Tag Archives: freelance commercial photography

Freelance property photography in Cumbria

As part of our award-winning freelance photography services, G75 Images has always been willing to go the extra mile – sometimes quite literally. Immediately south of the England-Scotland border, the county of Cumbria is home to some of Britain’s most exquisite scenery, courtesy of the Lake District. It’s also liberally populated with affluent villages and bucolic market towns, whose housing stock is enduringly desirable. And at Cumbria’s heart is the city of Carlisle, where people arriving by train are greeted by two cylindrical citadels constructed by Henry VIII, flanked by a curving quarter-circle of Georgian shops and flats.

Cameras, Cumbria, confirmed

Given the beauty of these urban and rural environments, it’s unsurprising that G75 Images has increasingly been accepting commissions to undertake freelance property photography in Cumbria. As of August 2021, we have now established a permanent base for freelance property photography in Carlisle, enabling us to visit residential, industrial and commercial premises for sale in Cumbria. And while many of the skills learned during our ten years photographing residential and commercial property in Scotland also apply south of the Border, there are some unique aspects of property photography in Cumbria which require particular attention.

Firstly, the historic nature of many buildings in this corner of north-west England means they stand directly on the road, requiring clever framing to ensure external shots don’t look as if they’re falling backwards. That’s a common side-effect of angling the camera upwards to capture a building’s full height. The age of these buildings can also lead to uneven rooflines or aesthetic issues, such as being unable to render or paint cracked exterior walls. While property marketing rules prevent the concealment of defects, effective framing can do a great deal to mitigate and minimise the effects of cumulative wear and tear on historic buildings. These are challenges G75 Images meets whenever we undertake property photography in Cumbria.

Affordable property photography in Cumbria

Of course, not every property in this region has a rich history or an on-street frontage. Whether you’re looking to market office space or open land, a family home or furnished holiday accommodation, G75 Images can deliver award-winning property photography in Cumbria at prices starting from just £150. We are happy to work with estate agents in Carlisle and other Cumbrian towns on a freelance or white label basis, and we offer repeat custom discounts to estate and letting agents.

Contact G75 Images for a fixed-price quote, or view our Residential and Commercial pages to see examples of our freelance property photography services. Accept nothing less than the best freelance property photography in Cumbria.

Essential professional property photography equipment

There is a common misapprehension that photographing a property is easy. Turn on the lights, tidy up, take a picture with whatever camera you happen to have at your disposal, and upload the results onto the internet. It’s a philosophy espoused by budget estate agents and one-person property firms, where selling is usually prioritised over marketing.

The sad reality is that an iPad or iPhone is not going to represent any building to best effect, or allow prospective purchasers and tenants to make an informed decision about its accommodation. The reasons why a smartphone doesn’t quality as appropriate property photography equipment would fill far more space than this blog can provide, but a few examples include:

  1. The basic nature of most smartphone or tablet flashes doesn’t illuminate the whole picture evenly, flooding some areas while leaving others looking dull.
  2. Camera lenses are rarely wide-angle, meaning they miss large percentages of each room. Even wide-angle phone lenses tend to distort around the edges.
  3. Focus is almost always automatic, meaning the camera decides which parts of a shot to have in focus and which to ignore. In reality, every part should be equally clear.
  4. Small, lightweight phones and tablets aren’t compatible with accessories like sunshades or filters, which may be required for glare-free outdoor photography.
  5. It’s hard to mount a mobile device on a tripod or monopod, which professional photographers use to ensure shots are properly framed with straight verticals.

If you vis the Before and After page of the G75 Images website, you’ll instantly see the difference between an image taken with high-calibre property photography equipment, and one taken using a basic camera lens. For the last ten years, we’ve been providing clients throughout Scotland and England with freelance property photography services, enabling them to market residential, commercial and industrial buildings to optimal effect.

• Our roster of property photography equipment includes Canon DSLR cameras, with wide-angle and telephoto lenses – the former for internal shots and the latter for views and details. Having formerly used Nikon cameras, we now find Canon images are sharper.
• We use a master flash gun mounted to the camera body, and a slave gun which can be positioned anywhere within infra-red radius. When the shutter button is depressed, both flashes fire simultaneously, casting equal amounts of light into every corner.
• A tripod has a dedicated space in the car boot, though seventeen years of freehand experience means it’s rarely needed. A trained eye can usually ensure verticals are perfectly straight at the first time of asking.
• Even if a shot does need peripheral clutter cropping out, or slight post-production adjustments to its brightness, we use advanced photo editing tools to ensure every image looks its best before it’s provided to the client.

If this sounds like the calibre of property photography you’d like to see in your next property listing, contact us for more information on our services and costs. We have the expertise, the confidence and the property photography equipment to ensure every listing looks its best, doing full justice to the building in question and maximising its appeal.

Why cheap property photography could cost you dear

During the last decade, estate agency was unwittingly engaged in a race to the bottom. The advent of online estate agents led to industry-wide cost-cutting, driving many established brands out of business. From traditional solicitors property centres to online-only brands, numerous selling agents have folded in response to the proliferation of cut-price property marketing services.

If you’ve ever handed over thousands of pounds to an inept or indifferent estate agency, you might regard this as belated justice. However, prioritising cost over everything else has led to a marked drop in the quality of service some customers receive. And this is particularly evident in the cheap property photography appearing on property portals across Britain. As the most visual element of real estate marketing, property photography is uniquely susceptible to any loss of professionalism incurred by cost-cutting. And the start of a new decade makes this the perfect time to weigh up whether cheap property photography will do you more harm than good in the long run…

Taste the difference

On the Before and After page of this website, we’ve highlighted instances where G75 Images was asked to replace cheap property photography with high-calibre imagery. In every case, the selling agent was attempting to cut corners by (a) delegating photography to a valuer rather than a qualified professional, and (b) using basic equipment like pocket-sized cameras or tablets.

The first point reflects the jack-of-all-trades approach used by many budget estate agents and property marketing brands – saving money by asking one person to undertake several specialist roles. The second point provides another example of the perils of cheap property photography. Smartphone/tablet cameras lack the wide-angle lenses and flash guns required to make any room look its best. You might just about get away with it when taking external shots from twenty feet away, but internal images will suffer markedly.

Cheap property photography comes at a price

Our recent “How to recognise professional property photography” [How to recognise professional property photography] blog listed the specialist equipment G75 Images uses. Although our fees for professional property photography services start at just £100, we could never be accused of supplying cheap property photography to our clients. And since photographs are often the main aspect of a property listing people look at online, cutting corners is invariably counter-productive.

People browsing through online listings won’t care that a particular vendor saved a hundred pounds by accepting cheap property photography, rather than commissioning a freelance property photographer. They’ll simply decide the seller’s home looks cramped, dark and uninspiring, and move onto the next listing. Good news for selling agents who recognise the benefits of professional property photography – but bad news for anyone trying to sell their home on a budget. It’s impossible to say how many viewings and offers this might ultimately cost, but any loss of interest would be worth more than the money saved in the first place…

In conclusion, cheap property photography is never worth the cost. To upgrade your current property profile, or to ensure property marketing materials always look their best, get in touch with G75 Images for professional property photography in Scotland.

A strange decade in the freelance property photography sector

The end of a decade always inspires reflective editorials and articles about how much has changed over the last ten years. However, for G75 Images, the conclusion of the current decade is a cause for celebration rather than nostalgia. Our dedicated freelance property photography agency was launched early in 2010, as the property market struggled against a sluggish economy in uncertain political times. The more things change…

Business has been steady ever since we started accepting freelance property photography assignments from private individuals and estate agents in central Scotland. Yet as we look back on this decade, we’ve seen some fairly remarkable things. We’ve visited million-pound mansions with basement home cinemas and swimming pools. We’ve found ourselves standing in penthouse flats with spectacular city and coastal views. And at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve photographed a wooden Airbnb caravan on Skye, and student halls of residence in a converted Paisley office block.

Commercial breaks

While residential properties tend to be fairly conventional, G75 Images also undertakes commercial property photography throughout Scotland. These assignments are often fascinating, and occasionally bizarre; we once photographed the opening of a refurbished petrol station, with the ribbon cut by an elderly local resident who didn’t drive. Capturing images of an office complex inside an MoD base involved three separate security checks before we were allowed to set to work. And photographing a wedding shop in North Lanarkshire involved working around camera-shy brides-to-be in the fitting rooms…

Of course, strange photography assignments aren’t unique to this decade. In the Noughties, G75 Images’ founder Neil Cumins was asked to photograph a recently-cleared traveller site, and the evidence of a ram-raid on a corner shop. And sometimes it’s not the properties themselves that throw up challenges. How many people in any industry have been asked to grind wasps into someone’s carpet as a way of tackling an infestation, or been prevented from leaving a property until they ate a tomato sandwich? Still, nothing could be worse than having to photograph a recently-repossessed crack den in Kilmarnock, complete with soiled bedding and bloodstains…

Needless to say, the latter property’s selling agent is no longer a client of G75 Images. However, if you’d like to benefit from our freelance property photography services in 2020, give us a call. We’d be delighted to hear from you – providing your properties don’t contain a wasp’s nest or brown sheets…

How to recognise professional property photography

If you’re not a professional photographer, it’s often difficult to tell whether an image is good, bad or somewhere in between. Technical attributes like white balancing and ISO settings mean nothing to most people, while framing techniques such as the rule of thirds aren’t widely understood, either. Instead, most people make a subconscious decision about whether they like a particular shot based on factors like colour and clarity.

As a result, a company looking to refresh its website or produce new marketing materials might end up using photographs which don’t do its products and services any justice. Estate agents and letting agencies are notorious for this. A valuer who’s had one morning’s training on photographic techniques isn’t going to make a small shower room look impressive, especially if they’re only armed with an iPad. It’s tempting to think smartphones and tablets are capable of anything, but their images pale in comparison with professional property photography equipment.

When only professional property photography will do

As a specialist property and architectural photography agency, G75 Images uses property photography equipment which has been carefully chosen to maximise the sense of space and light in any residential or commercial building:

  1. Flash guns disperse huge volumes of light evenly across ceilings, ensuring every corner of an apartment is consistently illuminated.
  2. Wide angle lenses provide a view more representative of the human eye than the snapshots generated by a pocket camera or smartphone lens.
  3. Tripods provide stability in situations where handheld shots aren’t ideal, such as sunny north-facing scenes where a photographer’s shadow would be difficult to airbrush out
  4. Post-production software is used to remove imperfections, such as a piece of litter caught in a tree’s branches or the reflection of passing traffic in a mirror.

However, professional photography also involves framing the shot correctly in first instance. Truly great photography is about what you don’t see, as well as what you do. This can involve taking room shots from specific angles to hide cluttered display units, or angling the blinds to obscure utility vans parked outside.

Professional photography done properly

When G75 Images undertakes professional property photography for residential or commercial property clients, we’re very fussy about certain aspects of each image. Vertical lines have to be completely vertical, to give images a clean and crisp appearance. Colours must be accurately represented, so a bright wall doesn’t end up looking washed out or overly vibrant. You won’t see a reflection of the photographer in any of our shots – a common mistake made by less competent property photographers in confined spaces like en-suites. These issues have been plaguing the industry for decades, as our recent blog explained.

Whether you look through the residential, architectural or hotel and travel galleries on this website, you’ll notice how carefully each image has been framed. Professional photography makes even modest or tired accommodation look its best, while high-end homes and commercial premises appear compelling from every angle. That’s why companies across the UK rely on G75 Images to photograph everything from bedsits and B&Bs to office complexes and construction sites.

Is the decline of online estate agents a bad thing?

The internet has transformed many aspects of our lives, and it’s certainly had a dramatic effect on the UK’s residential property market. The traditional model of local agents with For Sale cards in their windows has been overshadowed by a new breed of online estate agents. These budget focused firms promise lower prices despite high profile advertising campaigns.

As we approach the end of the current decade, there are strong signs that sellers are turning their backs on the impersonal service and variable quality of internet only agents. The recent announcement by Purplebricks that they’ve made “execution errors” in an “increasingly challenging” market represents a watershed for the whole sector. Having rapidly expanded from the UK to markets as diverse (and legally distinct) as Australia, California and Germany, Purplebricks has discovered to its cost that homeowners expect a quality service. They don’t just want a low-cost one.

Going offline

Purplebricks isn’t alone in its struggles. In recent years, several high profile online estate agents have failed, including Emoov, Tepilo and Hatched. Yet local estate agents continue to prosper, despite having to rent showrooms and employ staff at every branch. Their overheads are far higher than the online chains, whose entire workforce can be accommodated in an affordable out of town industrial estate. And local solicitors and estate agents don’t have pockets deep enough for national advertising campaigns on bus shelters, let alone in the middle of Channel Four property shows. So what’s their secret?

Taste the difference

There’s a simple reason why high street estate agencies and solicitors have survived the online onslaught. They generally offer superior service. Bricks and mortar agents know the local market far better than a company potentially based hundreds of miles away. Estate agents often have lengthy lists of people looking for homes, rather than uploading a schedule and waiting for enquiries to roll in. Estate agents have the margins to employ property photography specialists like G75 Images, creating maximum impact in every property listing. Because online estate agents are driven by cost, their photography tends to be provided by an amateur with an iPhone. You can see how this compares to professional property photography on our before and after page. (Our residential page also contains various examples of estate agency photography.)

The local experts with the personal touch

Even if you’re among the growing number of people who’ve decided online estate agents aren’t for you, the internet remains a valuable resource. Estate agents and solicitors combine their bricks-and-mortar presence with online listings. Self-advertising on social media is another increasingly popular way to sell your home. It allows vendors to decide how professional or detailed their property particulars should be, and where the property should be advertised. With professional property photography from G75 Images, you’re halfway to completing an online property listing. And did you know we can also produce schedule text, floor plans, room sizes and travel directions? We can even combine everything into a bespoke PDF schedule, for a small additional fee.

To find out how G75 Images can help with property marketing, get in touch to enquire about our freelance property photography and schedule production services. We can supply sample schedules on demand, from concise two-page PDFs to detailed eight-page brochures. And unlike impersonal online estate agents, personal service is a cornerstone of our business. That’s true whether we’re working directly with homeowners, or acting on behalf of local estate agents.