5 Secrets to Choosing the Right Real Estate Photographer

Are you a realtor on the hunt for Houston Real Estate Photography? This important choice can make or break your real estate listing. Not sure how to find the right photographer? Here are five tips that will help you make the right choice.

  1. Look at Their Specialty

Even the most expensive, experienced real estate photographer may not be suited for every type of photography. Photographers have specialties. Real estate photography is already a specific niche. Someone who specializes in portrait photography may be very talented, but that doesn’t mean you want them taking photos of the home you’re trying to sell.

Many real estate photographers will have even more specific niches. Some may have a lot of experience shooting condos and apartments while others specialize in luxury Houston homes. Find out if your photographer has a specialty and if it fits well with what you want.

  1. Always View Examples

Perhaps the best way you can find the real estate photographer that’s right for you is by viewing their past work. Any photographer that’s worth their fee will have an extensive portfolio available online. Look through it. Think about how you want your listing to look and see if the photographer’s portfolio examples match up with your expectations. This is another great way to get a feel for the photographer’s specialty, even if they don’t say that they have one.

  1. Talk to Them Before You Commit

Even though your relationship with your real estate photographer is going to be short-lived, it’s important that you can work well together. Although the photographer is the expert, you also want to find someone that values your opinion. They should be someone who you feel comfortable talking to (and welcoming into your private space).  Building a solid rapport is important in case you have any concerns about the session or the finished photos. 

Ultimately, the photos will be for your listing. If you aren’t happy with the end result, it matters. Because of this, you must take the time to meet the photographer in person and talk to them before you book the session.

  1. Find Out About Their Background

How long has your photographer been in the game? Are they self-taught, or did they go to school? These kinds of things will impact the price of a Houston real estate photographer but they will also impact the final product. 

You don’t necessarily need someone with 30 years of experience, but someone who’s brand-new to the game may not deliver the most high-quality work. Don’t try to save by hiring an inexperienced photographer. If they give you substandard work, you’ll just end up paying even more to get the images re-done by a true professional.

  1. Learn About Their Equipment

Raw talent and experience aren’t everything. Technology matters too, especially when it comes to photography. Most photographers should have the type of equipment they use listed online. Do some research on the equipment your photographer uses. It doesn’t need to be the latest, greatest equipment of all time, but it should be able to execute your vision without any problems.

Get in Touch with Patrick Bertolino

With 20 years of Houston real estate photography experience behind me, I’m the perfect choice to take photos for your listings. Check out my extensive portfolio online. I even offer drone photography to give you stunning aerial images! 

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Getting Your Home Ready for Its Close-Up: How to Prepare for Real Estate Photography

Like all good realtors know, real estate photography is one of the most important aspects of a home’s listing. It’s true that having a talented real estate photographer is essential. But if you haven’t properly prepped your home, there’s nothing they can do to make the photos turn out well.

Snapping the photos is the photographer’s job, while cleaning up your space ahead of the photoshoot is yours. Here are some tips for how to prep your home from the inside out. When you follow these guidelines, you’ll end up with some fantastic looking photography.

Boost Curb Appeal
First, you need to take a look at the front yard and make sure that it looks as perfect as possible before the photoshoot. You’ll want your landscaping to be spruced up the day before the session. It’s your responsibility to trim all your bushes and trees that might be dead and detract from the beauty of your home. Clear away any stray debris, signs, and water hoses. If you’re getting photos taken in the fall, rake up the leaves.

You shouldn’t have any cars sitting in your driveway. Opening the curtains and blinds inside the house will make your home’s exterior photograph better. If you want to wet the driveway, that is also your responsibility. This will make the concrete or pavers look more even. The best time to do this is just five minutes before your session begins.

Prep Your Home’s Interior
Anything that detracts from your home’s beauty should be removed. Although a bit of dust won’t hurt, clutter kills photos. So, hide your kid’s toys and get rid of that stack of old magazines! If you don’t have a place for your excess stuff, move it to the garage.

Minimalism is the best thing for your photos. Power cords and cables create a chaotic appearance. Hide them as best you can. No products should be visible in the kitchen or bathroom.

Lighting is extremely important in your photos. Make sure your lightbulbs are working and the blinds on your windows are in good condition. If there are any painting or other repairs that need to be done, do them yourself or hire a handyman before the photographer starts snapping photos.

During the session, make sure all your fans are off. The laundry room is a good thing to highlight in photos. But it can often be filled with clutter. Make sure it’s clean before the photographer arrives.

Clean Up the Backyard
Just like with the front yard, you should have your landscaping spruced up the day before. If there are any debris, BBQ grills, or other clutter destroying the aesthetic of your backyard, move them to the side. If you have a pool, make sure you have it cleaned the day before the photos. Your patio umbrellas should be clean and in good order. If you have a dog, warn your photographer. You don’t want them stepping in dog poop during the session.

Get Patrick Bertolino to Take Your Real Estate Photography
If you’ve been searching for the perfect real estate photographer, contact me! I’d love to make sure your home’s character shows up in your listing. If you have any more questions on how to prepare for your session contact me! I’d be happy to help.

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When should photographers raise their prices?

This is a common and important question that I have asked many other photographers and business owners. I am not just referring to the date, I am also referring to situations that would facilitate a price increase. Let’s assume that you are already confident that your work is definitely due for a price increase.

1) “When you have at least three months bills in the bank” This is probably my least favorite situation, mainly because it is an indirect result of your profession. It is also not the most confident reason. You are basically bracing for a major drop in sales due to your sudden rise in prices. I would encourage photographers to have at least this amount in savings ANYHOW as sales can have highs and lows depending on the season. 

2) “When you get a new certification or accolade” I love this situation. I believe it works for you on so many levels. You have mostly likely educated yourself in doing this and have added value to your work. Kudos! You should definitely let the world know what you have done (humble brag) to promote confidence in your business. It also gives you the confidence to raise those prices and stand up for them.

3) “Every dang year” I believe any business, large or small, should give their employees raises every year as long as they are in good standing and the business has turned a profit. That would include the business owner. It’s good to be consistent with the amount and timing of this to train your clients to expect the price change. I believe the best date to do this is right after tax day in April and the second best date is the new year. 

You may lose a few clients and that is ok, they probably weren’t clients you want anyway if they are willing to jump ship over an incremental rise. Now, don’t go over board unless you are prepared for the results. I had one client complain about the change and they started using another photographer. As their needs got more sophisticated, they came back for one shoot and have stayed ever since. I won. Also, you don’t need to make a major press release about your price change. Update all your price lists and do business as usual. Your VIP clients probably don’t look at your prices every shoot and won’t mind the change.

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The Two Year Timelapse

I was hired to return to the same spot and take a photo every week for two years. I thought the tree in the center would have appeared to grow more. I definitely grew as a photographer during this process.

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The Transition out of “Commercial” Photography

Making the transition out of Commercial Photography – This is a personal observation but I’m deleting the word “Commercial” from my business. It’s vague and doesn’t describe what I do. Architectural and Industrial photography may be a mouthful, but you hopefully get a clear picture 📷 of what I can do! Here is a shoot involving both for Vaughn Construction and University of Houston – Downtown

University of Downtown – Central Plant
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Houston Photographer
Patrick Bertolino
1402 N Macgregor Way
Houston TX 77023