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Old Jun 17, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Vermont
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Shooting a house for a Realtor

So I shot this property for a Realtor with my quad the other day. So I have heard this on this site before but Realtors can be somewhat "difficult". This individual approached me because he no longer had access to a full scale (real, don't you love that one, get it all the time) helicopter. The guy (a friend doing it as a hobby) used to charge him 150 dollars an hour to go up and he would shoot the properties. He then went to the airport and found out they would charge him the normal price of several thousand dollars. Thats why he tried my services out. He didn't like the images I had, he kept saying "I don't want the house" in the photo. I understand my images have some noise but just in terms of composition I really thought he could use them, I have a lot of good shots like the ones you see here.. I all most have a feeling he wants me to charge him like 50 bucks a shoot, since he had such a great thing going before. Its a 12 acre property and I think he wants me to shoot it higher, basically getting similar results to what he did in the helicopter. I am going back with my Omega 1.8 and the Pentax and shoot from much higher and get some higher altitude shots. I am wondering if this is the "some people you can never please" scenario. Man is it hard to make an honest buck anymore.











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Old Jun 17, 2012, 11:30 AM
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United States, MI, Jenison
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Originally Posted by spacecase View Post
So I shot this property for a Realtor with my quad the other day. So I have heard this on this site before but Realtors can be somewhat "difficult". This individual approached me because he no longer had access to a full scale (real, don't you love that one, get it all the time) helicopter. The guy (a friend doing it as a hobby) used to charge him 150 dollars an hour to go up and he would shoot the properties. He then went to the airport and found out they would charge him the normal price of several thousand dollars. Thats why he tried my services out. He didn't like the images I had, he kept saying "I don't want the house" in the photo. I understand my images have some noise but just in terms of composition I really thought he could use them, I have a lot of good shots like the ones you see here.. I all most have a feeling he wants me to charge him like 50 bucks a shoot, since he had such a great thing going before. Its a 12 acre property and I think he wants me to shoot it higher, basically getting similar results to what he did in the helicopter. I am going back with my Omega 1.8 and the Pentax and shoot from much higher and get some higher altitude shots. I am wondering if this is the "some people you can never please" scenario. Man is it hard to make an honest buck anymore.











Go wide and go high! GPS like WKM will help with that confidence if you are nervous flying high.
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Swansea, Massachusetts
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real estate types are hard to please and cheap! I don't do real estate shots anymore. Lawyers, and private home owners are much better. If he was getting shots for $150, you should charge at least $200, since his friend was doing it as a "hobby" and you are a business!
I'd give him some go pro shots from 200 feet, cover the whole property.....
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Old Jun 17, 2012, 08:34 PM
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ft. worth
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you can charter a full scale heli for $300 per hour.

http://s1165.photobucket.com/albums/...cpZZ1QQtppZZ24

http://s1165.photobucket.com/albums/...ckwall%20Dirt/

shot these with this:
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 12:00 AM
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Ok, I think your angles and composition are good. I think the problem is the light: harsh shadows, and parts of the house that should be lit being in shadow.

I think you need an overcast day, a time of day with better light on the side of the house you are photographing, or that near-twilight "golden hour" warm light.

A photo teacher once told me "light is the subject of all photography". It's kinda true.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 02:56 AM
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Well aerial photography is just like any other genre in photography. You are trying to tell a story with a picture. Realtors are not any more difficult than lawyers or any one else. Granted the real estates market is pretty slow all over the country and realtors are really tightening their belts in their expenses. They still need photographs. It is not about the absolute cost of the photography service that they are concern about. It is about the value of what they are paying for.

In your sample images you are NOT helping the realtor in question in selling the house or property. You have to make the image appealing to the realtor or better yet, the potential buyer. You need to present the property in a way that it is enticing for the potential buyer to want to visit the place.

So choosing a correct time and weather condition to shoot is the number one priority. If you want to present the front door you need to try and shoot during a time where the light is actually hitting the front door. In a studio setting you can control the light. In an outdoor setting you are trying to use the natural light.

You may think your composition is good but what are you really showing off for the realtor. The last two images may be more suited for some solar panel installer to look at the roof line instead of showing off the house.

If the property is located on 12 acres of land you need to use a wider angle lens and fly a lot higher to show off the land and the location of each building. You don't want close up of the roof. If you want to show off the house up close you may want to center the shot more in front of the front door and try to include the entire house instead of cutting the left hand corner off.

Just some suggestions. I have been a photographer for over 40 years. I now specialize in shooting high end multi million dollar homes for realtors. My only hold back right now is the weather condition. Otherwise I will be shooting every day.

The trick is to talk it over with the realtor before you shoot. Get a feeling on what they expect. The more you work with a realtor the easier it gets. The reason is that they start to understand your limitations. You start to understand what they need. After a while all they have to do is to give you an address and you can come up with a set of spectacular images. That's what my realtor agent clients do.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 03:00 AM
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Hawaii
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>>I think you need an overcast day, a time of day with better light on the side of the house you are photographing, or that near-twilight "golden hour" warm light.<<

In my experience realtors do NOT like overcast days. Yes a lower angle of the sun is good providing that it is coming from the correct direction. Sometimes overhead light is preferable. It all depends on how you present the subject.

I like to shoot in calm evenings or at dawn. However some realtors do not like them. Since I am shooting for the realtors and not myself I try to understand what they need and want before shooting.

Some do want the impossible so I have to "gently" educate them on the limitations.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
The trick is to talk it over with the realtor before you shoot. Get a feeling on what they expect. The more you work with a realtor the easier it gets. The reason is that they start to understand your limitations. You start to understand what they need.
Quite agree. Communication is everything. I sit down with the client for a pre-shoot session, equipped with high res. map if available and Google Earth on the laptop screen.
This way the terrain, aspect, background and all important lighting can be discussed. Multiple visits at different times of the day have been agreed at this stage, with the client fully aware of why this is needed and that it will cost more.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 09:15 AM
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USA, IL, Decatur
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The majority of the time I shoot several pictures simular to what you have here with my quad ( keep in mind they can take good photos of the house themselfs) and then take one of my fixed wings up to cover the high shots. If the house is near a lake or golf course they often want a piece of that in the photo also. Where I live (cornfield county) the out buildings such as barns and grain bins are usually shown in relationship to the house. It takes awhile to get the feel for what they want.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Yea the lighting situation was not ideal. 3 oclock at an easterly facing direction with tree line right up against the west facing facade. It was my first time at the place and I shot a lot just to get stuff, but yes morning for a lot of those shots. Sun in my eyes a lot of the time. I wish that 38mm on my pentax was a 28. I do have GPS, thats a great idea, still makes me nervous. I guess with that I would just use throttle and let the GPS hold position and get as high as I can? The client wanted just parts of the house in the picture with grounds being the most important. Its true I need to show them shots that capture the whole grandeur of the place. I think thats why I want to shoot it with my powered sailplane. I can definitively go much higher with that. I may also take my pentax out of shutter speed priority mode (1/500th) because I think it is pushing the film to 800 giving me all that noise (nasty shadows). Overcast would be fine but Ill probable loose a few stops, but be shutting off the motor so vibration wont be too bad.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Spend time interviewing the Realtor prior. Make sure you know exactly what they are looking for. What is important to show in the photo i.e. acreage, lakes etc. Make sure you see the property and location on google maps first if possible and plan your shoot accordingly with the sun position. Typically you want the sun to the camera's back. I have spent an entire day just waiting for the sun to move on a house. Shoot one side earlier and the other side later. There are good apps for smart phones that predict sun position and shadow pretty well.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:36 AM
wbuttry
sikeston mo
Joined Apr 2009
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Also it looks like you need to do fpv to line up your shots a little easier. And he said i dont want the house in the photos then what does he want then. Like nic said interview him have him meet you at the property and let him kinda feel it out for you. Showing you what can and cant be there so that way you wont get confussed . I dealt with realiter many of time doing aerial mast photos and cleaning out repos and bidding on work.I made a bunch of friends and some money.But you are doing fine work keep trying and pick the realiters brain and let him help you line up the shots that way everyboy is happy after all the customer is always rite even though he is wrong as the day is long.....
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 02:15 PM
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I highly suggest a video downlink and have the Realtor right there with you. He can see the monitor as you are flying. I have had them tell me "higher" "closer" etc. Just to ensure we get the shot they dreamed of.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:55 PM
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