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How to Qualify Your Real Estate Photographer

Spotlight on Real Estate Photography

Find a Pro

Statistics say home buyers are more likely to click on professional photos when looking online, but it takes more than getting paid to make a pro. A lot of people hang out a shingle for real estate photography, because there is a relatively low cost associated with starting a business - especially if you are already a photography buff and already have the hardware and software. However, many of these photographers won't bring more to the shoot than you would bring yourself. This means that you're not getting what you paid for.

Real Estate Photographers may shake and bake their pricing in a variety of ways, but if you take time to compare prices, apples-to-apples, you'll find we all cost about the same. A popular ploy is to use the phrase "Prices starting at X." Virtually any number can be plugged into that X, but in most cases you wouldn't want what X would buy you. Understanding what you get for your photography dollar is very important.

Know What X Buys

"Prices starting at $75" was the tagline I recently saw on a photographer's card. We wondered how they could afford to show up for that price. A few questions solved the riddle.

To begin with, it was $75 to shoot anything less than 1000 square foot. If you sell high rise condos, this might be good news, but that's not the case for most agents. A little googling will show you the average home size is over 2500 square feet and the price for that was significantly more.

For some photographers, prices are based on the number of photos, but that's a hard number to predict. All 2600 square foot homes are not created equal. How many rooms are in the house? Open floor plans require fewer shots than a more traditional home divided into smaller spaces. Are there features that need special attention? Twenty photos might be more than enough for one 2600 square foot home and not enough for another.

We base our pricing on the size of the house and we deliver however many pictures are needed to appropriately represent the home. Our willingness to do this is a bonus for our clients. Some days that means we're processing a lot more photos than we did for the same size house the day before, but our agents know they'll get the right exposure for all of their homes without having to worry about guessing how many photos they will need beforehand.

Know What's Not Included

Another important thing to remember is that for many photographers, what their camera sees is what you are going to get. Processing the photos means the shots are downloaded and emailed to you.

Spot On Images actually spends more time in post production than we do behind the camera. Statistics do say home buyers are more likely to click on professional photos, but do the photos your photographer produces qualify as professional photographers - or did you just pay them without any expertise being added to their value.

Next week we'll talk about our processing procedures, so you will understand what it means when we call ourselves professionals.

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