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2017 Year in Review

by Aaron Yates

The end of a year is always a perfect time to look back and reflect on what’s been accomplished over the last twelve months. The winter is a natural break in the action for us, since most of our work happens during the “blooming” season rather than during cold, wet, and dreary months of December through February. This time of year is great for revisiting our own marketing strategies, updating the website, and taking stock of what went right and wrong during the year.

One annual tradition is to create a video with some of my favorite images from 2017. Here’s a look at the best of the best real estate, architectural, and construction images we captured this year.

I also enjoy remembering where I’ve traveled during the year. 2017 was a very busy year, and we were fortunate to be able to work as far north as Colorado, as far south as Laredo, west to Langtry, and east to Huntsville. I logged 21,963 business miles, with April and May being the busiest travel months. Here’s a little map I keep with my yearly travels.

2017 was a very successful year, and I look forward to serving our wonderful clients in 2018! Happy New Year to all!

Update to Pricing and Services for Real Estate

We always strive to bring you the newest and best methods of creating beautiful photography based on emerging technologies. In keeping with that tradition, we have a new method of real estate photography to introduce, along with simplified pricing.

According to some recent feedback we received, our pricing was too complicated and too variable. To simplify the pricing and bring you an easy to understand system, we’ve made a few changes. We’re also slightly changing our method of producing the interior photos. This new method has great advantages over the old method.

New Method for Interiors

This new method incorporates flash photography plus a mix of ambient lighting to drastically improve the quality of the photos. We won’t bore you with the details, but just have a look at the before and after using this new method.

So what are the main differences?

  • Truer colors: The new method tends to represent colors more accurately, especially in wood adornments and cabinetry. While the wood items on the left appear somewhat orange, the wood on the right is much more accurate. Also, the stucco and rock walls appear as the human eye sees them, in their natural colors.
  • Accurate shadows: Check out the door on the “old” image. Notice how it’s somewhat strange looking with light bleeding through the windows? And now look at the door on the “new” image. Because the flash is lighting the door instead of the ambient light, the door looks better, and more like what the human eye sees. Also notice the table and the shadows on the rug. With the old method, the light from the window is overpowering, and we see some blue colors caused by the sunlight bleeding through the windows onto the table and the rug. On the right, we still see the shape of the light coming from the window, but no unnatural blue colors or shadows.
  • Window views: With the new method, we can more clearly see what’s outside the window. Also, the colors coming in from outside, such as blue daylight or green grass reflections, aren’t present on the new method.

These are some of the differences that are apparent in this example. Overall, the image on the right is much nicer and more pleasant, but also more accurate and less misleading. Which do you prefer? Here’s another example. This one makes it even easier to see the differences. Notice the colors in the fireplace and on the ceiling, and notice the door in the background.

This new method is slightly more time-consuming to create, but it’s a trade-off that we feel is worthwhile. And best of all, our prices are not drastically increasing. Most of our clients tell us we actually deliver many more photos than they can use. So we’ve gone to this new method that takes a bit more time, and will deliver slightly fewer images, but still plenty to meet your needs on the MLS and real estate websites.

New Pricing

To solve the problem of complicated pricing, we’ve simplified things by introducing just three tiers of pricing. We have three tiers: Typical, Large, and Luxury. To compute your total expenditure for a listing, simply choose a base package, add travel, and optionally, add drone photos for an additional $75. We hope this new method is easier to understand, but if you have any questions, feel free to call or email Aaron Yates at 830-214-7635 or aaron@kerrvillephoto.com .

Typical Residential
per listing
$150
Up to 3,500 square feet on residential lot
About 1 hour on-site, 1 hour of editing
At least 30 images
MLS-sized photos
High resolution photos
Online image gallery
1 hour of photography
1 hour of editing
Email or Call for Availability
Large Residential
per listing
$225
3,500 to 5,000 square feet on residential lot
About 90 minutes on-site, 2 hours of editing
At least 40 images
MLS-sized photos
High resolution photos
Online image gallery
1.5 hours of photography
2 hours of editing
Email or Call for Availability
Luxury Residential
starting at
$275
Over 5,000 square feet on residential lot
Pricing for this plan is subject to verification. At least 2 hours on-site and at least 3 hours of editing.
At least 50 images
Sunrise or sunset included
MLS-sized photos
High resolution photos
Online image gallery
2 hours of photography
3 hours of editing
Email or Call for Availability

Travel Costs for Selected ZIP Codes:

ZIP
Location
Travel Costs
78025
Ingram, Mountain Home
$20
78010
Center Point, Camp Verde
$20
78013
Comfort
$25
78024
Hunt
$25
78624
Fredericksburg
$30
78006
Boerne
$40
Other
Per mile round-trip to other locations
$1 per mile (billed both directions)

Our Valued Clients

by Aaron Yates

We are extremely lucky to serve some of the most discerning and respected businesses in our community. Here is a list of some of the businesses that trust us with their brand and their multimedia needs. Aaron’s client list includes commercial, non-profit, educational, and private clients, including:

Commercial/Business:

  • Peterson Regional Medical Center
  • Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Kerrville’s Fourth on the River
  • Camp Rio Vista
  • Guadalupe National Bank
  • Texas Hill Country Bank
  • Mooney Aviation International
  • Cecil Atkission Motors
  • Bob Price Auto Group
  • Investment Centers of America
  • Wyndham Stablewood Springs Resort
  • Finley Financial Services
  • Garrett Insurance
  • Overwatch Security
  • Jill Reno Jewelry
  • Kerrville Physical Therapy Center
  • Gentiva Hospice
  • Fox Tank
  • Hill Country Manufacturing
  • Shonto Ranch
  • XTREME Outfitters
  • PetroSwift
  • Law Office of Patrick O’Fiel
  • TSO Kerrville
  • Icehole
  • Vision Source
  • Razor Dobbs
  • Boss Game Systems
  • Peak Fitness
  • Grimes Funeral Chapel
  • Hill Country Telephone Cooperative
  • Community First National Bank
  • YO Hotel & Conference Center
  • Earnest Roofing
  • Kerrville RV
  • Good Life Fitness Center
  • National Car Sales
  • Kerrville Vacation Rentals
  • National Gypsum Company

Publications:

  • Kerrville Daily Times
  • Hill Country Community Journal
  • Schreiner University SCENE Magazine
  • Texas Farm & Ranch
  • Lands of Texas
  • Hill Country Charm Magazine
  • Hill Country Culture Magazine
  • Kerr County People Magazine

Education:

  • Schreiner University
  • Kerrville ISD
  • Tivy High School
  • Tivy Booster Club
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal School
  • Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School

Government:

  • Upper Guadalupe River Authority
  • City of Kerrville
  • US Rep. Lamar Smith
  • Kerrville Public Utility Board
  • City of Kerrville Parks & Recreation

Builders & Contractors:

  • Huser Construction
  • Arthur Schmidt Custom Homes
  • Glinn White Custom Homes
  • Mike Dyal Custom Homes
  • Tony Roberts Custom Homes
  • JM Lowe & Co.
  • Zuber Construction
  • Chambers-Hawkins
  • Joe Atkinson, Sierra Construction
  • Texas Railing Systems
  • J3 Construction
  • Outland Construction
  • Ronnie Gesell

Real Estate:

  • Fore Premier Properties
  • Century 21 The Hills (Kerrville)
  • Century 21 Sunset Realtors (Frederikcsburg)
  • Keller Williams (Kerrville)
  • Keller Williams (Fredericksburg)
  • RE/MAX Kerrville
  • Reno Real Estate
  • Texas Land Men
  • Trip DuPerier Texas Land Man
  • Fredericksburg Realty
  • Meek Ranch Sales
  • Stransky Properties
  • Realty Executives Kerrville
  • Arden Hills Realty
  • Morris Killough
  • John Hutto
  • Chris Chedzoy, JP Properties
  • Jerrett V. Lamb, JVL Farm & Ranch
  • Ruple Properties, Pleasanton
  • Brinkman Commercial Properties
  • Texas Ranch Sales, LLC
  • Howard W. Hood
  • Wilcox Real Estate Group
  • Beaux Cook and Associates

Non-Profit:

  • Families & Literacy
  • United Way
  • Safari Club International – Texas Hill Country
  • Mo Ranch
  • Symphony of the Hills
  • Baubles & Beads
  • Community Foundation
  • Cailloux Foundation
  • Schreiner Mansion
  • Hill Country CASA
  • Magdalene House
  • YMCA
  • Symphony of the Hills

Night Time Drone Flight with KPUB

by Aaron Yates

Kerrville Public Utility Board (or KPUB) is the electric service utility for all of the City of Kerrville and much of Kerr County. I went into their office to ask some questions in regards to a completely different project, but after speaking with some of their engineers and telling them about the drone services we offer, suddenly I had a new client and a new set of projects to look forward to. This is how it always happens in a small town, am I right?

Grover at KPUB is in charge of designing the street lamp coverage and oversees the replacement of old street lamps with new high-powered LED lamps. The reasoning for replacing these guys is that the old ones are inefficient and they “leak” light upward causing light pollution. But to really show people the difference in the two bulbs, we needed some aerial imagery taken at night.

Under the FAA rules for drone pilots known as Part 107, we are not allowed to fly after sunset or before dawn, so this was a problem. But with the help of J. Rupprecht, attorney at law, I was able to secure a waiver for night operations. Part of the requirement is to install a blinking strobe that’s visible for up to three miles at night. I purchased and installed the NASS DS-30 on my DJI Inspire 1 Pro with X5 camera, and we were ready to fly!

If you or someone you know could use a professional, licensed, and insured drone pilot for commercial operations, please give us a call or an email — aaron@kerrvillephoto.com and 830-214-7635.

Here are the results of those KPUB night flights.

Symphony of the Hills | Non-Profit Promotional Video

by Aaron Yates

The Symphony of the Hills is a pretty unique group. They are a 70+ piece orchestra based right here in Kerrville, Texas. There aren’t many communities the size of Kerrville that can field a professional orchestra like this one! The Symphony approached me in the spring of 2016 and wanted to create a new promotional video that they could use to inform potential donors, grant committees, and fans about the organization and what makes it special.

Every non-profit has a very tight budget, and that’s typically by design. They’d rather spend their money on programming rather than administrative costs, marketing, or other overhead. And we judge non-profits on their ability to spend a certain percentage of their revenues on programming rather than administration. So all of our non-profit clients come to us with a budget in mind, yet of course, like all of our clients (non-profits and private groups), they want exceptional quality and focused messaging. We were able to work with the Symphony board to come up with a budget and scope of work that would accomplish all of their goals and stay within their budget.

The video below was created by using only one videographer (Aaron Yates) filming just one concert on one night. The interview/monologue was filmed separately at a later date, but was also done with only one videographer. The reason this bears mentioning is to demonstrate that high production values can be achieved without a huge production or a huge staff. Yes, if we were to film that concert for a commemorative BluRay or something like that, we’d need a lot more staff. But to film for “clips” we can get by with just a skeleton crew and still achieve fantastic results.

After filming the concert and the monologue, I edited the video to give a comprehensive (but not too long) look at what the symphony does and how it does it.

If your organization or group is interested in using video to promote itself or its mission, please contact me to discuss how we can help you. We have services available to fit almost any budget, and the services and products you receive can be used in a multitude of different ways to really leverage the value you receive.

Arrowhead Ranch | Real Estate Videography

One of the most exciting parts of my job is to be able to travel to new places every single day and be constantly surprised and enchanted by the diverse beauty that our state has to offer. Since we travel throughout most of the state every year for real estate work, I get to see a huge variety of terrain and environments, as well as countless ranches, each with their own unique personality.

Live water is probably the most precious resource that a ranch can have to attract high-end buyers. Not only is water itself a precious resource, but the recreational opportunities that it offers can greatly enhance the recreational and visual appeal of a property. The Arrowhead Ranch in Burnet County, Texas, is a live water ranch with lots of personality.

Mike Bacon is the kind of client that every small business owner would love to have. He’s professional, values good work, and is a pleasure to work with. He and his partners have listed this 1,626 acre ranch that has a couple of great ranch houses, working barns, working hay fields, and tremendous views around every corner.

Take a look at our video above that hits the highlights of the ranch, and if you’re in the market, reach out to our friend Mike Bacon for more information.

Texas Ranch Brokers – Mike Bacon

Tivy Football 2016 Season

by Aaron Yates 0 Comments

We know most fans can’t make it to every single game. But even if you have attended them all, sometimes it’s nice to catch a replay to see what you missed while you were getting your nachos at the concession stand. This season, for the first time ever, you can re-watch every single play from all ten regular season games, plus playoffs! Check out the embedded playlist below that includes all ten games so far, and visit this page again every Sunday to catch the newest games. Football games are brought to you by KerrvillePhoto.com, and funded by the Tivy Athletic Booster Club. TFND!

Check out this GIF below to see how to pick which game you want to watch, create slow motion, and change resolution to HD for viewing on TVs.

tivy-football-playlist

Real Estate Video Decision List

The number of options to consider when commissioning a real estate video can be overwhelming. You will want to consider what type of video, time of day, weather, incorporating still images, including aerial shots, including voiceover… the list seems to go on forever. In this brief post, we’ll try to simplify your decision making process to get you the best bang for your buck, helping you to please your sellers and impress potential buyers. Here we go!

JOBS: Tivy Antler Football 2016

We’re looking for a few good men and women to help us film Friday night football games and produce films like the one below. If you love football, enjoy working behind a camera, and can commit for up to five home games (and some away games), we want to hear from you!

Job Description

Camera operators for home games will arrive at the football stadium between 5:30 and 6:30 PM on game nights (see dates below) and will work until approximately 10:30 PM. Pay rate is $20 per hour. Camera ops will film all of pre-game and all of the football game from various camera positions throughout the stadium, for playback on the “jumbotron” as well as for highlight reels.

For away games, departure time from Kerrville will vary based on location, but most games start at 7:30 PM and are over by 10:30 PM. Camera ops will film pre-game warm-ups and the entire game, plus post-game festivities, and then will return to Kerrville. Transportation will be provided, and pay rate is $20 per hour of filming. Dinner will also be provided.

Home Games

  • September 9
  • September 16
  • October 7
  • October 21
  • October 28

Away Games

  • August 26
  • September 2
  • September 23
  • October 14
  • November 4
  • Possibly the next two-three weeks based on playoffs

Job Requirements

The job is physically demanding and is performed during both hot and cold weather, and sometimes rainy weather, too. It requires extreme alertness for the duration of the game with almost no breaks for three straight hours. Dress is smart casual, including collared shirt, closed-toed shoes, khaki shorts, or clean/sharp blue jeans. No smoking or tobacco use of any kind. In addition, you should be able to:

  • Easily lift 25 pounds
  • Hold a camera on your shoulder for 3 consecutive hours with very few breaks
  • Be familiar with the rules and gameplay of American Football
  • Be able to follow the gameplay closely and understand what’s going on on the field
  • Follow instructions quickly
  • Safely run 50 yards with camera in hand
  • Work well with others
  • Respect players, coaches, fans, referees, and school officials, and submit to their directives

Contact Us

If this sounds interesting to you, we want to hear from you. Contact Aaron Yates via email at aaron@kerrvillephoto.com

The Spectrum of Video Services for Real Estate

Whereas most real estate photography jobs are pretty cut and dried with very few options, real estate videography offers a whole spectrum of services and options, from very basic to very advanced. In order to shed some light on the various video options and levels of service, I have created this “Video Spectrum” that explains the costs and options from smallest to largest — and therefore inexpensive to expensive — with examples.

The costs presented here assume that you’ll need still photography and videography services, so the prices mentioned include still photography, photo editing, videography, and video editing, music, and travel, as explained in each service level. If you do not need a full set of still photography services, please let us know, and we can customize a package that fits your needs.

Even with this spectrum as a guide, there are ways to incorporate various elements into your video, so think of this as a basic guide and not a package selection tool. As always, please contact us for a custom quote and to answer any questions you may have.

Lowest Cost – Animated Stills
The most basic type of video out there today is actually not really a video at all, but more of an animated slideshow of still images. A photographer shoots a listing, and an editor puts the photos in a standard presentation order, animates them, and adds music. The costs include photography, video editing, and music licensing, and starts at just $300 for the entire package of services — photos, video editing, and music license.

Low Cost – Animated Stills with Narration

The animated still with narration and mapping option includes everything from the previous package and adds script-writing and narration services. The stills and animation will be customized to fit the narration. The cost varies based on the photography time, but starts at $400 for most local residential listings.

Medium Cost – Animated Stills, Narration, and Aerial Video

Because aerial video is less time-consuming to produce than ground-level video, a popular option is to use stills and aerial video in combination with narration to present a property on video with a moderate budget. This type of package is well-suited for a home and land combo, but not particularly well-suited for a small residential lot. The price for these services starts at $500 depending on location, size of property, number of improvements, and other special factors or considerations on a case-by-case basis.

Medium Cost – Full Video Tour without Narration

Sometimes you just need a video tour and don’t need a narrator explaining every nook and cranny of a property. If this is what you’re seeking, it’s the lowest-cost full motion video product that we offer for real estate. Costs start at $500 for Kerrville-area listings, and includes two hours of on-site photo/video, fully edited tour, edited photos, and polished video. The benefit of full motion video versus animated stills is that the motion and realism of the video really give a 3d sense of what the home and land look like… more so than just stills alone.

Higher Cost – Full Video Tour with Narration
This is where it begins to get a little bit hard to estimate cost. We provide as many hours of on-site photo/video as needed, we write a script (and have you approve it), and then we produce a fully-narrated full-motion video tour including aerials, ground-level, and other unique video capture styles that we’re known for. The cost is very hard to estimate, because property complexity varies. The minimum cost to produce a video like these is around $1,200, but can range up to $5,000 depending on the location, travel expenses, and time needed to capture the important elements of the listing. Best suited for ranches and other large properties, this is the crown jewel of real estate video.
Examples: