When your Living Room has a view of the Courtyard…which has a view of the Family Room…which has a view of the backyard and hillside.
So I get a notice that someone is using a few of my photos. I check a listing and, sure enough, something I shot two years ago (and it sold) is on the market again with a new agent — let’s call him Kevin — and he liked my outside pictures a lot, it seems. It happens a fair bit.
So I can either…
- Ask them to remove them.
- Just send them an invoice.
- Report them to MLS.
I chose Option 1 and fired off a quick e-mail. Next morning, no response. So I left a voice mail, too.
Later in the day I got a call while on a photo-shoot and let it go to voice-mail. It was Kevin saying they’d gotten the pictures off Zillow — “a public web site” — and I’d have to provide documentation that I owned them.
I called them back later and explained that just because you found them online didn’t make them free. I have pictures here — they’re not free to use. They’re licensed to people and I retain the copyright. And it’s they who have to prove to MLS that they have the right to use them — Kevin said they’d never heard of that. This despite “doing this for 30 years.” Whatever.
Later I get CC’d on an e-mail from Kevin to our MLS’ compliance department about a complaint against them and they said they were removing my photos.
Meanwhile, I hadn’t reported Kevin at all.
I looked at the compliance e-mail they were responding to and it was a completely different matter that some agent had ratted them out on — on pretty much every other photo in the listing. So now they’ve removed my photos (and admitted to MLS they were using photos without permission) but the original problem Kevin got dinged for still exists.
Of course, Kevin is the victim in all of this.
10:30am, Agent One: What’s your availability this week?
10:31am, Me: Depends on the address — what is it? (I like to see how it sits to determine when to shoot.)
10:45am, Me: Need to see how it sits and what slots I have. Address?
11:05am, Agent Two: Got a house at [address] — when can you shoot it?
11:08am, Me: Faces south-ish, how about Noon on Friday?
11:10am, Agent Two: Great! See you then.
11:30am, Agent One: It’s in Shingle Springs.
11:31am, Me: I need the address to see how it’s positioned.
11:48am, Agent One: The address is [address]. Can you do it Friday?
11:50am, Me: [looks, needs noonish shots] An hour ago I could have.
Sometimes you have to do a ‘different’ angle because of something else. The above, for example — see that brick wall out there? It surrounds a utility area where the pool filter sits. I didn’t find the pool filter terribly attractive — big black egg-shaped thing — so I setup my camera in such a way that it’s behind the door.
I learned a few things recently.
One, I learned that if I open the door to an home that’s supposed to be unoccupied and there’s a mirrored closet door directly in front of the door I’m entering, I’ll scream like a little girl.
Second, I learned that I think people who put a mirror directly in front of a door are assholes.
Awhile back I posted an Open Letter to Stagers and Decorators.
I’d now like to show you an example of Roosters Gone Wild
Here’s shot 1 of the kitchen
You’ll note the rooster dispensers (2), basket, and figure atop the cabinet. Just four or five.
Now, here’s the kitchen from the other corner….
Quite the cockfest. 27 by my count.