FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SERVICES - FAQ
Quality over volume...less is more.
My analogy is that we all know someone who wants to share their vacation photos of...let's say Paris. Of the hundred or so photos that you viewed...maybe you saw 20 variations of the same Eiffel Tower! How many photos of the same thing do you really need to see?
With Real Estate photos, the "less is more" principle still applies. For example, how many photos of the kitchen do you need? We both know that the kitchen is the most important space in a house as it is often the room with the most money invested in it. We would say that 3-4 for most kitchens is plenty. Let me break that down: One to show "the big picture" and two can show how the kitchen connects to the rest of the house or rooms. Maybe a forth to show a beautiful or custom detail up close.
If you want additional pictures because the property is large or there are extensive upgrades, then we do offer each 10 photos beyond the standard 20 images for $29.
The whole idea is to keep viewers hungry for more details and excited to hear more about the home: less is more! That's why we target 20 beautiful photos.
What is HDR?
HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography uses a minimum of 3 photos of the same scene (over-exposed, under-exposed and correctly exposed). Then software combines the 3 images into a single image by reducing bright areas (clipping highlights) and amplifies the dark areas (reducing shadows). The produced "single" photo now has a high dynamic range of tones and colors collected from 3 images.
What that all means is that the software artificially generates a single photo that would be difficult to create without proper lighting. It's an easy technique for outdoor travel photos and sunsets where color accuracy is not important.
Why is HDR bad for Real Estate photos?
Indoor real estate and all portrait photography are similar in that they BOTH need to be properly lit and the colors need to be accurately preserved. Not artificially generated with HDR software. This technique is easy to spot in indoor real estate because the irregular color shifts make hand-sourced building materials and interiors look cartoonish and creates halos (a white glow) around contrasty edges of objects. Halos are especially noticeable in interior window areas and on exterior images between the real property edges and the sky. If the photo looks flat (no shadows or no bright areas), blue-tinged or cartoonish (huge gamut of colors), it is HDR...or perhaps a badly processed, or "over-cooked", image in Photoshop.
Why are there Real Estate photographers using this HDR technique?
Some real estate photographers use HDR because it is quick, cheap and easy. All you need is a camera, tripod and software. Less to buy, less to haul, less to learn. To make their low priced services profitable, many entry-level photographers need to be quick and shoot for volume. With HDR they can get in and out of a property in 30 minutes to an hour.
HDR is not a bad thing. There's a market for low cost photos and in most cases they are better than your average Zillow photos. But we believe there is a better way of doing things.
So how does PhotoGuy approach a shoot?
For images that are color critical (i.e.,indoor real estate and headshots), we will properly light them with a single image with multiple studio strobes. We use up to 7 lights to balance ambient and strobe lights in each room. Done right, it is time intensive, but the results are visually dramatic, yielding clean crisp images. Interior colors are true, which is a big deal to architects, designers, and realtors dealing with custom built luxury properties with imported stone surfaces, custom wood surfaces and designer color palates. Great time, expense and care is spent sourcing the finest building and interior design materials and installing them. Its our job to ensure the color in the photographs meticulously matches the color of the spaces being photographed.
Drone flights (commercial or recreational) are required to have permission prior to operating near an airport within controlled airspace. In fact, this is the case for airplanes too. Airplanes get their clearance prior to entering this restricted airspace via VHF radio. Drone pilots get this same permission via a FAA Authorization / Waiver.
If you look at Figure 1 below of the South East Florida's busy airspace, you will see that between Delray Beach to Miami, controlled airspace (blue and magenta circles and boxes) completely covers all the expensive real estate. Let us simplify this: nobody can legally operate a drone anywhere within 5 miles of I-95 or the beach from Palm Beach to Miami...unless we have an FAA Authorization. Flying without an Authorization or Waiver will get drone operators, and those that hire them, in a lot of trouble with the FAA. This Federal Offense carries hefty fines and the fall-out from the negative press on one's hard-earned reputation isn't worth the cost savings.
Figure 2 below depicts areas where the FAA Authorizations may occur within an hour or two. Those areas are depicted with "green squares" and they may change by the hour. The permit is good between 300-400 feet above the ground and within 400 feet of the sides and top of the property. Red, yellow or gray boxes indicate areas that may take up to 90 days for approval due to the close proximity of a busy airport. Again, these change by the hour and so can the weather. This is why we always start a project outdoors first.
Hire a qualified pro!
Photo Guy is a fully insured and licensed FAA certificated UAV Part 107 Operator. In addition, David Aronson holds an FAA Commercial Pilot License and an Airline Transport Pilot License with 30 years of flying jets and passengers all over the World. We know something about FAA Waivers and Authorizations...so we've got you covered!
Figure 1: South East Florida's Busy Airspace
Figure 2: Areas where FAA Authorizations May Occur
A commercial drone license is called a UAV Part 107 Certificate and the FAA issues them. For real estate photos or videos, operating a drone requires this commercial license as the flight is considered used for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire.
Why is this important to hire a commercial operator? We can think of 3 reasons:
- Liability Insurance: We can't get Drone Liability Insurance unless we have an FAA UAV Part 107 Certificate. Although insurance isn't required by the FAA it is clearly essential in protecting the operator and those who hire them from potential lawsuits. It's not cheap, so a lot of operators skip this coverage. Ask to see an operator's Drone Liability Insurance to make sure you are covered.
- Controlled Airspace Violations / Public Safety: If drones are operated in SE Florida, chances are extremely high that an FAA Authorization or Waiver is required to launch near an airport in controlled airspace. Operating without this permit opens up the operator and those that hired them to severe penalties. Which brings me to fines.
- Avoid a fine: The first week of December 2017, the FAA confirmed in writing the fines that can be applied to a drone pilot who is unlicensed: the fine is $1,100 per occurrence/flight where imagery is used commercially. The fine for the the real estate agent who hires an unlicensed pilot is $11,000. An agent who bought a drone and took the photos or video themselves would be liable for both fines.
Photo Guy is a fully licensed, insured and FAA certificated UAV Part 107 Operator. In addition, David Aronson holds an FAA Commercial Pilot License and an Airline Transport Pilot License with 30 years of flying jets and passengers all over the World. So we've got you covered!
PRICING - FAQ
No, sorry. The lowest priced photographer in town isn't doing the same work that we are and may not even have a real business. For comparison's sake...
- Does Company "X" have images that have uncorrected verticals, uncorrected lens distortion, or awkward or extreme camera vantage points? Will they be using architectural lenses (tilt-shift) and full-frame cameras to take advantage of those wide angles without warping the images?
- Does Company "X" have photos that are properly lit with studio strobes or do they use an uncontrolled "natural-light" HDR process (garish, unrealistic colors and tones)?
- Will Company "X" be using any color correction on site to insure that the colors don't have a blue cast or cartoon appearance? Have you seen them using Color-Correction tools for each room they shoot, or do they say they make those adjustments with a short-cut called post-processing software?
- Will Company "X" provide details upfront about their pricing? How many pictures will they provide? How long are their videos? What is their refund policy?
- Does Company "X" have liability and equipment insurance to protect the agent or homeowner from accidents?
- Does Company "X" have a proper drone license? Will they be getting a FAA required Authorization to operate their drone?
- Is Company "X" registered with the state of Florida and Broward County as a legal business?
- Does Company "X" bring backup equipment?
- Will Company "X" provide safe off-site image storage for 2 years? Will they let you download the photos & videos as many times as you need within those 2 years?
- Has Company "X" trained with leading National or International experts in photography, videography and image editing?
- Will Company "X" provide unique Royalty Free Music for your videos so they don't get pulled down by YouTube or your MLS?
- Can you rely on Company "X" to be on time? Will Company "X" still be in business to support you in the future?
If you are the agent who originally hired Photo Guy, you may reuse the Photo Guy content that is less than a year old. If the content is more than a year old, or you are not the agent who originally hired Photo Guy, we ask that you contact us for a re-shoot.
Note: It is a violation of copyright to use Photo Guy content without permission from us. Also, using such content without permission from the agent who originally purchased it may violate other regulations, such as those established by RESPA, NAR, your local or state Realtors association, or your local MLS.
Here is a link to our Terms of Service.
Sorry, we do understand where you are coming from, but we will need to be paid in full prior to any photos or videos being provided.
Absolutely, but we doubt you'll ever want that as we will strive to make you happy.
Please see our Terms of Service for more information.
All of our images are intellectual property and registered with the copyright office. We retain the copyrights to all the images we create. Images are licensed to clients for specific use and duration.
Think of it like software. If you “buy” Microsoft Office, you don’t technically own it, Microsoft does. You’ve simply purchased a license for use on your machine. This doesn’t mean you can install it on every computer in your workplace (without buying additional licenses) or share it with other people to install on their machines (like friends, family, neighbors, etc). Each of those other people would need to license their own copy from Microsoft.
Please see our Terms of Service for more information.
Absolutely! We want your project to get as much traction as possible. Social media usage is included in our license. We simply require a photo credit for all social media posts. PhotoGuy.Com
We have full schedules and must begin the shoots promptly upon arrival. Please verify that your listing is completely ready before your scheduled appointment time.
We understand how dynamic the real estate industry is and things can change in an instant! However, we respectfully ask for 24-hour notice to cancel or reschedule photo shoots. Within the 24-hour window, a cancellation fee of $75 will be applied. The $75 fee also will be charged for no-shows, denied access to a property, or the property was not camera-ready.
Please see our Terms of Service for more information.
POLICY & COMPANY INFO - FAQ
Booking Reservations: The fastest method of making a reservation is online on our website. We have partnered with Square, Inc to handle our payment and scheduling. They will provide you our availability and securely collect your information. Once we receive your booking request, we will then contact you to confirm this appointment slot.
Summer Hours & Twilight Photos: During the summer we can operate later due to a later sunset (8:15 pm in June vs 5:30 pm in December). For “Twilight Exterior Photos”, please call to book these appointments as they fall outside the normal "daylight" hours.
Cancellation & Rescheduling: We ask that you please reschedule or cancel at least 1 day before the beginning of your appointment or you may be charged a cancellation fee of $75.00. This fee may also be charged for no-shows, denied access to the property, or the property was not camera-ready.
Rescheduling Due To Weather: If rain is present, we can shoot the interior as the seller has probably put a lot of hard work into getting it ready for the scheduled shoot. We will then return for exterior photos at the earliest day possible when the weather cooperates. Another option is we can reschedule the entire shoot to my next available appointment (no reschedule fees will be assessed for inclement weather).
The Shoot: The shoot will take between 2 to 5 hours depending on the size of the house and the services requested. The homeowner or someone authorized by the homeowner (the agent) should be present at the shoot to give access to the home and to discuss any special considerations such as what should be included or excluded in shots. Our goal at the shoot is to provide 20 quality photos that include a front exterior, back exterior and all the major rooms such as living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath and bedrooms. Powder rooms, small bathrooms, utility rooms or garages are not a shooting priority unless you give us direction otherwise.
Pets: Please make sure pets are contained during the shoot. Pets are never included in photos and need to be out of the way during the shoot.
Photo Delivery: Once the photos are shot they will be edited and optimized for quality and delivered to you within 24 hours (video takes up to 48 hours). You will receive an e-mail with a link and instructions on downloading your photos.
Photo Rights & Usage: All photos produced for the client may be used by that agent for all marketing associated with the current sale of the property in accordance with local MLS rules. Please note that the photos will be copyrighted by the photographer and a license granted only to the agent and NOT to any third party. Any usage of the photos by a third party, including but not limited to architects, builders, stagers, designers, sellers or buyers are prohibited unless approved in writing by the photographer.
Refunds: When you receive the photos or videos from us, please check them to be sure they are awesome! Notify us in writing within five (5) business days of receipt of the photos or videos if you believe they don't meet your expectations. We want you to be happy, so we will:
- Re-shoot photos or videos, or
- Re-edit photos or videos, or
- Refund your money. If your money is refunded, the Rights granted to you will terminate automatically and the photos and/or videos can no longer be legally used by you to market yourself or the home. Please see here about this.
FAA Drone Authorizations: If we can't get the FAA Drone Authorization due to the property's close proximity to an airport, then we will not be able to legally provide you with drone photos without this permit. In this case, we will offer a $100 refund to those that have the Silver, Gold or Platinum packages. With the Platinum package, you will still get an interior and exterior video, but without the aerial drone footage.
All photographs and text within this Website are Copyright © 2009-2019 by Photo Guy LLC, all rights reserved.
Images are presented for web browser viewing only. Nothing contained within this Website may be reproduced, downloaded, stored, copied, manipulated, altered, or used in any form without prior written permission from this Website and/or the stated publication. Using any image as the base for another illustration or graphic content, including photography, is a violation of copyright and intellectual property laws.
Violation of copyright will be actively prosecuted.
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