The Challenges and Rewards of Shooting for Home Builders

December 07, 2016

The last three months or so I've been lucky enough to shoot some new construction properties for local home builders.  I have been "streaky" in my marketing efforts towards home builders in the past, but it is a market of interior photography I definitely want to do more of.

There are some pros and cons when it comes to photographing for home builders, though I would say there a way more benefits than downsides.

The only "negative", which is actually a good thing when you think about it, is that it takes me longer to both photograph on location and edit at home compared to a normal real estate listing shoot.  One of the reasons it takes longer has to do with the fact that the usage of the photographs is different.  Real estate photos have a relatively short lifespan.  Some properties get offers rather quickly and so photos may only be needed for a few months. 

On the flipside, home builders could be using photos for years to show off the homes they build and market their business.  As a result I am more picky about the images--I end up shooting more exposures to give myself more to work with when I have to edit.  I also spend more time editing to get them just right.  

Lastly, home builders do not have the extreme sense of time urgency that realtors have.  Builders can wait days, or even weeks, before needing their photos.  Realtors need them usually within 24 hours, so editing for builders gives me more time to be picky.

                                                         

Another quite significant difference is composition and cropping.  Home builders are primarily using the images for their website and maybe some prints to display at their office and/or home builds.  This allows me great latitude to shoot verticals and to crop the photographs with more non-traditional dimensions such as square crops.  Unfortunately for realtors, the MLS (multiple listing service) will constrict the dimensions agents can use.

Lastly, shooting for builders gives me a bit more creative license to shoot more detail images.  Closeups of fireplaces, faucets, railings, and light fixtures are common as it shows the detail and customization of home builds.  These are images that realtors rarely need when marketing a home for sale.  It's all about audience and purpose, just like in a piece of writing.

              

 


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