Professional Quality Real Estate Photos Really Do Matter

I often mention the importance of quality real estate photos to showcase properties for sale.  However, I seldom showcase and compare “bad” photos with “good” photos here.   It is sometimes instructional to actually see why professionally done photos really are better. I ran across this article on buzzfeed that does exactly that and I though some of you here might be interested in looking at some of the differences.

Why Professional Quality Real Estate Photos Really Do Matter


Don’t Use Too Many Photos In Your MLS Listings

I’ve tried to mention this to all of the people I work with but not everybody understands.  Too many photos in an MLS listing can often turn off prospective buyers.  Many MLS sites have increased the number of photos that can be added but that was because there wasn’t enough space to accurately showcase the larger properties where more photos are needed.  That doesn’t mean you should utilize that increased capacity by showing 40-50 photos of a small, 3-BR, 1200 sq ft house.

Here is a link to an article that discusses this same idea:

Too Many Photos In MLS Listings Do Not Make A Good Picture


Still Looking

I’m still looking for a good WordPress Theme I can use for my sites.  Photocrati seems to be OK especially since they’ve finally incorporated the NextGen Pro photo management system.  However, it appears further development is going to be restricted in favor of another system they’re moving to called Imagely.  So, I signed up for that expecting it would be about as good as the Photocrati system.  Ooops, not so fast.  It isn’t easy or intuitive (at least to me) and it’s been like pulling teeth getting one of my simpler sites ported over to the new software plus there aren’t any themes I really like.  So I’m staying with Photocrati for now.

More Disappointing Results

After installing the new Themes, I find I can’t create a slideshow on the front page like I can with the Photocrati Theme.  Unless I’m missing something, these new Imagely themes are rather limiting.  I’ll have to spend more time studying the documentation for these themes (such as it is; it’s rather limited right now).  I want to just add pictures and blog posts for your information and enjoyment.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Jump Back In

Yup; more changes.  I was looking over the theme I’ve been using for this page and it seems very little, if any, work will be done on it to improve it in the future.  It seems like they’re moving to yet another theme that you have to pay for annually along with another subscription requirement for the NextGen gallery photo management tool.  This was “built in” and provided by the PRO version of the previous theme I’ve been using.  This really sucks; now I have to spend even more time (and $$) learning a whole new system and fixing what it breaks as I implement it.  So – stand by and be patient some more.  Thanks…

Disappointing Upgrades

It’s been an exciting past couple of weeks.  After trying to figure out why I’ve been unable to get my Lightroom photo editing program to successfully upload photos directly to my WordPress blog, I’ve migrated the hosting first to a new company (Dreamshost) and then back to GoDaddy after leaning that Dreamshost was not upfront about their severe restrictions on server resources.  Those restrictions rendered my web sites completely unable to be updated or render to visitors or slowed access down until getting access was intolerable.  So I moved back to GoDaddy.

I started working with the GoDaddy support folks (again) trying to figure out how to get Lightroom to successfully upload photos.  After being unsuccessful, they suggested upgrading hosting servers to some of their newer equipment.  So we did that as the price was supposed to be nearly the same.  It didn’t take too long to realize that they also had restricted resources which I could increase, at even more $$.  And Lightroom still wasn’t working.  And even if I tried to create a new blog post, my memory limits were exceeded often by over 100% which all but closed down my access to the sites.

Bottom line is I’ve moved everything back to the original hosting servers I started with at GoDaddy and all the sites are now working like they always have.

Spent a few more minutes before heading to bed last night researching why I was still having problems with Lightroom uploads and always getting an error 500 notice and found some possible solutions.  I must have used some different key words when searching since I found some new results.  They all revolved around limited WordPress memory.  By default WordPress installations define a 64M memory limit which sometimes reduces the capability of WordPress to operate.  I installed a memory usage plugin and noticed I was using nearly 80% of memory resources normally without doing anything special.  Found a way to increase memory available to wordpress and tried uploading photos with Lightroom again.  Now Lightroom is working normally again!  At least for the quick test I performed last night.  Now I just have to upload some more photos to be sure.

Web Site Transfer Complete

The web site transfer is complete.  I’ve moved all of the files from DreamHost back to GoDaddy for hosting support.  Everything should be back to normal and I can start adding more information here for everyone!

The first thing I’ve added is a calendar so you can see what my schedule is and call me with a date and time you’d be interested in having me drop by to create your listing photos.  Let me know what you think of this new addition!

What Is A “Money Shot”?

You may have heard the term before – the “money shot”. What is it? and why is it important? There is a pornographic definition for this term but, obviously, that’s not what we’re interested in here.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as, “a very important, impressive, or memorable picture or scene”. Carrying that over to the real estate market, it is the one photo which is the most impressive and has significant visual and emotional impact to a prospective buyer. It is the one photo that signifies the reason that property was developed.

I’ve been photographing a lot of condos lately. Of course here in Panama City and Panama City Beach, most of those condos are on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. That view is the reason they were developed. Therefore the view from the condo is critical to capture when taking marketing photos for condos for sale or rent.

This photo is one that I captured for a condo recently. The agent told me that it was the single photo that convinced the buyer to purchase the property – at full asking price. The agent didn’t believe it would sell at the original asking price. He’s convinced of the importance of getting professional photographs for all of his listings.

Web Site Update

As you can tell, we’re starting to undergo the update I mentioned earlier and have moved the status updates to the blog and off of the main page.  It has taken some time but I think I’m finally through squashing some of the pesky bugs that always seem to crop up on projects like this.  I’m working on three other sites as well and will start adding more content here soon including changing the look and feel of the layouts.  I still plan to add new pages that showcase some of the recent work we’ve been doing as well as offering some of the various amenity photos for sale to other agents who have listings in the same community and condos.  I’m also going to create a page to describe the licensing terms for all the photos we sell so there will be no confusion about what you’re actually paying for.  If you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact us!

First Sunset Shoot

I performed my first sunset photo shoot a couple of days ago and then immediately went out of town on a planned trip before I had a chance to edit the photos.  It was a lot of fun and definitely a learning experience.  These shoots take time as we have to get there early enough to make sure all the lights are on and we establish the view we want to capture.  Then it’s a waiting game.  Waiting for the sun to set and the rich colors to pop out in the skies.  All the time taking a photo about every 5-10 minutes.  When the sun finally sets, it’s time to run around with a flash to add light to items like shrubbery, trees, darker areas on the house, etc.  These will all get edited and combined later during post-processing.  Needless to say, there are a lot of photos to go through.  In this case, I have 72 photos from the sunset shoot.   That will keep me busy tomorrow!  I’ll post the final result soon.