Lessons in real estate photography

Services for Real Estate Pros with StoneHome Photo & Video

I've been contemplating the idea of offering a lunch and learn of sorts, where I would present key photographic techniques for capturing good real estate interiors and exteriors to a group of real estate agents at their office. I'm sure I'd get a crowd, if only for the free pizza and pop, and I'm quite confident that the presentation would be enjoyed, if only by those non professional photographers/agents. I could teach about the importance of exposure, about how to use the histogram, about the importance of keeping verticals straight, and the ideal shooting heights for different rooms, and on and on. I could definitely improve everyones real estate photography with a 5 to 10 minute presentation. That wouldn't make them good photographers in any regard--there are too many subtle elements to shooting a decent photo that can not be relayed in a quick presentation. But it would definitely help.

But it could also hurt me. I mean, isn't it be counterintuitive as a business owner selling real estate photography services to teach potential clients how to do my work? And, since many of them already believe that their "good" cameras are a ticket to good photos, I can only imagine the inflated egos after some prime lessons in photography. But maybe I'm wrong. I mean, even with lessons, it does take lots of practise and patience (something most realtors I know lack) to produce good photos, so maybe I'm not really putting my business at risk. 

What do you think? 

Would you, as a realtor, come to a lunch and learn about real estate photography? And, after this lesson, would you consider firing your current photographer and take the photos yourself?


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Bridget Cella
Re/Max Connection - Sewell, NJ
e-Pro, Realtor

Maybe you can offer them a tidbit and show them lots of pictures that you have taken as compared to ones that you pull off the internet.  I am sure that the photos that you will find that are bad have been shot by at least every agent at one point in their career. 

Let them know what actually goes into setting up the shot and the time that is involved, in comaprison to what you charge and then the time that it would be taking out of their schedule where they could be making money!

Get some referals from agents that do use

Oct 29, 2009 01:30 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

LOL Peter.  Who the heck are these REALTORS you know? :)  Holy cow (for lack of a better term)

I love photography and I loved it way before I was a REALTOR (and even when I used my very expensive, very old manual camera and spent thousands developing photos every week) .... it was a hobby I loved.

Now, I'm a REALTOR first.  I sell houses.  I'm not a photographer.  I don't want to learn how to be a photographer, and if and when I need great photographs to do justice to the home/listing, then I will hire you/a photographer. 

I know how to change a filter in a furnace, but I wouldn't take the furnace apart to clean it.  I hire someone to do that. 

You might think about a 'Photography for Beginners' Class, and open it up to everyone, INCLUDING agents. 

You can maybe approach different offices and do a short workshop internally, for anyone who will attend, but to sell your services, rather than to teach photography.  You can show them exactly what you can do to help with the expensive colour brochures we do all the time; and how much better your photos will look, etc., especially for the higher end homes.
Just a thought. :)


Oct 29, 2009 02:35 AM
Peter - Toronto Real Estate Photo & Video
StoneHome Photo & Video - Toronto, ON

I just left a long comment and for whatever reason it didn't post! :( 

I like the ideas Bridget and SYlvie, and I will definitely consider them. Thanks.

Janet: I will do. Maybe I could do one at your office. Do you think we could get 10-15 agents into one of your offices meeting rooms? Where exactly are you located?


By the way, I've thinking about doing free head shots on site, after the lunch and learn, for all the agents. The shots would then be posted online and the agents can view them and purchase. What do you think of this idea?

Oct 29, 2009 04:09 AM
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist

Peter, I would jump at a photography class!  I also hire a professional for properties over 2 million with expansive interiors.  To compete at that level you must pull out all the bells and whistles. But, spending that kind of money on every listing is not possible.  I do not think it would conflict with your regular business at all. Sylvie's idea of going to different offices to do workshops would be good.  Perhaps showing them a side by side of a horrible brochure or two (chosen carefully) beside on of yours? Most agents are tooo busy to be taking great pictures.  Maybe a few pics but not the editing . 

Nov 07, 2009 09:24 PM