About 18 months ago my wife and I began searching for our first home together. We spent most of our time searching through pages upon pages on Zillow.com, as I’m sure a lot of potential homeowners do. As we were searching, one thing really stuck out to me. There are a lot of really bad photos of homes on the market. You would think someone would want to showcase their biggest investment and most valuable asset, but that really wasn’t the case. There were a lot of times if the images were bad enough, we didn’t think twice about that house and just moved on to the next. So as a recent purchaser of a home, I know how important a good picture really is to help get top dollar for that home. My own experience has led me to try and improve my techniques and skills in this area of photography.

I like being able to help listing agents, their sellers, and the future owners of those homes. Having quality, professional photos is an essential part of the home buying/selling process. Here are a couple examples of the difference between using a professional (Me) and not using one…

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To me, there are two main differences in these photos:

1) I try to use as much natural light in my photos as possible. I leave my camera on a tripod and take long exposures, normally one to two seconds total. Natural light looks so much better than florescent or incandescent in my opinion. Most agents are confused when I tell them that I want to leave all the lights off in the house, but they understand when they see the final product.

2) I use a wide angle lens, the Canon 17-40mm 2.8L. This lets me get a much larger field of view, and makes the room appear larger as well. It lets me get into tight spaces like half-bathrooms and still get a quality image. I also generally shoot from a lower angle, which tends to show more of the floor, which again makes the room appear larger

Here are two images that help illustrate #2. The first is a bedroom that I shot from a very low angle; the second is a small half-bath on the main floor of a house

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When I first starting getting into photography I never would have thought real estate work would be something that I would become interested in. Fast forward to today and I think I have a real eye for it, and I actually enjoy it taking these shots. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me, and If anyone reading this is a real estate agent then I would love to work with you some day.

Here are a few more of my favorite real state shots…

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This was the second year in a row Kelly and I were fortunate enough to be invited down to Lake Gaston by the Creasy Family. They are close family friends that we both love spending time with. In exchange for three night’s stay, all we had to do was a little family photo shoot one morning. Jack and Julia got up early and put on their best smiles, and I think the pictures turned out great. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing one of these photos on their 2015 Christmas card.

We wish we could have stayed longer, but this was three days filled with laughter, watersports, ping pong and a lot of relaxing. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!

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Check out this awesome house we stayed at! I could get used to life on the lake in a place like this!

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I can’t seem to figure out how they do it. Tamra & Gary are two of the most positive, supportive, and caring people I have met in my 29 years. No matter how crazy their own lives are (with two kids under three theirs are pretty hectic) they give you all their time and attention. They build you up with love and kind words, and they never let you come back down. The phrase that comes to mind when I think of these two is pure joy. They live life every single day like it’s their last, and they definitely make the most of every situation. Which is exactly what they did, as they got married a little over three years ago in the middle of a thunderstorm. Both swimsuit-clad, in the middle of the pouring rain, both with a huge smile on their face despite the disastrous weather all around them. I can’t say enough good things about them, and I’m so glad we were able to finally do this shoot. Tamra was skeptical that we could recreate the joy and the look of their wedding day, but I think we knocked it out of the park. This was without a doubt my favorite shoot I’ve ever done, and I’m honored to have been able to capture the obvious love these two share. I consider myself lucky to be a part of these beautiful people’s lives. Love you guys!

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Let me start by saying that Sarah absolutely killed this shoot. I had never done a shoot where the outfits/makeup/location were all set up to complement each other. So I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this, but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We decided to go with two completely different styles for the photos, and Sarah did an awesome job of playing each role effortlessly. I love the contrasting styles of the softer images next to the edgy, harder ones. The downtown flood wall was a great backdrop for this shoot. I hope everyone else likes these images as much as I do!

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Last week I had the chance to take my first ever trip out to Las Vegas for the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Conference. I have to be honest, Vegas was completely overwhelming at first. I stayed at the MGM Grand, and the sheer size of that hotel was enough to cause someone to get lost. But after a few days there, I began to settle in and really started to enjoy myself. Here’s three big reasons why…

1) There’s opportunities for good photos almost anywhere you go

2) There’s something delicious to eat about every 30 feet

3) A little roulette never hurt anyone either (I actually finished in the black for the trip)

The conference itself was really educational. There were so many talented photographers teaching and showing off their work that it would be hard to not get inspired. I can’t wait to implement everything I learned and really get Craig Hutson Photography going in the coming months! Hope you all enjoy the photos!

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