May Contest - Before & After

Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335


Back in the days of film, you had to take a lot of pictures to get a few good keepers. If we could, we'd take multiple shots at different exposures and speeds, looking to come up with the best result. Editing in processing was reserved for the professionals, who had access to expensive equipment and darkrooms - the rest of us just had to burn film and hope for the best.


Digital photography changed all of that. It costs literally nothing to take more pictures, and photo editing software can change what would have been a hopeless miss into a decent, good, or even great, photo. And cameras have changed too - the ones that come with our phones are now better than anything we could really afford back when.


So, what does that have to do with us?


Many of us use professional photographers for our real estate photography, especially when we're doing the important stuff, like listing and marketing photos. The rest of us do it ourselves, with varying degrees of success. But almost all of us want to take better photos, even if it's just for personal memories or having fun. And like everything else in photography, that's easier today than ever before.


So this is a contest about getting better at photography, by using photo editing software.


Wait! Don't run off! Gimme a minute here to convince you this is worth trying.


First of all, it's an easy contest. You just have to improve one photo, and it can be one you have already taken or one just for the contest.

Second, it's free - you don't have to buy software - there are plenty of free options out there if you don't already have something - I'll provide some resources for you later in this post.

Third, this is a really useful skill, even if you use professionals - you still probably need to take your own photos on occasion - maybe a particular shot for a client or something like that. And you aways want to put your best foot forward, right?

Here's a before & after example of what only a couple of minutes of editing can do:



Eagle Lake Before



Eagle Lake After


Good - you're still here. Let's get down to the basics:


1. Write a post submitting 2 photos, a before and after set of the same scene.

2. Photos must be work-related. For Realtors, they must be a property photo, either exterior or interior. For other AR members, try to find something that relates to your work - we'll be flexible for you.

3. The before photo must be a photo you wouldn't want to see on MLS - underexposed, tilted badly, poorly composed, etc.

4 Use a photo editor of your choice to make the photo something you wouldn't mind putting out there with your name on it.

5. You must make at least 2 corrections to qualify for points, like an exposure correction and cropping, or correcting a tilt and adjusting white balance.

6. Do not overdo it. Don't cross the ethical line of misrepresenting reality. It's okay to edit out a  bunch of computer wiring that's distracting from that photo of the home office, but getting rid of that 170 KV powerline looming over the back yard, while tempting, is not cool.

7. Write a brief narrative for your submission - 200 words minimum. Tell us about the photo - what was wrong with it, what steps you took to make it better, what software you used and what you liked and disliked about it.

8. Posts must be published by 11:59 PM, May 31, 2017. One submission per member.

9. Leave a link to your post in the comment section below.

10. Qualifying submissions will be awarded 1500 points!



There are a lot of free programs out there. Here's a few, and if you have other suggestions, don't hesitate to mention them in the comments below:

GIMP - Windows & Mac

iPiccy - Web-based

pixlr - Web-based

Ribbet - Web-based

iPhoto - comes installed with Mac OS

Snapseed - iPhone & iPad, Android

If you want to get a bit more serious, I really like Adobe Lightroom. It takes a bit more effort to learn, but it's awesomely powerful and well worth the effort. A free 7-day trial can be found here, and if you decide you can't live without it, you can get it, along with Photoshop!, for a measly $9.99/month, in the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography package.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Data Source: IRES MLS


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Great idea Dick Greenberg ,  I do some type of edit on almost every pic regardless of it being "work related"  Took me an hour + just to edit and organize my 50 pics of Death Valley from Spring Break.  Anyway, here is my entry complete with 2 pictures (not of Death Valley).  Look forword to seeing what others do.

May 10, 2017 07:33 AM #76
Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren

I just dabbled into new photo shop and working the layers too. So, I will give the photo editor version of it with my photos. I am working on it on Monday before the deadline. ;)

Thanks for a great challenge.

Lauren Selinsky

May 11, 2017 02:12 AM #77
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line
May 12, 2017 07:09 AM #78
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I will try to get an entry together for this contest, Dick!

May 12, 2017 05:55 PM #79
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Neat contest, I found out from looking back that the professional photographer that I first used wasn't very good, haha.  Here is my entry:

Brian England Photography Before & After in Gilbert, AZ

May 13, 2017 06:26 AM #80
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Boy this was tough getting all the photos so others could follow along. Here's my entry.

May 13, 2017 06:36 PM #81
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

It is true, all those filters do bring light and life into pictures. 

I'm going to post my entry soon:) and read all those posted in comments, too! 

May 14, 2017 04:00 PM #82
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Dick Greenberg ,

Well I did it! Here is my entry.

May 16, 2017 04:42 AM #83
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Happy Tuesday, Dick- Here's my entry. 

May 16, 2017 11:21 AM #84
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing
May 17, 2017 05:50 AM #85
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dick Greenberg - here is my entry. I recognize that I could have done better and hopefully, my conclusion is more important than the results of my photographs. I sure learned a lot as a result of this challenge.

Before and After Shots - AR Contest

May 17, 2017 06:20 AM #86
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Alright this is a contest I can handle. Thanks for coming up with an easy one. I'll be back.

May 17, 2017 10:54 AM #87
Alice Broadway
Parker & Rankin (Ms) & Azalea Realty (AL) - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

THANKS for the contest. hope you like :-)

May 17, 2017 11:25 AM #88
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Here is my entry Before & After - The Importance of Your Real Estate Photos

I was sad that I had quite a few pictures to choose from.  LOL

May 18, 2017 10:04 AM #89
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Here's my entry, Dick.  It is titled "Using iPiccy to Edit my Before Picture to an After." 


May 18, 2017 09:41 PM #90
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Dick. This took numerous tries and different selections not from my editing but because AR wouldn't upload. Nonetheless, her is my entry:

May 19, 2017 03:01 AM #91
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Even though I rarely have to edit, as I have professional photos done for my listings, always nice to know where to go to edit.

Before and After for Photos

May 20, 2017 04:01 PM #92
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for hosting this contest, Dick.  Here's my entry:

May 21, 2017 05:06 AM #93
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
Co-Host of Mail-Right's: Real Estate Agent Podcast

Thank you for the contest! Here's my entry:


May 21, 2017 08:22 AM #94
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Obviously I LOVED this challenge!

Here is my entry:

How To Make Your Photos Pop Using Drop Shadow Borders

May 22, 2017 05:22 AM #95
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Dick Greenberg

Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate
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