Well is not all fun a game. But it is a lot of fun. Our blog is filled with articles about how to use photography to help you sell and market more Real Estate. Today I wanted to bring something a little more of what I would call “ Where the Rubber Meets The Road”. I get asked from time from friends and associates. “So what does a day look like for a photographer? More specifically a Real Estate Photographer?
What does it take to get prepared for and complete a Shoot?
Well in this post I would like to give you a breakdown of how a property shoot may go. My last project was a property at 2123 Valley Ridge Lane in Brooksville Florida. If you are not familiar with the area it’s a nice little town just north of Tampa with large tracts of land and a lot less traffic than your typical Florida city.
I start the day by getting all my equipment ready. I’ll check the batteries in my camera, flashes, and lighting. I’ll check to make sure that I have plenty of memory on a card and make sure that everything is in order for the day. Once I run through my checklist, I’ll pack everything up and head over to the property at the scheduled time.
On this particular, I was 25-30 minutes out with plenty of rain in the forecast. When I arrived the agent was there doing some cleaning and getting the property ready for the shoot. Not to get off track but an agent that will take their time to ensure that the property is in great condition for the shoot has the willingness to do that is an agent I would hire myself. By the way, her name is Sherry Shaw-Wright at Tropic Shores. ( If you are in the Spring Hill-Brooksville area).
Back to my day. She shows me around the property and it’s truly a beautiful place. Here’s how she described it
“ An AMAZING County Estate on a fenced, x-fenced, 10 acres that is zoned AG. Bring your family and load up your livestock to this beautiful move-in ready 3500+ sq ft, 4 bedrooms, office, 2.5 bathrooms, and 3 car garage. Has custom woodwork and crown molding throughout. House is well equipped with soaring ceilings, pest control system, and central vacuum. The barn has double entry doors with 4 stalls, tack and feed room, electric and water. Back of the property offers 2 spring-fed ponds, stocked with bass and bluegill. The house has a Generic whole house system.”
So What’s Next?
While I’m getting set up, I have a brief conversation with our drone guy. He’s getting ready to take the aerials of the property. There’s a slight drizzle and he isn’t sure if he will be able to get it done today. We wait about 30 minutes and the photography gods shine down on us and him able to get the shots we need.
In the meantime I’m getting all the interior lights turned on, closing closet doors and putting the bathrooms in order. The property is vacant and has a lot of open space. The agent has requested that three of the rooms are “Virtually Staged”. I have written on virtual staging in detail in one of my other posts. So I won’t go into it in extreme detail here. The basics are that you need a good photo with the floor area arranged so that you can place all the furniture in a way that looks at nature and appealing.
We take several photos of the entire interior of the property so that we can get the look we are looking for. In general, I have a tendency to overshoot a property. I like to have more photos then I may really need. But, better to be safe than sorry. As an example o a property of this size I may take 150 photos and only end up using 40 to 45.
That’s not counting the aerials.
In all, we may have 160 shots that we now have to decide which ones we want to keep. Next, I grab my laptop and have the agent decide which photos they like best. We selected our interior Interior pics then I went outside to grab a few more exterior shots. Depending on the time of the day I may try to catch a few pics while the sun is going down. On this property, I started earlier in the day and a twilight shot wasn’t on the schedule.
I Numbered the photo that we were going to keep along with the Aerial shots and get them ready for what we call post-production or editing. His is where the fun really begins. Photography has become as much of an art as a science. With modern editing equipment, you can do so many things to get your photo to look however you want.
Editing can make or break a project.
Things like removing shadows, greening up grass and making that cloudy sky blue are just a few of the things you can do to make a home look better and more inviting. On this property, I did have to add in a blue sky and remove some farm equipment on the outside of the property via photoshop.
If you recall the agent needed 3 of the rooms digitally staged to give the home a lived-in look. This required that I place the “Digital Furniture” in the rooms one piece at a time. I saved the photos then got an OK from the agent. The last thing I did on this property was to include what is called a virtual tour. This combines all the photos that we have into a digital presentation that can be viewed by simply sending over a link to a prospective buyer or it can be converted into a YouTube Video.
Along with the presentation, I include some fliers that the agent can use on her open house. Or any other marketing efforts. So that’s pretty much a day in the life of a Real Estate Photographer.
So is it all fun and games? Not so much.
It’s a lot of work and most of the work is done after all the pictures are taken and approved by the agent. There’s always a time crunch and you are always under a lot of pressure to get the entire package back to the agent in 24 to 48 hours. The agent needs the pictures for the MLS. Without the photos, they cant get the property on the market.
Well, it’s on to the next one.