Legal Considerations for Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography is a great way to showcase properties and attract potential buyers. But before you start taking pictures, it's important to understand the legal considerations that come with it. Claire Wright, a technology expert and self-taught photographer who works at one of the best real estate photography companies called HD Estates, explains that filming on public property is generally allowed as long as it doesn't pose a safety hazard. However, there are certain locations that have security or privacy issues, such as hospitals, which should be avoided.

The truth in advertising laws does define it, but the real estate industry doesn't have a real position on the matter like it does on disclosure. The conclusion is that the method of attaching brackets for real estate photography does not alter reality, but simply corrects the problems of exposure, contrast and dynamic range. Different real estate listing sites have their own legal guidelines on the use of photographs. Unethical issues in Photoshop can cause a real estate agent to face severe punishment and even lose their license.

Drones are an incredible tool for real estate photography, so make sure you can use yours without worries or responsibilities. It's important to check your current real estate photography license agreement and see what the different transfers of rights to use real estate photographs are in your case. These contracts usually state that the photographer will assign certain rights to the real estate company or to the MLS. Adding commercial real estate photography and drone photography creates more job opportunities, but also more questions about legal issues.

In addition to having problems with the FAA and other government agencies, incorrect licenses and registration can also jeopardize your insurance coverage for using your drone in your real estate photographs. The main purpose of bracketed and merged HDR for real estate is to solve dynamic range problems in exposure calculations, not to make each image an “interpretation of what really exists”. As an expert in real estate photography, I recommend understanding all legal considerations before taking pictures or using drones for real estate photography. Make sure you know what rights you are transferring in your contract with the real estate company or MLS.

Be aware of any potential safety hazards or privacy issues when filming on public property. And finally, be mindful of ethical issues when using Photoshop or other editing tools so you don't end up facing severe punishment.

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