6 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Photographer
Real Estate Photography is an essential part of the process. It’s not just about taking pictures. It’s also about telling your story and selling your home in the best way possible.
The photos you present on your listings directly reflect your marketing abilities and your brand - so of course, you want incredible photos to highlight your listing and boost your reputation.
For listings with a smaller marketing budget, you may opt to save money by taking the listing photos yourself.
For tips on how to take the best DIY listing photos, check out our guide: Proven Tips to Take the Best DIY Real Estate Photos.
When the budget allows, most Realtors choose to get professional photos of the listing. This involves searching, vetting and hiring an experienced real estate photographer.
When you hire a professional real estate photographer, you want to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to capture the perfect images for your listing. With so many photographers to choose from, the following questions will help you determine whether or not they are the right fit for you:
What kind of equipment do you use?
A professional real estate photographer should have an arsenal of equipment to get the job done. A camera, wide-angle lens, and a tripod are necessary for any photographer.
A DSLR camera will be the best for the job. The model they are using should have a large full-frame sensor, shoot with a low ISO (100-400 is best), and a 1:1 ratio.
A wide-angle lens is a must. Using a wide angle lens allows more of the room to be captured, showcasing furniture location and flow.
A tripod is essential to prevent movement and blur from the final photos. Nighttime or photos with low light that require long exposures are best done with a tripod.
The type of equipment used is important, but the skills and experience of the photographer are more critical. If they can explain why their choice of gear is best suited for their methods and process, it might be worth moving on to the next question to see if they are the best fit for you.
Can you provide references from previous clients?
Asking for references is an easy way to verify the skills and abilities of a potential real estate photographer. A reputable photographer will not hesitate to provide you with references. If the photographer has no references or is hesitant to provide them, it may be a red flag. Alternatively, you can ask to view their portfolio to see the quality of their past work.
You can confirm the photographer’s quality, punctuality and professionalism when speaking to references and past clients.
Are you familiar with virtual staging?
If you plan to use virtual staging to sell your listing faster, it’s essential to check if your real estate photographer is familiar with virtual staging. The photos should be taken with virtual staging in mind: maximizing the wall space, taken at the correct height for the room type (check out the heights in our Proven Tips to Take the Best DIY Real Estate Photos blog post), and use natural lighting.
If your photographer is familiar with virtual staging, there shouldn’t be any problems in sending the photos to your preferred virtual staging partner to get virtually staged.
How many photos should I expect?
The number of photos depends on the size of the home and the package selected. The larger the square footage, the more images are needed.
A few additional services that can typically be requested and will increase the number of photos:
- Exterior photos
- Aerial photos
- Twilight/Sunrise photos
Make sure to confirm that they will be providing both web size for MLS and full-size images. It’s also important to verify that they will provide unbranded photos. These questions will help determine the number of photos and avoid surprises when you receive the final photos!
What is the turnaround time for the final photos?
Typically a professional real estate photographer will turn around the final photos in 24 hours or less. However, depending on the scope of work and amount of photos, the turnaround time may vary. It’s important to ask this question to communicate with your client when the listing will be live on MLS.
Most real estate photographers offer a rush service at an increased rate if you are in a pinch and need the photos ASAP.
What editing is done to the final photos?
A good real estate photographer will include post-production editing to enhance the images. Color correction and adjusting brightness, contrast, and sharpness are commonly done to represent the listing in the best possible light. Other standard editing techniques include cropping the images and vertical correction.
It is vital to ensure that the photographer will not heavily edit the images. Heavily edited photos can distort the reality of the listing and do more harm than good. If you plan to stage the images virtually, it is harder to provide photorealistic results on heavily edited photos.
Asking this question will verify that your photographer is knowledgeable and capable of post-processing the images to accurately enhance the listing.