Real estate is not my main business. I focus primarily on commercial architectural and interiors photography. I like being able to take my time, to craft the best possible images for the space and project. Commercial work also has a longer life span. The photos I create for builders, designers, architects, and businesses, can be used for years and in many applications. They help those clients grow their business. I feel that I am helping contribute to the success of many small businesses, much like my own.
Real estate on the other hand is all about selling one house, one time. Once a new homeowner moves in, the life of those images is effectively over. Sure, I use some in my portfolio. In some rare cases the real estate company, builder, or architect may license them for their promotion. For the most part though they fade off into the sunset rather quickly. For that reason many real estate photographers are concerned more about volume and speed. It’s more about how many homes can I photograph in a day rather than creating the best images possible. I will say that there are a few who really pride themselves in the quality they provide. Their work jumps out from the crowd and ultimately helps real estate agents and homeowners alike.
I like to think of myself as being in that category. When photographing a home for real estate speed is not my concern. Sure, I want to respect the homeowners time and I’m not able to spend as much time on each image as I would on a commercial shoot. Still, my main focus is creating images that I’m proud to put my name on.
This philosophy has resulted in the majority of my real estate photography business coming not from agents, but from homeowners. Often they are frustrated with the photos the agent has taken themselves or have had done by someone more interested in volume than quality. The homeowner has the most to gain and loose in the sale of the home. The ones who contact me to photograph home recognize that they will sell their home faster and for more money with better photos. They see the value in paying more to get photography that will grab the attention of potential buyers and separate their home in a sea listings.
Such was the case of this home. It’s a magnificent property in the exclusive Liberty Park subdivision in Vestavia Hills. The homeowners found me online after looking at the portfolios of many photographers. They selected me because of the quality of my work, not my price. The housing market in Birmingham is red hot right now. Many homes are selling before they hit the market with multiple offers above asking price. If you’re looking for a home in the $200,000-$500,000 range in Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Helena, Pelham, Inverness, Hoover, Crestwood, and many other neighborhoods in the Birmingham area, you’d better move fast and have your pre approval ready. However, not many people are getting into bidding wars for homes north of $1,000,000. In that segment of the market you still have to sell the home. You still have to separate your listing from the competition. iPhone pictures may work for a 3br 2 bath split level in the hotter areas, but a 10,000 sqft, $1,800,000 dream home in Mountain Brook requires better.
This home, designed by Charles Michael Frusterio, gave me enough opportunities to last me several days. I could have gone on and on, but I didn’t think the homeowners wanted me to move in with them! So I limited myself to some of the highlights. Still, I started shooting at 2:00 in the afternoon and loaded the last bit of gear back in my car at 8:30 that night. Sure, that’s a lot of time for a real estate listing (there are some photographers who would have been in and out in under and hour), but I think the results speak for themselves! In the end, it’s work that I’m proud to show off, and I know will help the home sell faster and for more than similar homes in the same neighborhood with much lower quality photos. It will have been worth the time and money invested by the homeowner.
click and drag the slider to see the difference between the two photos