Professional photography is more than just using a big SLR with a wide lens and a flash. In fact, the most important thing we bring to the table is not the gear we walk into your house with, but what we do to your pictures afterward. It is certainly where we spend most of our time on your photographs. We may be in and out of your home in one to two hours, but we spend almost double that time with color correction and image enhancement to your pictures.
Professional Cameras vs. an iPhone
iPhones have pretty good cameras in them. Really. But are they good enough to sell your property? When you have hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table, isn’t it worth spending a little extra so your images are the best they can be? Here are a couple of images taken from the same exact place. The only difference is the camera- my iPhone 6 vs my Nikon with a professional lens and flashes that I use on every job.
iPhone Shot vs. Professional Camera
iPhone vs. Professional Camera
What are the advantages of hiring a professional photographer over taking your own quick cell phone pictures? First we provide a substantially better exposure. In the examples above, the iPhone images have muddy, dark areas and blown-out highlights. The professional image has a balanced exposure, and all the areas of the frame are visible to the potential home buyer.
Second, look at the framing: the professional camera has a wider field of view. You need to show as much of a room as possible, and the iPhone does not. Sure, you can back up to show more…. until you hit the wall.
Closely related to the wide angle view is the lens distortion. Our professionally corrected images are geometrically transformed so the walls are straight verticals and parallel; the iPhone has walls that lean in and lean out.
Next, we are professional photographers; we know how to frame an image for maximum effect. We balance images to show a space off.
We also take the whole burden of the shoot off of your shoulders. We bring in the equipment, we take the time to shoot and reshoot as needed, we have all the programs to retouch and enhance the images, and we deliver perfect images ready to post on the MLS. Your hassle factor: ZERO.
Finally, the professional image is substantially higher resolution. This translates to sharper images. Sharp images grab eyes; blurry, soft or out-of-focus images say a lot about your professionalism.
Compare Two Images
Here’s a pretty graphic look at what we can do for you. This is a full iPhone image with our camera in the same shot. As you can see, the iPhone does not get nearly the coverage our lenses do. You will see a lot more wall to the right of the sofa and the window to the left of the image on the back screen of my camera than you do in the iPhone image… and the iPhone is behind our camera!
Here is our final image- compare it to the iPhone image. Its more than just wider in scope. The color is better. The light is balanced- no burnt out overblown highlights or dark pools of shadow. And the colors are bang on correct. But we do more than that- look how the walls (and the pictures on them!) are straight. And then there are the little things we can clean up- like the tags on the yellow throw pillows on the couch- we take those out to make your images the best they can possibly be.
Color Correction and Image Enhancement
What exactly is Color Correction and Image Enhancement for your real estate photographs? This work can be quite subtle, and some of it- if we do our job correctly- is honestly hardly noticeable. But all these little corrections combine to make pictures that give you a leg up on all your competition in the market- your pictures will work for you!
Image enhancement starts off easily enough, and probably is exactly where you would expect. Not all exposures are perfect. And it is a lot easier to judge a correct exposure on a calibrated 24″ monitor than a 2 1/4″ viewfinder on the back of a camera. Step one is to bring the exposure in at exactly the right level, and to adjust the contrast to as wide a contrast range as possible. Perhaps the color balance is a little off; we can fix that, too.
Correcting exposure and contrast
That is not where we stop our image processing. We shoot a special format that allows us special altitude in image corrections without effecting the overall image quality. This allows us to draw more out of the image, and make deeper corrections to make our images look more like the property looks to the human eye. We take glare off of tables and floors, we tame the highlights and bring up the shadow, and we bring in the blown-out windows.
Final Image Enhancement
And yes, you can do this with your iPhone pictures. To an extent…
But as you see, it is not quite perfect.
No matter how much work you put into getting a location prepped for photography, there is always the possibility that something may take away from your final, beautiful image. It might be something you had control over and didn’t notice… or it could be something you couldn’t change no matter what you did for prep (like a street sign or an ugly sky). No worries- we can fix that!
We are highly proficient in Photoshop clean up of commercial real estate images. And we would love to help you craft the content and focus of your image to exactly what you want. And you can let us know either before or after we deliver images!
This service is in addition to our normal photographic, color correction and image enhancement services (which are inclusive in our normal service). Advance Photoshop is charged at 124.95 an hour, in half-hour increments, at the direction of the client. Call us for an exact quote for your project.
Original processed image vs. Photoshopped Final