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Thread: New Venture

  1. #1
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    New Venture

    Hi all!! I have been offered an opportunity, and thought I could ask my peers some advice. A friend, who is a real estate agent (mostly commercial, but some new residential development) has asked me to come along with him to take photos of some of his listings.

    He wants me to create short photo slide shows of the houses/units, some with a voice over, some without so that he can add them onto his Internet listings.

    Each video would consist of between 15-25 shots, the ones without voice over would be accompanied by some music or something in the background, and last about 20 seconds or so. The firm he has been dealing with, charges between $150CAD, and $250CAD depending on various factors involved.

    My initial reaction was, "great, what a cool way to make some extra $$, with little pressure - it's not like it's a wedding or can't be re-shot". But, I've become leary with my age. Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice I should be wary of?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    So you are worry about this someone ripping you off? and not paying you. In any case even if he is my best friend I would want a legally binding contract, business is business if he will do that then sure I would take him up on it.

  3. #3
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Shoot 15 to 25 images, comprehensive cover of House inside and outside, on site w/minimum Flash Set Up = 2 hours (including travel).
    Edit & Post Production including Slide Show and v/over = 2, maybe 3 hours

    Total (for the sake of discussion) = 5 hours
    Hourly Rate GROSS = $30 to $50.

    Considerations:

    Method of Payment - ? ? ? Invoice and 30Days – COD - ???

    Outgoings: (including Tax) ? ? ? So what’s your expected NET Income from the job?

    Reshoot & Shoot Times & Time Allocation: – NO - he wants you to tag along with him – it is his timeframe, not yours – it’s likely that you CANNOT be onsite without him.

    Expected Turnaround Time: – what else do you do? - are you a full time Photographer – he lists a property he wants the video when? ASAP, I’d expect?

    ***

    The answer to this question:
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    . . . My initial reaction was, "great, what a cool way to make some extra $$, with little pressure - it's not like it's a wedding or can't be re-shot".
    will be found in your expectation of the NET remuneration - including after taking out all Taxes for which you might be responsible – and then comparing that rate per hour with the worth of your time – especially if you have to be “At Call” for his shooting & availability times.

    WW

  4. #4
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Paul, thanks for the warning. I hadn't really thought about that, but you make a good point. He is a friend, and I thought of just treating it like a business arrangement, where when a service is provided, an invoice is tendered, and payment is expected. But something to think about for sure, so thank you.

    Bill, thanks for the great reply. $250 turns into almost nothing as soon as you put it on paper, huh? Especially if you know anything about Canadian taxes!!

    I am fairly lucky in that I own my own business, and so taking a few hours here, or there to meet him at a whim us 'usually' not a huge deal. Same with editing, can be done in my office when I'm not busy, or would have to be done at home in the evenings. I will ask about turn around expected, but I would think that within 48 hours would be acceptable. I'll let you know.

    Many things to consider - I appreciate your time to reply and give me a few things to watch for/consider!

  5. #5
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    PS - by the way Bill, did you know that if you Google search 'Sraylya', the first link that comes up is to a thread on this site from about a year ago, where you and Colin lightly dance around the question of where Sraylya really is?? Not a very interesting thread, but I did get a chuckle out of reading the posts!

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    . . .did you know that if you Google search 'Sraylya', . . . the first link that comes up . . .
    I just googled.
    All the links appear to be referencing where I live.
    There is a word for that - when Google only shows ‘one’ hit for a search word - and I cannot for the life of me remember what it is -
    I am very proud to have a location which is unique, (for the Google engine).
    Thanks for that info!

    WW

  7. #7
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Ha! No problem at all

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    Re: New Venture

    Andrew I do take real estate photographs - probably about 2 or 3 properties a week. Technically it is not difficult. I use a Sigma 15-30mm lens on a DX body and it is just wide enough. The only other thing required is a master flash and a couple of slave flashes although often a single flash is sufficient. I use Lightroom for just about all PP but sometime have to use photoshop to add a sky, stitch or HDR etc. Generally the only time I use a tripod is at dusk or night.

    Real estate sales people seem to think they should get you take the photographs on a bright sunny day but unless there is a great view to be shot an overcast or cloudy day provides better lighting by avoiding strong shadows and making it easier to balance the lighting for interior shots that include large window areas to a gardens etc. On a bright day I often find myself waiting for a cloud to drift across. There are some properties I need to revisit due to unsatisfactory lighting at the time of the first visit or wanting to get some dusk shots from the outside with the warm interior lighting all on. May need to adjust colour balance a bit but not usually a big problem.

    You will get reasonably quick at editing and making perspective corrections. Learn not to take a photograph of yourself in a mirror, avoid taking to many photographs of your car in the driveway and watch for flash reflections from glass etc.

    Pay - I do it for nothing but that is because my wife owns the agency. I am friends with a photographer who makes a reasonable living at it. He has a long pole and can take elevated shots so we sometimes use him - he likes to be paid but the vendor does that. Before my friend started doing it he asked me about going into full time photography and I told him it would destroy photography for him as a hobby. He recently confessed he is now far less likely to go out and take photographs for the fun of it.

    P.S. If the property does not sell it is always because of the photography never because it is over priced by about 40%.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 7th November 2012 at 03:30 AM. Reason: missing word

  9. #9
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Good technical advice Paul. Thanks for that, I have been doing a little online searching, and you've pretty much summed up what I've been reading. I've got a 15-85 that I thought would be perfect for the job, and several flashes as well (well, only one if my wife asks).

    Thanks for the tips on things to watch for as well. I'm going to take a look at a new development on Friday, this one happens to be a residential sale, so I'll let you know how I make out!

  10. #10

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    Re: New Venture

    Hi Andrew,

    An opportunity should not be wasted. Go for it.

    With property developers I have learned one thing - PAYMENT UPFRONT. That is the only way.

  11. #11
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Thanks Andre - that's what I was thinking also. I spoke with them this morning, and of course, he needs to be invoiced, which is what William had suggested. I have a bookkeeping software available to me, from my other business, but will need to set up a taxable company with the government to keep it separate from my current one. Still it sounds like something I will pursue, but more things to worry about than I originally expected.

  12. #12
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    Re: New Venture

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Hi all!! I have been offered an opportunity, and thought I could ask my peers some advice. A friend, who is a real estate agent (mostly commercial, but some new residential development) has asked me to come along with him to take photos of some of his listings.

    He wants me to create short photo slide shows of the houses/units, some with a voice over, some without so that he can add them onto his Internet listings.

    Each video would consist of between 15-25 shots, the ones without voice over would be accompanied by some music or something in the background, and last about 20 seconds or so. The firm he has been dealing with, charges between $150CAD, and $250CAD depending on various factors involved.

    My initial reaction was, "great, what a cool way to make some extra $$, with little pressure - it's not like it's a wedding or can't be re-shot". But, I've become leary with my age. Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice I should be wary of?

    Thanks for your time!
    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, Andrew!

    And got some extra gear from the revenue too.

    If you're visiting the site with your client/friend then that will help - you'll get what he wants in the can. Otherwise you may end up not meeting your client's expectations and/or your client not being able to make up their mind about what they want.

    You have three ways of shooting interiors - single ambient images, bracketed HDR and single flash/ambient images with speedlights off camera

    Strobes will give you the best results, but you'll need a few speedlights so it's probably best to go for HDR. This will avoid blown highlights and blend interior light levels with view outside through windows.

    Best to shoot in RAW for WB, as you may come across some strange exterior tints if you're adjusting for your interior lighting. Best to use Exposure Fusion as a more realistic form of HDR in something like Photomatix Pro for your blends too.

    Tripod's best for HDR obviously.

    Don't forget the details. Shoot details, lots of them. Internal, external, everything.

    Shoot wide to accentuate the size of the room (a.k.a. become a liar!). If you are shooting wide, make sure the sides are clear of clutter which will be distorted (as in pulled out of shape)

    Verticals should be vertical, obviously.

    There's a couple of thoughts to kick off with!

  13. #13
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: New Venture

    Thanks Phil, some good advice - this venue has already been listed, and it's not an occupied unit, it's a new development, and so the pressure for this first trial one is very low. More of a 'tester' for me. I have 4 Speedlites, and so was going to go that route as opposed to HDR, but the HDR may be easier all around than carrying, setting up multiple flashes. Maybe I'll try both, just to give it a whirl.

    Thanks for the tidbits - and the info on the 360 VT site was handy too. I'll let you know how I make out!

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