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 less than an hour an a half. I do my best to work with homeowners and agents to have the best possible photos to highlight listings. I always schedule enough time to allow for instances where things aren't quite perfect, but I do not have time to mop floors, clean off kitchen counters, move things in every room, etc. Please help me be as efficient and focused as possible by having homes ready for me when you schedule them. See my extensive list for getting a home ready to photograph to have ideas as to what to do. Get Your House Photo Ready
What rights do I have to the photos?
If you are the one paying me for the photos, you have the rights to use the photos. You can post them online or print them. You can put text over them and crop them. Use them to market your service or product. 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. You do not have the right to sell the photos to someone else to use for another listing.
What I consider theft....
If you didn't pay for the photos, you don't have the right to right click and save a photo from my Facebook Fan Page or download it from my website and use it for anything you want. You cannot right click and save photos from a home listing and use it to list the home again. 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 by remembering if you are planning to make a profit from my photos, be sure you plan to make arrangements to give me something for using those photos. Before you right click and save.... remember, someone paid money out of their pocket for my services. You are also taking away from them when you use the photos they hired me to take.
Once again....If you are a realtor or builder and you want to use photos I have taken of a property that you didn't pay me for, you are welcome to buy the rights to use those photos or have me rephotograph the property. Only the person who paid me for the photos has the right to use them on a listing.
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 and in the closet. 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 in a zip file you can use for MLS listings along with a link to full resolution photos from my website. If you need photos a specified px size, please let me know, but for MLS listings I send photos at 2000px 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. You have 3 days to pay the credit card invoice. If not paid within 3 days I will not schedule anything else until invoice is paid.
What's your schedule like?
I schedule houses on a first come first serve basis, but you are welcome to attempt to schedule something at last minute. I've had instances where I'm in the area and was able to schedule a home to be photographed in less than an hour. My overall schedule is really dictated by the sun. For example, we have less sunlight in the winter so I'm typically only able to schedule between 9am-2pm with 3 houses a day being at max. In the summer, when there is more sunlight, I can extend my hours later into the day but I still keep my schedule to 3 homes a day so I can get photos edited and back the same day. Yes, I will photograph a house on weekends, when I can, but prefer to stick to a Monday through Friday schedule.
It's raining, can we reschedule?
If you really prefer to schedule a house to be photographed on a sunny day, check the weather before booking. I try to check weather before I schedule something so I know what to expect, but I usually can photograph in the rain as long as it's not a heavy rain. Sunny skies with clouds make for nice, eye catching photos, but I have found that it doesn't necessarily hinder buyers from looking. I've seen houses I've photograph on overcast/rainy days go under contract in less than a week many times.
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.
The house is being sold and still looks the same as the last time you photographed it, can I use those photos?
Not unless you paid me for them. The photos belong to the person who hired me. They cannot sell the photos to you, but you can buy the right to use them from me. Price is based on square footage and you will get all the low resolution and full resolution photos.
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.