Photography for Real Estate

1 minute read

Isn’t the world of blogging great. There are now so many sites out there that I read all of the time and get RSS feeds from. Some of the bloggers on business2.com.au here have introduced me to some new ones and this is much appreciated.

One I came across today was www.photographyforrealestate.net and this has some wonderful advice for real estate agents. Let’s be honest. I think the big let down for many agents is copy and photography and this site should help you better understand photography – a must read for all of your photography team.

I do know more and more agencies hire professi0onal photographers, but for those that do not – this is a great resource.

Tell us if you liked this content.
Show CommentsClose Comments


  • proud to be aussie
    Posted October 13, 2007 at 2:07 pm 0Likes

    Since the subject of real estate photography has come up – may I ask members of this site how they feel about copyright of professional images? You see, I’m really concerned that professional shots I’ve taken – which are my copyright – are used by other agents without my permission and payment. Even worse still, they are stolen from the internet or the like. I’ve had a situation this week where an agent has blatently used my professional images in a profile advertisment and yet he hasn’t even asked me if he could use them. These images were commission by another competing agent and he shouldn’t even have them. I’ve checked with the paying agent – and they didn’t give a copy to the owner – which means the only way he got these images were stolen from the internet. I mostly feel sorry for the paying agent who also has rights to those images. You have to wonder why agents have such a bad reputation generally! Most agents I deal with are extremely professional and great people = yet this one agent gives the rest of you such a bad rap! Surely an agent knows he is stealing when taking images this way. I will be talking to his principal this week to ensure he is aware of his agent’s conduct.
    I have to say – this isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve spoken to a number of other photographers throughout the country, the story is the same for all of and we “aren’t happy Jann”! In any other photography profession – copyright is a granted – yet in real estate it a subject that seems to be hidden under the carpet.
    Please understand guys – we take real pride in what we do! We work hard to make sure the property looks it’s best in the photos so you can acheive the best price results at sale time. Agents place a lot of demands on us by wanting images yesterday – so we sit to early hours in the morning to get the photos out so newspaper deadlines are met. We don’t ask for a lot of money and yet a lot is gained by the agents from our work. Think about it – a property stands out on the internet, stands out in a newspaper and on brochures and signage. Surely it’s time photographers were appreciated for the effort they put in to assist you in this important part of real estate marketing. Yet front pages of glossy magazines – no mention of the photographer, editorials – no mention of the photographer.
    I’ve had my grip now – thank you for your time. I would love to hear your comments.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted October 13, 2007 at 5:19 pm 0Likes


    Ok, first off, the person who takes the photograph is the copyright owner unless another arrangement has been stipulated between the photographer and the client, so if you feel cheated then take the company or person to court!

    I have made it clear on using professional photographers in a past article. I think agents should ensure 100% owner ship from photographer.

    So if I understand the information above both you and your client have been cheated and if I was you I would take the matter further and request compensation for your work.

    I understand it happens in real estate, but for me it is simply theft and laziness!

  • Glenn
    Posted October 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm 0Likes

    Wow.. there are many things in play here.

    Assuming you did not give ownership of the photos to the agent (as stated by Peter) or the property owner, then the photos are your property and the previous agent has no right to pass on those photos to a new agent and you can charge the new agent. It seems you have condoned this transfer, and that is your first problem. Maybe you should add an item in your price list for “Use By Additional Party/Agent At least with it on the price nobody can claim they didnt know and you have a specific price set to invoice these agents who breach your copyright. Make it something like $30 to $50 for instance. Too many photographers try and charge a full fee and that is just not warranted, and nobody will pay that.

    Just because the photos are on the internet does not mean they can be used by another agents. As Peter has pointed out, that is plan and simple theft. By not asserting your rights you are impying their conduct is acceptable and no wonder they continue to do it.. Nobody is telling them not to. This I believe is your second problem. The original agent, or even the agent now using the photos does not have the authority to stop them from using the photos just as they do not have the authority no matter how much they might think they do, to approve another agnet to use the photos. You need to lodge complaints with the agent, and whoever is hosting the photo such as Domain and Realestate.com.au.

    Both of these portal companies will try and claim they cant do anything about it and will tell you to chase the agent up. That is complete rubbish. They are trying not to deal with the issue and put it back on you. If the photos have been identified as illegal they need to remove them immediatley no matter what they are. If they have been advised they are hosting illegal files, they have a responsibility and duty to remove those files. They know it, they just dont like acknowledging it. Insist.. and Insist again. Send them a bill and make them appear in the small claims court. Trust me, the magistrate will be on your side and proof they did nothing about it will justify your claim. They will not like that and they will not like the precedent so they will action it! If the agent is a member of the a real estate group then complain to them too.. You only need to do it a few times and your theft will reduce dramatically. Know your rights. Research them and protect them.

    I have had theft of photos, ad copy, web pages, articles, layout and design and even in one example a whole web site. In one case the agent still left the link to our suburb profile on our website intact in the ad. All of these I had successfully removed from the offender and in a couple of cases I have been compensated. One agent on the Gold Coast was stupid enough to send a 30 page pre-listing kit to one of our vendors that was a direct copy of ours. In all 30 pages only a page or so of text was changed. I got money for that and they had to stop using it.

    Unfortunately many agents do not understand intellectual property rights so you are best with a softly approach first. Try to be fair and explain your position. If you have a fair price for them to use the images, you might get them to pay it.. and become a customer as well. ie. a price that is good for you but is low enough for them not to go through the trouble of fighting it and getting replacement images.

    If you dont have any luck then elevate the issue higher. I have an email from an account representative from a major portal advising me that images on the internet are public domain are the ownership is not enforceable. I even asked if that was the companies official position and was told yes. Thankfully those higher in the company higher knew the law better than her and rectified my problem immediately. The other thing you should know is that when you ask/demand that your images be removed from the portal, also ask that they confirm that the images have not been transferred to any third parties. These portals have deals with third party companies (such as realestate.com.au feeds data and photos to rpdata) and they should remove them from there as well.

    Make sure you have notices/disclaimers with the images when you provide it to the original agents. Consider watermarking your photos. Watermarking can be done visually (which can be cropped or edited out) or it can be done digitally in the file itself.

    I very rarely get any problems now, because now know I will enforce our rights.

    As to you working hard and agents putting lots of demands on you.. get over it.. your getting paid for it.. You have the same problems that agents and anyone in business has. You are doing a job and receiving compensation for it. If you dont like the level of that compensation, then up your rates, get faster/better at what you do to fit more in a day or go and shoot weddings or something. Other agents stealing your images is your problem to defend not theirs.

    The other alternative is transfer the rights to the agents and then forget about the whole matter. The photos are then not yours to worry about who does what with them.

  • Peter
    Posted October 14, 2007 at 9:08 pm 0Likes

    Just want top say Glenn I give you so much credit for how much you actually care about the situation for this person that you would take so much time to place a well informed response . Thanks again!

  • Glenn
    Posted October 15, 2007 at 2:59 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Peter… Thank god I can type quick hey 🙂

  • Proud to be aussie
    Posted November 18, 2007 at 12:29 pm 0Likes

    Hi Glen and Peter

    Firstly, I would like to apologise for not responding sooner. I really appreciate your comments and feel it’s important you know that.

    Regarding your reply’s – all I can say is I am relieved to hear that I’m not going crazy and copyright is respected amoungst ethical agents. It’s a shame though that there are some agents who don’t feel the same way as you do. Even though most of the suggestions/proceedures made by you are already part of my business policy – ie copyright mentioned on pictures etc, I feel your comments will help other agents respect the part we have to play in the marketing proceedure.

    I would also like to comment on the “new look” of the site and say it’s great!

    Cheers for now.

  • Noel
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm 0Likes

    I was told by an agent in the past hour that the photos I might take for them would be commissioned by the Vendor and as such the vendor owns the Copyright and Intellectual property of the image, and that I would not be allowed to use those images in my promotions. This is for QLD, Australia, and I was invited in by the agent to quote for work. Looks like I have baked beans again tonight.

  • gelfrich
    Posted February 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm 0Likes

    Get them at Aldi, less than $1 a can.

Leave a Reply