Expert Photography Services FAQ: Answers to Common Questions for Real Estate Marketing Professionals

Are you licensed to fly and take photos of properties for commercial use?

Yes, absolutely! I am a fully licensed 107 Commercial drone pilot (FTN#C1776281). This licensing allows me to operate drones legally for commercial purposes, which includes capturing breathtaking aerial images and videos of properties for your real estate listings.

It's crucial to note that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes strict regulations on the commercial use of drone imagery. This isn't limited to individuals flying the drone, but extends to those using the images for their business too. Even if you hire a photographer who isn't licensed, both you as the real estate agent, and your employing broker, could be held liable and subjected to substantial fines if the FAA determines the photos were used commercially. These fines can range from $1,100 per violation for individuals and can go up to $27,500 for companies.

By choosing to work with a licensed professional like myself, you're not only ensuring the legality and quality of your listing images, but also protecting yourself, your clients, and your brokerage from potential legal complications and hefty FAA fines. With me, you get peace of mind knowing you're on the right side of the law.

What type of equipment do you use for real estate photography & videography?

For photography, I utilize a variety of cameras and lenses tailored to the specific job requirements. Typically, you'll see me using a high-megapixel full-frame DSLR with an ultra-wide zero-distortion lens to capture spacious images that accurately represent the property, even in smaller rooms, without any distortion.

For virtual tours, I employ a specialized camera with a full-frame sensor to minimize grain or noise. This camera captures RAW-quality images, allowing me to adjust colors and exposures for accurate representation. Each image you see is actually a composite of 9 individual HDR images taken at different exposures to balance light from windows and showcase vibrant colors and details in both bright and dark areas of your property.

For videography, the equipment depends on the service selected. It could range from a 1080p or 4K DSLR to a 6K or 8K professional format video camera that captures RAW-quality footage.

For floor plans, I use a traditional pen and notepad approach but enhance the accuracy of my measurements by using a laser measuring tool instead of a tape measure. This ensures a higher level of precision in the final floor plan.

How long does a typical real estate photoshoot take?

The duration of a standard photography session can vary based on the size of the property and the chosen services. Typically, a standard photoshoot takes around 1 hour to complete. Adding a 360 virtual tour would require an extra hour, while cinematic videography takes about 2-4 hours. Creating floor plans usually adds another 30 minutes. In total, the process can take anywhere from 1 to 7 hours, depending on the selected services. It's important to note that, although a standard photoshoot takes 1 hour to capture the photos, a minimum of 5 hours is needed to complete the editing process for those images.

How many photos will I receive for my property listing?

My standard photography package includes 20+ photos, with drone shots incorporated in that count. However, I typically deliver more than 20 photos if the property has features that I believe will aid in its sale. With the Premium Photography package, you are guaranteed to receive 40+ edited images, while the Platinum Photography Package ensures a minimum of 50+ edited images.

What is your turnaround time for delivering finished photos and videos?

Turnaround times vary based on the packages ordered, but you can generally expect your completed materials within 2 business days. If the job is anticipated to take longer, you will receive advance written notice before the photoshoot begins.

REQUIRE A FASTER TURNAROUND TIME? There may be no additional fee if you provide advance notice. Please inform me ahead of time if you need a rushed delivery.

How Will You Receive the Finished Images & Videos?

Delivery Options Choose the delivery method that works best for you:

File Formats

The screenshots below are intended for those handling virtual tour integration themselves. If you've added us as a photographer on the MLS, you can ignore this section.

A screenshot of the MLS Description tag where agents can create new real estate listings. The image includes an arrow that points to the Description tag for easy navigation. This screenshot is a helpful reference for agents who want to quickly and easily add virtual tour links to their new MLS listings. By copying and pasting the virtual tour link into the Description tag, agents can provide potential buyers with a comprehensive virtual tour experience that helps their properties stand out in a crowded market.

First, navigate to the Description tab and scroll down until you find the Unbranded Virtual Tour URL section. Next, paste the unbranded URL you received in your completed files email into the designated field.

A screenshot showing where to paste the virtual tour link into the unbranded virtual tour section of the MLS. The image includes a visual arrow that points to the exact location where the unbranded virtual tour link should be pasted. This screenshot provides clear instructions for users who want to add a virtual tour to their MLS listing and demonstrates the importance of properly formatting.

To learn more about uploading your cutom webpage, virtual tour or video to the MLS please Click here to Learn More about MLS Uploads

Do you provide aerial/drone photography & videography services?

Absolutely! In today's competitive real estate market, I believe that every listing photoshoot should include drone photography. With any photography or video service, I offer complimentary drone services wherever it is legal to fly, ensuring your property stands out with stunning aerial visuals.

Do you offer twilight or night-time photography?

Yes, I do offer twilight or night-time photography services. While not every property may benefit from this, if your property has exceptional exterior lighting and you want to showcase it in your marketing materials, I can certainly capture stunning images to highlight those features. NOTE: There may be an additional fee for twilight or night-time photography.

What is the process for creating a watercolor floor plan?

To create a watercolor floor plan, I start by measuring the interior dimensions of the property if you don't already have the floor plan dimensions available. I use a highly accurate laser measuring tool to ensure precise measurements. Next, I convert these measurements into a basic floor plan sketch using specialized floor plan software. Once the black and white sketch is completed, I then enhance it by adding colors and textures in Photoshop, utilizing specially developed watercolor brushes. This process transforms the simple sketch into a visually appealing and artistic representation of your property's layout, which can significantly contribute to your marketing efforts.

How accurate are the floor plans you create, & what is the margin of error?

The accuracy of the floor plans I create largely depends on your specific needs. If you require highly precise measurements, please make sure to inform me beforehand. Otherwise, the floor plans will be accurate enough for most potential buyers when determining suitable furniture arrangements or room layouts. I use a high-precision laser measuring tool that measures up to 262ft (80m) with an accuracy of ±1/8 inch (3mm). However, for most floor plans, measurements are rounded up or down to the nearest whole number to provide a cleaner and easier-to-read format.

Note: If you require highly precise measurements, please give me advanced notice.

How should I prepare my property for the photoshoot?

Declutter: Ideally, every listing should be clean and staged before the photography session. However, we understand that this may not always be possible. If the seller is living in the property during the sale, it's essential to start cleaning and packing away as much clutter as possible. In most cases, the garage can be a convenient place to store boxes and remove excess items from the home's interior.

Prioritize key areas: If time is limited, focus on cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are typically the most important images for standard residential properties. Ensure the countertops are clear, and all personal items are stored away.

Clear refrigerator surfaces: Remove family photos, bills, and magnets from the refrigerator to create a clean and clutter-free appearance.

Tidy bathrooms: Clear the shower area of shampoo bottles, used soaps, and cleaning products (unless they are new and being used for staging). Ensure the countertops are clear and all personal items are stored away.

Prep bedrooms: Make sure beds are neatly made, clothes are put away, and surfaces are clear of personal items.

Organize living spaces: Arrange furniture to create an inviting and spacious atmosphere. Remove any unnecessary items, such as stacks of magazines, remote controls, or children's toys.

Illuminate the property: Open all curtains and blinds to let in natural light. Turn on all lights, including lamps and exterior lights, to create a bright and welcoming ambiance.

Enhance curb appeal: Ensure the lawn is mowed, hedges are trimmed, and any outdoor furniture is clean and arranged attractively.

What is the cost of your real estate photography, videography, floor plan, & virtual tour Services?

Our prices vary depending on the specific services and upgrades you choose. For more detailed pricing information, please visit our Pricing page. If you have any questions or would like to request a custom package that is not listed on our website, please feel free to contact us directly at 626.594.6061. We are happy to discuss your needs and provide a personalized quote for our services.

Are there additional fees for travel or other expenses?

In most situations, there are NO travel fees for properties within the San Gabriel Valley. However, additional fees may apply for rush services or properties located significantly further away. If your property is at a considerable distance from the San Gabriel Valley, please call or text me to discuss any potential travel fees or expenses.

It's essential to keep in mind that while I strive to keep costs transparent and affordable, factors such as distance, travel time, and any additional resources required for a specific project may necessitate additional charges. I am committed to providing exceptional service, and I will work with you to address any concerns or requirements related to your property's photography or videography needs.

Can I choose the music for my cinematic real estate video?

Absolutely! While I typically select music that complements the style of your property and has the necessary commercial licensing, you are more than welcome to choose your own music. However, it is crucial to ensure that you either created the music yourself or have obtained the appropriate commercial rights to use it in your marketing videos. Using music without the proper rights can put you at risk of legal action.

If you need assistance finding affordable, commercially licensed music, feel free to contact me. I will be happy to share several websites where you can browse, choose, and purchase the necessary licenses for music that suits your real estate video. Together, we can create a captivating and legally compliant cinematic experience that showcases your property to its fullest potential.

What are the resolution & format of the virtual tours you create?

Virtual tours are primarily web-based and require a web server for the interactive walkthrough to function properly. Unlike many other major platforms for virtual tours, you have the option to own and host your virtual tour files on your own website. While I do host these files on my servers for easy sharing with MLS and potential clients, you can take full control of your files if you prefer.

The 360 camera I currently use features dual 1" CMOS sensors, providing a resolution of 6720 x 3360. In essence, each image in your virtual tour is composed of two images stitched together, resulting in a combined resolution of 13440 x 3360. Additionally, I have access to AI software that can enhance this resolution even further, producing images with even greater detail and clarity than the original. However, please note that utilizing this AI enhancement may extend the turnaround time by a day or two, as the AI servers require substantial time to process images and videos. With these cutting-edge technologies, you can provide your clients with an immersive and visually stunning virtual tour experience.

Are your virtual tours compatible with MLS platforms and other real estate websites?

Absolutely! My virtual tours are fully compatible with MLS platforms and other real estate websites. I will provide you with an MLS-compliant web link for an unbranded version of the virtual tour, which adheres to the requirements set forth by the MLS to ensure no risk for you or your hiring broker.

For example, Citrus Valley Realtors has specific requirements for virtual tours, which my tours meet to guarantee seamless integration:

"The Virtual Tour Field shall contain ONLY a live link to a Virtual Tour of the property. The Virtual Tour may not include such things as: agent/broker photos, agent/broker names, phone numbers, website addresses, email addresses, or advertising other than about the property. No messages or solicitations of any kind."

While not all MLSs allow for branded virtual tours, Citrus Valley Realtors' MLS does permit them. For a nominal fee, I can create a branded version of your virtual tour, which includes your name, license number, a "Call Now" button, and an email address. Additionally, I will provide you with a free listing web page portfolio to showcase your property effectively.

Can I make revisions or request changes to the final images, videos, or floor plans?

Yes, you can request revisions or changes to the final images, videos, or floor plans. My goal is to ensure your complete satisfaction with the delivered product. I understand that I might miss certain details or there could be aspects that you would like adjusted. Please feel free to communicate any revisions or changes you would like made, and I will do my best to accommodate your requests in a timely manner to deliver a product that meets your expectations.

How do you handle privacy concerns, such as blurring out personal items or license plates?

Ideally, any items you do not want featured in your delivered images or video should be removed before my arrival on the day of the shoot. However, if removal is not possible, please notify me about the items that need to be blurred or removed. I can then make adjustments using Photoshop for the images. Please keep in mind that I will not be able to blur or remove these items from cinematic real estate videos. If you have scheduled a video shoot, inform me in advance about any items you do not want shown, so I can plan and adjust my filming approach inside the property to prevent those details from being captured. This ensures that the final images and videos align with your preferences while maintaining a professional and visually appealing presentation.

Can I add my own branding, logo, and contact information to the virtual tours or videos?

Certainly! For an additional fee of $50, I can deliver branded versions of any of the services you require, including your logo, contact information, and other branding elements. However, it's essential to use branded materials only where appropriate. Ensure you're pasting the branded links in the "Virtual Tour URL Branded (Agent/Broker Information):" section of the MLS listing, which can be found at the bottom of the Description Tab of your MLS Residential listing.

A screenshot showing where to paste the virtual tour link into the branded virtual tour section of the MLS. The image includes a visual arrow that points to the exact location where the branded virtual tour link should be pasted. This screenshot provides clear instructions for users who want to add a virtual tour to their MLS listing and demonstrates the importance of properly formatting.

The MLS rules for branded content to be used in this section are as follows:

"This Virtual Tour may include Agent/Office branding and will only be used in our Syndication data feeds. Begin your URL with HTTP:// or HTTPS://. For example,"

If you have any further questions or need assistance navigating this part of the MLS, please feel free to contact me. I can either complete the process for you or guide you through it over the phone. My goal is to ensure a seamless experience and help you effectively showcase your branded content in the right channels.

Do you offer discounts for repeat clients or for multiple properties?

Absolutely! I value loyalty and collaboration, so I offer special packages and discounts for repeat clients or brokers who frequently work with me or refer others to my services. Additionally, multiple property discounts are available when photoshoots for two or more properties can be scheduled on the same day.

Please note that when scheduling multiple photoshoots on the same day, the turnaround time may be doubled to ensure proper attention is given to each property. To help prioritize the editing process, kindly inform me of which property takes precedence, and I will edit the files accordingly.

Last Updated: September 26, 2023

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