Pictures are the #1 marketing tool for selling listings (although in the future I expect videos to supplant pictures). The trend is clear, all buyers start their search for a new home online. The most important factor for buyers when they are considering which of the listings they view online to see in person is the photos. Great photos get more showings. More showings mean more offers. More offers mean a higher sales price. When I am determining a marketing budget for a listing I never scrimp on the photographs.
Real Estate Photography is more about getting the job done than making art. Photos are used to sell listings. Most agents want the photo shoot scheduled within a few days of signing a new listing, and when a photographer comes to shoot, they want it done in 1-2 hours (real estate agents are notorious for being impatient). Top Real Estate Photographers do 2 – 3 shoots a day, 5 to 6 days a week (unless you are Jeffrey Ong, then you shoot 3x a day/7 days a week). Prices for a photo shoots range from $200-$600, and you can add a website for an extra $150. The photographer will take 20 to 30 photos on average or up to 50 for estates, and then edit them. I hope for a 1-2 day turnaround on the delivery of pictures once they are taken.
Clients: Altman Brothers, Joe Babijian, lots of Rodeo Realty
Client: Jason Oppenheim
Description: Alex Zarour is an Entrepreneur. In the past, he owned his own insurance company but wasn’t happy doing that. He wanted to be creative. So he sold that business and bought a camera in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Alex is a young buck, and does very professional work. His Twilight Shots are some of the best. He is definitely one of my top Los Angeles real estate photographers.
Description: I have shot with Adam a few times, he is just awesome. He lives in Beverly Glen or Benedict Canyon in a cool modern house (which he has shot from every angle) this is where he goes to relax, because he is shooting 24/7. I was shooting a house with a tenant and the tenant was very upset, Adam was very professional and handled the situation calmly. He has a tri-pod technique where he raises it above his head to get a pseudo drone shot. For one shoot, Adam climbed up on the counter tops of the kitchen to get a tight angle( it was a condo). He has a really good eye for angles.
Description: I love Rani Sikolski! Rani is Israeli. He is the most friendly and bubbly person, it's hard not to get along with him! Skyphotography are the best/most ballsy drone photographers/pilots in Los Angeles handsdown/period. In addition to photos, they do great videos as well. Everybody around town uses them for at least something. Great company to have in your real estate rolladex.
Description: Val returned to Palm Springs a few years ago. He can be persuaded to come to LA for a shoot. Val doesn't advertise much, most of his business is word of mouth referrals. I have found Val to be professional and fast (1hr our less). He will try to time the shoot for when the curb shot has the best light, and when there are no cars on the street. He shoots with very little equipment, just a tripod and a flash- which is why he is speedy. I have worked with Val on several occasions and found his prices competitive and his services reliable.
Description: Greg lives in Agoura Hills, so he loves to shoot in Malibu and Topanga Canyon areas (he use to surf but he mainly just hikes with the dog nowadays), but he shoots everywhere, he is a very early riser, he has shot houses as far away as Palm Springs and San Juan Capistrano! Greg reminds me of a Real Estate Photography "Sherpa". Greg is Frugal and fast, shoots last about an hour, he usually ends up taking more pictures then you pay for because he want's to provide outstanding value to his clients. His prices are very reasonable, some of the best you can find. Greg keeps busy, shooting on average 3 homes a day 5 days a week, and half days on Sats and Suns. Greg has done some shooting for Homes and Land Magazine in the past and has been a professional photographer for 10 years. Before that he worked 20 years at big Movie Studios within their advertising department, so he has about 20 years plus working with photoshop. He shoots drone, twilight too. Greg's style is wide angle, and he is great with photoshop editing, he doesn't like close-ups, and he doesn't spend a lot of time fussing about setting up the shots. He shoots with the lights on.
Clients: Courtney + Kurt, Rob Kallick, Urban Hillside RE, Tracy Do
Description: Charmaine is #1 Photographer on the Eastside, she lives DT. Her websites and photos a great. She has expanded in recent years and has added another photographer- David Jo. Probably the best Bungalow photographer in the whole city, but she shoots everything. Her interiors are stark white which is the taste on the eastside and she is not afraid to shoot vertical shots which I like also.
Description: Started in 2017 in Austin Texas and expanded to several other states. They currently have 2 photographers in LA.
Description: HSH has been around for about 7 seven years. It was started by Pablo, and they now have three photographers. HSH does video, drone, and photos. They sell in packages- the standard package is $350 and the luxury package is $800. They shoot M-F and Saturday, but no Sundays.
Description: Todd has been a photographer for 30 years and has a background in advertising. He has shot a lot for magazines. He started shooting real estate about 10 years ago and is very busy now, he has a 1-2 week backlog.
Description: Dan has been a photographer for 30 plus years, he shoots commercial products and real estate. He shoots with Todd for LA light photo, they have have been friends since college. Dan has a SUV trunk full of equipment and he shoots with an assistant. He is methodical when shooting and really takes his time setting up shots and getting rooms from multiple angles.
Description: Cameron Carothers is an architectural photographer. He shoots a lot for magazines and commercial real estate companies. He has a very organic style.
Description: Marc and Tiffany are a husband and wife team. They were both born and raised in Seattle and moved to LA about 15 years ago. With the last name Angeles, maybe living in LA for them was predestined to be! Marc worked for several years at Hilton and Hyland as their marketing director. About 8 years ago, Marc got tired of working a desk job, and started shooting photos for real estate. Marc and Tiffany work together, if one is shooting, then the other one is editing the photos. Their style is wide angle shots to make spaces feel bright and open feeling. They shoot pretty quick just an hour. In addition to real estate Tiffany shoots kids and Weddings. Cost of photos start at $350
Description: Roy has been a professional Photographer since 2006. Before that, he used his camera to shoot products to sell on Ebay- for a while, he was dealing in buying and selling Belt buckles. From 2006-2012 Roy shot people. He shot a lot of celebrities and red carpet events. In 2012 he switched to real estate. For pricing, Roy charges 12 cents/sqft and you get about 1 picture per 100/sqft. He can throw in a few extra pictures depending on what you need. Roy is based out of Hollywood and shoots anywhere in LA.
Clients: David Offer, Kurt Rappaport, Carl Gambinio, Ernie Carswell (Former)
Description: Lee has been a photographer for 20 years, which means he use to shoot with film! Before he picked up a camera he was a recording engineer and producer in the music industry (He’s got some interesting music stories! He has produced film music, rock and roll, reggae and pop). Lee’s wife worked in the ads department for the LA TIMES and Lee kind of stumbled into Photography because his wife needed photos for her ads. He was a staff photographer for many years at dream homes magazine. Lee is a stickler about no camera tilting which distorts pictures. He likes straight lines, and to shoot rooms wide to make them look larger. He also believes in not over processing pictures in post, which can make photos seem a little cartooney. Lee currently lives in Ventura with his family and shoots on the Westside + Valley.
Description: Darwin is actually an amazing street photographer. He is a sole practitioner, and sometimes his dad helps him out on shoots. He is very passionate about photography and has his own style – which is very close up, dark, and heavy.
Description: In a prior life, Pierre was a real estate agent. He was frustrated by the poor quality of real estate pictures and decided to switch to photography. He is a photographer who thinks like an agent. His style is all about natural light, he hates artificial light, so when he shoots he turns off all the lights- which might seem weird, but it gives him more control over the light. This gives his photos a very light and authentic quality. Pierre is obsessed with shooting tight and straight shots. He shoots angles, but his favorite photos are straight on shots. He doesn’t believe in shooting a hundred pictures of a property from every angle. He likes a little mystery. For him, he wants fewer shots, but all the shots to be really great. He uses a view finder to line up his shots, I’ve never seen a photographer so good at framing shots.
Description: Keith shoots Tons in the Valley. He is really great with Color.
Description: One of the original pro real estate photographers in LA along with Planomatic. Jeff has shot over 11,000 properties and still counting! He doesn’t take new clients anymore because his existing clients keep him very busy. But it never hurts to try and see if you can book him. He has set the standard for professional photos in Los Angeles. In addition, he has kept up with new technology, like drone photos and 3D modeling.
Clients: Jonathan Sands, Sally Forester Jones, Jordan Cohen
Description: Joe is a second generation photographer who has been shooting since he was a kid. Joe grew up in Philadelphia and his father was a street photographer. They built a darkroom together in their family home’s basement to process photos. Joe went on to college and studied photography at The Brooks Institute of Photography at Santa Barbara. Joe is currently based out of Eagle Rock and shoots both residential real estate and commercial work. In his advertising work, he has worked for fortune 500 companies. Starting cost for shoot $350
Description: Jeff shoots a ton of high-end homes- 5M plus.
Clients: Peter Lorimer, Alla Furman, Santiago Arana
Clients: Aaron Kirman
Chris shoots a lot for PLG, The Agency, and Hilton and Hyland. Chris has been a photographer for 15 years. He use to work in Retail at a high-end boutique on Sunset Plaza called Club Monico (now Westtime), and he would always carry his camera around. One of his friends, who noticed his affinity for photography, suggested he become a photographer. For the first 10 years or so Chris was shooting a lot for Film Location Companies. He would do as many as 3 shoots a day, all over the city. Chris estimates he has shot upwards of 5,000 homes in last 10 years. Nowadays, Chris focuses on real estate photography and interiors. Chris has an assistant if he needs help with a shoot, for smaller shoots he sends the pictures out for editing and for big jobs he does the editing himself. He has really great twilights. For Peter Lorimer, he shoots a lot of Vignettes.
Juwan has been shooting full time for Real Estate for about 2 years. He started out shooting cars 8 years ago and his love of photography developed from there. Juwan gets a lot of referrals from Matthew Momberger but he is getting really busy now with his own business because he is very talented. Juwan takes a fine art approach to real estate- he uses the law of 1/3rd for composition, and his style has a distinct sharpness. He likes to contrast the colors. He is also good in post.
Description: Rancho is a San Diego company that has expanded to LA. I have seen a lot of valley agent’s use them- for the price they provide astounding quality. I expect to see more of this company around LA in future. It can be annoying to schedule because you have to do it online on their website. They only work M-F sorry no weekends.
Description: New to LA region as of 2019. They started out in Florida and are expanding. They do Photos, Drone, and Video.
High-End Los Angeles Real Estate Photographers
The amount you can spend on photographs depends on the commission. For high end properties that are $5M+ there is a lot more elbow room to spend money to market. With these properties, you can hire multi-day photoshoots to catch every room of these sprawling mansions or estates at the golden hour, rent exotic or vintage cars to park in driveways, or models to pose by the pool. Hiring the city’s top photographer’s to come in and capture the perfect magazine cover shot is not cheap. Prices for High End photo shoots start from $1,500 and up.
Description: Everett Frenton Gidley has been an architectural photographer in Los Angeles for X years. He has shot many of the most important architectural homes in the city, including some commercial buildings. There is no Los Angeles real estate photographer in town with more experience.
Description: Michael McNamara is a very prolific photographer. He started his business as a high end photographer, but in recent years created a new brand: www.shootingla.com that focuses more on the middle of the market.