Thursday, February 18, 2016

Business Owner Area: Logging In and Getting Started

After you have the proper equipment, we will set up a MVL Business Owner account. Still need to get equipment? See here. Use the Business Owner area to setup your contact information, generate business card designs and flyers, create a Test account…also use to create client Realtor accounts, add funds to order tours, upload tours, edit tours, upload custom client videos, request any new brokerage designs for Realtor’s company, etc. URL to login: You’ll receive this URL in an automated email as well as a username and password to complete the login. Note: What email should you use?  You can either use your own business email if you have one, or we can set up a business email using (let us know).

Getting Started:

  1. Update your profile information
    1. After you login, click “Real Estate Virtual Tours” photoreal estate virtual tours login
    2. Scroll and click “My BO Profile”
    3. Click “Create My Profile”
    4. Add your work phone number and other info, Title can be: Virtual Tour Provider
    5. Note: All this information will be used on marketing materials
    6. Click "Save my Profile"
  2. Request Marketing Materials design
    1. After you login, scroll and click on "Marketing Center"
    2. For each marketing material, check off the box and click "Send me PDF File" - this will request designs for Business Card, Flyer and any other designs in the Marketing Center area
  3. Create a Test account for Test tours - This will be used to upload your free test tours that will be reviewed, not to be used for clients!
    1. Note: Before a test tour is uploaded, review the required shooting settings for panoramics and the panoramic upload process.
    2. After you login, scroll to "Real Estate Agents"
    3. Click on "Create Real Estate Agent"
    4. Fill out the fields. All you need is a first name (John), last name (Doe) and your email.
    5. Click "Create Member's Account"
    6. Note: this is the Test agent you will use to upload all Test tours
These are the main steps to getting started in your MVL Business Owner area.  Please contact us first before you do test shoots so you understand the process and proper settings in order for the panoramic shots to be accepted for stitching.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Guidelines: Walking into a Property for Photography

When you first get to a property for photography, homeowners should have the home all set up for you right? NOT NECESSARILY! Unfortunately, the inconvenient truth is that homeowners need help with what will be potential eye sores in their real estate photography. Here is a list of helpful to-do's when you enter a home for photography... QUICK FACTS for home photography prep:

  • Turn on lights to front of house. It's a nice glow for front shots.
  • Hide any large outdoor trash receptacles that would show in photos
[gallery size="medium" link="file" columns="2" ids="621,620"]
  • Turn on all the lights, including side lamps (Fans OFF). Put the homeowners or Realtor to work and have them start while you photograph the front (even over the stove lights!)
  • Open blinds slats or open completely to see backyard or pool through living room (ask homeowners to help)
  • Hide obvious personal photos/frames
  • Hide shoes and jackets into a closet
  • If something looks cluttered, let the homeowners help you hide objects
  • No pool toys in the pool
  • No animals in photos!
  • Hide all trash and bathroom
  • Removed all refrigerator magnets (looks cluttery!)
  • Remove cluttery kitchen such as a lot of small appliances on counters and hide Paper Towel Rolls!
  • Make sure all the beds are made and pillows look neat (nothing strewn about)
  • Hide trash cans
  • Hide toothbrushes (yuck!)
Our job isn't to clean or stage a home, but at the same time, there is some effort we can do to make our products stand out other than how we shoot photography. That means being prudent with items in the list above and going above and beyond. Realtors look to us to encourage unknowing homeowners to move or hide objects that just don't look appealing in real estate photos when potential buyers see their home. A lot of the above list can be sent to the Realtors ahead of time in their Estimate for Services. They can relay a lot of the prep that can be done before you arrive. Inevitably, there will be homes that still need a little attention to detail. Remember, if you miss something, it can always be edited out!  For example, some Realtors are particular about cracks in driveways - that they are distracting even if they are a part of the home. Still, you can remove or soften the looks of the cracks.

Guidelines: Walking into a Property for Photography is courtesy of

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Uploading Panoramic Shots to MVL

When uploading a tour for a client that has panoramics, make sure you choose "360 Panoramic Scene" under Select Tour Package AND "Premium Skin" under Select Tour Skin. The system includes 4 panoramics to be stitched. If clients want more than four, select how many extra panoramics under Extra Pans dropdown. My_Visual_Listings_-_Premium_Panoramic_Tours The next page you select the Realtor and input the property information such as address, city, state...number of bedrooms and bathrooms...the property type and style. Check off "Set music as Random and skip the "Select Music" step." Now you can upload your still shots in the Stills folder. Must be in order. For Panoramics, highlight the folder by clicking once, then select "New Folder" and fill out the label for the room. This is where you upload each set of panoramic shots by clicking on Add Files button and selecting your 11 photos of that one room. Virtual_Tour_Panoramics Here's what one set of panoramic photos look like. Shot in manual mode, with manual flash, checking the exposure throughout each shot (no blown out windows). All photos are consecutive 11 shots (1 shot is an overlap). This would be added to the Living Room folder: real estate professional photography_01 real estate professional photography_02 real estate professional photography_03 real estate professional photography_04 real estate professional photography_05 real estate professional photography_06 real estate professional photography_07 real estate professional photography_08 real estate professional photography_09 real estate professional photography_10 real estate professional photography_11 Once all the files are added to both the Stills and Panoramics folders, you can then click "Start Upload." Make sure you verify that the upload has completed and nothing was stalled during upload.

Uploading Panoramic Shots to MVL is courtesy of

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What skills are needed to becoming a successful entreprenuer

  Becoming successfull takes many skills.  Skills that you have been picking up over the years whether you know it or not.  Here is a good list of traits that will seperate you from your competition this year.  Do you have all of these? "The first skill is FOCUS: Understand there will be numerous things that need to be done on a daily basis so the key here is pinpoit specific tasks at specific times and get it done. The second skill is RESILENCE: You can give up when things get tough. As an entrepreneur things will get cray cray but you have to keep moving forward. The third skill is MANAGEMENT: As a successful business owner having the right people in place and knowing how to properly management will allow you to have a successful business. The fourth skill is LONG TERM VISION: If your striving for real success in your business your not only planning for those short term goals but your able to map out a whole year ahead of time. The fifth skill is SALESMANSHIP: Now this skills requires you to put yourself on the line. You must be able to sell YOU, INC. You must be able to get your vision across to others. The sixth skill is SELF RELIANCE: This skills requires that you can depend on YOU. The seventh skill is SELF REFLECTION: This skill  requires you to learn from your mistakes and move forward in the right direction. The eighth skill is LEARNING: This last skill is simple….NEVER STOP LEARNING. You will find as your on this journey that you will be constantly learning something new everyday. Take it all in and implement the hell out of it." Source:

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Using External Flashes

This video explains how to use two external flashes when shooting real estate photography. This is based on trying to achieve the least amount of post-shoot editing possible by properly lighting a room and adjusting the shutter with the flashes to expose for both the interior and exterior through windows.


  1. Set Flashes to Manual
  2. Set your Exposure then use Flash power between 1/64 - 1/4 based on room size and desired brightness of room
  3. Don't over flash the room, especially watch out for washing out detail with too much light (Always easier to brighten the shadows than to darken with post-shoot editing)
  4. Use one flash mounted on the camera, the other in your hand
  5. Watch out for shadows caused by the flashes (Ex: Ceiling fans, Angled walls, Decor). Try two different positions with the hand-held flash.\
  6. Windows: Under-expose the shot by increasing the shutter and using the flashes to properly expose the interior, while achieving the desired look of seeing objects through the window. Note: Increasing the shutter too much can have a negative effect on the warm look of the shot.
  7. Too fast a shutter (usually over 1/200) will not sync with the flash. If at 1/200 and it's still not enough to get through the windows, may have to then adjust Aperture to get desired look through window.

Watch the Video Tutorial on Using Flashes in Real Estate Photography


The following post Using External Flashes is available on MVL Virtual Tour Photography

Friday, January 1, 2016

Auto Exposure Bracketing during Shoots

Use Auto-Bracketing on your Camera for High-Light Situations

[gallery size="full" link="file" ids="554,553"] The Problem: Over-exposed (blown-out) windows when the interior is properly exposed. Two flashes and faster shutter are not enough to properly expose outside the windows (Ex: see the foliage). OR The sun is hitting your lens outside, making the front of the house improperly exposed for both the sky and the house. Instead of trying to get one poorly exposed shot, use bracketing to get three (3) different exposures (Normal, Dark and Bright) and blend them together in post-shoot editing.

How to get bracketed shots during the shoot:


Auto Exposure Bracketing during Shoots Find more on: Real Estate Virtual Tours by My Visual Listings