Galleria Signs - Hoover, AL Architectural Photographer by Tommy Daspit

Galleria Hoover AL Architecectural Photographer

One of the things I love about being an architectural commercial photographer is the variety of projects I get to work on. It could be a kitchen for a remodeler one day and an apartment complex for a real estate developer the next. In this case I was contacted by Integrated Sign and Graphic in Lexington, Kentucky. They designed, built, and installed the new signs at the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover. Daytime and twilight images of the exterior signs were needed. These photos would be used to showcase their work, to illustrate to potential clients what their capabilities were. It was my job to make sure that was done with the highest quality possible.

The mall is absolutely huge. There are many, many signs all around the property. Some face east, some west, some north, and some south. I had to plan my shots around the best time of day to get the best light on each sign. When it came to the night shots the window of opportunity for the best light with the illumination of the sign was very short. I had to make sure everything went right the first time as I could only do a maximum of two signs in an evening (it took two trips to get the ones they wanted).

I also try to include elements in the environment that give the viewer a sense of the space and life going around the subject. To make that possible I included the cars going by the signs in both the day and nighttime images. I used slow shutter speeds to capture the movement and presence of the vehicles without taking away focus on the subject. This way the potential client has a better understanding of how the public sees and interacts with the sign. After all that’s what they are ultimately for. If it can’t get the attention of the public passing by then it’s of no benefit to the business that paid for it.

Drag the sliding line to see the difference with and without the lights from the cars in the image.

By including the intersection and the lights of the cars passing by, I'm able to give Integrated Sign's potential clients a better sense of the signs placement in the environment as well as the amount of traffic seeing that sign. A photo of just the sign would be perfectly fine. However, including energy, motion, and context gives the image more life and allows the end viewer to connect to the subject in a more meaningful way. This is one example of how I go above and beyond to serve the needs of my clients.

While a simple static shot of the sign by itself would have satisfied the basic needs of my client it wouldn’t have been the best use of their resources. By considering my clients end needs and purpose for the images I’m able to better create images that tell their story. Ultimately that is my job. I create images for my clients that are compelling and show their potential customers what they can do for them. I help my clients grow their businesses. I take as much pride in this as I do in creating the images that bear my name and my reputation. Take a look at the images below and tell me in the comments if you think I accomplished that mission.

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To see more of my commercial architectural photography see my commercial exteriors and commercial interiors portfolios.

979 Cobble Creek - Birmingham AL Real Estate Photography by Tommy Daspit

A rather large amount of my real estate photography business does not come from agents. Instead, it comes from the homeowners themselves. Often they aren’t satisfied with the photos the agents take themselves or ones taken by a photographer that works more on volume (I take much longer to photograph a home than most real estate photographers). The homeowner recognizes the importance of great photos to attract potential buyers. The homeowner is the one with the greatest stake in selling the home. I’ve had more than one homeowner tell me that they could recognize my style. That they could tell which homes I’d photographed!

In the case of this beautiful home in Hoover the homeowners knew they wanted the house professionally photographed before they even hired an agent to list it. They found me online and we picked the perfect day and time for the sunlight to be just right. I could tell right away that this couple had taken a lot of pride in maintaining this home. No detail was left unattended to. They even went so far as to stage the kitchen, livingroom, and dining room to help the photos look even better. I will say that this was a first!

I love working with people who understand that it takes more than just a “nice camera” to get great images. They were patient with me as I lit each room and composed each shot. There were little details that take a little extra time for me but can make a big difference in the final image. For example, the homeowner told me how she was disappointed that the ferns by the front door had died. We’d just had a big cold snap and they didn’t make it. She lamented how brown and dead looking they were. So in the image of the front porch I used the magic of Photoshop to bring them back to life. It took me a few extra minutes at the computer but it was worth it. The photo looked much better and the client was thrilled! In fact here’s what they had to say:

Tommy:  The photos look FANTASTIC.....we absolutely love them. Nice touch up job on the ferns at the front door!  GREAT JOB!!” and “If these photos don't get us showings, I don't know what will.”

Take a look at the photos below and go here to get more information on this property, or contact the agent, Cindy Porter 205-755-7719.

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1982 Cahaba - Birmingham AL Real Estate Photographer by Tommy Daspit

Tommy Daspit is an Architectural, Commercial, Real Estate and Google Maps Business View Photographer in Birmingham, AL.

This shoot is a great example of why I love working with professional real estate agents who are dedicated to their trade. Many agents aren’t “all in” when it comes to selling homes. Many do it as a “side thing” or as a “hobby”. These are the ones you will often see on sites like terriblerealestategaentphotos.com or badmlsphotos.com You can see them in the mirror with their iPhone or iPad titled at a crazy (artistic?) angle.

Michael Murphree of ARC Realty is not such an agent. He’s a full time, professional salesperson who goes the extra mile for his listings. He hires me for all of his listings (paying out of his pocket), helps get the home looking its best, and if empty or in need, he hires professional stagers to decorate and furnish the home. 

An empty home doesn’t look good. It doesn’t photograph well and it doesn’t show well. Having it professionally staged can be expensive (the agent typically pays), but it helps the home sell faster, and for more. The same applies to the photography. The better the home looks on the listing sites, the faster it will sell and for more.

BEFORE -  Photo taken before staging by the agent.

BEFORE - Photo taken before staging by the agent.

AFTER -  My photo taken after the staging. Which one would make you pause and take notice while flipping through the MLS?

AFTER - My photo taken after the staging. Which one would make you pause and take notice while flipping through the MLS?

BEFORE -  Agent photo of dining/living room

BEFORE - Agent photo of dining/living room

AFTER -  My photo, post staging.

AFTER - My photo, post staging.

This particular listing was expertly staged by Karen Sovacool of Red Door Staging in Birmingham. This is the first project I’ve photographed that she staged and I will say that I’m impressed with the results! The look and furniture are a great fit for the home and really help it shine!

Hopefully I’ll be able to work with her many more times in the future! View the full listing here. (BTW, I didn't take the first or last three photos)

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4958 Crystal Cir - Hoover AL Real Estate Photography by nikonic1976@yahoo.com

I recently had the pleasure of photographing this amazing house in Hoover for agent Christina James of Realty south. I was amazed how much larger it was on the inside than it appeared on the outside! I especially loved the high ceilings and all the detail work in the fireplace and woodwork! Check out the photos below. If you want to learn more about the home check out the listing here. Or contact Christina James directly: Christina James Cell: 205-965-6483 Office: 205-822-2364 Fax: 205-877-6085 Email: cjames@realtysouth.com

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