Having launched Supernova Studios to Nova Scotia real estate companies last Thursday, this week was (finally) about shooting some tours!
The feature tour at www.supernovastudios.ca is of my own home. Filling my gallery with stunning 360 degree panoramas of Nova Scotia Residential Real Estate would add to my credibility.
Several of my clients had taken the time to prepare testimonials for me to include in my website. As a thank you, I gave them each a free virtual tour.
I had booked three homes to shoot on Monday. Sunday night I tossed and turned I was so nervous. It wasn’t the alarm however, that woke me that morning. It was the sound of rain! Rain? I hadn’t even considered that. How could I not have considered that? I contacted each client and rescheduled the tours to the following day. (Thankfully I did not have tours booked for the following day!)
Night number two. Again, tossing and turning and finally, Tuesday morning. My first tour was a 40 minute drive from my home. I was to meet the agent on the side of the highway as she said “I’d never find it”. No wonder. We drove another 20 minutes through the woods on what we call in Nova Scotia a “cow path”.
The home owner was there to greet us and I wondered if it was my imagination that he was scrutinizing my camera equipment as I unloaded the car. Quietly, I’m talking to myself, “You’re just nervous.”, “Don’t be silly.” “You are used to sitting behind a computer, being out in the field and face to face with clients is new”. “You’ll be fine.” “Your product speaks for itself”.
“Is that a Canon Rebel XT?” I could feel myself freeze. Yes. I have taken some photography classes in the last couple of months. Yes. I read the 4000 page manual that came with the camera, 2 times. Yes. I had taken the Canon on-line tutorial. Yes. I had followed the instructions given to me by Ben to set up my camera. But…. can I talk “camera talk?” “Yes.”I told him, in a voice that didn’t sound like my own.
“I spent the day yesterday, deciding which angles would be best for you to shoot your pictures” he said. “I’m a photographer myself”. “I just took over 5000 photos of the Nova Scotia coast line”.
“Super!” I said. “You’ve saved me some time then”. (that was NOT what I meant AT ALL). I level my camera and begin with some still shots of the front of the home. It truly is a spectacular property. Amazing vistas of the ocean and complete privacy. “You can’t get a good picture of the water from this angle”, he said.
He followed me around the property, moving around the rooms as I took the panoramas. “Don’t you think your tripod is too low?” “I can go and get my tripod.” “Do you want me to show you how to make your tripod higher?” He wanted me to take panoramas of the bathrooms and laundry room.
“I’ll be looking at the quality very closely” he said “When you deliver the tour.”
“Thank you very much sir, I appreciate a discerning eye, and I’ll certainly be back if you are not pleased.”
The sweat that had been accumulating in the small of my back was now trickling down my pants. My very first (free) virtual tour, and I had promised to come back if he wasn’t happy.
Certainly, virtual tour number two would go much better than that. It was of a vacant model home and there would be no vendor at home. Yay!
I couldn’t have been more pleased when the agent said, “Go ahead, I’ll be back in the office, come get me when you’re finished”. Absolutely, music to my ears.
Much more relaxed now, with no one staring over my shoulder, I start outside again with some still shots. I can see already, that I am developing a routine. Ahhh. this is better. A little level here, a little level there, snap, snap, snap, and let’s go inside. My confidence is building now, I’m guessing I even LOOK like a professional photographer.
Inside I decide on a partial pan of the living room and setup the equipment. Snap, snap, snap, and then, nothing? I keep pushing the button, and pushing the button, but the picture won’t take? How come? I look at the camera, adjust ISO, white balance, turn on the flash, and try again. NOTHING! Why won’t my camera take a picture of that wall?
I try in the kitchen. Same thing. Master bedroom. Same thing. OMG! What do I do now? I spend an hour on 3 rooms trying to photograph them and realize my agent must be wondering what is going on. I pack up my stuff, telling him I may be back tomorrow to re-shoot their photos to ensure the best quality.
Back in the office I download the photos of the first tour. I quickly stitch them, export a high-res copy and open in Photoshop. They are beautiful! I can see where I would have changed a couple of things, taken more interior still shots, and stills of the view out the window, as opposed to partial pans. But, the good news, I wouldn’t have to go back!
Time to look at the (incomplete) panoramas of the model home. And as they are downloading they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE BLACK. Every one of them. I get out my notes from Ben again, look at the camera and I see it. It was on the wrong mode. Nice.
Just as I’m about to head out the door to my third appointment, the phone rings. A frantic agent calling to cancel her virtual tour.
Mom always said, “Some days are diamonds and some days are stones”. She also said, “You’ll be able to laugh about this someday”. Mom is usually right.
Book your Nova Scotia virtual tour today. If we don’t get it right the first time, we’ll come back.