1072 Columbiana Rd - Homewood, AL Real Estate Photography by Tommy Daspit

Hard to have more impact than a twilight exterior. This single photo takes almost two hours just to shoot.

Hard to have more impact than a twilight exterior. This single photo takes almost two hours just to shoot.

A couple of weeks ago I got a rare opportunity to use almost all of my bag of tricks on a real estate listing. Melanie Siow, of Realty South had contacted me about photographing now of her most important listings.

She was selling the home of one of her good friends in Homewood. The family had already moved out so the home was vacant. Melanie had painters come in a freshen up the look and a stager to add the lived in touch. As I mentioned in this post, I’m a huge fan of staging. The completely empty look is not a good one. A well styled home adds so much appeal, in photos and in person.

Melanie really wanted to show off all that this home had to offer and that’s why she contacted me. She told me that she’d seen my work before and knew that I would be a good fit for this listing. In addition to the standard daylight images, she also wanted me to create a twilight exterior, and pole arial image. The house itself is beautiful and well situated on the top of a hill. Unusual for this area, there’s a flat front lawn built out with a large retaining wall. Most other homes have little to no yard and a steep slope. This gave me some great opportunities for the exterior front images. 

The twilight exterior is really one of my signatures. The shot is actually a composite of about 30 images taken over a two hour time span. I light the home with hand held strobes and then stitch the composite in Photoshop. The result is an image that captures the potential buyers attention like no other. With stained glass windows in the attic, this particular home made for a particularly good twilight exterior.

Something new that I’m starting to offer is the pole arial image. I’ve created a custom pole that allows me to raise the camera 16’ off the ground. The high angle gives an arial perspective without the need for an aircraft. This is something I’ve just started offering so be on the lookout for more of those!

Take a look at the photos below, and to learn more about this home click here to view the listing. You can also contact Melanie to schedule a showing!

Melanie Siow

Realty South


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Learn more about my real estate photography here.

Arial Real Estate Photography - Birmingham, Alabama by

One of the neat things about being a commercial photographer is the fact that from one shoot to the next you could be photographing really different things. I’ve photographed neon signs at night, industrial pipe fittings, craft jewelry made artisans from all over the world, to buildings, and corporate head shots. This was one of the more unusual shoots, and one of the most fun.

An auction company needed some arial photography of a plot of land near Alabaster (south of Birmingham, AL). While not something I do everyday, it is sort of in my bloodline. My grandfather, a commercial photographer in Louisiana, made his living by standing on helicopter landing skids to photograph oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately for me I would be able to use a plane and not a helicopter! 

Since I don’t know how to fly, I contacted my good friend James Coats (owner of Coats Classic Cars), who does. He graciously agreed to take me up. Meeting at Shelby Co airport, he picked out a high winged, Cessna 2 seater. The high wing would give me a more unobstructed view. We circled around the plot of land in question starting out low, going up to about 3,000ft, and then back down to 500ft. I was able to capture the subject from multiple angles by sticking the camera out an open window!

We got done with the shoot pretty quickly and we were very close to my house (Helena borders Alabaster), so James decided to do a fly by. I texted Kelly, who hadn’t gone back to work yet, that we were on our way. It took us a few passes to find my house since we are nearly in a forest, but soon enough we did. Kelly was even able to get a shot of us with her iPhone!

So take a look at the final result and if you ever need some arial photography give me a call!

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