Tag Archives: Freelance photographer scotland

The challenges of photographing flats and apartment buildings

There is a common misconception among people unfamiliar with property photography that marketing one house or flat is the same as marketing any other. Every home has a frontage, an entrance, rooms and corridors, so surely the same photographic principles should apply whether you’re photographing flats, houses or bungalows?

In reality, that’s simply not the case. Photographing flats and apartment buildings requires what Liam Neeson fans would refer to as a very specific set of skills, due to the unique challenges these properties present. And while generalisations are the enemy of effective property marketing, these are some of the issues which are more likely to apply to flats than houses or bungalows:

Internal apartments. The design of apartment buildings tends to limit opportunities for windows, in the same way traditional back-to-back houses only enjoyed natural light in front-facing rooms. Effective illumination of internal apartments requires a flash gun with adjustable power, compensating for the absence of daylight without bleaching out images.

Tall external façades. It’s easy to stand outside a bungalow and take a photo where the verticals are neat and everything appears in shot. Yet photographing an apartment building by simply pointing the camera skywards results in shots where the building seems to be falling backwards. Clever framing and post-production tricks are essential here.

Other properties in shot. This is another challenge with communal buildings – portraying the property being marketed and giving a sense of place, without capturing too many other homes. If the property you’re photographing is on the ground floor of a ten-storey block, do you cut off the roof in your photos? If it’s on the top floor, do you crop out the ground?

Orientation. Even though we tend to hold mobile devices in portrait mode, most property portals favour landscape images – wider than they are tall. That’s incongruous when trying to capture buildings which are taller than wide. One compromise involves supplying square photos, framing each external in such a way it can be trimmed without losing key details.

Communal grounds. The photograph above shows a Glasgow tenement stretching into the distance. Its communal gardens do the same, with no demarcation. Capturing open spaces is much harder than in private gardens, where hedges and fences provide clear boundaries – and where neighbours’ rubbish or personal effects aren’t in full view.

Tricks of the trade

At this point, it would be easy to launch into detailed descriptions of how to tackle and mitigate the above issues. However, any guide would fail to explain the instinctive knowledge freelance property photographers bring to photographing flats and apartment buildings. At G75 Images, we’ve spent 17 years arriving outside tenements and apartment blocks, immediately assessing the challenges of street furniture or sunshine behind north-facing façades. We know how to mitigate dazzle, how to ensure a square building doesn’t appear trapezoidal, and how to direct the audience’s gaze to the property being marketed.

You can view examples of how G75 Images approaches photographing flats and apartment buildings on our Before and After page, with further examples of apartment photography in our Residential section. You can also contact us to discuss how we can provide our acclaimed freelance property photography services for your flat, or for properties you’re marketing.

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…

Why companies need freelance website photography

When companies commission a new website, the quality of website photography is rarely a priority. Website redesigns tend to be driven by sales teams wanting mobile optimisation, or IT departments keen to achieve HTTPS compliance. Design discussions tend to focus on fonts and colour schemes, rather than whether freelance website photography would promote products and services more effectively.

The absence of high-calibre images is a recurring headache for website designers, and photographs are often the final element to be uploaded onto a beta website. While freelance website photography represents the gold standard, web designers regularly have to fall back on these inferior options:

1. Stock photography. Images are sold by companies like Shutterstock, with significant per-image costs passed onto the client. Photos may have been used dozens of times, and their American origins make it difficult to acquire Scottish or British images.

2. Copyright-free photos. These are even more over-used, downloadable from philanthropic or hobby platforms like Pixabay and FreeImages. They’re free to reuse under the Creative Commons Zero licence, but quality may not be great.

3. Self-taken images. Few people have the technical equipment or the natural flair to take professional-calibre photographs. Common issues in amateur photography include blurring, poorly-lit surroundings and low-quality image resolutions.

Taking photographs on an iPad might suffice for advertising home-made craft items, but it’ll be completely inadequate for capturing rooms and offices. Without a wide-angle lens, internal photography tends to look cramped. Without flash guns, room shots often appear dark. And without an expert photographer’s trained eye, straight lines may appear at jaunty angles.

Introducing FaaS (Freelance website photography as a Service)

Freelance website photography is vitally important, and G75 Images is proud to offer professional photography services to web design agencies in Scotland and throughout the UK. Perhaps your latest client has a factory or showroom, which should be prominently shown on their new website’s homepage. Maybe they need placeholder images of key products and services, such as portfolio photographs for a landscape gardening website. Even construction firms may not have a satisfactory portfolio of completed architectural photography, if they haven’t got a freelance property photographer on their books.

In all these situations – and many more besides – G75 Images is ready to provide freelance website photography for web design firms and their clients. Our high-quality architectural and property photography services add visual appeal to any new web design project, complementing well-written body copy and effective site structures. You can see examples of our work with commercial and hotel/tourism clients here, with the image beside this article taken on board a yacht which was being sold by a specialist dealer. Alternatively, contact us [contact] to enquire about our freelance website photography services.