REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I schedule an appointment for real estate photography?
Use the contact form on my website to contact me as far in advance as possible. You can also call, text or email me. All of the relevant contact information is located on the Contact Page. The earlier you let me know of your need for real estate photos, the more convenient the appointment timing for you and your sellers.
How much notice do you need to schedule my photography appointment?
Ideally, 2 – 3 days notice is enough advance to reserved your preferred date and time. If I have a cancellation, I can accommodate last minute requests, but that is rare. The more notice, the better.
How long will the real estate photography appointment take?
It depends on the size of the home, but generally plan for the photography session to take around two hours. Smaller homes take less time, usually around an hour, while larger homes (larger than 2500 square feet) take between two and three hours. Why does it take so long? Rather than use quick run-and-gun techniques (that often produce cheap-looking results), I use a series of flashes carefully placed around each room to ensure the entire home is displayed as beautifully as possible. Because of this, some homes can be more challenging than others. A good rule of thumb is to plan for about an hour of photography time for each 1,000 square feet.
When is the best time for real estate photography?
While most appointments are made based on your availability and the availability of the sellers, there are a few times of the day that make for better photographs than others. West-facing homes are best photographed in the early afternoon while east-facing homes are best photographed in the morning. North-facing homes are best shot in the early morning before the sun gets too high in the sky. No matter the direction of the home, every home can benefit from being photographed during twilight.
Who needs to be at the home for the photography appointment?
I can use a contractors lockbox (the ones with an alphanumeric code) to access the home for a photography session with the homeowner’s permission. Unfortunately I cannot use the Realtor’s standard blue lockbox. Otherwise, you or the homeowner will need to be on site to let me in at the time of the appointment.
Is it OK for the sellers to be home during the photography session?
Absolutely. It’s your seller’s home to tell them they are free to hang out while I am photographing. But please know I am able to produce better images in the short amount of time I am on the property when distractions are limited. Even if you or the seller are on site, please make sure all staging and cleaning is complete prior to the appointment. And please keep all children and pets away from equipment the appointment.
Is it OK if a home is not furnished?
While homes are generally more attractive if they are furnished or staged prior to the real estate photography session, I can photograph a completely empty home as well. However, I encourage you to consider hiring a home stager if the home is vacant, at least to stage important rooms like the master bedroom (and bathroom), the living or family room, and the kitchen.
Do you upload your photos to the MLS for me?
Yes and no. I can upload the listing photos if you purchase a virtual tour. For regular photography sessions without a virtual tour, I cannot upload the photos to the MLS, as I do not have access. If you prefer, I can also email the MLS-sized photos to your office assistant.
My [friend/family member/acquaintance/random guy with a camera] offered to shoot my listing for free. Why should I hire you?
That’s great! If your friend or family member is seriously considering becoming a professional real estate photographer, then absolutely take them up on their offer. Practice makes perfect, as they say. However, you may still need to hire a professional photographer since it is in your best interest to have the highest quality images of the home to both market your current listing to potential buyers and market yourself to new sellers. Real estate photography is a highly specialized field that cannot be properly photographed by amateurs or some other types of photographers who lack the necessary lighting equipment and experience. Professional real estate and architectural photographers know how to display each home at its best.
Who owns the photographs?
I own the copyright to all photographs and other marketing materials I produce on your behalf. If you are my client, you are free to use the photographs and other marketing materials for any personal marketing purposes. However, any photographs or other marketing materials may not be used by any other party without my written consent. If a builder, stager, contractor, handyman, or anyone else asks you for the images, please refer them to me.
How can I prepare the home for the real estate photography session?
I have several resources available to help you and your sellers prepare the home for the photography session. You can view the Preparing for Real Estate Photography page on my website. Downloadable PDF coming soon.
What equipment do you use?
I use a high-end Canon camera with a wide-angle lens. I also bring four speedlites (flashes), flash stands, tripods, umbrellas, and a variety of other equipment to produce the best images possible and ensure all straight lines are perfectly straight.
When will I receive my photos?
Real estate photography sessions include a 24 hour turnaround, so expect to see your photos within 24 hours of the photography appointment. For example, if you scheduled an appointment for 10am on Tuesday, you will have the processed images by 10am on Wednesday.
How will I receive my photos?
Your photos will be delivered digitally through a Dropbox.com link. Inside that link, you will find at least two sets of images: one set of high quality images for printing on flyers or other print advertisements, and a second set specifically sized for you to upload to the local MLS.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule the real estate photography appointment?
If you need to cancel and reschedule our real estate photography appointment for any reason, please call or text me at 714-712-0071 or email me at [email protected] as soon as possible. I charge a cancellation fee of $75 if the appointment is cancelled or rescheduled within 24 hours of the appointment time.
What do you do if it rains?
If it rains, I can take photos of the home and produce very good results even in the (unlikely) event of rain. Photos of the interior are generally unaffected by poor weather, though visibility of ocean views will be obscured. Photos of the exterior will be darker. In the event of extremely heavy rain, I will start by photographing the interior of the home with the hope the rain will subside by the time I am finished. If the heavy rain does not stop, I may come back the next day to photograph the exterior. Please monitor weather forecasts and notify us as soon as possible if you would like to reschedule due to rain.
How much do your real estate photography sessions cost?
My prices range from $50 to $300 depending on the size of the homes and the number of photographs you need. For more information about my pricing and current monthly discounts, please visit my Real Estate Photography Pricing page.
Do you offer discounts?
I offer two full-time discounts. A referral discount for you if you refer another Realtor to Eric Norton Photography and they use our real estate photography services for the first time. The other discount is for posting our pictures to social media. In addition to these full-time discounts, I also offer a monthly discount. You can read more about my discounts and see the current monthly discount on my Real Estate Photography Pricing page.
Do you charge tax for real estate photography?
Not usually. In California, photography services are only taxed if a physical product is also delivered. So, for all real estate photography sessions where I deliver the images via Dropbox, no tax will be charged. However, I will have to charge tax if I deliver a CD, DVD, flash drive, or some other kind of physical media containing the images.
Do you offer aerial photography?
Not true aerial photography at this time. Rather than deal with the expense of booking a flight on a helicopter or the legalities of commercial drone use (basically illegal in Orange County even with a proper FAA exemption), I offer elevated photography of the exterior of the home via a nearly 20′ pole.
Can't you just Photoshop that out?
Yes and no. I can remove some minor (non-material) things using Photoshop, but nothing is as good as making sure the home is ready to be photographed when I arrive. Keep in mind that if you want to make sure the home looks good in the images, it should look just as good in person.
Do you travel for real estate photography?
I would be happy to photograph your property anywhere in the United States. However, I do charge a mileage fee for real estate photography sessions for all homes outside of Orange County, California.