There was an interesting article in the Boston Globe recently called “Advice on taking knockout real estate photos from a Pulitzer-winning photographer“written by Stan Grossfeld, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. The bit that caught my eye was where Stan states

“Because in America, everyone who has a cell phone thinks they are a professional photographer.

They are not.”

While it’s true that some homeowners and real estate agents are not professional architectural/real estate photographers, I was taken aback by some of Stan Grossfeld samples of real estate photos he’d taken himself. The photos were very disappointing.

Here we have a Pulitzer-winning photographer producing images at bad angles, walls that are not vertical, rooms that lacked any light and overall, not good at all. I mean, Stan is a professional photographer, right? This is the man that shots brilliant and haunting work of war zones, human right stories and other world issues. I couldn’t come to producing work as amazing as his, so how could this happen?

Bring in the right person for the job

The point we need to recognise is that just because a photographer is good at area of photography – such as photojournalism or weddings or pets – it does not mean that they will meet the requirements you need in a photographer.

When it comes to shooting real estate or architectural photography, we spend A LOT of hours behind the camera, and then behind the computer. Home owners and realtors are always surprised at how technical it can be.

For example, as an architectural/real estate photographer, I ONLY use multiple, off-camera flashes and other professional lighting equipment – not HDR (high dynamic range), which at times can very time consuming both on and offsite. Although HDR vs Flash is a touchy subject among my peers, it is generally favoured as the optimum choice. After spending time researching and experimenting with both techniques, I chose flash photography as I feel that my clients deserve the best.

With flash photography, I know that I can produce magazine quality photos with true/natural looking colours, clear window views and ceilings that don’t appear to have smoke damage. While the process may take a lot longer than HDR, the results and quality of work delivered to my clients is worth it. The only downside to flash photography is that the equipment can be very expensive – especially when you break something!

This brings me to my next point. It’s important that you hire a photographer who is experienced in the field you need.

In other words, bringing in the right person for the right job will help you get the result you need to make your listing stand out from the crowd.