate agents (realtors) as viable clients. They have neither the budget or the visual awareness to sustain a professional photographer. "A few ££" is pointless. Even those marketing properties for millions in the UK are not worth your time. Focus on major developers, interior designers, architects, manufacturers, creative agencies, etc.

Estimate for and shoot the number of finished, supplied & licensed images as commissioned - as a rule one per space. Do not price on time, ever.

Learn lighting, plan your shoot times with the weather forecasts, market yourself as a interior/architecture specialist (no other subjects), dictate your pricing and don't be led by what you perceive to be 'the market'. If they want your style, and you're not in cuckoo land they will sign-off on the commission.

Technical specifics...

Drop the HDR - It looks blatantly false and amateur.

Your lighting colour balance and/or white balance is way out - Lots of blue and orange casts, sometimes in the same frames. Learn to use a grey card and lights to prevent this.

Do not use extreme WA focal lengths when close to subject matter ... It's a fiction too far. If you have to to satisfy the brief then do not show these shots in your marketing.

You're allowing sunlight to spill into interiors creating hard pools of distracting highlight. Good use of 500W+ lighting will resolve this.

Consider hiring a stylist whenever budget/requirement permits ... As stated at the beginning of this response forget about estate agents as clients if you want to build a successful and sustainable career with interior/architectural photography. Estate Agents = You'll be on a couple of £££ per day at best and shooting with your creative hands tightly tied... Neither satisfying or sustainable
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Chas P
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Simon Stanmore, Mar 28, 2012

Thanks Simon, you make really good points and may have saved me a whole lot of pain - I need to absorb all that. And change direction. Much appreciated. Now to re-read it.
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jjlad
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Dan Marchant, Mar 28, 2012

Dan Marchant wrote:

I think if you want to do real estate photography then you really need to target high end properties where the agent will be producing high quality printed brochures and websites for rich Russian oligarchs who want a London crash pad.

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Dan
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I love my girlfriend, my dog and my canon 7d - even though none of them ever do what I tell them

I am learning photo graphee - see the results at http://www.danmarchant.com

I agree with Dan that high end is the way to go. I help with some aireals for high end properties. The ground work is normally a video tour of them ..shot by people a whole lot better at that than we are.

Google Earth seems to have sattelite images of nearly everyone's house and Google Maps has street level pannable panos. I'm wondering how long it will take for them to see through the walls so they know what you have for batrhoorm wallpaper and as an added bonus ...what color your knickers are.

jj

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elfroggio
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 28, 2012

Chas P wrote:

This 'before and after' page is the one I'm most please with. I just shot and built it yesterday - the pics aren't all that exciting but I'm hoping the concept will work and I can update it as I crawl up the pile
http://www.charliepryor.com/before-and-after

I don't like your before & after section because to me it's not a before and after. It's one (the snapshot) vs another (your preferred interpretation). When I hear before & after, I expect a photo from the same position with the original and your preferred photo, including the location cleanup.

http://mpkelley.com/beforeafter/

I'm actually working on a before & after for my own professional site, I'm using the original photo then my finished photo. It will likely be a side-by-side. Your rollover only works if the Javascripts are enabled.

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Thanks
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The Business of Being a Photographer -- Lightroom Q&A

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Chas P
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to elfroggio, Mar 28, 2012

elfroggio wrote:

Chas P wrote:

This 'before and after' page is the one I'm most please with. I just shot and built it yesterday - the pics aren't all that exciting but I'm hoping the concept will work and I can update it as I crawl up the pile
http://www.charliepryor.com/before-and-after

I don't like your before & after section because to me it's not a before and after. It's one (the snapshot) vs another (your preferred interpretation). When I hear before & after, I expect a photo from the same position with the original and your preferred photo, including the location cleanup.

http://mpkelley.com/beforeafter/

I'm actually working on a before & after for my own professional site, I'm using the original photo then my finished photo. It will likely be a side-by-side. Your rollover only works if the Javascripts are enabled.

-- hide signature --

Thanks
http://foto-biz.com
The Business of Being a Photographer -- Lightroom Q&A

Thanks for taking a look at it - and the link - I've a long way to go. I'll have a look at getting it written without java.
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KAllen
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 30, 2012

Chas P wrote:

nicanddi wrote:

Hi Chas,

My experience is that UK property agents are more than happy to send out the office secretary with a point and shoot that she/he doesn't know and hasn't been shown how to operate, and are more than happy with the results.

At a time when the UK housing market is generally priced 20-30% higher than buyers are willing to spend, estate agents are selling very few properties. Photography is one area where they will not invest any money.

We have done the photography for a friend selling a £500,000 home and the agents were blown away with the images. My friend told the 'secretary' to return to her office half way through photographing her family home for the brochure, when she noticed that her indoor shots on a typical rainy and low-light UK winter day, were being taken without any flash!

When the house recently sold I contacted the agents and introduced myself to the manager who heaped praise on the images. he admitted that they had in no uncertain terms helped him and his staff to sell the house...but guess what??? he has no budget to employ a professional to help him sell future homes.

We have recently sold our own house (much less expensive than our friends,) but supplied the agents with our own photos. After 12 months the agents begged us to allow them to go an photograph the property themselves (in their own poor way,) as the images were generating so much interest that they couldn't keep up with the demands for viewings! General feedback was that people loved the images but felt that when they went to view the property that somehow it looked different to the photos in the brochure???

My advice, if you're in the UK leave the property photography to the agents, as there aint no money to be made there to keep a professional photographer going through these tough times.

Cheers,

Nic
--
http://www.niccleave.com
Nic Cleave Photography

Cheers Nic - thanks so much for the response. I fear you may be right on all counts. My only hope is convincing agents that £60 represents such a tiny fraction of their 2.5% that making the sale makes it worth it.. we'll see.
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Yes but to do enough a week at £60. would get difficult, How do you fit them all in on the one sunny day with the Sun in the right place, how much profit when you need too return for the afternoon Sun in the back garden.

Unless the house is up market what is there too shoot? a pro set of pictures will not turn the bog standard semi into the silk purse.

Expensive houses and Country estates regularly employ a pro to shoot the property, they will probably have a mast and charge a lot more than £60.. Because you need to charge a lot more than £60.

If you end up batting around shooting when you can fit them in, you could end up taking pictures like the agent does.

You will need to turn over at least £50k a year and that would probably just run the business, that's over two a day 360 days a year. By all means have a go, just work out the figures properly, digital is not free to the photographer just because you have a camera. 2 plus 2 seldom make 4 in business, I look upon that as the theoretical maximum.
I would aim higher for the estates and plush end and nowhere near £60 a pop.

Kevin.

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Central Fla
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Re: Anyone shoot property??
In reply to Chas P, Mar 30, 2012

My niece recently tried to get into real estate photography, here in our part of the U.S. the realtors are closed minded and will not spend a dime on anything even though they make thousands per house.

This past month she passed her state realtor exam !!!!

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