I’d like to make the assumption that if you have even found this web page then firstly a thank you needs to go out to Jane Malazarte, who has provided me with this opportunity to express my interest in real estate photography with you. Secondly, I’d like to make the assumption that you are a Realtor or Real Estate Sales Professional. A third assumption would then go that if you are not a Realtor, then it may be possible that you are interested in selling your home yourself and have somehow found your way here. In any case- welcome, and let’s chat.
How about the caption under the photo? Did you see it before I mentioned it? What is your answer to such that statement? If this were a real estate listing, and assuming you are looking for a large single family residence, do you see the immediate value in this photograph? What if it was compared to this one:
This is a photograph of the same house taken around the same time of day. Besides the color differences in the photograph, the composition itself leads to the standard face-on view that plagues MLS search results and sends buyers into a dizzying blindness in very short order. There is nothing wrong with this photo: it is sharp, accurate, fairly well exposed for the type of equipment used. But does it grab? Not in the same way.
Alright, enough with the sales pitch. Now for the specifics that I think you should know. Photography is a form of art that I understand and enjoy taking a part of. Real estate is a complex industry that I have a interest in as a homeowner, and one that I have little understanding of. Let me put it this way: Home Depot has a huge Catch 22 written all over it. They start by suggesting they are the new local hardware store for all the home maintenance needs, but soon they want to take the average Joe and Jane and make them believe that they can do anything a contractor can do if they simply put their mind to it. They sell everything in that store or via catalogue to build the home you see in this photo. They have weekend hour long classes to teach certain contracting skills. They can provide you with great materials and powerful tools- but they cannot sell you even an ounce of real experience. They cannot offer the education that a student of any craft will undoubtably need. They cannot create the time to learn, try, fail and try again.
I have attempted many home improvement projects- some with success and some I have learned are well above my skill set so I do not attempt them any longer. I am not a contractor, despite having all the tools and materials at my fingertips. I am an artist, but not a painter. I can not paint a beautiful picture with a brush! If I need kitchen cabinets or a new roof, I will call contractors skilled in those crafts. It is not that I am incapable of learning how to install a kitchen, but it is a simple truth that I cannot provide all that is necessary to properly learn the skill of kitchen installation to a satisfactory level. (Yes, I am talking about the complete absence of free time in our modern American society!) So my suggestion is that if you do not consider photography as a form of art that you find yourself already heavily invested in, then leave this aspect of the whole real estate sales process to someone that has invested time and good effort. More than that though- find someone that actually enjoys photography, and more specifically, someone who enjoys architectural photography. We can not all be expected to be a one-man show.
Do you know what one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given in regards to customer service? It was offered to me during the police academy and it goes something like this:
(To the recruits) Do you know how many accident reports your are going to fill out in a given week? Combine that with your estimation of burglary reports, stolen vehicle reports, domestic violence complaints…. The simple truth is that there is a lot of crime and claim in this world and we, as police officers, just so happen to be the first call when all this occurs. You are going to fill out so many reports, guys… you will be able to fill them out while half asleep and not miss a single detail. Yes, that can be done, but do you know what? Studies have shown that the average person has one, maybe two encounters with the police in their entire lives- because the overwhelming majority of people are good, law abiding citizens that do no wrong and have no wrong done in return. But remember this- that one encounter, if done improperly, will spiral out of control and go viral through the internet and news media faster than the speed of sound. Rightfully so, but the point is really this: We owe it to ourselves and to each other to do this job with the level of professionalism that it demands so that the people who never or rarely ever interact with us do not get the impression that we are anything to fear or loathe or hate. So even if it is your fourth accident report between roll call and coffee, take that report with a professional attitude and appearance- because to the victim of the collision you are a hero and to the person who caused the collision- you are handling the incident in the proper way, not more and certainly not less. And do that with every single citizen contact and you will be just fine out here.
The day I photographed the house in these pictures was both the first and last time I will step foot inside it; however, I photographed it as if it was my own. Taking ownership of a task is often hard to do when it is repeated dozens of times with little to no break in between, but it is exactly what we need to do in order to be successful.Finally, with all that said, I’d like to have the opportunity to photograph your listings, or, in the case that you are looking to sell your home yourself (a big decision, indeed!), I’d like the opportunity to photograph your listing for you. What I provide:
- A professional appearance, attitude and requisite level of education about the art of photography I am offering.
- We will photograph the house until I am satisfied I have every possible angle and image to properly list the home. I will not give an hourly rate or an image maximum limit.
- Processed images will be released for the duration of the sale and will be provided in print resolution as well as digital (screen) resolution.
- Punctuality and an open calendar for the duration of the shoot.
- Images will be processed as quickly as possible, but not longer than three business days. (This house resulted in 54 processed images and was released to the Realtor within 24 hours, but I’ll say three days just to be safe…)
Who I am:
I am a photography enthusiast. What that means to me is that I do not use a camera to put bread on the table. What that means to you is that earnings from this project supports my hobby and makes me feel good about the time investment I am providing to you. Further, it means that bait and switch is irrelevant, as well as any further expenses that are not real, actual expenses incurred on my part. For example: If you ask me to send an additional set of images under a specific digital compression method (i.e., specific iPhone app requirements or something like that), there is no additional charge because I am not incurring an additional cost by hitting the mouse button a few more times.Where I work:
New Jersey: Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Union.
New York: Manhattan, Hudson Valley south of Croton-on-Hudson in Westchester County and Haverstraw in Rockland County.
What I will not do:
I cannot agree to home remodeling prior to or during the shoot. That simply isn’t my area of expertise. ; ) Additionally, I will not use Photoshop or any other software to make material changes to the home. As a buyer, I expect the pictures to depict the home in its actual condition.
What I expect from the home:
I expect it to be reasonably clean, organized, and available for the shoot. I would expect a timeframe of three to six hours for a photo shoot. I do not necessarily need the Realtor to be present for the entire time, but I do not wish to be left in the home alone, either.Interested?