I wanted to do another one on real estate photography. This is regarding views from inside. I recently shoot a great property in Austin area on Lake Travis, and then just the other day on Lake McQueeny.
If your property has a great view, especially when the vantage point is inside (you don’t have to go on the porch or up the hill, etc. to enjoy it) then you will want to showcase that view in your interior photos. Most of the time it is really dark inside and really bright outside and this contrast is what separates the professional from the amateur in picking up interior detail, while not blowing out the highlights, (the view out the window). What needs to be thought about is conveying the view outside. So before your photographer is called in have a few things already done:
Not having these items already performed puts me in the position especially if I am there by myself to shift out of my workflow and start doing administrative items, which drags out a session by hours.
Look at the photo below from Treasure Island in McQueeny how the view and your eye drifts from inside, then it finds the canal in the far backgroud, then it finds the porch just outside, then the porch leads to the pool.
With the emergence of Bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brushes and Indian Blankets I thought I would do one on On-Site Portrait Sessions, specifically outdoor sessions in the flora and fauna (just watch out for the fauna with rattles). These sessions usually involve kids, (one of the most unpredictable variables of modern day photography). I have found the success of the sitting is usually completely dependent on their mental and physical well-being. So I wanted to lob some of my advice over the fence and you glean from it what you will.
First, keep it positive before the session, as your getting them dressed, as they are riding in the car, as they are walking to the position, keep it overly positive. Talk about stuff that is fun to them.
Second, these flowers usually only grow in areas that are wide open and not shaded so you probably do not want to schedule on a day with no cloud cover and full sun at 2pm. Obviously the weather is a huge player, and none of us have a crystal ball, but those conditions create a harsh lighting condition that usually leaves the subject squinting the sun out of there eyes, and creates a situation where the photographer must provide fill light for all the shadows. Couple all this with one unyielding fact I have discovered about children, a hot sweaty child is a miserable child, and that change in psyche will instantly ruin a shoot, see the difference below.
Third, if it does go south, take a break, do not try to force the situation with frustration or scolding, to only feeds the negativity and makes it harder to recover. Bring plenty of refreshments or snacks so they can take a break between scene setups. If the photographer is principled they should be able to work with you to reschedule, just tip them well, if they want to charge you for a whole other session then you need to find someone else.
I will start out with real estate because that is what I have been doing most lately. I take these photos very serious. Unlike the other types of photography, for me, real estate photography is all business. Some analysts say over 90% of people start there home search online. This means that my photos are your first showing. Below I list the top 3 items I look for on my workflow so you know what to expect.
First – Work with the owner / realtor and understand the property features that makes it marketable and special.
Second – Understand what is the best time to photograph the property. Most of the time early-mid afternoon generates the best natural lighting, but there are many exceptions.
Third – Work with a Real Estate Staging Professional to get both the interior and exterior properly staged for the shoot. What any stager will tell you is that you want your potential buyers to project themselves into the home, so you want to limit highly personalized items of the existing resident (Limit Photos, Collegiate, Sports Team Decals, Political Items, suggestive / erotic items, etc.) unless central to the home design. Obviously you want the furniture arranged and no clutter (mail, dishes in the sink, dog bowls out).