One of the most neglected aspects of a property listing is the team member photo. I do not know how many times i just look at a photo and think to myself ‘this guy looks like a creep’. If they are not holed up against a wall with a shadow with an off centred tie then they are an extreme close up photo and it is painful to look at.
Agents have to understand that in many cases this is your first impression with a potential client. So why not make it a good one?
You have a number of choices for a photo shoot, you can either do it yourself, or hire a professional.
I have said in the past that owning a digital camera does not automatically make you a photographer and if you can afford to hire a professional do so. If you are going to do it yourself, spend some time playing with the camera and go onto the many websites that can help you to become a better photographer.
Hiring a professional
If you ever hire a professional let them know (in writing) that we are in the 21st century and that once you pay for the photos, you own them. Otherwise, you may get some nasty surprise as Intellectual Property by natural law falls back to what they call the ‘artist’ and that isn’t you! So get the contract in writing or hire a student studying photography from the local college.
Do it yourself
It is not hard, but think creatively. My favourite agent photo of all time is a McGrath agent named Bethwyn Richards. I love everything about this picture. The natural blue hues in the background and her completely natural way. I like Bethwyn already and isn’t this the point?
In fact McGrath.com.au are the yardstick when it comes to photography of team members. Yes, it sometimes looks like they belong to a modeling agency and some guys on that website look like they spend more time on their hair than Ivana Trump, however, you have to admit, they do look good!
So, you can take photos like this yourself and as you can see McGrath use the same photo cropped for their portrait shot as they do the landscape shot.
Here are some standard sizes to work with: Landscape (250w x 125h pixels) and Portrait (100w x 125h pixels ).
It also makes sense to look at how the photographer took the photos and learn a couple of simple rules from them.
Rule 1: The left – right rule is a simple one, never place your subject in the centre of the photo, artistically it is boring. Either place them to the left or right of the image and let the background become part of the image.
Rule 2: The background rule is another simple but artistically effective rule, mix up your background, as you can see from the top image we have the angle of the hill mixed with the blues and greens of the trees with some yachts thrown in for good measure. The lower office photo mixes in glass with some splashes of color with the chairs.
Rule 3: The chest rule just gives all of your photos consistency so that they all look good on one page.
Rule 4: Distance is another rule that allows for all of your team members to look the same and the team page to look consistent. These photos above are a perfect distance.
Rule 5: The natural smile rule does take some time and possibly many photos, remember the subject must be comfortable.
Do not assume the person must smile with their teeth as some people are very sensitive about their smiles. So just take a number of photos and the choose the most natural one out of the batch.
There are some other things to follow and I cannot stress just how important it is to get to know your camera and digital photography.
Here is some software to use with photography