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10-18-2013, 05:17 AM   #1
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Your Real Estate Agent Would Like Some Free Photography, Please

An interesting read. Also, you need to read pretty much the entire article, as it gets better towards the end...


10-18-2013, 05:41 AM   #2
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I suspect most here will get a serious chuckle out of that article.
10-18-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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If I were a professional photographer I would not find it funny. Its really an example of how the value of photographers are sliding down. Once everyone and his aunty is able to use a cameraphone, photography is not seen as professional work. Even wedding photography is no longer what it was.

The last two weddings I attended simply had the groom's college room-mate taking the photos. I saw the photos, many of them had the 'direct flash look' but overall it was not terrible either and the bride and groom seemed happy enough. I guess the standards are also pretty low . And, yeah neither of the two seemed interested in having the photos printed. [I asked, they only printed one or two photos to place in their living room] Everything else is in an online album only.
10-18-2013, 06:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
If I were a professional photographer I would not find it funny. Its really an example of how the value of photographers are sliding down. Once everyone and his aunty is able to use a cameraphone, photography is not seen as professional work. Even wedding photography is no longer what it was.

The last two weddings I attended simply had the groom's college room-mate taking the photos. I saw the photos, many of them had the 'direct flash look' but overall it was not terrible either and the bride and groom seemed happy enough. I guess the standards are also pretty low . And, yeah neither of the two seemed interested in having the photos printed. [I asked, they only printed one or two photos to place in their living room] Everything else is in an online album only.
Those people you mention wouldn't even hire a wedding photog if the roommate isn't available. They simply dont value it that much.

No worries, there are people out there that does, it's just that there are more SLR going around these days that people are happy enough with

10-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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Wanting free photos is so sadly typical. And it's always the guys with the deepest pockets that want the most for free.
10-18-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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I had this experience lately with a real estate brokerage. The brokerage owner was someone I've known for years and we bought and sold 3 or 4 houses through in the past before she was a brokerage owner. She has literally made tens of thousands of dollars from me.

Well, recently I've been offering head shots as part of my design/photography business. This agent is starting a new brokerage and has hired a bunch of new recruits. When she found out I was doing head shots, she sent some new recuits my way. Anyway, I get a call from some of them asking my price. Because I'm just starting out (with head shots) I decided to only charge $150 for everything (including the processed photos on a disk) and unlimited usage. Through my local research and consulting other headshot photographers, my price was far less than reasonable and they actually told me to charge more. I stuck with $150 just because I was trying to build a client base and get my name out.

So I finish the first shoot in my studio with professional strobes and backdrop (which cost me money) and the client (new recruit for the new brokerage) was supremely happy with the results and paid me cash on the spot. I delivered her the disc the next day.

All was great... until her "boss" called me (my *now former* real estate agent). She tore into me about how horrible I was to charge for my service. She said she sent them my way for "really cheap, or even free" head shots. She never asked me for this "free" service before sending them my way at all. As far as I knew, they were just agents that heard about my service and called me up. I simply sold my service, made the client happy and got paid for my work. The new recuit agent got a great deal, some fantastic looking head shots and was more than happy. She even said she would pass my name on as much a she could.

Meanwhile, my now •former• real estate agent has cut me off, and I assume, has told all her new recuits to stay away from me. She also just bought a brand new BMW 5 series...

Her excuse was that I was "just staring out" (even though I've been a semi-professional photographer for 10 years now). I wanted to suggest to her that when we first hired her to help us find our first house (over ten years ago) she too was "just starting out". I wanted to suggest that maybe we shouldn't have paid her the $6000.00 commission she made from that first home... you know, because she needed to gain some experience as an agent first.
10-18-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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One of the many reasons I do not work in these industries - people think photography is easy, that learning the skills required to be proficient at it are free.

They aren't - developing skills cost time,money and if you don't have any inherent talent for it at all you aren't going to get very far.

I still do pro-bono work, but I only choose to do so when I have an active interest in the cause, and I always cut a deal - It makes me suspicious when someone offers me something that directly benefits me for nothing, so I like to strike a deal so everything is square. My most recent "free*" job involved working for the Australaisain double reed society (ADRS) when they had a big double reed instrument conference in September.


* I gave them free use of my photographs (as long as I was credited for their creation) as long as I could attend Adelaide symphony orchestra concerts being held during the conference and events I wished to document at the ADRS conference.

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-18-2013 at 08:32 AM.
10-18-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Seamripper Quote
I had this experience lately with a real estate brokerage. The brokerage owner was someone I've known for years and we bought and sold 3 or 4 houses through in the past before she was a brokerage owner. She has literally made tens of thousands of dollars from me.

Well, recently I've been offering head shots as part of my design/photography business. This agent is starting a new brokerage and has hired a bunch of new recruits. When she found out I was doing head shots, she sent some new recuits my way. Anyway, I get a call from some of them asking my price. Because I'm just starting out (with head shots) I decided to only charge $150 for everything (including the processed photos on a disk) and unlimited usage. Through my local research and consulting other headshot photographers, my price was far less than reasonable and they actually told me to charge more. I stuck with $150 just because I was trying to build a client base and get my name out.

So I finish the first shoot in my studio with professional strobes and backdrop (which cost me money) and the client (new recruit for the new brokerage) was supremely happy with the results and paid me cash on the spot. I delivered her the disc the next day.

All was great... until her "boss" called me (my *now former* real estate agent). She tore into me about how horrible I was to charge for my service. She said she sent them my way for "really cheap, or even free" head shots. She never asked me for this "free" service before sending them my way at all. As far as I knew, they were just agents that heard about my service and called me up. I simply sold my service, made the client happy and got paid for my work. The new recuit agent got a great deal, some fantastic looking head shots and was more than happy. She even said she would pass my name on as much a she could.

Meanwhile, my now •former• real estate agent has cut me off, and I assume, has told all her new recuits to stay away from me. She also just bought a brand new BMW 5 series...

Her excuse was that I was "just staring out" (even though I've been a semi-professional photographer for 10 years now). I wanted to suggest to her that when we first hired her to help us find our first house (over ten years ago) she too was "just starting out". I wanted to suggest that maybe we shouldn't have paid her the $6000.00 commission she made from that first home... you know, because she needed to gain some experience as an agent first.
What an awful story. Let them take their own pictures next time! I pity that you lose that relationship but it's probably not one you want to keep anyway, now that their true nature is out.

10-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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As the son of a (very successful) real estate agent, I know just how miserly agents can be and how crazy powerful the US Realtor board is. This is why I've never even *considered* doing any of my panos for real estate agents, despite how widely they use this kind of imagery. I do shoot commercial real estate all the time, but only for owners, builders, architects, and government agencies. So far, none have asked for it for free (Although architects will negotiate the price, since they are subjected to this daily on their own bills. Ah, the life of the "creator!").
10-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #10
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Not Surprising

A number of years ago I made a career switch to become a real estate appraiser (subsequently left that gig). The first lesson from the man I trained under, said only a little tongue-in-cheek, was: "Rule Number One: Real estate agents are stupid people." Let's just say they have different priorities, but greed ranks high on the list. The barriers to entry into the profession are small, and only a small percentage are good at what they do and make a decent living. Thus I think most are desperate to get any edge, often at the expense of others.

PS -- My mom was a part-time real estate agent, so though my comments reflect the prevalent dog-eat-dog mentality in the business, they aren't meant to be mean-spirited.
10-18-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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Maybe we should all email the cheapskates some free samples of our photos? "Why do I have these 1000 emails with attachments!?"
10-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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I would like for you to sell my home for me and I'll give you credit and mention you on my blogs. Would that work for you? ?? NOT! That takes some big cahonnes
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