Estate Agents Drive Me Crazy...

This is going to be a little bit of a rant so bear with me…

I’ve been photography properties for around 5 years now and in the last 2-3, I’ve really found my feet with the style I like to shoot. While I have a style I love to shoot there is a time when certain techniques and the feel of the property doesn’t match the style I shoot. I maintain my style while adapting to the lighting conditions and keeping either the completely ambient and multi-layer flash images within the look I like. There are some properties that have huge window letting in a ton a light so much so that they only have small lamps or reading lights. on the other end, there are places that are basements and have little to no window light which means they (hopefully) have a tonne of daylight balanced LED spotlight and lamps dotted around the apartments.

With that being said I do like to keep my clients happy and if they would like certain images a little brighter than id like it I will happily oblige. However, ( Rant begins :D) I’ve been shown another agent's photos while discussing the shoot with certain agents and they say’I want the images to look like this’. I do my best to politely and discreetly decline to make the photos like the same way and talk about how my photos won't look like that which is a great thing and point out flaws that I personally find within the photo. They tend to then let me get on with it. Until delivery then they start requesting for me to re-edit some shots as they need it to look more like other agents shots. to which I reply with a slightly more confident wording of basically no that what you get when you book me.

I think the worse part of it all is they love my photos when they book me and first see me, they can't give me higher praise and compliments 🤭. It is frustrating because I have no problem is not shooting for people who I don’t click with I learnt this from doing wedding photography, if there spark isn’t there I can't shoot for that person, nothing personal I just can't do the best job I can. Which makes me feel like this agent hired based on my price. I’m very open and honest when talking to new clients about my shooting style an can only assuming because we are talking at this stage that you want the work I’m showing you via my website, www.Garyaskewphotography.com or my Instagram, instagram.com/garyaskewphotography. Unless the client tells me they want a certain look. I’m all for client satisfaction which is why is good for me to decline some agents because I can give them what they want.

I believe that my photos have a different look to 90% of what out there and I believe my work stands out to the typical real estate photographer so please agents when hiring a photographer to accept the style you the photographer you choose has and stand out or blend in by wanting the same thing your competition has!

I’d love to know what from an agents perspective and other real estate photographer thoughts on this.

Has it happened to you?

did a photographer display something different to what they delivered?

What is involved in taking interior photograph's?

How much does it cost? 🤑🤑🤑

I believe that people strongly feel like they are getting ripped off or scammed when they are hiring a profession photographer when they hear the price. What alot of people ont understand is actually 80% of the work actually happens in secret, when no one is around while they are tucked up in bed. The photographer is most definitely up editing the photos. If they are like me then they will be because they are more excited the the client to finish the images and get the final product. While it could take 2-4 hours to photograph a interior, depending on the size, it could take 3-4 times longer to edit the images together.

What are you paying for you may still be asking. firstly, you are paying for the photographer to be on site, either by the hour of by the number of photos you may of requested. For me at least the cost it largely related to the time and effort editing the photos together after the shoot has taken place. I typically take less than 24 hours to deliver as I editing into the evening.

Probably the reason people don’t understand the most is that interior photographs need more TLC, you tend to refine the room at the time than refine the photograph later. It takes 5 seconds to adjust something and a headache later on if it the time hasn’t been taken to make it as right as possible in the camera. This all being said Its the gear we use for these types of shoots. I always bring a portable studio flash for interior shot to ensure and 100 % i get accurate colour every pop of the flash. It always mean i will have more than enough battery power to flood the room with flash for blending later. I do always carry my speed light too so that i can get a bit more directional light with the speed light. I also might need to shoot tethered which can be with the Nikon wireless Wi-Fi connection or cam-ranger, something along those lines. A gear head is ABSOLUTELY required and if you can a tilt shift lens. This all cost money which we invest in so we need to make money on our investments as every body can relate, and agree too.

As you can tell there is alot of involvement, even down to planning to the time of day you can shoot so you have the best most flattering light.

How long does it take?⏳⏳

It really comes down the each individuals workflow, I personally for interior jobs, like to wait til i can use my workhorse of a PC at home so i can get accurate colour, and the best possible blend of the layers I’ve taken while on site. It also allows me to concentrate more on the job at hand and kick back with some music maybe a tea. This is my personal optimal environment. On the job I try to be as efficient as possible and i really focus on the details of each property and the little things the designer has done because those are using what brings the whole style together. The hardest part of all it to get them in a interesting composition, the designers has a reason why everything is in a place and has a place so the last thing i want to do is insult the design by moving things too much to create the composition that shows the property off in an immaculate way.

feel free to look at my work; www.garyaskewphotography.com

Feel free to contact me regarding shooting your space.

Shooting the Nell Gwynn house on Sloane Avenue, London.

Working with a great client of mine with quite a substantial portfolio of property. This a huge job and it was 2 day job, shooting many different styles of apartments and studio pods. If it’s luxury you light then Nell Gwynn house is definitely the place to stay when visit London. Being a London photography its rare luxury isn’t ever not part of the shoot.

This building was stunning from the moment you see the building, to walking through the rotating door, with the porters waiting for you in the lobby to guide you to the right place. It’s reminiscent of a 5 star hotel at a fraction of a cost.

It took a longer than I expected it to take, but it was so much fun each room presented it’s own challenges as some had more light than other, some had the smallest windows right at the top of the room. The bulbs in the lights, some were orange some were white. Complete nightmare, but it was a challenge I appreciated as it helped me learn a new editing technique. Most jobs i always learn something but i learnt a lot from this job in particular.

Take a look at some of the photos I’ve taken, for more information and to book a room at the Nell Gwynn, Sloane Square, Chelsea, London. You can visit William Hemming Associate.

www.Garyaskewphotography.com

Why you should hire a professional photographer that specializes.

There is much reason why you should hire professional photography. what to look for when hiring is don’t just look on there website look on there social media e.g. Instagram or FB, whichever platform they use. this will help you see the consistency of the work which to me is very important and I try and keep it consistent as possible.

One thing about working in London as a property photographer, I personally have a high expectation of the level of quality I give to London clients. Even for my more local agents, I give them equal quality, working in London has really improved on my attention to detail. which leads mine to the biggest frustration which is estate agent not using good photographer on properties over £500,000. It’s even more frustrating when they have a multi-million-pound property which shocking images either from the agent or a ‘professional’ photographer.

The reason you hire a photographer is to show off the space they have I’m in front of them to the best of their ability and create the most pleasing image of each room. Now you can have a great photographer and an amateur from the same angle and the images can look completely different. A great photographer can read the light and the feeling of the room really make the image come across what its like to be in the room and be there. All that with capturing accurate colour and tones and vertical which to me is massively important!. With the subtle light exposure variations, that you don’t really notice but it pulls the images together and adds a touch of finesse to the image for an outstanding final result.

The most important part of all this, if you are a serious estate agent you will be using a good photographer anyway. however, hiring a specialist is critical, this is because they will have the best equipment to allow the the creative flexibility to control each shot with immense precision. For example a gear head and tilt shift lens, are absolutely key for high end photography, to make sure the camera is properly balanced and level. It will also enable us to get the correct composition without having to compromise the vertical lines within the image.

When it comes to editing the real skill comes when you can use flash in such a way that it looks like natural light, and you just fill in bits with ambient. the flash provide the colour pop and that contrast natural light sometimes cant produce. when editing it is a skill to get the colours to pop without looking over the time, as it is a skill to make the whites white without losing the detail of the highlights. its especially important when you are dealing with designers of any kind as they want you to re produces the actually colours they have specifically put into that design.

Shooting for Hotels in London.

I've been fortunate enough to work with two very well known hotel in London being the o2 intercontinental and the Taj hotel in St James. Working with them showed me another level of photography and how much difference it is compared to everyday real estate stuff I usually do. It even trumped the highest end property I've shot in the heart of London in Mayfair. I showed me another level of perfection and attention to detail. On my first shoot, I may have taken the job without full and proper preparation. I did some research and ask my other photographer friends for tips on hospitality photography, but it wasn't even still as each hotel is different and working with 5-star hotels photographing their penthouses and restaurants it really threw me off.

Luckily the photography techniques I use to shoot are usually used on the high-end property so it is very easy to transfer those skills over to hotels. my starting point was strong and I didn't have to worry about my ability to photograph these immaculate places. The greatest thing I struggled with is I could use a longer lens it didn't matter about showing off how much space the places had and more on composition and the interior design and the layout is far more important in showing off a premium brand. It really took me back to the days I used to shoot with a 50mm at weddings to take away an option and gave me one less thing to think about and made me more creative as a photographer.

I always thought that photography was photography, that because I shot real estate that it would be possible to shoot a hotel room. it turns out while some of the basic principles were the same most of the time it was preparing the room for photography adding small detail like candles, having the right flowers in the room, the right height the right colour were all far more important than just having flowers in the room. Making sure that the room was prepared as best as the hotel could offer all having optional welcome packs in the room.

Hotels aren’t a joke to shoot, it requires more equipment and even an assistant in my case to help out moving things and moving lights around. All in all i love shooting hotels as they look stunning they lighting is great and just needs to be emphasized. You really get to stretch you photography legs and you really learn what you are good at and what you aren’t good at. It forces you to perfect your images as they expect nothing less because they are paying a lot of money and they want the same end product as you.

Please take a moment to look at my work on my site.

https://www.garyaskewphotography.com/hotel/