Here are answers to some frequently asked questions on my commercial, professional photography services in Vancouver, BC:
A photo shoot can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days depending on the complexity. Most real estate shoots take about 1.5 – 2 hours.
Give us a call, and we can discuss our various options to meet your individual needs.
Preparations to Ensure Best Visual Presentation of Your Hotel
Please ensure that a member of the housekeeping staff is available on the day of the shoot.
Most importantly, please ensure beds and pillows are crisply ironed. Please remove any unwanted items from the room that you do not want in the image, such as advertising cards, trash cans, plastic cups and trays, door handle hangers. Hide wires as much as possible. Check for burnt out light bulbs ahead of time. Whenever possible, avoid mixed incandescent and fluorescent lighting. All lights of the same type (reading light, floor lamp etc) should have matching bulbs. If you wish to add amenities like flowers or champagne than please do so, but be we need to be careful not to over-promise what is not normal practice.
Please block off some car spaces near the main entrance so entrance way view is unobstructed, and please remove bell carts from front entrance. Instruct visiting contractors to park their work vehicles in a different area.
A well groomed front desk staff member makes the image more welcoming. Remove garbage bins, and travel brochure display if possible.
Fitness and Whirlpool
Please ensure room is free of guests, very clean, remove garbage bins, towel baskets, and any clutter. Turn TVs off. If the fitness room is a neutral colour, exercise balls makes the shot look more interesting. The Whirlpool Area should be tidy, with no water marks on the floor. A coloured towel near the whirlpool makes image more interesting.
Ensure that the room is sparkling clean, and have candles burning to enhance the mood. Photographing a member of staff performing a massage on a client is also effective (another staff member can play the part of the guest).
The pool should be closed to guests. If you want to show someone using the pool, arrange for a staff member to play the part of a guest. Please allow time to clean the area prior to the photography. The pool area should be tidy, the pool cover should not be in shot, and no water marks should be visible on the pool deck. Often, the morning will be the best time to schedule the pool photography, but this depends on sunlight direction. If the pool is lit in the evening with spot lights, a twilight shot is also effective.
Please set up the rooms for VIP meetings. Most importantly, tables should be set up with freshly ironed linens. Add accessories such as pens, pads, glasses, water bottles and/or carafes. A small bowl of sweets or fruit adds colour to the shot. The room should look like a meeting is about to start. If you offer catering it may be a good idea to set it up for the photo shoot. Please remove flip charts and garbage bins.
It is best to photograph the room fully set-up for dinner including decorations, such as center pieces, and candles. Please ensure linen is freshly ironed and all bulbs are working.
Dawn or dusk with candles lit usually looks best. A chef working in kitchen can add drama. Searing a steak on a grill, or food close ups, triggers emotion and appeal. Tables should be fully set-up and free of guests, unless prior arrangements have been made and photography release forms signed.
Arrange bottles neatly behind the bar, and clear any clutter on the bar. Have a cocktail, imported beer or wine on the bar dependent on the target market. A well dressed bartender working behind the bar, pouring a drink provides a great shot.
Please ensure counter is clear of clutter, and shelves are stocked well with no empty spaces. All tags and signage should be in good condition, no bent ends on paper, etc. Smartly positioned staff at the counter will help to personalize the image.
It is the hotel’s responsibility to obtain permission from any guest to be photographed.
Real Estate Preparedness Checklist Suggestions
Spruce up your garden and lawn; trim shrubbery if necessary. Yard and patio should be neat; outdoor furniture should be in good shape. Mow the lawn; make sure the driveway & entryway are free of clutter (toys, bikes, etc.) Winter – keep the sidewalks cleared of snow.
Clean off kitchen counters; remove any clutter. Make sure dirty/clean dishes are out of the sink & put away. Empty the garbage can.
Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored away. Close toilet lid and empty the garbage. Clean mirrors & glass surfaces. Hang towels neatly from towel bar.
Check all lights the day before the shoot for burnt-out bulbs. Check the basics around the house (indoors & out). It takes just a minute to make sure the house is clutter-free, and all is in order. Turn on as many lights as when the photographer arrives. Try not to be in the room when the photographer is photographing, as you may end up in the photo.
The home MUST be ready for the photographer when he/she arrives. Upon arrival our photographers can wait no longer than 5 minutes for additional home preparations. If a wait longer than this must happen we will have to move on to our next scheduled appointment and the virtual tour will be rescheduled. If this happens a rescheduling fee of $50.00 will apply.
As per standard Canadian copyright law, the photographer owns the copyright to the images. I grant you a license to use the images as spelled out in the terms of the license. That’s why it’s important that I know how you intend to use the images so I can make sure the terms of the license are written appropriately.
Third parties also need a license to use the photos, so if you know of others that want to use the images, it’s best to discuss that ahead of time.
My standard real estate license grants you the right to use the images for all purposes related to promoting the property for sale for the life of the listing. You also get the right to use the images to promote your personal brand. The latter usage has no time limit, allowing you to use the images on a recent listings page on your website after the sale.
Third parties, such as builders, landscapers and cabinet makers need a separate license to use the photos. Typically they would negotiate a fee directly with me.
If the seller decides to switch agents before the property sells, my policy is not to re-license the photos to the new agent without your permission. If you do decide to agree to re-licensing, I charge the new agent my full normal shoot fee and give you 50% of the amount.