Real Estate Photography

My friend came over the past weekend, and we were catching up with life. He seemed a little bit stressed over something, and I asked if I can help. Then he shared that his work is sending him to relocate to Canada by later this year. When I heard the news I was super sad. He has been a good friend since I moved my neighborhood. He said everything would be okay except his house. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to sell the property or rent it to someone for until the work is completed. Regardless of the decision, I told him that he needs to post his house on a website like Zillow and have a Real Estate Agent to help him to get clients.

One of the essential things to do during this transition is to take amazing photos of the property. Here are my top photography 101 lists of what to do (don’t) for Real Estate photos.

Rule number 1. Do not take photos with your smartphone camera. For the best result, I highly recommend using a DSLR camera. Some people say that the best camera is the one you carry all the time – but this does not apply to the real estate photos. This is just not going to show off the home. Any cell phone (no matter how good they are) or simple point & shoot camera cannot give you the quality and detail shots you need for house photos that you are trying to sell. A DSLR can have a broader lens to take a broader picture of your rooms. Remember, you are trying to show your house as possible than it is. The DSLR camera shoots at a 4:3 ratio while the cellphone cameras can shoot at 3:2 ratio. All it comes to make your photos wider.

Rule number 2. Use a wider angle lens. Like I mentioned above, any DSLR cameras can replace the lens with a wider lens. Look, I am not trying to say misrepresent your home. No, not. You have to be honest with your sq.ft of the house and present everything to the buyer. What I am trying to say is that you can make your rooms bigger so that the wide angles can let viewers see what to expect when they visit the house. The wider angle lens can make your home pleasing in people’s eyes than your competitors.

Rule number 3. Choose right angles that show the connection between two rooms. Whether it’s a kitchen to a living or a bathroom to a bedroom can make the buyers interested in the house more since the house appears to be opened. Now these days, people love a modern concept for their next house. A potential buyer can see the house photos and can be amazed by the architecture of the room.

Rule number 4. Try to remove your furniture as much as possible. In the light of discussing taking great photos for your house, I want to mention to all home sellers one thing. Remove your stuff. I mean your STUFF like furniture, items that belong to you, and I expect the things that you know you aren’t selling along with the house. It may be something special to you, and you may want to show off your stuff to everyone, but this may not attract a potential buyer. Trust me. Having a nice clean room and taking photos of the clean room is much better than the cluttered room. Plus it makes the room bigger.

Rule number 5. Try to take photos during daylight time. Natural lights should be used as much as possible during your shots. The rooms will look brighter, and the house will bring out its unique character through the well-reflected photos. In-direct light is the best. Anything that has direct lights will be washed out.

This is a bonus. Don’t have any person in the photos. Yes, this includes and reflection of yourself in the mirrors as well. It just looks unprofessional and looks like you took the photo without much care. I may extend this character as a homeowner who doesn’t give f*ck.

I shared these tips with my friend who is selling his house. I am sad, but I want to help him out until the end. I am confident that he will be able to find a renter or buyer without a doubt since this area is a growing community. Of course, with my excellent photo tips in Zillow as well 🙂

Photography Courses

I want to talk about modern photography schools in the United States. Over the years the digital world has changed the way we shop, watch, and learn things. We don’t need to go out to a big retail store to get a TV. We don’t need a cable to watch a movie. You can stream the same video and watch it on the computer. Also, we now don’t have to go to a “school” and cut down on a commute time still get fantastic learning experience right at your home. Here is one of the link where you can get your camera lesson.

You can get college credit through The New York Institute of Photography and learn photography at your own pace with affordable price. Whether it’s their hobby or expanding their knowledge in their working field, I am happy to hear that the photography community is growing larger and faster.

Through the online course, you can take the following courses.
Fundamentals of Digital Photography Course
Portrait Photography Course
Professional Photography Course
Photoshop for Photography Course
Wedding Photography Course
Photojournalism Course
Business Photographers Course

These courses are all under $1,000 which I think it’s reasonable since you are getting the lessons from accredited college institution. Regardless of what photography level you are at, the courses can make you a better photographer. I am very interested in business photographers course since I want to expand my knowledge in making money instead of taking the photos only for my hobby. Now these days, many E-commerce business owners are looking for photographers to take pictures of their items. These owners don’t have stores, so any good photos are essential for them. Let’s think about it. These photos are the only way they can convey the message to their customers to purchase the items they sell. The images are their vital factors in their business. More e-commerce business owners are now finding the importance of photography, and they are spending more budget to expand their business. Those who are looking to get into the photography business, I think you have a lot of potentials going forward.

Let’s talk about the difference between an online class and a typical class setting. First of all, an online course isn’t always the best setting for everyone. Some people may not be motivated to study or do what they are supposed to do if they are home. The key to success is to be self-motivated and disciplined to work when nobody is watching you. If this isn’t you, I recommend that going to a class may be a better fit for you. The reason is that the professor and classmates can encourage you to be motivated and “forcefully” put you in a place where you have to be there to complete your task. Secondly, the photography courses are hands-on experience course. It’s a lot easier if someone is right next to you and guide you through the settings and features while you are taking photos. New modern digital cameras don’t help you either. The cameras have a lot of key settings you’ll need to learn. Lastly, the typical class settings may encourage you to get to know people face to face. I think this is the real benefit of the actual class settings. You get to meet people and interact with them. Your social networking skills will be far higher than you may think. You never know who you are attending and what you can do with these folks. I have a friend who met his wife in a classroom. I have another friend who met his business partner. It can be a life-changing opportunity.

These are my thoughts, and I hope it helps you do determine to take either an online class or a regular class. But either way, keep learning and hope learn new skills of the photography, which is the most important thing to do!

Smartphone Cameras

Everyone has a smartphone now these days. It’s weird if you do not have one. All smartphones have one thing in common. They have a built-in camera. When a smartphone was introduced ten years ago, the camera was not that good. The camera quality was very low, so people went out and purchased an actual camera. Now if you buy the newest smartphone, it’s an entirely different story. The camera on the new smartphones is so good that people don’t take photos with their cameras anymore. Google Pixel, iPhone, Samsung smartphone have amazing cameras. Many YouTube editors and tech reviewers battle these smartphones, and you can hardly tell which is terrible or excellent. The details and vibrant color that the phones can capture are amazing. If you want to hang and print the images, you can print them on a color printer. The megapixels in the smartphone is big enough for you to print the photos and not distort the quality of it. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with your smartphone. These days, the manufacturers add another camera next to the smartphone, so we see the dual lens on the smartphone. You can zoom in closer, and you can take a portrait mode with these dual lenses.

However, is this good for the camera industry? Will we ever need to buy any new analog or digital cameras? What about those professional photographers? Will they have jobs if these smartphones exceed what it can do and take over the industry? The answer is YES! In my opinion, I do not think that film cameras and digital cameras will always be with us. I agree that smartphones are amazing and take great photos. However, it will never be as good as any digital camera or film camera. The reason is that these cameras bring users its unique photography experience. It’s hard to describe in words, but enthusiastic photographers prefer their cameras when it comes to taking the perfect photos in the right moment. The settings and lighting aperture can make a huge difference when they are taking photos. You can change the settings in a smartphone camera, but it’s not nearly as good as the settings in the actual DSRL and SRL cameras. Another big draw for photographers to use smartphone cameras is that you can’t swap the lens. The smartphone camera lens is permanently stuck. You can add two (now three) lenses, but the lenses are not big enough to capture the big moment photos. What I am trying to say is that the smartphone technology will advance far more in next few years but the camera industry will not be impacted by it.

I mentioned about the SRL camera and how these old analog cameras won’t be impacted by the new technology. Don’t get me wrong, many film camera companies suffered a major loss when the digital world of cameras was introduced to the public. Look at Kodak. But the analog cameras are still going strong and they are coming back to younger generations. They love the classic and artistic film photos. There is something about that rustic and old photos that make you so happy.

There are great cameras out there today. Many of these cameras are available for your purchase. Some of them are film cameras and some of them are digital cameras. We can discuss the film camera vs digital camera later but I want to stay on the topic of the smartphone camera and the photography industry. If you are a professional photographer, don’t worry. You will still have a job for awhile.

My thoughts on Lomography Konstruktor F

Ever since I was a young boy, I loved building my own stuff. My parents bought me Legos and blocks for me to keep my creativity flow and experience the joy of “Do It Yourself” – DIY. I still love building things and it reflects on my go-to camera, Lomography Konstruktor F.  I want to introduce you to this awesome unique film camera. Unlike other name brand cameras: Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, and Olympus, Lomography delivers something that other competitors do not – that is the experience of assembling the camera on your own. How cool is that? Let me explain and share some of the thoughts on this camera. Here are my quick top three points.

#1. The Design
As mentioned earlier, you get multiple plastic parts in a box. Unboxing and setting up can be overwhelming for some folks but it only took me less than two hours start to finish. Once the parts are put together, the camera looks pretty fantastic. It’s a fun design and you can get to play around with some of the exposure settings on the top of right corner. You can also put some stickers to make your camera look different than others. You can interchange the lenses (close-up and macro lens are available in a separate kit).

#2. The Functionality
You can’t compare the developed 35mm film photos with the digital cameras. It won’t be a fair game in terms of the clarity of photos. However, as an amateur photographer, I can say that the camera takes some arty photos that photographers can appreciate. Like I mentioned you can change the exposure settings and that helps you to take some great shots. When I was taking photos, I got some multi-layer shots and it was nice. It was different than the normal analog film photos. Taking the photos with this unique feature is a nice experience. People told me that the photos don’t come out clear and distorted sometimes but I like them a lot. The camera is meant to be used as a simple “point & shoot” without much things to change. For that I think the functionality is there for certain users like myself.

#3. The Price
35mm film cameras are relatively cheaper than the digital cameras, but this one is cheaper than the other analog cameras. It’s in the $30 range so you don’t feel so bad if you break the parts of camera. This will keep you occupied for the day and you can have some fun while building the camera taking photos.

Overall, I think it is a great inexpensive camera. It brings unique features that the other cameras don’t or can’t bring to the table. You may not like the photos that are developed through the 35mm film roles and the images may not be consistent with the shots you take. Maybe this isn’t for you. However, if you are like me – like building your own design camera and you like artsy photos (even though it may look little be distorted), I suggest that you give this camera a try.