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This is my first ever blog and i wanted to make it about something i've recently come to feel rather passionately about, namely property photography! Any VIEWS expressed are entirely my own and purely my OPINION.

At the start of 2020 i was looking to add an extra string to my bow and turned to an estate agent friend for advice on possibly doing property photography. Simon Spicer, managing director of Simon & Co, had been a friend of mine since 2015 when he sold first my house and then my fiancee's flat - so i was familiar with his refreshing approach and incredible work ethic. Simon had worked in the industry for years (both for an Independent and then in the Corporate world) before devising his own special strategy and deciding to take the plunge going solo in 2014 - since then he's been awarded Bournemouth Best Estate Agent by 'allAgents' EVERY YEAR for the last seven years!


When Simon went solo, he paid to go on a course where he learnt how to take and edit property photos to a professional standard. To my delight, Simon readily offered to impart his knowledge to me, free of charge (that's how cool a guy he is), and even invited me to shadow him on some of his property shoots, then guided me on the editing side - all the while providing feedback and i quickly got up to speed on everything. So much so in fact that Simon quickly saw an opportunity to free-up some of his own time by passing the photography side of his work to me (which in turn enabled him to explore videography, thus enhancing his own services and Rightmove listings). I've been photographing for Simon now since March 2020 and am delighted to be a part of his expanding team - we share the same ethos and methodology, making us a very good fit for one another, and I’m proud to be involved in his vision of what modern estate agency should look like.

At the very start of April 2021 i was also appointed as photographer for Knights, who have offices in Winton and now Boscombe East. Aside from Simon & Co, Knights are one of only a handful of high street agents i've been able to connect with so far that properly appreciate the value in professional property photography, and use it to good effect. I'm delighted to be part of their team as well. My approach for both agents - as taught to me by Simon but subsequently enhanced via my own experimentations - is to photograph and present properties in a REALISTIC manner, which i consider to be of considerable importance. There are a couple of agents out there whose images, whilst visually impressive (to me, as a photographer), are very far from realistic and as such misrepresent the property - something that i actively distance myself from.

Over the last couple of years i've worked for a couple of other agents, and had conversations with a great many more, and to be perfectly honest a lot of those interactions have left me feeling dismayed and frustrated. In this modern day and age, and particularly under the shadow of Covid, you'd be amazed at how many "old school" attitudes still prevail in the industry, with dubious tactics still being practised - by and large there seems to be a fairly widespread refusal to change and do things differently, dare i say better, and the general attitude out there was summed up perfectly in a single sentence by one agent i spoke to: "Ah, the trick is just to get them (viewers) through the door!"... My advice would be to avoid such agents at all costs if you can.

The consistent use of professional photographs by an agent has been proven to generate more interest in a property, which in turn often drives up the final selling price; it also attracts more potential sellers to that agency, therefore sustaining and growing the business. So it’s a win-win situation and, aside from serving the client better, makes sound business sense for agents to engage the services of a professional photographer. It's therefore difficult for me to understand why so many agents are still happy to take sub-standard images themselves on their smart phone or tablet, especially when (in the scheme of things) my rates are so affordable: starting at just £50 for most properties up to 4 bedrooms, £75 for 5+ bedrooms, potentially more for particularly high value and/or lots of extra features properties (even if fewer than 5 bedrooms).

So if you're an agent reading this and are wanting to switch things up, rather than treading the same old water, then do please consider using my freelance services - you won't be disappointed! Equally, if you're a home owner looking to sell and (after first considering Simon & Co or Knights of course!) are instead attracted to some of the growing online alternatives out there, do please consider engaging my services to furnish yourself with a cracking set of images with which to market your property. I get the impression that most people ASSUME a professional photographer to be expensive - that's not the case with me and it's all part of my philosophy (i take the same approach with my portraiture).

Thanks for reading my first ever blog! :)

Martin / Photochromatics

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