How to recognize a good Photographer (or at least a decent one)

Photography, being art, is indeed a subjective matter. What one person considers sublime, another may find inadequate. Some agents or clients appreciate the work of a professional with minimum input, while some (thankfully, only a handful) assume they always know better and have to add their 'expert touch' to almost every single photo (Oh, joy!).
A good photographer knows the rules of proper composition, lighting, staging, what should be photographed - and what shouldn't. They should know where the focal point is. Unfortunately, some clients seem to think that because the sky wasn't a specific shade of blue, or that the shot should have been 1 foot more to the left, nobody will be interested in the property. These trivial issues appear quite often, as I have found out from experience and by talking to some of my fellow photographers. In have therefore decided to concoct this list in hopes that it will help clarify what is an acceptable claim - and what is not. Let us keep the beauty and subjectivity of art alive, while keeping our eyes on the objective: To attract potential customers!
I hereby present you with a list of valid no-no's that I hope may help in your assessment. Enjoy :)

Photo Settings/Composition/Processing:
Photos are out of focus
Photos are distorted
Noise resulting from high ISO settings
Narrow depth of field affecting overall sharpness
Pixelation resulting from wrong settings or extreme cropping
Visible dust or specs from dirty lens (or house)
Lens flares resulting from bright light sources
Photographer or equipment reflection/shadow clearly discernible on any surface
Colors are off, or there is excessive saturation at either end of spectrum
Color temperature is inconsistent beyond an acceptable range
Photos were overprocessed or embellished (mostly in the form of HDR enhancement)
Photos are too narrow or too wide (focal length)
Photos taken at inconsistent heights
Photos taken at unnecessary angles (looking up or down)
Verticals and horizontals not corrected
Visible evidence of flash lighting (reflections/pronounced shadows)
Inadequate composition, missing focal point repeatedly
Photo partially blocked by door, wall, shower door, counter, plants, etc.
Photos are too dark (underexposed) or too bright (overexposed). Loss of detail resulting from either one
Blown highlights or blocked shadows throughout
Image compromised due to shooting against a bright light with no correction (Sun, overly bright window)
Objects in tangent that are visually distracting

Photo Shoot Site Errors:
Photographer missed important feature (Master Bedroom, Kitchen, Front of House, etc.)
Toilet seats were left up
Lights are consistently not turned on 
Identifiable personal photos and items present in photos - or not blurred out
Curtains/shutters/drapes closed without good reason, or uneven
People, pets present in photos
Inadequate/distracting background resulting from wrong composition/angle
Too much clutter in photos (photographer should request items be removed, or obtain consent from agent to shoot as is)

Service and Product Quality:
Quantity of photos delivered is significantly less than promised or agreed
Delivered over 24 hours after promised time without notifying agent of justifiable delay
Photographer took unnecessary photos of cluttered closets, garage, etc.
Photographer was late, rude, uncooperative, or in a rush
Photographer increased price of shoot without prior consultation or approval

And there you have it. While some of these blunders are grounds for a re-shoot or perhaps a discount - or even a refund, always keep in mind the amount and consistency of these occurrences. Photographers are human beings, and can therefore miss a couple of things here and there, especially when working on a house with no staging (therefore having to move things around and 'stage' every room), and with owners, children, and even pets present. In this case, a fair and common-sense approach is preferable. Now, if this becomes consistent throughout the shoot, that's a different story.
Time to give someone else a 'shot'.​​​​​​​

My pictures were featured in the February edition of Digs magazine, as well as the LA Times!
You know that warm, fuzzy, cozy feeling you get when you arrive home - at least in an ideal world?
Nothing better to evoke these emotions than a well-composed image of the house of your dreams in the early hours of dusk. Honest emotions that can play a decisive factor. Did you picture that?
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