Need some last minute gift ideas for a real estate photographer in your life? Or perhaps you are a real estate photographer and you want some ideas on things to get yourself as a gift? Here are a few small items that I think all real estate photographers should think about having in their camera bags.
I have an UV filter on all of my lenses. I would rather scratch a filter and replace it, than scratch/damage my actual lens and have to get it repaired. Over time as you clean the filters, they’ll get smudges and marks on them and will need to be replaced. With marks on the filters, you can end up with flares from incoming sunlight on your photos that are usually easy to fix in Photoshop/Lightroom, but even easier to fix when they aren’t there at all because you are using a clean filter!
Make sure you buy the correct size filter for the lens you are using. I use the Canon 10-22mm as my primary lens for real estate photos so I use a filter like this Hoya 77mm Pro 1.
I always carry 4 spare batteries with me. With two cameras, that means I have 6 total batteries with me at all times. Especially in the busy spring/summer season and shooting a lot of video, it never hurts to have extra, charged batteries for when one dies during a shoot. And some times I might forget to charge one or two, so it’s assuring knowing I have backups in my bag when I need them. When I first started I purchased knock-off brand batteries but they didn’t last long. I replaced them with official Canon brand and couldn’t be happier.
Luckily for me, both of my cameras (Canon 60D and Canon 5D MK II) utilize the same battery so I just purchase multiple Canon LP-E6 batteries and I’m good to go.
Extra Battery Charger
If you are going to carry extra batteries, it’s nice to have extra battery chargers! It makes keeping all of your batteries charged a breeze. I have two chargers and find it’s plenty to keep everything charged with ease.
Memory Card/Battery Holder
I love my memory card holder. I keep it in my camera bag with extra memory cards so I never get to a shoot and realize I forgot my memory card. Some times I’ll forget my card and leave it in my computer from the previous day’s shoots, so it’s great knowing that I can reach for a spare when I get my camera out and realize the memory card isn’t in it. I use the memory card holder to keep everything organized so I don’t have cards just randomly flying around in my bag.
The same holds true for my battery holder. Keeping my batteries in one spot keeps me organized and makes sure I don’t lose any batteries that are loose in my bag.
Head to your local big-box hardware store and grab a painter’s pole. You can use a painter’s pole to get some additional height in your exterior photos. You never know when you will find yourself having to shoot over bushes in order to capture the front of the home, or get more eye-level with the property because it’s up on a hill.
You’ll also need an adaptor in order to mount your camera to pole, like this Pro Pole Pixie adapter. You can find some painter’s pole adapters on Amazon, but the Pro Pole Pixie takes it one step further and allows the camera to tilt on the adapter. You can tilt the adapter 90 degrees so your camera is shooting vertical/portrait orientation. I have used this feature many times when an agent requests a vertical shot for magazine/print, so I don’t have to take a landscape photo and then crop it, losing quite a bit of available real estate.
The last accessory you’ll need in combination with a painter’s pole is a wireless trigger. Something simple like this Aputure Pro Coworker is all you need.
Sensor Cleaning Supplies
Over time your sensor will get dirty from swapping lenses. Eventually you may start to see dust spots on your images. They are usually pretty easy to take out in Photoshop/Lightroom, however they are going to be in almost every photo you take as long as the sensor remains dirty. You can save yourself some time by regularly cleaning your sensor.
You can never have too many business cards! You do network, right??? With the cost of business cards being so low, there’s no excuse to not have a bundle with you at all times so you can hand them out when needed. It will be a little difficult to give this item as a gift because you will need access to the business card design. I tried to find gift cards on some sites like VistaPrint and PrintPlace, but they seem to only have products that would be utilized for your business. They have gift cards you could print to give out to your clients, but I couldn’t find a gift card product that someone could buy and give to you, to have business cards printed through them.
This may just have to be a treat for yourself in your start to 2015!
Portable Phone Battery
My last gift recommendation is a portable phone battery. I go to quite a few conferences throughout the year where I’m always tweeting and running down my phone battery. I am constantly using my phone during the work day as I use Google Maps to get me to all of my properties. It’s so nice having a portable phone battery charger in my bag for times when my phone is about to die but I still need it to make it through the day.
And for those times where you aren’t working but are going on vacation, a portable battery keeps your phone alive during airport delays, etc.
What Did I Miss?
This short list of gifts are items that I think I some times take for granted, but always appreciate having them in my bag. What are some small items that you think are important to have on hand as a real estate photographer? Let me know in the comments below!