I recently had the opportunity to spend time and photograph humorist Ann Ipock for Wilma Magazine. It was for the February issue of Wilma and it can be picked up at numerous stands throughout the Wilmington, NC area. If you haven’t already secured your copy, you should do so as it features some interesting people and articles.

Ann was a pleasure to visit with and after the first 15 minutes you immediately see why she is labeled a humorist. The lady has some wit and many of her stories are from actual life experiences. It was a very relaxed shoot and she kept me entertained with her stories and details about her work. Ann has authored three books to date, in what is called the “Life is Short’ series. They are “Life Is Short, I Wish I Was Taller”, “Life Is Short, So Read This Fast”, and “Life Is Short, But It’s Wide”.

Ann also writes columns for publications in the Carolinas, one being the Georgetown Times and also the Columbia County Magazine. So if you want a chuckle and appreciate Southern humor, pick up Ann’s books, read one of her columns, or attend one of the many talks she gives in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

 

I recently read an article in Inman News that was titled:  “Take Better Listing Photos, or Don’t Take Them at All”. It was written by Teresa Boardman, a respected Real Estate Professional, and one who is highly regarded in her field. She went on about the problem with real estate photos etc. You can click on the link and read the article for yourself. If you are in the real estate business, then you are familiar with Inman News as being a much read web site linking real estate professionals to all the pertinent real estate news and technology articles. If you are not familiar with the service and are in the industry, then its time to subscribe.

Now I have been involved in real estate in some form or another for at least twenty years, so I have some experience in the listing process, and as a working photographer I relate to the article written by Ms. Boardman. I never understood how some real estate professionals can list  beautiful, and in some cases multi-million dollar homes and then then post photos that look like they were taken with the camera on their phone. They have a tremendous listing, write some sexy ad copy for marketing purposes and then fall short with their photographs. It would seem that if the client was told that they were going to have their home photographed by a professional so that the photos had snap and terrific color, they would be excited. They might even offer to pay for the service themselves if it was presented to them. And in the current market, any edge you can have is to your advantage.  How do you think your client would think of you, the real estate professional, if someone shows up and spends some time with lights etc., meticulously shooting each room, both indoors and out, telling a story about that house? They might feel a little better about your marketing commitment and less about the commissions they are having to pay. Lets face it, sellers can never get past that part of the business agreement and if they see you going above and beyond the typical service, it might solidify their choice to use you as their listing agent.

Now there are those people who will say that they have bought a nice camera and will photograph their  listings themselves. Agreed, there are some fine cameras on the market and when set on Automatic, can do a nice job. I say this because Automatic is where the majority of people will leave the setting, unless they are avid photo enthusiasts or professionals. If you spend $800.00+ for a camera then your photo worries should be gone and your photos should improve right? Well, not really. That Automatic setting will work great 90% of the time outside under good conditions, but when you take it inside and have to deal with daylight, tungsten light or both coupled with an occasional flourescent light, it gets a little more complicated.Then you need the knowledge of how those lights are affecting the meter on your camera, how you will compensate by adding light and so on. One bright window will throw off the metering on your camera and you have to know how to compensate. Sometimes you want the windows blown out, other times you want to see the view from in the house. There is a lot to consider on the technical side and home interiors are some of the toughest subjects to shoot and do it correctly.

Now I  know there are sucessful real estate professionals who run through a house after the listing is on paper snapping pictures in about 10 minutes with their point and shoot and using those in their marketing plans. I guess that may work for some people and their client’s homes, but if you happen to be lucky enough to land that “big” listing, bringing in a working photographer to photograph the home, may up the impression that seller has of you as a consummate professional. It also tells them that you really care about how his or her home is presented. Anyway, its something to consider and some will embrace the idea, and then again, some won’t. Thats why people blog. Everyone has an opinion.

Either way, if you haven’t you should read the Teresa Boardman article. Its well done. I have attached a few photos of homes I have been asked to shoot for clients. Feel free to contact me about any questions etc. Have a successful year.