The Process


Exactly what goes into creating a virtual tour and real estate photography? It's more than just "shoot and deliver". This is the process we use, is not exactly the same process every time, and is updated and broadened as we increase our tools and skills. Not included here is what we've already put into purchases of appropriate equipment (thousands of dollars in camera equipment, computers, and software), and the constant upkeep of all. So when your listed home sells quicker or gets more viewings, take a look at all the work that helped make that happen.

Planning For Shoot Process
• Arrange shoot time with agent and/or home owner, take weather forecast into account
• Map location on Google Maps for directions, mileage, location coordinates
• Map location using LightTrac on iPad to verify home/location view and compass angle, enter planned shoot day and time, to ensure proper lighting
• Night before shoot, charge batteries for camera and speedlights
• Inventory and pack equipment (camera, speedlights, tripods, tripod heads, battery chargers, supplemental equipment)

On Location Shoot Process
• Inside, turn on all lights, open/close blinds/shades/curtains
• Inside, ensure home is clean/uncluttered, hide objects where needed
• Outside, close garage door, entry doors, hide toys, garbage cans, etc.
• Shoot still shots for HDR (tripod mounted, 5 different exposures for each view)
• Shoot panoramic shots for HDR (tripod mounted, panoramic tripod head, 5 different exposures for each of 6 viewing angles around room/area)

In Studio Photo Process
• Load photos into a new Aperture project
• Still shots: HDR merge process using Photomatix HDR (5 photos into 1 HDR photo)
• Panoramic shots: HDR merge and stitching process using PTGui Pro (30 shots into 1 HDR panoramic photo)
• Enhance using Viveza 2, Color Efex Pro 4, and more as needed
• Fix perspective and correct lens distortion using PTLensEdit
• Additional enhancements, repairs, cloning, masking, cropping using Aperture and/or Photoshop
• Export MLS sized versions to Dropbox folder for agent pickup
• Export virtual tour sized versions into desktop folder
• Enable backups of original and enhanced photos

In Studio Tour Process
• Create new agent in virtual tour software if needed
• Create new tour project in virtual tour software
• Update tour details (address, map, links, view style, etc.)
• Load images into tour project
• Rename photos to match the room/view
• Rearrange photos in tour to match natural progression through home/location
• Update panoramic photos start position, view angle, etc.
• Update still photos “Ken Burns effect” as necessary
• Add floor plan or navigation image if available
• Add hotspots to floor plan or navigation image
• Add hotspots to individual photos as needed
• Load various shots into printable flyer in tour
• Select music background for tour
• Get MLS number from agent or, update tour project
• Publish tour as live
• If agent is Showcase agent, submit tour to PicturePath to enable tour link in listing

Office Process
• Email agent with tour links, Dropbox info, photos, etc.
• Socialize the new tour (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, etc.)
• Update photographer work spreadsheet (miles, hours, cost, etc.)
• Create invoice entry in business bookkeeping software
• Email agent an invoice and receipts as needed