Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

My mom and I have always been interested in real estate window-shopping. I grew up in one house — the only house she’s ever owned — but we watch MLS listings in our community, reading the house descriptions, flipping through the pictures, and watching the price fluctuations.

It always amazes me: You can tell how expensive a house is going to be by the quality of the listing.

Duh. No really, the quality of the listing directly relates to how nice a house is. While it’s understandable that a $2,000,000 McMansion gets better treatment than the boxy $350K house, the differences in presentation are ridiculous.

I’ll be the first to admit that the houses differ in caliber — and, if free, I’d have a clear choice. Still, as a photographer, Cheap House’s pictures could be dramatically improved with minimal effort. Change the angle, turn on all of the interior lights even thought it’s daylight, kill the flash, move the big plastic toys until the photo shoot is over.

When it comes time to sell our house, I’m planning on giving it the million-dollar treatment. The rooms won’t magically become big, or are furnishings as nice as some of the local lux properties, but there’s absolutely no reason to decrease the “curb appeal” of the house to a buyer because it won’t sell for as much to begin with.

The costs of correct spelling in the listing, or spending a few more minutes on each photo are little. The savings? Potentially quite large, changing the entire vibe of the listing. To me, the important idea is that each home stands on it’s own merits, and isn’t penalized for not being “good enough”.


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I am officially HIRED as a photographer for the college media company, specifically as a member of the yearbook staff.

I am really looking forward to getting to know the rest of the staff, becoming part of the company family, and having access to DSLR cameras forphoto assignments. Money-wise, it’s definitely more of a part time gig, with pay along the lines of $10/image used. The experience is priceless :)

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New Year and new beginnings, right?

I’m very excited to unveil my new blog header, my latest DIY project. Completely free, as long as I don’t count my time (hey, this was fun!), electricity for my laptop which would have been on anyway, or my camera which I already own. All of the software programs used are free downloads, too.

First, make sure that you can upload a custom header. For my WordPress blog, I found the option to change the header under the Appearance tab.

The picture in my header is of a dollar-store pink piggy bank. Unless you must have a sea-turtle or picture of intergalactic space, there’s no need to buy stock photography. I used a fancy-schmancy spot-light diffusing contraption that I built earlier this week, but the basic same result can be obtained from taping up a piece of poster board to use as a backdrop in a well-lighted area, then firing away with a point-and-shoot camera. Take a lot of pictures to make sure that at least a few turn out well. Using a tripod wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Upload the pictures to your computer, then edit to improve the color, lighting, etc. (I kind of cheated and just used auto-fix while previewing the pictures on Vista. I usually use Picasa, a free and easy-to-use editor from Google, or PhotoScape if I’m working on something more detailed.)

After your images have been prettied, open  your chosen image in Paint.Net. Paint.Net a little confusing (to me, at least) and photo editing is harder than in Picasa or PhotoScape, but it’s a wonderful program for creating graphics.  Make a copy of your favorite image right now in case you need to restart the header.

For my WordPress blog  theme, I needed a header that was 190×760 pixels. I resized the picture of my piggy bank to a height of 190 pixels — it was roughly square, so the length was way under 760 pixels.

I opened a new project, and specified that I wanted my canvas to be 760×190 pixels. This comes up in a new tab. Go back to the image and copy it, then past on the blank header.  At this point, you’re good to go and finish the header using whatever suits your fancy– the hardest part is getting the images to the size of the header, and making the header the correct size so that you don’t have to crop in WordPress after uploading.

Below:  Version 1. I decided that I wanted the bank facing into the light, so I replaced the picture with the image on the current header.

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