Pros vs. Joes V – NJ Real Estate Photographer

It’s been a busy few weeks here at S18 Photography, and I figured it was high time I put up another Pros vs. Joes post, especially given some of the recent experiences we’ve had with our real estate photography.  I’ll start off by saying that our approach to this is simple… we compare some of our photos to agent photos of properties we’ve photographed & the results pretty much speak for themselves.  We don’t dredge the internet for the worst-of-the-worst… these are typical shots you’ll see on the MLS.  The goal is not to ridicule anyone, but rather to illustrate a really simple point… In a world already inundated with imagery where almost all of real estate searches are online, it’s absolutely imperative to have photos that stand out.  As an agent & friend of ours once mentioned to me (I’m paraphrasing, of course)…

Even the dollar store spends money on professional product photography to market it’s goods.  So why wouldn’t you do the same for something as important as a home?”

L. McLean, BHHS Marlton-Voorhees, The McLean Team

For the record, these guys have been on a tear this year…

To kick things off, I’m going to start with a cautionary tale.  It’s bad enough when the dude who sits across the table from you promises to “market your home to it’s fullest potential all over the internet & with their huge sphere of influence… blah, blah, blah…” and then, once you sign the paperwork, they break out their smartphone to photograph your most expensive possession.  But it’s even worse when you get the agent who promises top-notch, “professional” photos, and then they hire the bargain dude from the office.  We get these calls all the time… “sorry, but the guy in the office says he’ll do it for $75.”  We’re more than happy to let agents use that “guy.”  They’re affectionately called “bottom-feeders” in the photography biz, and we almost always get a call to fix their mess.  Then there’s (in no particular order of course) the “tour mills,” the “friend-with-the-pretty-nice-camera,” and even this recent gem… the “full-time insurance agent who takes photos on the side.”

This fellow was the most recent guy who mutilated a really nice house down the road in Marlton, NJ.  The agent had used us a while back, but decided he wanted to try and “get a deal.”  He had a home photographed by a guy who sells insurance, but promised that he “took really good photos.”  They wound up coming out so bad that the owner demanded new photos within that week or he was going to fire the agent.  Not only did the agent wind up paying us full price, but he had also paid the insurance guy.  In the end, he wound up shelling out far more that he should have, and would have lost the listing if I couldn’t have fit his session in on short notice.  The agent has since vowed to never even consider using anyone else and apologized profusely.  Below is the ultra-radioactive shot from our insurance-pandering buddy, and our crisp exterior shot.


The insurance salesman’s (Joe’s) shot… sorta reminds me of the “rainbow road” in Mario Kart & almost got the agent fired.


S18 Photography’s Shot: Crisp, clean & well-composed shot… notice that our shot doesn’t have a tree right in front of the front door…

Now that I’m done shaming the bottom-feeding guy-with-the-nice-camera, it’s on to the meat and potatoes… the shots that actually save you money.  They allow you to save money from costly, ineffective advertising, and use it on something that’s worth every penny.  Before the rundown, I just wanted to share a quote from a new agent who has decided to use us for all of her listings from this point on (a very common thing… trust me, if you’re not considering professional photography, you’re being left behind.)

All I can say is WOW!! They look great, and thank you so very much….:) ”

L. Rossi, BHHS Haddonfield

She was really fun to work with, and we’re looking forward to many more successful sessions with her & her team!  Anyway… on to the photos, and my snarky commentary… 🙂  Oh, and one last thing… as you’re scrolling through, imagine you’re in the market to buy a home.  You’ve got a list of houses you found online right in front of you (some similar models), but you’ve gotta choose where to start.  Which houses are you going to visit…?


Joe’s shot: The not-so-grand, sweeping entrance…


S18 Photography’s Shot: Yeah, this house was awesome…


Joe’s Shot: I’m guessing he was going for “dark & dull…”


S18 Photography’s Shot: Same angle as Joe, but we sorta took a different approach, steering away from “dark & dull.”


Joe’s Shot: His only other shot of that sweet kitchen… dark, constricted, not sure what kind of angle he was going for here…


S18 Photography’s Shot: Boom! This house showed us the love!  Where’s Joe at?


Joe’s Shot: It looks like a dark cave lit by dingy oil lamps. Yellow, noisy photo…


S18 Photography’s Shot: The house was actually really nice, bright, and open. We showed this off in our shot.


Joe’s Shot: Joe seems to really like yellow & not sure why he chose this angle. Truth-be-told, he had two other kitchen shots… one of just the spice rack and one was so shaky it made me dizzy. Note to Joe: hold the camera steady, buddy…


S18 Photography’s Shot: Same kitchen, better view… not puke yellow…


Joe’s Shot: This angle just really doesn’t work & stuff just looks cramped.


S18 Photography’s Shot: This house was really big & needed some great shots…


Joe’s Shot: Small & dark… sorta surprised how dark this shot is, since you can see a distracting burst of Joe’s flash in the door’s window.


S18 Photography’s Shot: Crisp, clean, bright & open… enough said!

We pride ourselves in how hard we work for our clients, producing ultra-premium quality images without cutting corners.  We’re actual commercial photographers, not some “tour mill” that churns out low quality images.  Our images are shot using the highest quality equipment & the most advanced techniques, and we spend a great deal of time post-producing them so you get the best images possible.. the most bang-for-your-buck.

Connect with S18 Photography!

Need professional photos for your real estate listing?  (A.K.A. – Sell the house quicker for more money.)  Drop us a line!

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  • Gabriel Hernandez May 14, 2014  

    You guys are not only great photographers, you are also great writers!

    • Fred Glasser May 16, 2014  

      Thanks Gabriel! Appreciate the kind words! 🙂