Real Estate Photography Question and Answers – #6

QandALionel’s Question:
  I have an off-camera Nikon SB-600 which I fire with my Cactus 5 in the camera hot shoe. I want to add 3-4 more flashes. I was thinking of  Yongnuo-560 III’s. Do I need to mount a Yongnuo trigger for the 560′s on top of my Cactus 5 in the hot shoe or can I depend on the Yonguo-560′s to flash by optical sensor alone when the SB-600 flashes?

Answer: There are two ways to go to trigger your flashes:

Answer: LED panels may make sense for studio lighting but with real estate shooting the amount of gear you pack around is super important. When you need to shoot a home in 1.5 hours or less you must limit your gear. In my experience it seems impossible to improve on lighting a home with a few $75 manual flashes that are small, light and are powered by AA batteries. Real estate shooters that shoot brackets and process with Enfuse don’t even have to carry the light stands and flashes. So from the amount of gear perspective, LED light panels seem like they wouldn’t be a big help to real estate photography.

Ilya’s  Question:  I recently discovered that one of the real estate agents used my photos in her website design. The photos are of the listings she hired me to shoot, some are amenities photos. Those were sold to her for the purpose of marketing the listings, but now she has outfitted her website them, using photos in the header, sliders and on website pages as part of decor/design. I feel like that’s different type of use than what initially bought for. Should I ask to be compensated for extra use rights?

Answer: This situation is extremely common in real estate photography. Photographers mistakenly assume that agents understand photo licensing and know that the money they paid the photographer for the shoot was for the license to use those photos only for selling the home. In actual fact, 95% of agents think (unless told otherwise) that the money they paid the photographer makes the photos theirs to do anything they want forever.

To fix this problem you must have a photo licensing agreement included in your terms of service and either have them sign it each shoot or at least have them sign it once on your first shoot and have it apply to all their shoots you do for them.

So what do you do with this agent where you didn’t make sure your client understood you photo licensing terms? Half of the problem is yours for not explaining your terms and photo licensing up front. Only you can decide if this customer is important enough to let her keep the photos for her site without charging her more.

If it were me, I’d make a photo licensing agreement and explain to each customer going forward, including her and explain to her you are letting this incident pass because it was half your fault for not making your terms clear.

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