Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of equipment do you use?
I firmly believe that the skill of the photographer carries far more significance than what’s in their gear bag. Nevertheless, certain equipment and tools will ultimately limit or augment the photographer’s efficiency and creative freedom, determining the potential of the final images. These tools are invaluable; however, they are also expensive, complex, and useless without both knowledge and experience.
My equipment list includes:
- Canon cameras that produce high-resolution files suitable for reproduction at very large sizes
- various lenses, including tilt-shift and other specialty lenses to provide a full range of compositional possibilites
- Profoto lighting equipment, various modifiers, and other materials and tools to shape and control light
- a sophisticated digital tether setup that allows clients to wirelessly preview images on a tablet device
- a post-production setup with the latest industry-standard software, a color-calibrated workflow, and redundant local and cloud-based backups to ensure results are consistent and deadlines are met
As needed for large agency projects, medium format systems and digi-tech workstations are available. During the booking process, I will assess the assignment details and ensure the proper equipment and backup needs are covered.
What is HDR photography, and is that something you do?
Even the most advanced cameras cannot capture the miraculous range of dark to light our eyes can perceive. Some photographers attempt to address this problem using HDR (High Dynamic Range), a software technique involving taking a series of exposures from dark to light, then using software to merge them into one final image. HDR and its cousin, exposure fusion, rely solely on available light, often suffering problems such as inaccurate colors, textures that appear muddy, or even dirty or grungy, and washed out exterior views. Ultimately, the HDR photographer and the final images are at the mercy of the property’s lighting conditions, weather, and the decisions the software makes.
HDR and exposure fusion have their place, and might suffice for average real estate needs, but reliance on HDR as a substitute for proper flash equipment and technique is insufficient for commercial applications. The ability to harness flash and other additive lighting allows the photographer complete control of a space; not only for the utility of balancing interior and exterior views, but also for creative expression, adding visual interest and guiding the viewer’s attention through the photo.
My process involves a combination of available light and flash appropriate for the space, combined with advanced post-production techniques to produce a final image tailored to your aesthetic and vision. The time investment is significant; however, the results speak for themselves.
How do i book a photo shoot?
You can call, email, or request a booking online. Some properties, especially commercial buildings, benefit from location scouting and may necessitate permits or other arrangements in advance of the shoot. Sufficient advance notice ensures appointment availability and a delivery timeline consistent with your needs. If you have a last-minute booking request, go ahead and call me! I will make every effort to accommodate you.
In order to confirm the photo shoot appointment, I will need certain details about the property/assignment. If you are a first-time client, there will be some additional information needed in order to set up your client access portal.
What else do you need to know?
I need to know at the time of booking if:
- the subject property does not have power and/or running water
- there is a pet (I love animals but it’s important to know whether or not the pet is friendly to strangers)
- there are any restrictions as to access to the property or specific rooms, or any items that should not be moved
- the images and/or other services will require rush delivery
How long will the photo shoot take?
Variables such as lighting conditions, styling needs, and the scope of work will affect the amount of time needed for the photo shoot. For example, for real estate assignments, I can often complete a small-to-average home in about three hours. Larger properties will take longer, and some will require a full day of photography. Commercial shoots are booked in half- or full-day increments. Please contact me regarding the specific details of your assignment.
What if the weather is bad on the day of the shoot?
That’s something we should decide together on a case-by-case basis, subject to the nature of the assignment, relevant deadlines, and your aesthetic preferences for the final images. Generally, we can proceed as scheduled. If needed, we can schedule a “pick-up” shoot for exterior and view photographs, available at no additional charge for most assignments. Lighting and post-production techniques can generally offset the conditions of drab weather, but If your project has sweeping views from virtually every angle, or it’s pouring down rain, it may be best for us to reschedule the entire shoot.
How are images delivered?
Images are delivered electronically via secure cloud storage, in visually lossless high-resolution print and web sizes. If you have any concerns or special requests, please let me know.
Business & Legal
Do you have liability insurance?
Many clients simply assume every photographer carries business insurance. Never make this dangerous assumption. Personal insurance policies like renters’ and homeowners’ insurance generally exclude coverage for accidents in the course of business operations. What if someone trips over a power cord, or knocks over a vase? Who will pay for an injury and/or property damage occurring during the photo shoot? Additionally, liability insurance for drones (UAVs) generally requires a separate policy or endorsement for coverage to apply, which many photographers avoid due to the significant added expense. If the drone fails and lands on a car (or even worse, causes the car to crash), the resulting costs, damages, and legal fees could be ruinous to both photographer and client.
Your commission, industry reputation, and livelihood are at risk when your photographer’s business operations are not properly indemnified.
I carry ample business liability coverage through a top-rated insurance carrier. My policy has been designed specifically with photographers in mind, ensuring all necessary bases are covered. Certificates of insurance are available with sufficient advance notice.
What are your fees?
Fees are quoted based on the scope of work. Just as architects, designers, real estate agents, and other professionals take on projects of various sizes and degrees of complexity, I can tailor the assignment deliverables based on the scale and budget of the project. Please contact me to discuss your individual needs.
What payment terms are available?
Payment is collected at the time of booking in order to confirm the proposed date and time. Because I will turn down all other bookings for the same time, I cannot reserve any specific date and time until the shoot is confirmed. However, I am happy to place a note in my calendar to call you as a courtesy before filling a tentative, unconfirmed date. Should you confirm a shoot and need to cancel or reschedule, please provide 24 hours' notice in advance of the shoot start date/time. Your payment will be applied to the revised shoot date or future shoot within 365 days. No-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be billed the full amount of the scheduled photo shoot. I offer numerous payment options that provide flexibility, protection, and security. Alternate policies may be available for established clients and large organizations with specific accounting requirements. Please contact me if you have any questions or specific needs.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and PayPal, as well as financing through PayPal Credit (subject to PayPal’s credit approval process). Cash, check, ACH, and wire transfer are also accepted.
What financing options do you offer?
I offer financing through a service called PayPal Credit, which is related to PayPal. I receive the funds at once via PayPal; however, you can make payments toward the balance within the terms of the PayPal Credit service, often at 0% interest for a period of time, subject to PayPal's terms and conditions.
How can I save money on photography services?
As with most other businesses, a great deal of my new clients result from referrals from satisfied clients. If you refer me to a new client, I will provide a credit against a portion of your next photo shoot once their first photo shoot is completed. Collaboration and multi-use licensing is another way to save. Let’s say you are the builder on a project, and that the interior designer and contractor would both like access to the images as well. In this scenario, you would each save money by having me combine the creative fee and licensing fees so that you can each pay an equal or proportionate amount, assuming similar usage needs. This sort of cooperation ensures everyone receives the images they want at the best possible price.
For more information, consult "Controlling the Cost" by AIA and ASMP.
Who owns the copyright to the images?
There are many common misunderstandings surrounding the concept of copyright, especially with the ease of duplication and display that digital technology provides. As the photographer and creator of the images, I own and retain the copyright to all images produced. Pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law and international treaties, copyright is granted to the photographer as soon as an image is created, and can only be transferred in writing with specific language designating such a transfer. However, I will work with you to ensure all of your anticipated usage needs are reflected in the license agreement, providing you with clearly documented authorization, so you can maximize your potential benefit from the use of the work without undue restriction.
I routinely register my images with the United States Copyright Office, and have retained a copyright enforcement agency to identify and pursue unlicensed uses of my work. These measures help protect the exclusivity and value of the images my clients commission, which is particularly helpful for historical and celebrity properties.
For more information on this subject, consult these two articles from AIA and ASMP:
Are raw files available to purchase?
No, but there wouldn’t be any real benefit to this anyway. Raw files are the closest digital equivalent to an undeveloped film negative or transparency. They require special software to view and develop, as well as myriad complex creative decisions and the necessary expertise to produce the final edited version. Additionally, my process often utilizes advanced post-production techniques that require multiple raw files to be rendered and composited in order to create one final image. You will not achieve any increase in quality or other advantage by receiving a raw file. My standard delivery formats produce visually lossless results suitable for reproduction and display within the prescribed scope of work. Please contact me to clarify any specific file delivery concerns you might have.
For luxury real estate
Do you offer property websites?
Yes! Feature-rich property websites are available, which include:
- Fully customized for each client, including agent branding such as logos and colors
- Branded and unbranded links to ensure MLS compliance
- Custom domain name (www.123address.com), great for easily providing via text or phone
- Mobile-responsive HTML5 design, which displays beautifully on mobile and desktop devices and avoids compatibility issues
- Emailed weekly or on-demand visitor analytics that can be easily forwarded to your client or printed for future listing presentations
- Images, property descriptions, and other details are editable using an integrated client panel with secure access
- Optional administrative access for broker marketing staff, allowing instant access when new listings are published
Do you offer executive portraits and headshots?
Absolutely. I have captured images of many real estate professionals. Studio and outdoor options are available, including on-location bookings for multiple agents or even entire offices. Find out more here.
What other services do you offer?
In addition to aforementioned service offerings, I have established relationships with trusted industry partners who provide these services, to simplify the property marketing process for my clients. The following services are also available when requested at the time of booking:
- Aerial photography/videography (drone or helicopter)
- Property videography
- Matterport® interactive 3D tours and floor plans
- Custom graphic design and printing for brochures, mailers, and other materials
- Professionally written property descriptions for MLS and brochures
- Website sign riders
What types of homes do you photograph?
All types. Every property can benefit from great photography, and ultimately, so will agents who consistently emphasize high-quality photography as part of their marketing mix. Most broker websites, as well as syndication sites such as Zillow, will display the most modest listings in your portfolio right next to your largest luxury estate. It can be difficult to explain to a seller which listings “deserve” the best photography, and the consistent investment in quality ensures their confidence in how you value their business.My clients tell me their investment in consistently high-quality photography has not only helped them sell homes faster and for a better price, but has also helped them win additional new business.
Can you just "photoshop" that out?
The short answer is, "Yes." However, depending on the nature of the request, digital manipulation of an image can be costly in terms of time and can often create ethical issues. In most cases the result can and should be corrected in-camera, at the shoot. For example, removing power lines could be considered misrepresentation of a listing. Shooting from an angle that minimizes the presence of those power lines, on the other hand, is both truthful and an expected component of a professional photo shoot. Similarly, digitally adding fire to a fireplace that has not been recently proven operational could result in potential liability if a chimney inspection reveals unfavorable results. However, these services are available upon request. Requests for digital manipulation will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Small edits such as removing nails from walls (which presumably will be filled before the list date) will generally be performed on a complimentary basis, but significant edits may create additional billing. If this is the case, I will supply an estimate before work begins.
Do my client or i need to be present at the shoot?
As long as I have access to the property, I can generally complete the shoot on my own. However, I highly recommend the agent or an authorized representative be present for the shoot. If there are any specific views, angles, or details you want to ensure are captured, your participation is the only way to make sure you get exactly what you want. Whether or not the homeowner is present is up to you and the property owner; however, if they have their own expectations for the shoot, please note this may increase time on site. I am highly flexible and collaborative, but if you’re not there, I need to know who will be directing the shoot—myself or the homeowner. When working with property owners who prefer to be involved in the photography process, it’s best to review your shot list with them beforehand, as well as prior examples of my work, so that everyone’s expectations are in alignment.
What should i do to make sure the property is photo-ready?
I recommend providing the property owner with a copy of my pre-staging and preparation guide. Just because a home is clean, doesn’t necessarily mean it will photograph well. Expectations vary greatly regarding what constitutes “photo-ready.” It’s advisable for you to preview the property prior to the photo shoot to ensure it’s ready in time for the shoot. For real estate agents, I can also provide you with a complimentary branded version of the guide for you to use as an additional marketing tool.
What if the property isn't ready?
I make every effort to ensure agents and sellers are aware of what's needed to get great results. Unfortunately, there is the rare occurrence where I arrive to a property that is in no way "ready" for photographs. The options in this situation are to reschedule the shoot (100% of the fee will still be due) or shoot the property as-is. I recommend that agents arrive early to the shoot in order to ensure staging and preparation tasks have been followed. If there's any doubt that everything will be ready, it's much easier to address this beforehand than at the appointment. In some situations, agents recruit help from colleagues and property owners to move items from room to room as each images are taken. While this does take additional time, which is factored into the cost of the shoot, coordinating this ahead of time produces a far better final product and minimizes the time spent in between images.
How soon will i receive THE IMAGES?
For luxury real estate shoots, please allow three business days (often two) for receipt of the images and property website, unless otherwise agreed at the time of booking. If you have a specific request or deadline, please let me know.
How to i get access to everything?
Once the photos and property website are ready, you’ll receive an email with links to download the photos in high-resolution print and web/MLS sizes, as well as links to the branded and unbranded property website if applicable.
I need to make changes to the property website. What do i do?
You have access to a private client panel, from which you can make any of the above changes and more. However, if you reach out to me, I'm happy to make the change as well.
While every effort is made for all aspects of the information contained on this page to remain updated, the signed agreement will supersede any discrepancies contained within this page.