Richard Smith Photography Now Offering Aerial Imagery for Homes

I am excited to announce the addition of aerial still and video photography to my services. Aerial services will be provided by Oklahoma Drone Photography, an outstanding company specializing in aerial imagery. Aerial images will be seamlessly integrated into our current virtual tour package and will show off your properties in an even more effective manner. See full details and pricing...

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Complete Home Session – What’s Included

Home photography from Richard Smith includes through coverage with both interior and exterior views of the home. Emphasis is on those features that help the home to sell. Most rooms are photographed from multiple angles with at least 25-30 images being produced and, depending on the home, often 50 or more. After the work on site, the images are thoroughly blended and edited and delivered to the client within 24 hours. Delivery of the images includes: A branded Virtual Tour with the client’s photograph, contact information and logo included. An unbranded tour that is formatted according to MLS regulations and ready to post to the MLS – just key in the link and it’s up. A simple viewer that has no branding or extras. A gallery view that allows browsing individual images at your own pace. A ready to print brochure that includes QR codes which allow buyers to scan the code and automatically open the virtual tour on their smartphone. A client panel that permits you to adjust, edit, and re-configure all of the above products in many ways. Downloads of individual images as you see fit. Access to statistics so you will know how your tour is being seen. These services are provided as a part of my service and there is no additional charge for any of them. The images are hosted on line and available for your use at any time. You never have to pay an additional fee or subscription for this service. And since your images are hosted on line, any changes you make will be instantly available wherever you have posted the links. I am happy to provide these services with the help of TourBuzz, a company that is focused on helping real estate professionals do their job efficiently. All their products are focused on helping you sell your homes. Click here to see a sample virtual...

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Composition – Making the Most of the Scene

The Real Estate Photographer’s Lens If a real estate photographer had only one lens, it should be a wide angle zoom. Almost all interior photography and a good deal of exterior work require wide angles of view. The most useful range is, in 35mm film equivalent focal length terms, between about 35mm and 16mm with the most useful range being usually about 24mm. The actual focal length needed will depend on the size of the sensor in the camera being used. Dynamic or Static Camera Placement Placing the camera to look straight into a room (opposing wall pretty much parallel with the camera back) will usually result in a rather static view. This, depending upon both the room and the context or the image, may appear either dull or peaceful. A static view is usually the first view of the exterior shown. On the other hand, placing the camera in a position to look into a room at an angle results in a dynamic view that causes the viewer’s eye to move around the image and expect more. Usually dynamic views are more effective in presenting a room in the best way. In a virtual tour, dynamic, angular views with some pan and zoom animation may even give the impression of video. How Much to Include The first impulse is to show as much of the room as possible. This is often a good place to start but, especially in smaller rooms, it may require using an extreme wide angle lens resulting in wide angle distortion. Even more importantly, too wide a lens makes a room look larger than it really is and makes for a disappointed buyer when the room is seen in person. We want to make the room as HONESTLY attractive as possible. Sometimes simply focusing on the best features of a room is better than showing the entire room.   Thanks for taking time to read this post. When you need a real estate photographer, I hope you will think of me. More next...

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Light and Bright Sells Homes – Photographing Home Interiors

  The most challenging aspect of photographing a home is the interior work. Experts say home interiors are more appealing to buyers if they are “Light and Bright”, so how does a photographer accomplish the “Light and Bright” images that will make the home most appealing? First – That camera on your phone is remarkable for what it is, a small camera app on smart phone. It’s great for being always available and for snapshots, but this is a time you don’t want snapshots, you want polished work that stands out in a crowded market. Next – if the photographer you hired shows up with a single flash mounted on camera and just steps into a room and “snaps” a photo, you might as well use your phone. Those dreary, badly lit photos won’t sell anything. Save your money.   Balanced Exposure – The Most Important Part Lighting a room well is a challenge. Take a look around you. Are the windows blown out white holes in the wall? Do any of the lamps that are switched on look like glaring bright spots without detail? No. Our brains do a remarkable job of interpreting visual data so that we look out of a window and see a well-lit scene while the room surrounding the window also looks well-lit. A camera cannot do that – the range of light from bright daylight outside to shadowed areas inside is just too great. So, in order to create a photographic illusion that looks like our brain tells us it is supposed to look, we must do more than just “snap a photo”. There are two ways of balancing outside light with inside light. We can expose for the outside light and build up the inside light (usually with flash) to the same level. This takes (usually) several flashes off camera placed in just the right places. Or we can take a series of progressively darker photographs (called a bracketed series) which we will then blend with photo editing software (Exposure Fusion, HDR, and/or by hand) into a single well exposed photo. Either method has its benefits as well as some drawbacks. Sometimes a combination of the two methods is the best choice. Either method requires knowledge and...

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Dynamic Exterior Photographs!

You want to sell that home quickly and for full value. When the buyers see the photos of all the listings in those tiny thumbnails, you need to entice them to click and view the full gallery – not move on to others. Most buyers start their search on the internet so it’s important to have compelling photographs on your website. You need bold, dynamic images that entice the buyers to learn more. And the first step is to get good shots of the outside.   What Does it Take to Make Compelling Exterior Images of Real Estate? The most important thing about exterior imagery: The vertical lines must be truly vertical and must be parallel. They must not converge. This is the first rule of almost any architectural photography and should only be violated in rare cases and for clear artistic intent. The home should not lean backward! Next, the home should be well lit. If it faces east or west, it should be photographed when the sun is shining on the front. If it faces south a hazy day or a good low sidelight will make it look good. North facing homes should be shot on an overcast day when the light wraps gen tly around it. All of the images need to be made during the Golden Light hours. And, if conditions permit, twilight photographs make most homes look really good. There should be detail in both the shadows and the highlights. Inky shadows and washed out highlights are not attractive. HDR often looks fake and is usually not needed outside. Good exposure and a little work with software will usually give better results. The camera often needs to be elevated, but not too much – no one needs photographs of the roof. A tall ladder, a pole, or a nearby hill will serve nicely. Straight on shots are good for an accurate view of the home but they are static. If an image from an oblique angle can be made, it will look more dynamic and is a better choice. Next up – Interior photography. Think “Balance”.  Remember Great Photos Sell Homes!      ...

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Dave Ramsey on Selling Real Estate

Dave Ramsey has some interesting comments on selling real estate. Here is #2 of his 4 points: Use Knockout Photos “Today’s buyers rely heavily on the Internet in their search for the perfect home, and photos play a big role in capturing their attention. According to the Wall Street Journal, photos are the first thing buyers go to in the MLS listing and where they spend most of their time. That’s why it’s important to put your best face forward. Save your smartphone camera for family snapshots. This job calls for a professional—preferably with a wide-angle lens! Schedule your photo shoot for a time of day when the sun casts the perfect light on your home and make sure every room looks catalog-ready.”   Read the entire article...

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