jmaurophoto: Blog en-us (C) jmaurophoto (jmaurophoto) Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:11:00 GMT Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:11:00 GMT jmaurophoto: Blog 120 28 Photographers and Copyrights  


Copyright SymbolCopyright Symbol


Photographers and Copyrights…

Real Estate Photography


This article is written specifically with regard to real estate photography, but the same copyright principals can be applied to all forms of photography.


A client recently inquired about the ownership of photography taken on their behalf. Their thinking was that if they pay for the photography, then they should “own” the photos and can “sell” them at their discretion. The example is a situation in which a realtor (A) loses a listing to another realtor (B) who wishes to reuse the photos. Realtor A feels that they should be able sell the photos to Realtor B. They don’t think that the photographer should get paid again for the same photos, and they want to recoup the money that they initially spent on the photography. With this logic, Realtor B, in the same situation, could also “resell” the photos to another realtor, and so on. Although at first this may be understandable it is wrong.

This is a good question and worthwhile discussion. It may seem odd, but when an individual or company retains a photographer to take photos, that party does not own the photos – the photographer does. You are essentially commissioning the photography and purchasing the right, or license to use the resulting photos as agreed. The photographer (“artist”) owns the copyrights to all photos, and this copyright is protected the Federal Copyright Act of 1976. What the photographer does with the photos and how they are handled is up to his or her discretion, or as described in a mutually accepted agreement. A professional photographer rarely gives up copyrights or ownership of photos unless that is in specified in the terms of the agreement, and in those cases the photographer generally charges a premium to give up his/her ownership. You would be very hard-pressed to find a professional photographer willing to do so. I handle my photos in much the same way, and in every notification of “Your Photos are Ready” for realtors I include the following statement:


***Important Licensing Information***

These photos are owned and copyrighted by JMAUROPHOTO, LLC. They are licensed only to you and specifically for the purpose of marketing your home listing, including print and on-line publication (MLS, FMLS, etc.). These photos may not be used or distributed to any third party, including the homeowner for any purpose without express permission by JMAUROPHOTO, LLC.”


When a photographer is commissioned for photography, the client is given the rights, or license to use the photos for the specified purpose and often for a specified period of time. Some RE photographers go as far as to limit the amount of time the realtor can use the photos, and if that time expires before the home is sold, they charge a relicensing fee. Additionally, some photographers are very specific about how the photos can and cannot be used.

In my experience, it is a rare occurrence that I discover that another realtor using photographs that I have taken for a specific client. It has only happened twice that I know of, and in one case the realtor actually made screen captures and used them in her listing. This effectively amounts to theft. In the other case, when I found that my photos had been given to a second realtor and were being used without permission, we had a very nice conversation and I ended up getting that realtor as a client.

According to copyright laws, unless otherwise agreed, photos can absolutely not be Copyright TextCopyright Text resold, or the rights to use them transferred without the permission of the lawful owner (the photographer). The easiest way to avoid any controversy is to never give or resell photos to another realtor or agency. If the other realtor is going to pay for photos, then they may as well hire a photographer.

There are agencies, such as the PPA (Profession Photographers Association) who fight for the rights of photographers to protect their copyrights and theft of their photos (considered art). Any photographer who simply relinquishes or gives up their rights and ownership of their photography without charging extra to do so is not doing themselves or the professional photographic community any favors.

You can find more information on the Photography For Real Estate website by clicking HERE and on the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) by clicking HERE.


Disclaimer: This is not a legal interpretation of photographic copyright law, but only a summary in layman’s terms.

]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto copyrights jmaurophoto photoblog photography copyrights real estate photography Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:10:55 GMT
Press Release: JMAUROPHOTO one of Atlanta's 19 Best Real Estate Photographers For Immediate Release


June 24, 2017


JMAUROPHOTO selected as one of the best 19 Real Estate Photographers in Atlanta


For the second time in 2017, JMAUROPHOTO has been recognized with an industry award.

In February, JMAUROPHOTO was voted by the Houzz community as a winner of the Best of Houzz 2017 award for Service and for Design Photography. See the Press Release by clicking HERE.

Now JMAUROPHOTO has been selected by Expertise ( as one of the 19 Best Real Estate Photographers in Atlanta. 140 Real estate photographers were selected and scored on more than 25 variables across five categories. The results were analyzed to determine the best real estate photographers in Atlanta, GA. The five categories included:

  • Reputation - A history of delighted customers and outstanding service
  • Credibility - Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.
  • Experience - Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.
  • Availability - Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.
  • Professionalism - Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

Read more about this distinction and about Expertise by visiting

JMAUROPHOTO, LLC is a photography company specializing in residential and commercial architectural photography. Professional photographic services are offered to home builders, realtors, decorators, interior designers, and home improvement companies primarily in the Atlanta market, but in other states as well. The company also specializes in executive headshot and corporate event photography and takes pride in delivering the highest quality service and value to its clientele. For more information visit

About Expertise
Expertise is a Seattle-based company whose goal is to be a hub where qualified experts can connect with people to share their knowledge, experience, and skills. The company strives to establish connections with both businesses and users to help them connect with each other by creating lists of the best local professionals in each US city to give their readers the confidence they need to make the right choices.


Contact: James Mauro, JMAUROPHOTO, LLC. | | 770.330.8640

]]> (jmaurophoto) #atlantarealestatephotographer #jmaurophoto Photoblog Real Estate Photography best of houzz expertise jmaurophoto top19 Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:00:35 GMT
Taking your job seriously Are you serious about selling homes?

If you are a realtor that is serious about selling homes, then you should be taking advantage of the benefits of a real estate photographer who is as serious about photography as you are about selling houses!

Much of your success in selling homes depends on the first impressions people get when viewing homes on-line. Are you putting your best foot forward? Are your photos good enough to convince a potential buyer to want to schedule an appointment? It is well known that good photography sells houses. There is a reason why the most successful realtors and real estate teams use professional photographers. Do not risk your success with anything other than magazine quality photography captured by a professional using professional grade equipment.Your photographer should be using a professional full-frame camera, a sturdy tripod, a wide-angle lens, and the proper lighting to ensure that rooms are well and evenly lit.

The camera you see here is the Canon 5D Mark III full frame professional camera. It is sitting on a Manfrotto professional tripod with a geared tripod head. This specialized tripod enables the camera to be positioned precisely and securely so that vertical lines are vertical and horizontal lines are horizontal. The unit on top of the camera is a RF (Radio Frequency) remote control used to control multiple flashes, making it possible to properly and evenly light a room, and to light adjacent rooms so they are not dark in the photo. (click to enlarge photo)


It is equally important that your professional photographer has an eye for capturing what is important in every room, and that vertical and horizontal lines are in the proper perspective. Your photographer should be an expert at processing the photos to deliver magazine quality photography. You are paying good money, so you should expect great results. Photos should have the proper white balance so interiors look bright and inviting. Compare the photos below and decide which you think would better represent your listings.


The photo on the left was captured by an inexperienced photographer. Notice how dark the photo is, especially in the living room off to the left. (click to enlarge photo)

The photo on the right was captured by JMAUROPHOTO. This photo shows the relationship of the foyer to both the living room and the dining room, both of which are evenly lit, not dark. The photo has the proper white balance and is sharp, plus you can see through the windows of the front door. (click to enlarge photo)

Foyer-1Photo by JMAUROPHOTOPhoto captured by JMAUROPHOTO




This photo of the master bathroom suffers from the some of the same issues as described above. The photo on the left was captured by the same photographer. The photo has poor white balance and is dark. The photographer appears to have made an effort to light the adjacent room, but in general this photo gets a C-. (click to enlarge photo)

The photo on the right was captured by JMAUROPHOTO. The photo shows more of the room making it look larger. The white balance is correct and the room looks nice and bright. (click to enlarge photo)

Master Bath-2Master Bath-2

You decide! which photos do you want representing your listings? The age-old saying is true: "you get what you pay for." In the examples above, the realtor ended up paying for two complete sets of photos by two different photographers. Save yourself time, aggravation, and money. Your clients are paying you good money to sell their homes. They chose you because you are the best. You already provide them outstanding service. Make sure that your outstanding service includes outstanding photography.

Call on JMAUROPHOTO to get photography that will help you sell homes fast.




]]> (jmaurophoto) #atlantarealestatephotographer #jmaurophoto Real Estate Photography jmaurophoto photography for real estate professional photography Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:53:11 GMT
It's in the DETAILS! It's in the details!

Real Estate Photography is more challenging than you may think. Photography is all about the lighting - using it to your advantage, keeping is as even as possible, consistent, and controlling shadows. To do it correctly, there is more often than not, a need to use artificial light (flash or strobe), but that can create some challenges as well. For example light from the flash reflecting on a cabinet, window, TV, or other reflective surfaces. Often these challenges are overlooked and/or dismissed. In fact, many people may not even notice it unless it was really nasty. However, a good photographer who takes pride in his/her work should make every effort to avoid it, and if that is not possible, fix it.

In the photo below, a flash was used in order to light the room properly. However, as you can see in the top photo (before), this resulted in a glare on the cabinets, especially on the left. There are ways to minimize, but not effectively eliminate this when capturing the photo. However, as you can see in the bottom photo (after), the glare has been eliminated, making the photo much more appealing.

It's in the details!

IMG_5898BEFORENotice the glare on the cabinets Kitchen-1AFTERThe glare has been eliminated from the cabinets


]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto #atlantarealestatephotographer #beforeandafter Real Estate Photography atlanta real estate photographer jmaurophoto real estate photography Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:16:21 GMT
Press Release: Voted 2017 Best of Houzz for Service and Design Photography For Immediate Release


January 17, 2017

Houzz Announces Best Of Houzz 2017 Winners

JMAUROPHOTO has been voted by the Houzz community as a winner of the Best of Houzz 2017 award for Service and for Design Photography.

Annual Survey and Analysis of Community of Over 40 Million Monthly Users Reveals the Top-Rated Home Remodeling Professionals and Most Popular Home Designs.

Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home renovation and design, today announced the community’s picks for Best Of Houzz 2017, a homeowner-to-homeowner guide to the top home builders, architects, interior designers, landscape pros and other residential remodeling professionals on Houzz from cabinetry or roofing pros to painters.

“We are so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality."

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award.

A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge appears on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz. Winners will be announced globally throughout the month.

To see the most popular designs:

JMAUROPHOTO, LLC is a photography company specializing in residential and commercial architectural photography. Professional photographic services are offered to home builders, realtors, decorators, interior designers, and home improvement companies primarily in the Atlanta market. The company also specializes in executive headshot and corporate event photography and takes pride in delivering the highest quality service and value to its clientele. For more information visit

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit

]]> (jmaurophoto) #atlantarealestatephotographer #jmaurophoto Photoblog Real Estate Photography best of houzz jmaurophoto Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:07:37 GMT
MLS increases photo limit from 25 to 40! More photos for your listings!

Realtors, by now you have heard that the MLS limit of photos you can use for your listings has been increased from 25 to 40! For the realtor it means that you can showcase your homes with additional photos and better attract potential buyers to your listings, which is especially beneficial for selling larger homes. For the photographer it means it will take longer to photograph and process the additional photography for clients who would like to take advantage of the increased number of photos.


How will this affect your photography? Will your photographer increase prices in order to provide you with the additional photos? 


NOT if you are a JMAUROPHOTO client.


JMAUROPHOTO clients will not be affected by any price change for their photography as a result of this great news. Our clients are already accustomed to receiving more high quality, professional photos than they require. In some cases, we have provided in excess of 60 photos to choose from. Now your life will be easier because now you can select 15 more photos for your listings.


Contact JMAUROPHOTO for your professional real estate photography.


]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto #realestatatephotography #realestatephotographer Atlanta Real Estate Photographer Photo Blog gamls gamls photo limit jmaurophoto limit" mls photo real estate photography uploading photos to mls Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:11:57 GMT
PRESS RELEASE: JMAUROPHOTO named exclusive photographer by Smith Douglas Homes FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JMAUROPHOTO named exclusive photographer by Smith Douglas Homes


Atlanta, GA (March 22, 2016) – JMAUROPHOTO, LLC has been selected by Smith Douglas Homes as their exclusive photographer in Atlanta. Having engaged in multiple projects together in 2015, including photography for eight new model homes throughout the Atlanta Metro area, Smith Douglas Homes needed consistent high quality photography for current and future projects.


The Atlanta-based residential home builder recently embarked on a website redesign project, which recently launched, and needed high quality photography to showcase the homes both digitally and in print. According to Dusty Talbert, Marketing Manager at Smith Douglas homes, “We previously used James Mauro (JMAUROPHOTO, LLC) to photograph one of our model homes as well as several events and were very pleased with the results, so when it came time to update our website, he was a natural choice.” The company regularly applies for awards and submits articles and photos to trade publications and saw a need to increase the quality of the photography for this purpose as well. “Having experienced Jim’s commitment to service and quality, we decided to ask him to be our exclusive photographer” said Talbert.


James Mauro (JMAUROPHOTO, LLC) adds, “We are very honored and happy to have been named as the exclusive photographer for Smith Douglas Homes and are committed to continuing our relationship and providing them with the professional level of photography and service that they have come to expect from JMAUROPHOTO.”


About Smith Douglas Homes. Established in 2008, with over 40 years of previous experience in the home building industry, Smith Douglas Homes is an award-winning home builder committed to building the best value homes in the business. They provide home buyers lower pricing and offer more square footage and better quality than any similar home. At Smith Douglas, buyers can be assured that their new home is crafted for quality, built with integrity and will maintain enduring value for life.


About JMAUROPHOTO: JMAUROPHOTO, LLC is a photography company specializing in residential and commercial architectural photography. Professional photographic services are offered to home builders, realtors, decorators, interior designers, and home improvement companies primarily in the Atlanta market. The company also specializes in executive headshot and corporate event photography and takes pride in delivering the highest quality service and value to its clientele. Learn more about JMAUROPHOTO at



Contact: James Mauro 770-330-8640

]]> (jmaurophoto) Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:02:02 GMT
Amenities Library Amenites Library for Realtors

Adding photos of the amenities in a community in which you are selling a home is a great enhancement to your listing. Families are interested in the facilities of swim/tennis clubs, and families with children are interested in child-friendly playgrounds. Displaying amenities photos with your listing can make the difference of whether or not a potential buyer gets interested in your listing.

Swimming Pool-2Swimming Pool-2Amenities for The Overlook, Kennesaw. For information on downloading, please contact us at Swimming Pool-4Swimming Pool-4Amenities for the Woodland Ridge subdivision in Marietta, GA

Our Amenities Library now includes the amenities for 28 communities in the Atlanta Metro area. Most of them are in West Cobb, but there are also several from Cherokee County, Paulding County, and Bartow County as well. If you have not visited, you're invited to go to and see if we have added the amenities for a community in which you have a home listed or are planning to.

Refer to the gallery notes for information on how you can access these photos. Naturally you can always send an e-mail to for additional information.

]]> (jmaurophoto) #amenitieslibrary #atlantarealestatephotographer #jmaurophoto #realtorresources Fri, 25 Sep 2015 19:00:16 GMT
Realtor Resources™ Announcing Realtor Resources™


We are happy to announce a new place for Real Estate Professionals to find resources to help with listing and marketing homes.


We have added a new section to our web site for Realtors to find useful information, tools, and resources to assist in their marketing activities. The site includes:

Staging and Photo Prep

If professional staging is not an option, in order to ensure the best possible photography there are still some simple preparations that can easily be accomplished to ensure that the home is presented as a showcase and will greatly enhance the quality of your photography.  Read More HERE.

Download our photography staging guide by clicking here: Staging for Success. If you prefer a version without photos, then click here: Staging Guide. These guides will not only prove beneficial for photography, but also for preparing the home for open houses and buyer viewings. We are happy to provide this as a complimentary service to any realtor.  Feel free to download and print this, and provide it to your clients. This information is also available for online viewing HERE.


Amenities Library

Another nice feature for marketing homes is the community or subdivision amenities. Is your listing in a swim/tennis club? Does it have a kid-friendly playground? Including photos of the community entrance and/or amenities can help sway a potential buyer in your favor. Visit our amenities library to see if there are amenities photographs that may help you market your listing. These are available to download for a nominal one-time use fee of for unlimited use. The fee is waived for JMAUROPHOTO clients. Please contact us for your download code. The link and download code will be included any time we photograph a home for you. Check back periodically  - we are actively expanding this library to include additional communities.

Click HERE to access our Community Amenities Library. Bookmark the link and check back regularly as we are continuously adding new subdivisions to the library.

Community Entrance-1Community Entrance-1

For  Listing Presentations

Every homeowner knows that quality photography helps bring attention to their home. Win the deal by showing your potential clients the difference that professional photography makes when you hire JMAUROPHOTO as part of your comprehensive home marketing program. Download photos that show the difference between iPhone photos, Point and Shoot Camera photos, and Professionally captured photos delivered by JMAUROPHOTO.  Click HERE to access the photos, then contact us at to request your download code. This is available as a free service to our clients.

Promotional Materials

With a 30 year product marketing career in the printing industry, we are also available to design promotional materials to help market your listings. Contact us for more information.




]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto Amenities Library Atlanta Real Estate Photographer Photo Blog Real Estate Photography Staging Guide blog" realtor Resources Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:40:47 GMT
Headshots Headshots - Before and After

A photographer is often much more than the person behind the camera. During the photo session, the photographer, with or without an assistant has many tasks to complete prior to the subject(s) arriving, especially for on-location photography such as professional corporate headshots.

Before and AfterBefore and After

(click on the photo to enlarge it)

Before the session starts

The lighting and backdrop must be carried to the location and set up, along with the backdrop stand and backdrop. Depending on the session, there can be as little as one studio light ("commonly referred to as a "hot lamp") and a reflector, or as many as four, even five studio lights set up to achieve the most even lighting and control shadows.

After all of the lighting is set up, the next step is to set the lighting for the proper exposure using a light meter. Each light is metered separately to derive the proper and desired exposure. Then they are all measured simultaneously to get the correct setting for the camera.

I like to connect, or "tether," my camera to my laptop during headshot sessions. Not all photographers do it, but I think it's a great way to work because it allows the subject to see his or her results seconds after a series of photos are captured, allowing us to make pose changes and ensure that the subject is getting exactly what they want.

After the session

After the session is over there is still more work to do for the photographer. This is when the photographer becomes a plastic surgeon and a dentist. Read more about what happens after the photography by clicking HERE. I often get retouching requests such as:

"Can you remove the wrinkles around my eyes?" 

"Can you remove my double chin?"

"Please remove the fly-away hair."

"Make me look thinner."

"Make me look younger."

In the example below, the photo was pretty good to start with, but the subject made these requests...

"Do you think you could make my face a little thinner (but still normal looking)?"

"The same with my arm closest to the camera/back of my shirt (of course I'm overly critical but I see it as sort of hunchback-ish.)"

"Also this might be a longshot but I was wondering if there's any way you could make my hair appear thicker/more voluminous, especially on the right side?"

You can see the before and after results in the photos above. The before shot is directly out of the camera - it was only cropped appropriately for a headshot. The "After" shot has been retouched as requested.


]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto before and after headhots jmaurophoto photo retouching Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:01:36 GMT
Before and After  

Before and After

Today's Before and After photo. Both photos were taken with the same camera (mine), in the same spot.

This photo, the "before" photo, represents the results you could expect from a non-professional photographer. It was taken using the camera's light meter to judge the lighting and set the proper exposure. At first glance you might think the photo is okay, However, you can see that the lighting is not even across the photo and the photo is not perfectly level.


The bottom photo, the "after" photo, represents the results you will get when using a professional who specializes in Real Estate and Architectural photography, like JMAUROPHOTO. By adding light in the right areas areas, leveling the photo, and using some special techniques, the photo is evenly lit, has a much better/brighter exposure, and in general demonstrates a photo that is much more appealing, and will better attract potential buyers to request a showing.


This is the difference I see when I compare photos of homes taken by realtors, even those with nice DSLR cameras, to photos taken by professional architecture photographers. It is also the difference the home-buyers see when browsing for homes on the internet. To me the difference is striking. Which is the photo that you prefer?



]]> (jmaurophoto) atlanta real estate photographer before and after jmaurophoto real estate photography Sat, 20 Dec 2014 21:32:10 GMT
Exposure Bracketing vs. HDR

Is it Bracketing or HDR?

Exposure Bracketing

Simply explained, exposure bracketing is a process in which multiple photos (usually between three and seven) of the same subject are taken in sequence using different exposures. Exposures are changed using either different shutter speeds (Tv) and the same aperture (Av, or f-stop), or different aperture settings and the same shutter speed. When using three exposures, one photo is underexposed, one is properly exposed, and one is overexposed. The purpose is to increase the dynamic range of the photograph from the shadow to highlight areas. Exposures are adjusted by using shutter speed (Tv – Time Value) or by using lens opening (Av – Aperture Value). Using a slow shutter speed or using a low f/stop (wide opening) increases the amount light reaching the sensor.  Increasing the shutter speed or using a high f/stop (small lens opening) decreases the amount of light reaching the sensor. Remember, a lower f-stop number increases the lens opening when the shutter is released. Increasing light increases exposure; decreasing light decreases exposure.

In the examples below the image is properly exposed and looks good. However, notice that the shadow areas are dark and lack shadow detail, and the bright, or highlight areas lack highlight detail. Photographic detail is only preserved in the properly exposed area of the subject. IMG_0935IMG_0935Normal exposure IMG_0879IMG_0879     In the underexposed photos below, the highlight areas become less bright and appear properly exposed and with good detail, but the shadow areas become very dark and lack detail. IMG_0934IMG_0934
  IMG_0878IMG_0878     In the overexposed photos the highlight areas are “blown out,” and the shadow areas appear properly exposed and maintain shadow detail. IMG_0936IMG_0936Overexposed
  IMG_0880IMG_0880     By combing  exposures, the resulting photo benefits by the details captured in each of the exposures and presents as a properly exposed image with good shadow to highlight detail, while at the same time showing good color that is not over-saturated. Natural_Living RoomNatural_Living Room IMG_0878_79_80_fusedIMG_0878_79_80_fused     Exposure bracketing can be especially useful in interior architectural photography in which lighting tends to be very uneven from one side of a room to another. It enables the photographer to capture the room with with even lighting and capture details that would otherwise not be visible. Bracketing can also be successfully employed for exterior architectural photography, especially on very bright days. It enables the photographer capture the bright, blue sky (highlight detail) as well as details in the portion of the structure that is shadowed. However, many photographer have a tendency to apply too much of the effect. Bracketing should not be confused with HDR…

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography

HDR photography is a form of bracketing and can usually be identified by highly detailed photos with very saturated colors. Depending on how it is applied. some HDR tends to be very surreal looking, and in many cases HDR results tend to be “over-baked” and fake looking. HDR photography, or as some call it, HDR Blending,” is very useful for artistic photography in which the photographer’s desire is to accentuate vibrant colors and extreme detail. Good examples of HDR can be seen in landscape photography in which the sky and cloud formations become very well defined, or to accentuate the colors of the rising or setting sun. Twilight and dusks scenes of buildings and cityscapes also provide great examples of the proper use of HDR, as does the photography of abandoned structures and rusted objects (buildings, cars, trucks, boats, etc.). Properly used, HDR is a very effective form of photography, but when overdone, HDR can leave much to be desired, especially in interior architectural photography.

Many photographers who use the HDR process for blending exposures, especially in real estate photography, tend to apply too much of the effect, resulting in photos that look unnatural, surreal, and artificial. This is not only true of interior photography, but is also of exterior photography.

IMG_0934_5_6_fused-bIMG_0934_5_6_fused-b softsoft     The photos below are a good examples of the artistic use of HDR. In the sequence below you will see three exposures of the same image: underexposed, properly exposed, and overexposed. Following the separate exposures are several applications of HDR.


The images below are far too dark, revealing no detail.

Abandoned_5-2Abandoned_5-2 IMG_8533IMG_8533

Properly exposed

These image have a nice even exposure, but lack detail and contrast. Colors are not vibrant.




The images are so overexposed that there is no visible detail.



HDR - Fused

In the examples below, colors are saturated and detail is greatly enhanced. Notice on the house how the blue door and window frames that in the normal exposure appear washed out. You can also see the texture in the wood. Also notice how green the foliage has become. Also notice the wood grain in the car (what is left), the leather on the steering wheel, and the moss growing on the dash.



HDR - Tonemapped

These are more extreme examples of HDR. 







































]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto HDR HDR Blending Photoblog bracketing exposure bracketing jmaurophoto Sat, 06 Dec 2014 19:13:35 GMT
Giving Back GIVING BACK....
After starting a new professional endeavor as a photographer only two years ago, thankfully my business has been steadily increasing. It has taken and continues to take a lot of effort to market, develop and establish, and as with anything worthwhile, it is not always easy. However, I have been blessed with the opportunity that enables me to do what I like to do and make a living doing it.
With that said, I feel I have a responsibility as well as a desire to give back to the community and am happy to announce that I am donating photography to my first charitable event on Saturday, November 15 for The Future Foundation (, whose mission is to provide quality education, health, and life skills programs for the youth in metro Atlanta, which I believe is a very worthy cause.
I am very excited and thankful to have been given this opportunity by Eric and Daisy Barnum (Acworth, GA), a wonderful couple for whom I had the pleasure of photographing their family portrait last year at Christmas, and who are hosting this worthwhile event.
Please click on the link below to learn more about Future Foundation and consider making a donation if you can.
]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto Future Foundation Photoblog charity donating photography donation Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:12:38 GMT
Professional Headshots executive headshot








Every day I receive notifications from LinkedIn regarding recommendations from connections (thank you very much!) as well as LinkedIn recommendations on who to connect with. As I review them there is something striking that 90% of these recommendations have in common... bad headshots. Plus many do not even have a photo at all. In many cases no photo is better than a bad photo!

LinkedIn is your social media connection to other professionals in your industry and related industries therefore your headshot should be a high quality professional representation and likeness of you. Your LinkedIn profile photo should not be from your recent fishing trip or your family vacation at the beach or Sea World. It should not be a photo that your spouse or friend snapped with his/her iPhone or Point and Shoot camera. 

Your LinkedIn Profile Photo should be captured by a professional photographer using professional equipment (camera, lens, lighting, backdrop, etc.).

Visit for more information and to see recent examples, then contact us by e-mail at or by using the contact form on our website.

Download our Professional Headshot Flyer by clicking HERE.

Remembering September 11, 2001...

]]> (jmaurophoto) #headshot #portrait . blog executive headshot jmaurophotoblog professional headshot Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:33:04 GMT
Before - After Real Estate Photography Enhancement

A few days ago I photographed a newly listed home for sale. The weather was perfect for portraiture because it was overcast and the lighting was very even. However it was not ideal for real estate photography. The exposure on the house itself was good and there were little, if any shadows, but the sky being overcast and grey, left a lot to be desired.

On the way home the sky turned blue, so I stopped and got a few pictures of the blue sky with some nice cloud formations. When I got home I got a little creative and replaced the flat, grey sky with the nice blue sky. I also adjusted the exposure on the house, especially the roof and sun-facing side in order to maintain a realistic appearance. While I was at it I also fertilized the lawn :-).


BEFOREbeforeclick to enlarge

The photo without any enhancements. The exposure on the house itself is good. There are no harsh shadows. But the photo is boring because the sky is bleak


AFTERafterclick to enlarge

The photo after enhancements. The sky is blue with some nice clouds. The exposure on the house is retained, but enhanced to match the sky and appear that it was photographed on a nice sunny day. The lawn has been fertilized.

If you were in the market for a new home, which photo would grab your attention?


]]> (jmaurophoto) #blog #jmaurophoto Before and After Marietta Photographer Photographic Retouching Real Estate Phorographer Real Estate Photography Sky replacement photoblog Sat, 17 May 2014 14:14:43 GMT
Real Estate Photography Preparation Staging a home for successful photography

Real Estate Photography Staging and Preparation

Do your real estate pictures make viewers say, "I've got to see this house!" or do they say, "eh, let's see the next one" ?

When potential buyers see the first photo of your home, that photo should entice them to see the rest. If after having seen all of the photos they are interested in a showing, then the photography has served its purpose. However, no matter how good the quality of the photography, if the subject of the photography is not up to par, then instead of convincing your viewer(s) to continue looking, they may be more likely to move on to see the next house. If this happens, then the presentation failed. This can easily be avoided by either professional staging or basic home preparation.

Preparing a home for successful photography and showing is an important, yet often overlooked element of the home-selling process. It's surprising how many homes are ill-prepared for photography. Great home photography can be compromised by a home that is not properly staged or prepared for the photography that is ultimately the first glimpse a potential buyer sees of the home. As a photographer, I take all of "my" photos very seriously and personally. When I enter a home to photograph it, I want "my" photos to be the best representation of the home as possible, and unless the home has been professionally staged, I often find myself moving certain items out of view in an effort to ensure the best photography I can provide to the homeowner and realtor. Having to move items adds to the amount of time required for photography, and the last thing I want to be is an inconvenience. It's best for you and for me if I can efficiently photograph the home, which means getting in and out as quickly as possible without compromising the quality of your photography.

If professional staging is not an option, in order to ensure the best possible photography there are still some simple preparations that can easily be accomplished to ensure that the home is presented as a showcase and will greatly enhance the quality of your photography. When I (or any other good real estate photographer) arrive in the home I may move small items and furniture in an effort to obtain the best “staged” appearance, and I may unplug electrical appliances so the power cords don’t show. There are, however many things that can be done in advance of my arrival that can really help. You'd be surprised how quickly your eye is drawn to burnt out lights, and that is not what you want people to remember when the look at your home. Based on my experience I have compiled a list of things that should be done to assure that your home photography is as good as you expect.


or This?

It's almost hard to believe that this is the same room. The photographer who took the picture on the left did so with the room as-is. I advised the homeowner that removing the toys would make for a much better presentation. They complied without hesitation and the results speak for themselves.

Please review the list below for recommendations to help present the home as best as possible. 

Exterior Front

  • Close Garage Doors
  • Ensure that trash cans are out of sight
  • Cars should not be parked in the driveway
  • Switch on porch lights (but not flood lights), especially for twilight photography
  • Blinds or curtains should be drawn/open
  • Remove fallen tree limbs and branches from lawn and driveway
  • Ensure that missing shutters are replaced


Even though the lawn is dormant, this home has a nice, neat presentation.

All interior

  • Open all blinds and drapes to let the light in
  • Switch on all of the lights in all rooms
  • Stow away personal items such as iPads, books, magazines, toys, etc.
  • Remove items such as dog/pet beds
  • Switch off ceiling fans
  • Hide the power cords for any electrical items
  • Replace all burnt-out light bulbs in all light fixtures


Second Floor Family Rm-1 (2) copySecond Floor Family Rm-1 (2) copy Burnt out lights and slippers. Click on the photo to read the comments.

Family Room

  • If there is a fireplace, light it
  • Set candles in appropriate areas
  • Stow away television remote controls and personal items
  • Place several books or magazines on the coffee table or end table
  • Arrange pillows on the sofa and other seating areas


Moon Road-6Moon Road-6

This home wasn't professionally staged, but it looks it


  • Remove trash cans
  • Remove cleaning instruments
  • Lower the toilet seat lid
  • Remove personal items such as soaps, toothbrushes, brushes and combs, etc.
  • Remove all floor mats
  • Ensure that towels are fresh and presented properly


This nice bathroom had a completely different look before the bathmats were  removed from view


  • Make sure the beds are neatly made
  • Items under the bed should be out of view
  • Laundry baskets should not be visible
  • Remove all personal items from view, especially on the dresser and nightstand
  • Light the fireplace


Moon Road-25Moon Road-25

An example of a nicely staged maser bedroom

Dining Room

  • Set the table or place a centerpiece on the table
  • If equipped, switch on the light in the china cabinet
  • Straighten the chairs
  • Open the curtains and let the light in
  • Make it look as if you were having guests over for dinner



A nicely decorated dining room is inviting


  • Remove the trash can from view
  • Remove all loose items from counter tops
  • Remove everything from the refrigerator door
  • Set or place a centerpiece on the kitchen table
  • Make sure that the sink is clean and free of any dishes, sponges, etc.
  • Switch on the stove light


The kitchen looks like its ready for showing

Yard, Deck, Porch, etc.

  • Arrange furniture, including cushions, pillows, etc.
  • If there is an umbrella, open it
  • Remove grill covers; hide propane tanks
  • Blow away or rake leaves, cut the lawn, prune and trim shrubbery
  • Stow away toys, etc.


This space looks ready for entertaining friends!

Laundry Room

  • Ensure that it is clear of all dirty laundry and laundry baskets
  • Close all cabinets
  • Remove all items from counters (if possible)
  • Clean the appliances to ensure they are free of fingerprints and soaps, etc.


This is the laundry room my wife wants!

For a downloadable PDF version of this article, click here: Staging for Success

For a downloadable PDF Checklist (no pictures), click here: Photo Checklist


]]> (jmaurophoto) #homestaging #homestagingtips Photoblog jmaurophoto real estate photography real estate staging staging Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:10:45 GMT
New Association - PPA I am happy to announce that jmaurophoto is now a member of the Professional Photographers of America!

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the world's largest non-profit photography association organized for professional photographers, by professional photographers with over 25,000 creative members in 54 countries. There is a code of ethics for members to abide by, and the PPA offers professional certifications, which I will soon be taking advantage of. Doing business with a photographer who is a member of the PPA assures that you are working with a professional who takes care to provide quality photography and is dedicated to your satisfaction. Another reason to contact jmaurophoto for your photographic needs!


Member, Professional Photographers of America

]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto Marietta Real Estate Photographer PPA Photoblog Powder Springs Photographer Professional Photographers of America event photography jmaurophoto Sat, 01 Feb 2014 19:44:24 GMT
Declining Foreclosures means Rising Prices Some good news about housing in the North Metro area…

Prices are on the rise and foreclosures are in decline. According to Zillow, in the past 12 months the average home price in Marietta rose from $189k to $207k: nearly a 10% increase in 12 months. Mortgage rates are still very low at about 4.25% and foreclosures in GA are the lowest in nearly 10 years. The inventory of homes has decreased resulting in higher prices (supply and demand). Read on…

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 13, 2014

"Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices, down 56 percent in January from the same month a year ago, are at their lowest level in a decade. Not so long ago, at the peak of the housing crisis, foreclosed-on homes made up the bulk of those on the market. But the number of foreclosures has been trending downward since 2011. In the past year, housing prices have risen and the inventory of for-sale homes has fallen — in large part because there are fewer foreclosures on the market.

This year, Atlanta Board of Realtors president Todd Emerson said, property values will continue to rise and sales will be up, as well. “Don’t wait for the flowers to start to bloom. Go ahead and put your home on the market now,” he said. “I think we are going to see good activity.”

Read the complete story here: Foreclosure notices at lowest level in a decade.

From the Marietta Daily Journal, January 12, 2014

"The steady decline in the amount of Cobb homes to be auctioned on the courthouse steps continued with another steep drop in the number of foreclosures for February.

According to legal notices published in Friday’s MDJ, 290 properties are scheduled to be up for auction in February, a decrease of more than 26 percent from the 393 properties that were listed for January.

The amount of foreclosed properties scheduled for February is a 62 percent drop from the 760 homes that were on the auction block a year ago in February 2013."

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Foreclosure rates drop by 26 for Feb 2014


With the prediction of higher prices and lower inventory, competition for home sales will increase and home buyers will expect more from real estate marketing efforts.

Get a head start with professional real estate photography from jmaurophoto.

]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto, "photoblog", "real estate blog", "real estate photographer" foreclosure forecast foreclosures real estate supply and demand Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:01:53 GMT
4826 Rosebury LN NW Acworth GA 30101 MLS 07188334

Virtual Tour of 4826 Rosebury LN NW Acworth GA 30101


]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto Laura Miller Edwards MLS07188334 Real Estate Photography Virtual Tour Wed, 04 Dec 2013 20:27:39 GMT
Lighting Experiment

Flash Lighting Experiment

I have seen a lot of photographers modifying the light output from their flashes using a Sto-Fen, and to a lesser extent a Gary Fong Lightsphere, both of which I have. I have also read the opinion of many photographers that light modifiers are not necessary and serve only to eat up battery power. Personally I have had success with the Sto-Fen at wedding receptions and even in real estate photography. Since I have never seen a comparison between using either of these light modifiers compared to using a bare flash, I thought I would take it upon myself. I started out by only wanting to take a few pictures of this Christmas Cactus. While I was at it, I decided to try a few different things.

Here's my disclaimer: I never set out to make a full-blown test, and although this may not be applicable to many situations, in the absence of any similar evaluation (that I know of) I think it effectively shows some differences between using these flash modifiers and not using any. I am sure there are other test elements and parameters that I've overlooked, but hopefully you will find this useful.

The Test

Compare the results with the use of a Sto-Fen, a Gary Fong LightSphere, using the built-in catchlight reflector, and no light modification. Compare

Test Method

For each use case, take a test shot with the flash pointed straight up (1), the flash point forward 2 clicks (2), and the flas pointed forward 3 clicks.

Test Parameters

  • Camera mounted on tripod. Flash on-camera.
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with latest firmware
  • Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Flash: Canon Speedlight 580EXII
  • Flash Mode: ETTL II
  • Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
  • Aperture Value: f/5.0
  • ISO Speed: 100
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative
  • Picture Style: Faithful

The room was lit by natural light and an overhead ceiling fan light (incandescent). The ceiling is a vaulted ceiling, about 9' over the subject and is painted white.

Test Procedure

Take three shots of subject with each test group. Test Group = Flash modifier + different flash angle (3). All photos shot in RAW, converted to JPEG using Lightroom 4.4 with no modification.

Test Results

(clicking on each photo will open it in a large size for better viewing.)

  Flash Angle = Straight up Flash Angle = Forward 2 clicks Flash Angle = Forward 3 clicks Flash with no modification No Mod_1No Mod_1No Light Modifier. Flash Straight up. No Mod_2No Mod_2No Light Modifier. Flash tilted 2 clicks forward. No Mod_3No Mod_3No Light Modifier. Flash tilted 3 clicks forward. Flash with Catchlight Reflector Extended White Card_1White Card_1Catchlight Reflector (flash), and no light modification. White Card_2White Card_2Catchlight Reflector (flash), and no light modification. White Card_3White Card_3Catchlight Reflector (flash), and no light modification. Flash with Sto-Fen attached Sto Fen_1Sto Fen_1Sto-Fen, Flash Straight up. Sto Fen_2Sto Fen_2Sto-Fen. Flash tilted 2 clicks forward. Sto Fen_3Sto Fen_3Sto-Fen. Flash tilted 3 clicks forward. Flash with Gary Fong Lightsphere attached LightSphere_1LightSphere_1Gary Fong Lightsphere. Flash Straight up. LightSphere_2LightSphere_2Gary Fong Lightsphere. Flash tilted 2 clicks forward. LightSphere_3LightSphere_3Gary Fong Lightsphere. Flash tilted 3 clicks forward.


Not surprisingly the color reproduced with the flash using no modification and the flash using only the catchlight card is the same. Similarly, the color reproduced with the Sto-Fen and the Lightsphere is the same (or VERY close). In my opinion, the photos taken with the light modifiers produced a more natural and "cleaner" result whereas the "naked" (no modifiers) flash shot favored a warmer result. This was like caused by the overhead lighting. The photos shot without either of the light modifiers are brighter, which is confirmed by the histograms. Also visually and confirmed by the histogram, of the "naked" photos, those using the built-in catchlight card are brighter, especially on the tops of the leaves than those shot with out the card extended.

Comparing the Sto-Fen shots to the Lightsphere shots, in my judgment the Lightsphere produced softer shadows, but the Sto-Fen produced more highlight separation. This is also confirmed comparing the histograms.

Looking at the chair back on the left side of the photo, in all cases the shadowing was minimized or eliminated when the flash was pointed straight up. The least amount of shadowing was realized without either the Sto-Fen or LightSphere. In addition, the only test shot that did not produce a catchlight/reflection on the flower pot was the shot with no modification and the flash pointed straight up.

With regard to the color, I easily adjusted the "naked flash" photos to nearly match the Sto-Fen and Lightsphere photos using the auto white balance feature in Lightroom.


In the end, I think that the best shadow detail was produced using no modifiers and the flash point 3 clicks toward the subject. However, this also produced the harshest shadows. I also think that, in this test anyway, the use of the flash without any assistance, in ETTL II mode produced the best all-around result from highlight to mid-tone to shadow. In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to place a color/grey balance card in the photo as well. Plus there was light reflecting from the window behind the flower which most definitely affected the results. However, it was the same reflection for all four flash test groups, so I think that the test results are still valid.

I'd love to hear your opinions, so please chime in and let me know what you think.



]]> (jmaurophoto) #jmaurophoto Canon Canon 580EXII Christmas Cactus Flash Flash Photography Gary Fong Gary Fong Lightsphere James Mauro Lightsphere Photoblog Powder Springs Photographer Speedlite Sto-Fen Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:23:56 GMT