photographers, photography, videographers

5 Ways to Make Money with Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a leading provider of royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, and videos, and it’s an excellent platform for photographers, illustrators, and videographers to make money. If you’re a creative professional looking for ways to monetize your skills, Shutterstock is worth considering. In this post, we’ll explore five ways you can make money with Shutterstock.

  1. Sell Your Photos and Illustrations: One of the most straightforward ways to make money with Shutterstock is to sell your photos and illustrations through the platform. Simply sign up as a contributor, upload your work, and start earning when it’s purchased by customers.
  2. Sell Your Videos: In addition to photos and illustrations, Shutterstock also allows you to sell your video footage. This is a great way to make money if you’re a videographer or if you have a large collection of footage that you’d like to monetize.
  3. Participate in the Shutterstock Custom Program: The Shutterstock Custom program allows you to work with businesses and organizations to create custom content, such as videos and photos, specifically for their needs. This is a great way to make money if you have experience in commercial photography or videography.
  4. License Your Music: If you’re a musician, you can also make money with Shutterstock by licensing your music through the platform. Customers can use your music in their videos and other projects, and you’ll earn a royalty for each use.
  5. Sell Your Templates: If you have a talent for design, you can create templates for things like business cards, brochures, and social media posts and sell them on Shutterstock. Customers can then purchase and use your templates to create their own marketing materials.

In conclusion, there are many ways to make money with Shutterstock. Whether you’re a photographer, illustrator, videographer, or musician, there’s an opportunity for you to monetize your skills and create a passive income stream. So if you’re looking to make money with your creative work, consider giving Shutterstock a try! Click here to get started!

photography, Realtors

Simple tips to enhance outdoor photos

Keystone-Heights-real-estate-photography-1The cover photo on a listing is usually the most important photo because it peaks the potential buyers interest and gets them to continue looking through the rest of the photos.  Often times the cover photo is an exterior shot of the home.  Here are a few affordable ideas that can be done to help make that exterior cover photo really pop and get more buyers interested in your listing!

Add a small container garden

If your listing has a porch try adding a small container garden with brightly colored flowers.  This is an easy way to add colorful curb appeal and is simple to put together.  Stop by your local garden center and grab a few containers of varying sizes, some of your favorite plants, and a couple bags of potting soil and you are all set!

Spruce up the mailbox

Most people tend to overlook the mailbox when thinking about ways to add more color or curb appeal to their property.  Adding a few flowers around the mailbox is a quick and easy way to incorporate some more color without a lot of work.  Some simple low maintenance flowers that can be added are marigolds, petunias, or zinnias.

Paint the front door

The front door is often a neutral color that doesn’t draw much attention to it.  Adding a color that accents the house can make a big statement with a small amount of work.  Check your local hardware stores to see if they have any paint containers on clearance.  This is a great way to get a color pop without spending too much.

Add outdoor furniture

If your new listing has a large front porch that doesn’t have anything on it, consider putting a few pieces of outdoor furniture on it.  This will help add charm to the front of the house.  Sometimes you can find cheap outdoor furniture at thrift shops that can easily be spruced up with a little bit of paint.  Also add a brightly colored throw pillow and that will help draw attention to the home even more.  If there is a table on the front porch, consider adding a small container with flowers in it there too.

Small and simple final touches

Don’t forget those final details that can make a world of difference.  Adding a wreath to the front door can be very welcoming.  Possibly paint the shutters to give them a refreshed look.  Mix in a few colorful flowers into flower beds that are already there to help the front of the home pop a bit more.

I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration for easy way to enhance the curb appeal of your new listing.  Keep in mind that all of these ideas are just suggestions.  If your listing is in a neighborhood with a home owners association be sure to check with them regarding any rules or regulations about making any changes to the exterior of the home.

photography, Vacation Rental Photography

Professional photography enhances vacation rental listings!

So many vacation rental owners spend tons of time and money on making their rental property look just perfect with all the special touches that make people feel at home.  But then when the hard work is done they are usually so ready to get it rented that they take a few photos themselves and hope that works.  Getting your property rented regularly relies heavily on gaining the proper attention from potential visitors that it deserves.  Having high quality photos will draw people in and get them to spend more time viewing your property over others.



Sell the emotion of your property

The entryway to your property are the photos you have displayed.  So it is essential you have the right photos in order to get those future guests to walk through that entryway and become your customer.  The photos should be welcoming and enticing so that they can envision escaping their reality and enjoying themselves in your vacation rental.

Pictures are processed by future visitors much faster than the words used in the description.  If you lost the future guest when they were browsing the photos they may have never gotten to the description to read more about what your rental offers and missed out on your amazing property.


Emotions are what sell a property.  But keep in mind that all of your photos won’t necessarily be emotion seeking.  In fact the majority of your images will just be showing the facts of the property (size of the rooms, kitchen layout, amenities, etc).  The combination of high quality emotional and factual photos are what will sell your property.  And of course at least one dream shot that really gets your future guest daydreaming about kicking their feet up and relaxing in your property.

Choosing the right photographer

If you had a bad tooth ache you wouldn’t go see an eye doctor, well the same rule of thumb works for photographers.  To get good property photos be sure to find a photographer that focuses on architecture and marketing.  A photographer with these skills will provide you with the right photos for your property.  Also just confirm with the photographer that they will provide photos that will market an experience, not just a property.

With the right photographer in place you will soon realize that this investment in professional photography has an amazing return.  Future guests will see that you have invested in your property and will appreciate it!

photography, Realtors

Should I add amenity photos to my listing?

Sometimes the actual house for sale isn’t the only thing that potential buyers are looking for.  Instead they might be looking for the full package of not only the perfect home but also the perfect neighborhood with all the bells and whistles.  Buyers are often looking for things to do locally and ways to easily socialize with their neighbors.  Amenities can be a huge selling factor when home buyers are looking for their new place to call home.

neighborhood quote

A big part of most neighborhoods is the amenities that are included.  If a buyer sees a large monthly home owners association (HOA) fee then their first question is going to be – “What is included?”.  Adding amenity photos will help them see right away the benefits of what is available to them when they buy that particular property.  This will help the buyer stop wondering and now you’ve captured the buyer’s interest before they have moved on to the next home.

There are many large neighborhoods that have groups of amenities and only certain ones are accessible to some of the subdivisions within them.  The future home buyer might be wondering which ones would I have access to with this property.  Having the photos in the listing helps them to understand which amenities are available to the home owner and those that are not.

The amenities that are available tend to vary based on the area you are looking at.  Some examples of common amenities are pools, tennis courts, gyms, clubhouse, and playgrounds.  Some less common amenities can include community lake with walking path, golf courses, or boat launches.  Everyone is looking for something!


Tips to make your listings stand out!

Right now is a peak time in real estate around Northeast Florida. Making your listing stand out from others is important to ensure you get the maximum amount of exposure. Here are a few tips on how to ensure your listing stands out from the others.

Be present for the shoot!

Being present for the shoot helps to ensure that the home is photographed how you envisioned it. The agent and photographer should be working together as a team to create the most compelling images that will present the home in the best possible light.

When at the shoot ask your photographer what can be done to help. Most of the time the first step is to go around the home and open every window blind, turn on all the lights, and be sure all ceiling fans are turned off. Having the agent there to get this moving can help the shoot move more efficiently.

Also the homeowners love to see the agent taking a hands-on approach. This shows them that the agent is invested in making sure their home is presented perfectly! With the agent present it allows the photographer to focus on taking great shots instead of being distracted by the owner or pets.

Add a dusk photo

By using a dusk photo as the cover photo it can quickly draw potential buyers eyes right to your listing over others. The more attention you get from the buyers the more likely you are to get more showings which can turn into more offers. That first impression is key so having a photo that stands out from others is important.

Share on social media

Most buyers in your local area are likely using social media regularly. Be sure to add your listings there. A lot of agents only post photos or links to their listings but there are other things you can do too. A short video slideshow or an exterior drone video can often get a buyer intrigued to want to see more. Video attracts a lot of clients and can be a great way to get additional views of your listing. If you want to take it one more step get an interior and exterior video which shows the whole home to the buyer. That way they can see the flow of the house.


How do I know how many photos I need?

One of the first things you’ll notice on our services page is that our base packages are based on number of photos instead of by square footage.  This is set up intentionally to allow each Realtor the opportunity to determine how many photos they think is necessary to capture the home they are listing.  I often hear from agents “do you recommend a certain package” or “just shoot whatever you think the home needs”.  Before providing feedback I always ask a few more questions and try to get a feel for the property in order to make the best recommendation.

_More isn't always better. Sometimes it's just more_ (1)

More isn’t always necessary.  When determining how many photos you may need, there are several factors come into play including the total number of rooms in the home, the outdoor features on the property, and if the home has any unique qualities.  If the home has a lot of character to it then you may want to choose a higher photo package to make sure you capture everything with specific lifestyle shots.

Also, when picking photo packages be sure to think about the neighborhood and property as a whole.  Some neighborhoods have amazing amenities and that is what sells the property.  Other homes are in a very desirable location and drone photos might be the key to showing proximity to the beach or a great school nearby.  At the end of the day our goal as your photographer is to help you intrigue more buyers to want to come out and see the home you have listed so you can get it sold faster and for the most amount of money.

In summary, when looking at how to choose the right package be sure to really analyze the needs of each property individually.  We are happy to make suggestions or answer any questions you have so that in the end you get the product you were hoping for.



photography, Realtors

Drone photos can enhance your listing photos

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0003.JPGThere are a lot of properties on the market that a drone photo would provide a great perspective for the potential buyer.  Using a drone can capture a prime location (near a school or water) or show features of the home that may not be captured otherwise (size of the land or solar panels).

Before considering getting drone photography for your listing be sure to check with your photographer and verify they are Part 107 certified with the FAA.  Any photographer not certified can result in large fines for the agent for using the photos.  The next thing to verify is that the property is in an area that does not need a special approval from the FAA to fly in.  Some areas close to airports or military bases can have restricted airspace and need an additional approval before drone photos can be taken.

Once you decide you would like to add drone photos to your listing there are a few things to consider to ensure they turn out great!

  1. Remove clutter from the yard like bicycles, child toys, and trashcans.  Removing these items will allow you to show more of the land which will result in the perception that the property is very spacious.
  2. Clean gutters out.  Since the roof will be clearly visible in most shots it is DCIM100MEDIADJI_0002.JPGadvised to clear out any leaves or debris in the gutters.  This will show the buyers to see that the home has been well cared for.
  3. If your property has a pool, clean the pool deck and remove pool cleaners.  Be sure to clean the pool deck a day or two prior to the photo shoot to ensure it has time to dry.  Also be sure to remove any vacuums or cleaning devices from the pool as it will make the photos for more eye appealing.
  4. Let your neighbors know that you will be having drone photos done.  Giving your neighbors the details about the time and date of the drone photo shoot can help ease your neighbors minds so that they know what is going on outside.

Drone photos are a great way to provide buyers with a different perspective of the home.  Here are a few more examples of some interesting drone shots.



photography, Realtors

Ponte Vedra Real Estate Photography / 189 Spring Park Ave

Angela Olmas’ new listing in Ponte Vedra, Nocatee Florida

photography, Realtors

Virtual Staging is an innovative approach to impress buyers!

What’s all the hype about virtual staging and is it really worth it in comparison to traditional staging?

According to the National Association of Realtors®, over 75% of buyers’ agents said that their buyers were able to envision their future life in the home.  In addition, about 38% of sellers’ agents use traditional staging in all of their client’s listings.  This is due to the fact that staging can often have a direct impact on how quickly the home sells.  Virtual staging is a cost effective alternative to traditional staging.

Here are a few example of virtual staging that Pipas Imagery created so you can see what’s possible:

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Virtual staging is a great way to showcase a property without having to bring in real furniture.  All of the staging is done electronically which means you don’t have to carry in furniture, plants, or wall art.  This provides a way to enhance the empty room photos which will help buyers envision their own furniture in the room.

When using virtual staging photos be sure to include the original empty room photo in your listing too.  Buyers may be expecting the furniture if they only see the photo that is virtually staged.  So in order to give them a heads up its best to include both.

Most buyers are fairly understanding of virtual staging, so long as the actual features and presentation of the home they are thinking of purchasing isn’t altered. In other words, when it comes to changing images digitally for real estate marketing purposes placing a couch and love seat in a room that was empty when the photographer took the original photo is okay, but repairing a huge hole in a floor is not.

photography, Realtors

Preparing your home for real estate photography



There are a lot of pieces that go into selling a home.  One important piece is making sure it is visually pleasing to the prospective buyer.  Here is a video I recently came across from White Orchid, which is a home staging company, that has some great ideas:

In this video the home staging business owner John Matthews shares a lot of great information.  One thing he said that really stood out was:

Thankful quote (1)

This quote really encompasses what every home seller wants to hear.  If you’ve already scheduled a real estate photographer to come photograph your home then that’s awesome!  Having high quality photography will really make a difference when selling your home.

However, making sure the home is staged correctly is another important factor since a professional photographed home that is not presented well will not provide the same results.

To really emphasize this point John says:

“Other than pricing it right, home staging and professional photography are the most important factors in selling real estate today.”.png

Here is an example of this in action:

Let’s pretend there are two houses on the same street, one is owned by the Jones family and the other is owned by the Sullivan family.  These homes are the same square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The Jones family is pretty neat, although they do have two young children and a little bit of clutter around the house.  The realtor they hired does their own photos so the images are slightly dark inside, the colors aren’t quite right, and they appear to have been done quickly.

The Sullivan family also has to children but their realtor encouraged them to hire a home staging company to prepare their home.  The staging company used a combination of the Sullivan’s furniture and some special pieces that they brought in.  The realtor then hired a professional photographer who created beautifully lit photos and even included a twilight photo to really showcase the home.

Now both of these homes are on the market which the same sale price.

Which one do you think is going to attract the most interest from potential buyers?  

Clearly the Sullivan home is going to sell faster and likely for more money.

Home staging tips for selling a home:

Of course the most ideal situation would be to hire a professional staging company but if that is not possible there are a lot of ideas of things you can do yourself.  Here are a few tips from professional home stager Tori Toth:

Tori made several suggestions including:

  1. Declutter
  2. Pack away items you don’t use regularly
  3. Clean up from top to bottom so it shines
  4. Take care of any small repair projects before listing your home
  5. Paint
  6. Rearrange some furniture to maximize your square footage
  7. Spruce up the front yard to give your home some more curb appeal

We have also put together a great property prep list that home owners can use to get their home ready for a photographer.  You can download this checklist here.Prep list


How to choose the right photographer

Are you one of the many people who know you need a photographer for your business but you’re just not sure which one will meet your needs.  I developed a 24 page report to help guide business owners through the process of figuring out which photographer is right for you.  This guide provides several details including:

  • Five steps to make the process as simple as possible so you can create a shortlist of ideal photographers for your business.
  • Five questions that you can use to guide the conversation with photographers to learn more about their processes.
  • Information about how to analyze the answers that each photographer provided to the questions to help you narrow down your shortlist of photographers and to easily identify the pros from the others.
  • Some great tips to help you know what you should be looking for in a high quality image.

I hope this report helps you to find that perfect photographer that will meet all of your needs.  Click on the link below to download the report:

How to choose the right photographer report

If you ever have any questions please feel free to reach out.  I am happy to help!

photography, Realtors

Twilight pictures give your listings an advantage over others!

Making sure you have the best marketing resources when listing a home is extremely important.  Getting the right photos can have a significant impact on how quickly a home sells and how much it sells for. Forbes Magazine said it best:


Now you may be thinking, what is the benefit of a twilight photo?  Let’s take a look at a couple photos for you to compare.  Of course, every home is different, but here is an example of a daytime photo:


and there here is the same photo that as a twilight:


These two photos really show that the daytime photo looks great, but the twilight photo has strong colors and beautiful lighting that really helps to stand out even more when you are competing against other homes in the same vicinity.

Most homes can really benefit from having a twilight photo in the mix to help people see how beautiful the home looks in the evening.  Lights glowing from inside, no sun shadows, and a stunning sunset create a visually appealing image to potential buyers.

For more examples check out this great video that shows several examples of day to dusk photos:


Unique Closing Gift Ideas

Most realtors offer a gift to their buyers or sellers when they close on a home with them. Giving away a bottle of wine or gift card to their favorite restaurant can get boring and not feel very personal.  Closing gifts are not only are a nice gesture but depending on the gift it can be a constant reminder of the agent so the home buyer or seller will think of you in the future when they buy or sell again.  Here is a list of some ideas I have gathered from agents that were interesting and creative.

  1. Custom print framed of their home – hire a real estate photographer to shoot their new home and then choose one of the nicest photos of the exterior (like a drone shot) and have this print framed.
  2. Monogrammed door mat – every time the owner walks into or out of their home they will think of you when they see this mat.
  3. DIY Gift Basket – this is a great gift for the first time home buyer.  Include some basic tools (screwdriver, hammer, etc) with a how to fix it book, and a gift card to Home Depot or Lowes (or any nearby home improvement store).
  4. Family photo shoot – what better way to recognize the importance of family in their new home then providing them with a gift certificate to get a family photo shoot done together.
  5. Picture frame with key inside – Find a small picture frame and put the key to their new home inside.  You can also add a piece of paper in the background with the closing date and address.
  6. Pizza Party – Moving day is always exhausting.  Find out when they are planning to be at their new house on moving day and surprise them with a pizza party or some other catering for everyone helping to move!
  7. Outdoor fire pit – When all of the moving has settled down what better way to relax than having an outdoor fire pit.
  8. Braided money tree – These trees represent luck which the new homeowner will likely appreciate.  And who doesn’t want a money tree?
  9. Massage gift certificate – Moving takes a toll on your body.  Provide the new home owners with a massage gift certificate to rejuvenate themselves once the moving process is over!
  10. Custom painting of their new home – What a great way to remember their new home than with a custom painting of it.  This is a long lasting picture they can take with them wherever they go.  This is especially nice for a first time home buyer.

Those are all of my closing gift ideas.  I have one other idea I came across that I really liked but isn’t a closing gift idea.  The day after Christmas when everything is on sale go and pick up some ornaments that look like houses.  Then next year visit all of the buyers that closed with you throughout the year and drop off an ornament with your name and number on the back of it.  That is a reminder forever of the closing with you and gives you a chance to reconnect with them.