There is a trend I noticed when looking through some listings the other day: lack-lustre exterior shots! And I am actually talking about listings where the agents "get it" and obviously (sometimes more...often less obviously...) hired a "professional" to photograph their listing.
I can tell you, as a photographer, sometimes we get caught up in things that are important to us, the things that we find challenging, or things that we think we do better than others. And I noticed that by and large, even properties with decent photos of the interior spaces have... well, sub par exteriors.
I am NOT even talking about TWILIGHT shots for your listing - although, looking through listings I can't think of a better way to stand out above the crowd! It seems that almost no one does these, and I don't know why. You're trying to get people to look at your listing, and nothing combines the qualities of "eye catching" with "inviting" and "welcoming" like a beautiful twilight. But I digress.
Lets forget about twilights for a minute - they are an additional cost, they require an extensive skill set, and are more time consuming. But lets just talk about the standard real estate photo shoot. It looks to me like most exterior shots are shot almost as an after thought, and edited much like it too.
No real creative composition. No understanding of how the human eye views images. No respect for perspective (that's a whole other series of blogs in and of itself). Just an "oh yeah, we need a front of the house!" shot.
It is beyond me why this happens as a front shot of the house is usually the first one shown, and I know that many MLS services in the USA and Canada at least, REQUIRE that the first shot be of the front of the home.
People! You are simply NOT getting your money's worth if that shot is not done well. This is your elevator pitch, this is your one chance for people to want to see more. That's why many real estate photographers call them "the hero shot". Its the single most important image supplied to you because quite often its the one that determines if anyone looks at the rest.
Let me wrap up by offering up some pointers:
I guess this post is addressed to the real estate photographer as much as to their client, the agent: have the decency not to charge people for a blow off job on the single most important shot of the set. And realtors, know what can be done by an actual professional, as opposed to a guy with a camera who pushes a button so you don't have to.
Real estate photography is actually quite difficult to do well: you have to deliver numerous views, you can't be on site very long, and you have to deliver them quickly! You have to be a competent architectural photographer, but also have the mindset of a commercial photographer. Oh and did I mention you have to do it QUICKLY? Its not easy. Hire a real pro. I promise you will see the difference. And so will your client's. The current ones, and the ones who's business you are yet to earn. Make it right, make it count!
Especially in your "hero shot"!
TwoSixPix philosophies, tips and tricks, and just a little peek into who I am behind the camera.