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. New Deadline!! Posts must be published by 11:59 PM, June 11, 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 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 05/14/2017 01:00 PM
  2. Ginger Harper 05/28/2017 06:17 AM
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Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

so very cool I use the ipiccy photo app all the change the exposure, up the color, or crop out trash.

Jun 02, 2017 12:55 PM #122
Scott Gleason
RE/MAX Select - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

Great contest--this is the first I have entered is a long time.  Here is my before and after post

Jun 02, 2017 02:34 PM #123
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Here's my entry:  Pinterest tips before and after.

Jun 04, 2017 10:46 AM #124
1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Thanks for the challenge!  Posted this morning:  A Little Touch Up Can Make a Difference!  Photos!

Jun 06, 2017 10:19 AM #125
Karen Gray Plaisted
Design Solutions KGP~ Home Staging and Interior Decor - Warwick, NY
Staging Spaces, Renewing Places, NY

In real estate, this is such a big part of marketing! Thanks for the contest.

Here is my entry Composition of A Good Photo

Jun 07, 2017 02:59 AM #126
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS, Broker
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Ok Dick you got me again - huge difference in the photos.  Thanks so much for handling this contest and extending the deadline.  I still had some issues with pictures 'sticking' on the post so I used the old photo in the top feature slot and it worked! Yes!

Before And After - WOW!

Jun 07, 2017 03:07 PM #127
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Thank you for the contest Dick. Here is my entry:

Jun 08, 2017 06:32 AM #128
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818
Jun 08, 2017 01:17 PM #129
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This was fun; here's my entry. Thanks for hosting this contest!

Jun 09, 2017 01:29 PM #130
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you for extending the contest.  I had tried and failed to get mine entered in time thanks to the photo glitch and had given up until I saw your post highlighted on another member post!  

Here's mine "Photos by Cell Phone Before and After."


Jun 09, 2017 03:37 PM #131
Cristina Salcedo
REMAX Champions - Riverside, CA
Corona, Riverside Realtor

Hi, Dick here is my entry.  Thank you for extending the deadline.  I had a lot of fun learning to use the different editing programs.

Jun 10, 2017 01:51 AM #132
Abby Stiller
Premier Realty Homes of SWFL - Cape Coral, FL
Real Estate Agent Serving Southwest Florida

Hi Dick Greenberg  , here my entry:

Jun 10, 2017 11:12 AM #133
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Here's mine, Dick. Thank goodness for the extension. I still can't upload new photos on Firefox.

A Dubious Before and After


Jun 10, 2017 02:25 PM #134
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ
Jun 11, 2017 09:16 AM #135
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I thought a before and after for amateurs would be a useful addition. This is about communication and not about being a pro.

Jun 11, 2017 12:25 PM #136
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker


         Emergency Fix for a Poor Quality Listing Photograph.  Irfanview!


     Hi, Dick.  I believe that I am posting this entry on time.  Thanks for hosting a great contest!

Jun 11, 2017 03:25 PM #137
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the push Dick, nice to try our a bit of editing beyond an occasional crop.

here is my entry

Jun 11, 2017 08:02 PM #138
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Fantastic contest!  LOVED seeing everyone's entries and am so grateful for you pushing us all to give it our best shot, Dick!  

Thanks again.  Here's my entry:


Before & After - Not a Magical Transformation but, Definitely an Improvement! 

Jun 11, 2017 08:06 PM #139
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Well, I did it, Dick Greenberg - here's my entry....

Twilight Photo - Before and After

Jun 11, 2017 11:42 PM #140
Damon Botticelli
Silver State Realty & Investments - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate

Missed the deadline, but thought I'd share these before and afters anyway...

Jun 22, 2017 11:00 PM #141
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Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate
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