Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my Real Estate Photography services
Why do I do this?
When I was moving from Illinois to Tennessee we relied heavily on the internet to chose our home. It was very difficult because the photos were dark, gloomy and didn't really give a good perspective of what the house looked like. The house we bought wasn't even one we wanted to look at because of the photos. We were just running out of options and our agent suggested we take a chance on it. I had been photographing landscapes for quite a while and refined my workflow where I could offer real estate photography services so buyers would be able to get a better perspective of the home. I love the real estate market and feel that by photographing a home I become a partner in the sale of the home. The seller will have some great photos to market their home at full potential and I like to help sell the home by posting the pictures I take on social media sites.
How long does it take you to photograph a home?
If things are in order a 2700 square foot home can be photographed within an hour. If the house is a chaotic mess and needs some "help", I can help get things in order as long as I have time. It's easier for me to take the time to move stuff around and help tidy up a bit than come back out another day. I work with my agents to get the best possible photos. If I have to come back out, a fee may apply, but so far I haven't had to do this. I'm not a stager but if I can move an object or two around a bit to get a better photo of a room, I'm all for it.
What do I need to do to get the house ready for the best photographs possible?
I prefer to photograph with all the lights on and ceiling fans off. If light bulbs are out or missing, those should be replaced or I will do my best to play "musical light bulbs" and swap them out from room to room. This takes times and they can be hot, so it's nice to have all the light bulbs working before I get there. If all the light bulbs could be the same color temperature, that would be awesome, but that is rare. Hide clutter and clean off counter tops. Put away the gun beside the bed. Stand in the doorway of each room and take a good look. If it looks clutter, tidy it up a bit. If wood floors are kind of dirty take a Swiffer to them or get an old towel and walk around the room. The towel does a pretty good job of cleaning up dirty floors. When I'm at the home if I see things "out of place" or things that could make photos distracting, I will move them. If there are cars parked in the driveway, it would be great to move them so they don't block the view of the house.
What is your turn around time?
Please give me at least 24 hours, but if my schedule is light, I can photograph a location early afternoon and have photos completed the same day.
How to do I get files and what format do they come in?
When I am finished editing the photos, I send you an email with low resolution jpg photos you can use for MLS listings along with a link to full resolution photos from my website. Sometimes I have to send 2 separate emails for the low resolution files if there are too many to attach. This usually is a separate email for exterior photos and another one for interior photos. If you need photos a specified px size, please let me know, but for MLS listings I send photos at 1024px on the longest side.
How do you accept payment?
I try to make everything as hassle free as possible. When you schedule a house with me, I take the photos and you do not have to worry about payment at that time. Once photos are completed I will send you an email invoice from the Squareup website and you can pay with a credit card. If the home owner is home I'd rather them consider us a team than you having to come up with payment while I'm there. I usually give everyone a week to pay before I send out any reminder notices, but it is much appreciated if the invoice is paid the same day it's received.
What's your schedule like?
I prefer to schedule houses Monday through Friday from 12-3pm that way I can pretty much guarantee a 24 hour turn around. I really do not want to schedule more than one house a day, but I have done more than one occasionally. Yes, I will photograph a house on weekends, when I can, but prefer to stick to a Monday through Friday schedule.
What do you charge for dusk shots?
If you prefer dusk shots it much easier to schedule photographing the entire house near dusk and I wont charge extra for that. Dusk shots are taken 15-20 minutes after sunset and depend on weather and sunset times so this varies. If I have to come back out to the location for dusk shots, fees apply.
Can you "photoshop" that out?
No, I'd rather not. Buyers need to see the house as it is when I took the photo. It may be deceptive to "photoshop" something out and that wouldn't be good for you or me. If the roof is missing shingles when I photograph, it will be missing shingles in the photo. If there are pipes in the yard, they stay, unless it's new construction and I know they will be gone. I have removed touch up paint spots if the light in the room really causes a glare on them. Holes in the wall do not get taken out unless it's new construction and I know they will be fixing it. Can I remove clutter? I'd rather just pick it up and move it to another room because that takes too much time on the computer. Can I turn grass green? Yes, but I'm charging extra for it because it takes time.
Do I need to be at the house while you photograph it?
Not necessarily. If the house is open I can just photograph it and lock it back up or I can work with the homeowners while they are at the home.
What rights do I have to the photos?
If you hire me, you have the rights to the photos and your brokerage has the right to use them, if you choose to share them. You can post them online or print them. You can put text over them and crop them. If the house goes up for sale again and you want to reuse the photos, do so, but it really is in your best interest to have it rephotographed in it's current state because it could mislead buyers. If you didn't pay for the photos, you don't have the right to right click, save a photo from my Facebook Fan Page or download it from my website and use it for anything you want. You cannot modify the photo, add text over the photo or crop the photo. It cannot be used on a mailer to solicit clients. I consider this theft from not only me, but the person who hired me to take the photo. If you didn't pay for my work it's unfair to take my work, not give me anything in return and use it to try to promote your business. If it happens too much I have to go to contracts and all that other jazz which takes a lot of time. Help me stay in business and I remain flexible with my photo use.
What if it's not in my budget to hire a professional photographer for a listing?
Suggest to the seller that they hire a photographer and once the house closes you reimburse them for the cost.
How can I use professional photos to my advantage when getting real estate clients?
Tell them you market their listing at 100%. Top quality photos makes their house look 150% better online than an agent that uses a cell phone for photos or a camera and doesn't know how to properly expose the photos. How will their listing look to buyers out of state? It will look top notch if it's photographed properly. Professional photos make a home look open, bright, roomy and in bedrooms you don't just get photos of the bed. Professional photographers are an asset to real estate marketing and are worth it.