- Don’t be afraid to ask a professional, but do your homework first.
People believe that it is the camera that takes the pictures, but that isn’t at all how it works.
The photographer uses the camera to capture an image. It all starts with our eyes, which are far superior to any camera that has ever been invented. I find that I take the best pictures when the seller isn’t hovering about. I actually need to think if I want great pictures — and people are distracting. They talk to me, and their body parts get in the way.
It is possible to take a bad picture with a good camera.
It happens all the time. The picture is too dark, it’s kind of fuzzy, or it’s of something that isn’t very picturesque like a toilet in an MLS listing with the lid up, or the upper part of a wall in the bedroom or simply a shelf in the closet.
Camera technology has changed a lot over the past decade. I just replaced a camera that was introduced to the market in 2010.
There was a bit of a learning curve for me with my new camera. There isn’t any point in spending a bunch of money on a camera and then not learning and using the features.
It’s possible to use a full-featured full-frame DSLR camera on automatic so that it functions just like a point-and-shoot camera.
I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy learning something new and working to master it. I don’t want to just own new technology I want to use it, and I want to benefit from it. I want to understand every feature. I may not want to use them all, but I want to know that I can.
Have you ever known someone who has a camera but doesn’t know how to get picture from the camera to Facebook? Someone who has an iPhone, but doesn’t know how to text message a picture?
The first thing I did with my new camera is download the manual. They are available in a searchable PDF format, which saves a ton of time. I read the first few pages right away and searched for information as I needed it. I keep my manuals in Dropbox so that I can access them anytime with my phone, tablet or computer.
I played with my new camera for a couple of days, and when I went to process the pictures, they turned out except they turned purple. I checked my software for updates and updated it, but I still had a purple picture problem.
I did some basic trouble shooting and concluded that the camera is using a new version of RAW that isn’t supported by the software.
I asked Google for help and found some forums where camera users recommended elaborate work arounds for the purple picture problem. I’ll accept a work around as a last resort so I contacted customer support for the software that turned my pictures purple.
They told me their software did not support the newest version of Canon RAW and were kind enough to send me a beta version of the new release. I found a couple of minor bugs but no purple images.
There have been a few other glitches on my journey to get the most out of my new camera, but it has been worth it.
10 things you can do to make your tech ventures run smoother
We use a lot of technology in our businesses and in our lives, and there are a few things we can do to make it go a little smoother:
- Don’t wait too long to upgrade. Some tools can be used for seven years, and others need to be replaced every couple of years. Old technology can hold us back and can make us more vulnerable to viruses.
- If the operating system, software or hardware is no longer being fully supported by the manufacturer or vendor and it is for business, replace it now so that if it causes something to turn purple there is help.
- Online forums, Facebook groups and your friends are not always the best source of support for your business technology. Do not be afraid to ask a professional.
- It doesn’t hurt to read the manual before you start using your new device; at the very least, you should always know where the manual is.
- Do not pay for deluxe model unless you are sure you are going to use most, or at least many, of the features. Sometimes less is more.
- Business technology should be chosen wisely and should pay for itself.
- Have a replacement plan and a budget for technology. Anything you buy today will eventually need to be replaced.
- Being a real estate professional does not require a particular brand of phone, camera or computer. Buy the one that you will use.
- Stay away from the sales people at the big box store. Do your homework before you buy.
- Keep the old one or have a backup until you learn the new one so that there is no disruption to your business as you learn something new.
Photography and technology have become so intertwined it is hard to tell where one starts and the other ends. We can take 3-D images and movies and virtual images. We can shoot video with an action camera on a drone or from our phones. Most devices that can be used to capture images can also be used to publish them on the internet.
As for the camera, I bought the Canon 6D Mark ll. It is my first full-frame camera. I haven’t used it to photograph real estate yet, but I have taken a few hundred pictures with it and know that it is up to the task.
I also know that I can take blurry pictures with it, and I actually managed to take a picture of my finger while trying to use my phone as a remote control, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The main advantage the camera has for real estate photography: the bigger sensor is better for low-light indoor situations, and it will pick up a wider view. One of the biggest challenges in real estate photography is lighting and showing entire rooms instead of room parts.
Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.