Frequently Asked Questions.

How long does the photoshoot take?

Depending on the size of the property it could take from thirty minutes to a couple hours. My average 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathrooms, 2000 Sq Ft real estate photo shoot will be around 45 minutes to an hour.

When and how do I get my property images?

I offer a 24 hour turn around on all real estate shoots. The vast majority of the time you’ll receive your images in the same evening of the day of the shoot. I email a dropbox link to you where you can easily save and download the images.

How do I pay you?

I accept cash, checks and all major credit cards. The majority of my clients are emailed an invoice after the shoot where they can securely pay it online.

Do I have to be there during the shoot?

No. I can meet directly with your clients or simply do the shoot solo. I just need access to the property.

Do you have Supra access?

No. I know this can be a slight inconvenience however, on the bright side you can rest assured that I’m not a licensed competitor. My passion is photography and I have no interest in getting licensed and becoming a board member so I can have a Supra key.

What is your cancellation policy?

I do not have one. I’ve been working in the real estate industry my entire adult life and know how some things just fall apart. It’s never an issue if you need to cancel at the last minute regardless of the issue.

Do you charge a traveling fee?

There is no traveling fee for any shoot located inside the Knox County area. This also includes several areas just outside of the Knox County line. View my Travel Fee Schedule for a complete list.

For Dad…

Normally, when I shoot HDR, I prefer the interior lights to be off. This assures that I have full control over the white balance and I can produce accurate colors of cabinets/furniture and walls.

As interior lighting is typically around 2700k (slight orange hue) this color will bounce off all the objects in the room making pure white objects appear discolored. If you’re shooting for a builder or an interior designer – this is game over.

Now the colors of the cabinets, flooring, walls, ceiling and furniture are accurate. This is why I typically shoot HDR with the lights off HOWEVER,

My Dad tells me that I should always shoot with the lights on. Even after explaining to him the issue of shooting with the lights on, he told me if he were to agree with me, “we’d both be wrong…” So I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how I should approach it.

I know what your thinking – No problem, I’ll shoot with the lights on and then just correct the white balance in post production. Well… even if you were to correct the white balance in post production, you would have to use a brush tool to pick only the areas of the image that need the correction. Simply using the white balance tool in Light Room will effect the entire image with a universal correction.

My general rule is, if I have to open an image in photoshop for a real estate shoot I might as well light it correctly vs using HDR however, on those rare occasions where HDR will produce a better image then using flash, this is a tool I’ll definitely rely on in the future… Thoughts?

Selling your home is a stressful process! In order to hit the ground running one of the first things you’ll need to do is get professional photos of your property. Often times, this comes before your home is even listed. As most home buyers are searching online for their next home, professional photographs have never played a more important role in getting top dollar for your property then ever before!

In order to get the absolute best real estae photos for your home, you can prepare your house for the photo shoot. Here are some great pointers to get you started.

 

Outside Area

Mow, rake and trim landscapingRemove all clutter including hoses
Remove any pool/spa coversClean all driveways, entryways and patios
Remove any grill coversRemove any pool toys/equipment

Living Room

Turn off TV and hide remotesRemove all toys, fans and clutter
Remove any unnecessary furnitureOpen blinds and window drapes
Turn off ceiling fansRemove any “nik-naks”

Kitchen and Dining Area

Remove any dishesRemove all small appliances (toasters..etc)
Remove any objects on the fridge (magnets…etc)Remove all detergents, dish cloths..etc
Hide any bins and pet bowlsMinimize clutter (salt shakers…etc)

Bedrooms

Make all bedsDeclutter toys, books, tissue boxes…etc
Turn on all lampsTurn off ceiling fans
Open blinds and drapesRemove/hide any personal items

Bathrooms

Clear counter tops of all toiletriesClose all toilet lids
Make sure glass and mirrors are cleanRemove shampoos and soaps from the shower
Remove any scales, toys…etcRemove any floor matts

60 minutes before the photo shoot

Open all blinds in the houseTurn on all lights (including under counter lighting and lamps)
Turn off all ceiling fansTurn off all TVs
Hide all pets (and any evidence of pets)

I had this real estate shoot today in East Knoxville and it reminded me so much of the Simpsons. At least while I was photographing it… But then I came home and googled the Simpson’s Bathroom and it turns out I was way off…

If your a professional architectural or real estate photographer you may have been receiving calls from a company called Meero lately. Recently, this company has gone into contract with AirBnB and has been commissioned to handle the photography of AirBnB’s new “Plus” program.

Though I’m not new to the world of shooting AirBnB units, Meero has been a new experience for me, and I walk away with mix emotions about the company. I did my best to try and be optimistic about my relationship with Meero, but I’d be lying if I were to say there weren’t several moments when I wanted to send an angry email to my contact with the company.

If your interested in getting into a partnership with this company, by all means, research it yourself and make the decision that’s best for you. Personally, I think this is a great company for amateur photographers who have the basic gear needed and want to make a little side money. However, if your a professional, I would NOT recommend doing business with them and here are my reasons:

  1. The most important reason; You can (and most likely will) get a bad reputation in your local market from at least a few hosts.

    The communication between the Hosts and Meero seem to be very inadequate. On multiple occasions I’ve received calls from clients wondering when/if they will ever see the images I took. This is well over a month later after the shoot mind you, and it has not been an isolated incident.

    I also have several existing clients who were very disappointed with the images they received from Meero. Again, as you are the photographer this looks very poorly on you even though you have zero control over what images they use/don’t and how the post production is handled on the images.

    So it’s your name, your face, but not really your work that the client experiences. As you are the local guy who these host see and deal with, you will be there go to when they run into problems/issues with this program (and trust me… the will…)

    Bottom Line: Expect calls from frustrated hosts.

  2. Give up your rights to your own photos

    This is, and should be a very big one for any professional photographer. The images you take for Meero are not in any way owned by you nor do you have any rights to these images.

    This includes not being able to post images you take on your website and/or portfolio. WTF?????

    I’ve dealt with so many companies and publications and this, is by far a FIRST for me. I’ve had certain types of restrictions regarding publishing my own work before, but never without an annual licensing fee that gets paid to me. Meero would like to pay you a one time fee, at a fairly low rate, and KEEP the ownership and rights to those photos for a lifetime!

  3. You have no control over the final product

    As I’ve mentioned before unfortunately, you have little to no control over the final images. Because Meero handles all of the post production on all of your images (which they sell as a “benefit” when any professional will tell you it’s NOT) you have no idea what will eventually be delivered to the client and no control over the quality and style of the final product.

    Meero requires you to do EVERYTHING in HDR and ONLY with natural light. As a professional architectural photographer I appreciate HDR and what it can do in certain situations. That said, there are simply a lot situations where using flash will produce a better quality image.

    For example, there are a lot of cabins that are vacation homes with amazing views. Wood walls/ceilings and floors in a high dynamic range situation is not ideal for an HDR approach.

    In addition, some properties with special features like views…etc are better shot during a certain time of day. I understand a little 3 bedroom 2 bath home may not require special planing or lighting for that matter, but some of these properties are multi-million dollar properties. I know if I were the owner I would be pissed to have the photos taken at Noon with a 3-4 image bracketed shot.

    Ironically, in order for you to have your property on AirBnB’s “Plus” program these are the photos used, even if the host already has much higher quality images on hand. So yes, I would say in a lot of cases AirBnB Plus is a downgrade to the property owners.

    There have been multiple occasions when I’ve had an existing client pay me to go back out and re-photograph the same property so they could have excellent images to market their property with.

  4. Uploading your images… Total time spent Vs What you get paid.

    Unfortunately, technology isn’t always reliable but I think it’s CRAZY that Meero FORCES you to use their horrible platform to upload all of your images. Before you start doing the math on how much Meero pays you, you really need to take into account how much time you will spend at the end of the day uploading your work.

    The sad part isn’t even how long it takes to upload, it’s the fact that their website constantly crashes, multiple times during the upload, regardless of your internet connection, internet browser and or operating system. Trust me – I’ve tried them all.

    This also is not an isolated incident, in fact, It’s a guarantee on EVERY shoot I’ve uploaded this year. (Little secrete – If your interested or are already working with Meero – Upload only 10 images at a time. This way WHEN the website crashes, you don’t have to start all over, you can simply pick up on the last images that wasn’t successfully uploaded.

    So by the time you take into account doing the property inspection (which I haven’t even started on yet) taking the photos and uploading all of your images you very well could be making minimum wage.

  5. No, your not a photographer, you are a property inspector

    So let’s quickly re-cap here…. Not only do you have no rights or ownership over the images you take, nor the control over how they are edited, but you have to do a property inspection too? This sounds less like professional photography and more like a glorified property inspector to me… I mean after all, what professional photographer would give up all of their own image rights and go through a long checklist regarding the condition of the property? I mean, other then a photographer working for Meero.

    To be honest, the property inspections aren’t that bad, nor do they take a lot of time to complete however, again, your uploading images you take on your phone as you go through the list and the app seems to always crash on you if you go to fast (probably because it’s trying to upload everything your capturing with your camera phone in the background.)

Meero is more like working with a bureaucracy then a client and/or professional marketing agency. With broadcast emails being sent to all photographers regarding what some photographers are doing wrong and monthly newsletters about changes to their guidelines you get the sense that your working for a large faceless company.

Overall, I would say that this company is fantastic for amateurs who are looking for some part time work or retired professionals who don’t want to take family portraits at Sears. (oh wait, Sears isn’t around anymore….)

If you are a professional however, and you treat your work more like an art form; and you have a reputation you want to either build/protect I would no way recommend working for Meero. If you are another professional photographer and would like some further insights regarding this company, by all means, please feel free to reach out!

Are you aware of the fact that the attention span of the majority of people on average is just around 7-6 seconds today? It’s not surprising given that we live in an information age and digital era where’s there just too much content and external stuff that is demanding our attention such as social media websites. Now, what does this mean for you – an individual trying to sell his/her property? This means that you only have a very limited timespan to hook your buyers in and make them interested in what you are selling. But how can you do that? The answer is: Through high-quality professional real estate photography.

Do you know that when looking for real estate people spend 60% of their time going over the photos online and 20% of their time on each reading the description and reviews? What is even astonishing is the fact quoted by the National Association of Realtors, who point out that approximately 92% of potential property buyers search the internet, looking for real estate before making a purchase and around 87% of the buyers claim that photos were quite useful in helping them get started on their journey to buy real estate.

Well, at this point you might be thinking that it’s not a secret that people tend to look up photos before visiting in person and that you too can take photos yourself, edit them if needed and put them online, after all, you have a pretty good smartphone, don’t you? Well, it is all right to think that and to be honest most people think along the same lines. However, one most important thing that you need to consider is that it is the quality of the photos that matter and that helps the potential customers differentiate between a real estate worth going to visit in person and buying. Professional listing photos generate an average of 139% increase in clicks as compared to other listings. More clicks result in more views, more views means more traffic, and more traffic, in turn, provides more leads! Hence, the result of a research study which stated that when high-quality photographs were used alongside the listings, the real estate was not only sold quickly but it was also sold for a higher price (The premium was on average $3,400) is not surprising at all.

What these facts depict is that photos are integral, if not the most important aspect when it comes to making a real estate sale and the importance of photos is such that they can make or break your chances of making a sale.

Odds are that you might have heard the two sayings: You only get one chance to make a first impression” as well as “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now what these popular sayings point out is that not only are first impressions essential to gain the attention of an audience but also that through pictures you can capture the attention of your audience in a way that nothing else can. The bottom line is that making a good first impression is critical for you if you want to make a sale. This is because your potential clients will decide whether or not they like the property in the first few seconds and they will only go through the initial few, let’s say 3-4 photos. If those photos are not up to the mark or are poorly captured, out of focus, blur, and dark then you can say goodbye to your chances of selling your real estate.

Nothing turns off potential customers more quickly than does badly taken photos. The point worth noticing is that the property whose photos an individual might be looking at online might be the ideal one for them but just the fact that the photos are not up to the mark will give a negative impression such that the individual will not even consider taking a second look. This is a loss of both the seller and the buyer.

Let’s now move onto the part where you are doing a cost-benefit analysis of hiring a professional real estate photographer. While you do have to pay the professional photographer’s for their services and it might seem like a huge expenditure in the beginning but once you see the results you will be patting yourself on the back. This is because professional photographers capture photos in such a way that people are energized and excited by just looking at them. The photos are perfect in terms of their lightening and angles from which they are taken so much so that potential clients can see themselves living there and having a good time. This is the artistic quality that professional real photographers bring and this makes their services worth every penny.

Now, the final decision is absolutely yours when it comes to hiring a professional photographer. You can choose to take the photos yourself from your smartphone or ask some amateur photographer who is ‘good’ with the camera to do it for you. However, before taking your decision do note that while poor images can to a certain extent blacklist your real estate in the mind of the clients, high-quality photos taken by professionals can not only help in selling the real estate quickly but also at a premium price. Isn’t that just what you want?

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Brad Capone today and avail his services. You can view his packages/pricing here. Consider it an investment that will pay you high return in a short period of time.

Following are the five main reasons as to why you should opt for Brad Capone as your professional real estate photographer:

Brad is an artist at heart

No, Brad is not just a photographer who comes in and snaps a hundred photos and emails it to you. Brad is an artist who has a vision. He prides himself not only on his passion for photography but also on his innate ability to capture flattering, detailed, and unique high-quality photos that can each present a story on their own. Brad understands the need to capture the essence of the real estate and is well aware as to how potential clients view photos, what the things they are generally looking for and how they perceive images. Hence, he is solely focused on taking the ‘right’ photos. He brainstorms first and before shooting figures out the subject as well as the elements that need to be included. By finalizing what he is looking for, he gives himself a particular direction that allows him to seamlessly do a photo shoot that is not only effective but also meaningful. He captures an ideal mixture of both exteriors and interiors that are more than enough to hook potential clients in. Along with his one of a kind approach towards photography, you just cannot go wrong with him because of his positive attitude, passion for photography, and knack of taking perfect photos.

Brad is big on angles and lightening

Emphasizing on the best features of the real estate is critical if one wants to make the real estate look desirable. Saying that Brad is a master of angles and lightening will be an understatement. This is because he carefully chooses the best angles that can capture all the important details and then embraces lighting to produce high-quality, sharp, and bright images that grab the attention of viewers within milliseconds.

Brad is extremely careful when it comes to shooting around mirrors, shiny metal surfaces, and windows. Not only does he keeps himself out of the photos but he doesn’t let glares or reflections create any big white spots that are huge distractions in the photos he takes. Now sometimes getting the right details becomes difficult because of the way the real estate and the accessories in it are structured. This is where the know-how of angles come in. Brad knows exactly what to do in such circumstances and he changes the shooting angles whenever the need arises. In short, he is always up to the task.

Moreover, Brad is adept at creating the perfect composition through ‘proper’ lightning. According to him, the heart and soul of a photograph is the lightening and without it you just cannot get the ideal shot. If the lightening is too much then the photos get overexposed and if its not enough then the images can come out dark and blurry. Optimum amount of light is essential and this optimum amount varies from one place to another. This is where, Brads ability to balance the lightening according to the requirements come in. Adjusting the ISO and the shutter speed of the camera, adding more lightening through lightening gear, not pointing at the light source directly, and even using the flash or HDR Tone mapping allow him to take vibrant photos.

Brad does try his best to avoid using HDR because he terms it as a lazy approach that rarely offers the best results. Rather, he is an expert at manipulating light to get luminous quality photographs that present the real estate in an impeccable way.

Brad has the equipment and the skills

Brad has the top of the line equipment needed to shoot high quality, high resolution, and sharp images of the real estate. Whether it be the DSLRs, point and shoot cameras, additional lenses, lightening gear, tripod stands or drones for aerial photography, Brad has them all. He leverages the equipment and realizes the importance of unique and advanced gadgets to help shoot photos that helps the real estate stand out from the crowd. However, equally important as he points out is the need to be a master at ones trade. This means having the required skillset to use the equipment, understand the situation at hand, think on one’s feet and improvise accordingly.

Brad is an expert at staged photography

One thing that most photographers tend to forget is that they need to capture photos that can allow the potential clients to envision themselves residing in the real estate. Brad is well aware of the importance of staged photography and hence he goes the extra mile to make sure that the real estate is in the ideal condition before he begins shooting. If it is not, then he stages the places he wants to capture. Brad understands that even the minutest of detail such as a tilted photo frame, a rugged carpet, an open toilet seat or power cords in the photos can turn off a potential buyers. Thus, Brad is big on first cleaning the real estate to make it presentable, and then furnishing it as well as adding flavor through for instance things like a rack of books, bunch of candles, and vase of flowers. Adding emotion and giving a mesmerizing personality to the real estate is essential according to Brad and so he leaves no stone unturned in trying to do exactly that. Be it de-cluttering or adding the props, Brad will do what is necessary to shoot the real estate at is best.

Brad delivers professionally edited photos within 24 hours

Last but not the least, Brad takes the post-production process very seriously unlike other photographers. Not only does he delivers the processed images that are enhanced to show the real estate in the best possible light but he also doesn’t keep his clients waiting. Time is money and he completely understands it. Thus, he selects the best photos, edit them to ensure that even little things such as the sky, trees, grass, and the real estate itself is presented in a spectacular manner.

The takeaway

Brad’s extensive experience in real estate photography along with his skills as well as command over equipment has earned him not only amazing reviews from past clients but also a high reputation in the market. He offers high quality real estate and property photography in the greater Knoxville TN area. So if you need professional real estate photos for your residential or commercial listings give Brad a call today and schedule a real estate photo shoot. You won’t regret it. That’s a guarantee.

HDR is by far the most popular style amongst professional real estate photographers. However, it is really the best solution available? Another style, though not as popular, is using flash while photographing a property. Usually, photographers have their preference as to which is best and shoot with either one or the other. Primarily, I, for example, shoot with flash but I know that there is a time and place for HDR. Hence, I use both styles often in my work.

Because it is so bright outdoors when you’re photographing a house inside (even with the lights on) it’s impossible to capture the interior of the house as well as the view outside in the same image using natural light alone. If your camera’s exposure is set for the view in the window, the inside of the house will be super dark. Alternatively, if your camera’s exposure is set to make the inside of the house appear nice and bright, the windows will all be overexposed.

Therefore in order to create a great real estate image, you will either need to add enough light inside the house to match the amount of light coming through the windows (by using flash) or take multiple exposures of the same image and blend them together in post-production.

Because using flash to brighten a room can be very complicated and there are several different software programs that will blend HDR photos together for you automatically, most real estate photographers opt for the HDR route. However, the question remains: Which style produces the best results?

HDR Photography for Real Estate

HDR photography requires the photographer to take multiple photos of the same image using different exposure settings and then combining the images into one final photo in post-production. For example, most real estate photographers will take 3 photos for each final image:

  • -3 Exposure Compensation
  • 0 Exposure Compensation
  • +3 Exposure Compensation

Though sometimes, depending on the light, a photographer might take up to seven different exposures for the same image. It all depends on how bright it is outside, and how dark the house is. If your darkest image isn’t at least showing at least perfectly exposed windows and your brightest image isn’t showing a perfectly exposed interior then you won’t get the results you are looking for.

The difference between using 3 images to just 4 images can make a big difference.

No question, HDR can be a lifesaver and create some stunning images when photographing real estate. But personally, I prefer to use this style of photography sparingly.

Problems with using HDR and why I prefer flash (most of the time)

The “dirty” look of HDR only gets worse when shooting a super dark interior on a bright sunny day. The higher the dynamic range in the photograph – the more discoloration walls and window frames will have. Notice the hallmark “black smudges” of discoloration in the HDR photograph below.

In contrast to HDR – Flash will almost always produce a sharper, crisper image. Your whites will be whiter and your blacks will be blacker. This can actually make things actually look cleaner and newer then they are in real life.

In addition to this, flash not only produces a sharper image with more contrast but it’s also actually much faster then HDR.

True. You may spend slightly longer at the property properly lighting the house, but you’ll save all that time and more doing the post-production later on. Compiling a bracket of 4 images will take about 5 minutes in post-production for me. (And that’s with a kick-ass machine!) However, with flash I can bulk edit all of my pictures with a single click of a button. The few images that need to actually be brought into photoshop take seconds to perfect.

I spend on average about 5 minutes doing my post-production per property at the end of the day. That’s compared to 45+ minutes per property I spend on an HDR shoot.

In summary

Both techniques have their place in real estate photography. Depending on the composition, time of day, exterior and interior lighting, one technique may be easier than the other, but rarely will HDR give a better result in the final image.

There is a pretty big difference between architectural photography and real estate photography. This is primarily due to the fact that realtors have a different expectation than hotels and home interior experts. Hence, photographers have to take a different route depending on what they are shooting.

In architectural photography, you have to shoot more than just a room. Plus, the final image is supposed to portray a certain emotion to the viewer whether it be luxury, comfort or any other that marketing experts decide. On the other hands, when it comes to real estate photography, more often than not all Realtors want you to do is pretty much stand in the corner of the room and shoot as wide as possible.

Any professional architectural photographer will tell you that shooting from the corner of the room with a wide angle lens will almost never result in a great image. I think this, perhaps is the reason why so many architectural photographers look down upon real estate photographers as amateurish or incapable.

Wide angle lenses distort lines making walls and cabinets look crooked and shooting at an angle will magnify this, making it even worse. This is why whenever you see a photo that was taken from an angle of a room in magazines or other professional publications is rarely a wide angle shot. If I’m forced to shoot at an angle the widest I want to be is 24mm and even that, for me, is too wide.

Shooting wide and from the corner of the room also presents another problem. Items in the foreground of the image will appear much larger than they really are and make things in the distance appear much smaller and more cramped together.

 

One of the biggest complaints real estate consumers have regarding real estate photos is that when they view the house in person, it’s much smaller than in the real estate photos. Of course, listing agents love this as it leads to more home showings, but it does leave a bad taste in the mouth of home buyers. It would be interesting to see a study of how effective this really is for Realtors considering the home buyer’s first impressions of the property will be a negative one…

I could go on and on about poorly executed wide angled real estate photos but I digress. The point is: In real estate photography you’re trying to show as much as the property as possible in a single image. It’s a matter of documenting space versus highlighting the best feature the space has to offer.

Blending the two

Because I have experience in both fields, both architectural work, and real estate, I understand why real estate photographers do certain things and why architectural photographers look down upon them. So who’s right and who’s wrong? What is the best way to photograph a property? In my opinion – the best real estate photographers are the ones who know how to blend the two.

For example, I shoot a lot of wide angle shots during a real estate shoot sometimes even going as wide as 11mm! But I continue to avoid angled shots when possible showing a large portion of the room with minimal line distortion. This not only helps me capture the ideal shot but also helps me portray according to the likings of my clients.