What to Look for When Hiring a Real Estate Photographer

Working with a professional photographer can take a huge weight off a Realtor’s shoulders. Quality photographs are the hallmark of a good Realtor. How many times have you looked at the photograph on a listing (photographs, if you are lucky) and wondered how a Realtor has made a living offering such sub-par photography to their clients? Let’s face it, photographs taken with an iPhone just don’t cut it.

Here are just a few of the qualities you should look for when choosing a professional photographer for your real estate listing photography.

Check Their Past Work

When speaking with potential photographers, ask to see their previous work. Most photographers have a website where you can preview their work. Speak with other Realtors about the photographer’s work. You need to be confident that the photographer knows how to make your property look its best.

Andrew McGibbon Photography is happy to provide references. You can also view our real estate photography portfolio right here on the website.

Are They Familiar with the Business of Real Estate?

Knowing the rules of real estate is critical for a real estate photographer. The last thing you want is to have your photographs declined by the MLS because your Realtor sign is in the photographs.

Prior to being a photographer, Andrew McGibbon was a real estate agent licensed in New Jersey and New York for six years. He is familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the real estate industry. He knows what features need to be included and how to make them look their best through his photography and post-shoot editing.

Understand the licensing, assignment, or work-for-hire agreement.

Are the photographer’s terms explicitly laid out in a contract specifying what you can and can’t do with the photographs they are providing you with? Who owns the rights to the photographs? What type of license are they giving you on the photographs?

You should have something in writing prior to commencing the shoot. A written agreement is a sign of professionalism and protects both you and the photographer. All Andrew McGibbon Photography clients are provided with a clear contract that lays out ownership and payment terms. What the Realtor is really paying for is the shooting of the photographs AND the licensing of their images. In the photography industry, unless specifically stated as a work for hire, the photographer retains the copyright control of their work.

What Forms of Payment do They Accept?

Will your photographer take cash, check, credit card, Paypal?

Andrew McGibbon Photography takes all major credit cards, checks, cash and PayPal.

Learn All Their Policies.

Does the photographer charge a cancellation fee in case you or your clients change plans at the last minute? Is this clearly laid out in their contract?

At the present time, Andrew McGibbon Photography doesn’t charge a cancellation fee. All our policies are set out in our contract which will be sent to you one or two days before the shoot for you to digitally sign.

Ask About Related Services and Turnaround Time

Setting and managing expectations is required by both Realtor and photographer. How will you get the assets? Is it downloaded from a website? How quickly can you expect your images? What sizes do they offer, and can you pick multiple sizes for download? What other services do they offer, such as floor plans, virtual tours or video.

Andrew McGibbon Photography guarantees orders in 24-48, but usually closer to 24 hours. They are available from a download site that lets you choose what size photographs you need. This allows you to get higher resolution/larger files for printing purposes and low resolution/smaller files for use on the web and MLS.

Our additional services include digital staging photographs, floor plans, flyers, 360-degree virtual tours, and aerial and property videos and photography.

Can They Counsel You and Your Client About House Staging?

As you no-doubt know, preparing to show a home is a “less is more” situation. Declutter, declutter, declutter. Does the photographer offer anything that you can provide to a homeowner to assist them in preparing their house for selling? Will they be able to provide you with input about how to make your photographs stand-out even more?

Using his experience as a Realtor and a photographer, Andrew McGibbon will make recommendations during the shoot relating to things as varied as cleaning a window, replacing a lightbulb, removing family photos, moving pieces of furniture, and other oft-overlooked things. He even offers Realtors a listing photography checklist that they can share with their clients to give them a guide.

Do they have a drone license?

Does your photographer have an FAA Part 107 Drone Certification? As of August 2016 this is required for any commercial use of a drone. Also required is that the drone be registered with the FAA.

Andrew McGibbon has been a licensed drone pilot since October of 2016 and offers aerial photography and videography services. All residential listings come with a complimentary drone photograph. Additional drone images can be purchased separately.