PMRE Conference Recap 2022

PMRE Conference Recap 2022

2022 was a year of changes at the annual real estate photography conference.

What was called the PFRE Conference in the past has been updated to the PMRE Conference: Photography and Media for Real Estate. This new title was aptly fitting for the discussions that took place over the two full days of the PMRE Conference, especially on the media creation side of things.

This article will highlight each speaker and outline the topics that they discussed.

Table of Contents

Pre-PMRE Conference Workshops and Networking Opportunities

If you were able to arrive to the South Point Hotel & Casino early, you had the opportunity to participate in some professional workshops and networking events. Although I was unable to partake, I spoke with a few individuals who said they were excellent resources.

You can see what workshops were offered and their prices by clicking here. Even if you weren’t able to attend the workshops, the hotel and casino was crawling with real estate photographers. Everyone was ready and willing to talk, network, and share their stories from our industry.

This was particularly true at the Aryeo happy hour that took place the night before PMRE Conference 2022 started. Free drink tickets, a taco bar, and 50 or so other real estate photographers gathered in a room is sure to get your creative and networking ideas flowing.

PMRE Conference: Day 1

Day 1 of PMRE Conference 2022 had 5 speakers on the stage and touched on a wide range of topics.

After a visual countdown accompanied by some pretty epic music, this years co-hosts, Kristine Kohl of Kristine Kohl Photography and Bethany Diedrich of Highland Visual, took the stage to get things started.

Kristine and Bethany were energetic and got the audience into the right frame of mind prior to each speaker. They created a warm sense of friendship which undoubtably was felt by all in attendance and helped create a great networking environment.

Branick Weix - Aryeo

PMRE Conference

The opening speaker at PMRE Conference 2022 was none other than our own, Aryeo CEO and Co-Founder, Branick Weix. Branick gave an excellent talk titled “State of the Industry” that expertly outlined the current state of the real estate photography market.

It was a talk filled with very up-to-date statistics in easy to digest graphs. Branick did an excellent job of putting a real estate photographers’ job into a larger perspective.

Using real life data, Branick drove home the point that real estate photographers are really media companies with a much higher value than many might think.

We’ll have more to come on Branick’s talk, specifically in the form of more articles that take a deep dive into the graphs and statistics that Branick discusses at the PMRE Conference 2022.

Stay tuned for eye opening data in regards to pricing, services offered, and more from the real estate photography industry in the weeks to come.

Reed Fish - Up Market Media

PMRE Conference

The next presenter at PMRE Conference 2022 was Reed Fish from Up Market Media. Reed’s talk was about scaling up your real estate photography business while achieving a great work/life balance. 

He continuously touched on the point of working with other people in order to make your life easier. He used personal examples from his own life and business to really illustrate what he was trying to get across to the audience.

Reed noted the importance of asking yourself the question “Why?” a lot. Figuring out why you want to scale your real estate photography business will be the best guide for you in the process.

It’s not enough to just want to scale your business because there are so many different ways to go about it. Just see our article, Best Ways to Scale a Real Estate Photography Business to see the various avenues you can take to achieve scale.

Figuring out why you want to scale your business will help you achieve your goals much faster. Want to work less and spend more time with family? Reed would say that you need to scale for that specific goal, not just for more business.

Reed’s answer to the question of ‘why?’ was simply that he wanted a better life. This led him to merge with a competitor in his in his market and has since opened up his schedule for tasks he enjoys and more time with his family.

His biggest piece of advice was to find some sort of mentor or business advisor. I can speak from experience that Reed’s advice is true and is probably the best thing that anyone can do if they want to scale their business.

Reed offered practical and actionable elements to scaling your business like figuring out your finances, implementing goals, creating boundaries with your clients, using systems (like say, Aryeo maybe), and outsourcing the things that you don’t need to do.

Emily Olman

Emily Olman from Hopscotch Interactive gave an incredible talk at PMRE Conference 2022 that focused on how we should be thinking about and using technology like NFTs, the Metaverse, and AI.

Although her talk was about how these technologies would be implemented in the future, she also offered up a guide to how we should be thinking about and using these technologies in the present.

Technology can be slow to be implemented and can be very unpredictable in terms of how it’s going to change things. Gaining an understanding of these new technologies can help real estate photographers (and all photographers really) future proof our businesses.

One of the main points that I took away from Emily’s PMRE Conference talk was that we as real estate photographers are in a very unique situation to influence the industry of related technologies.

Companies aren’t purchasing photos, they’re purchasing data, and we are the ones out in the field producing that data. This offers us a huge opportunity and is yet another reason why we need to reassess the value that our photographs and media content bring to the world.

Emily also touched on how we should start to think about our images differently. Instead of just photos to sell a house and then becoming useless, she described a future where our photos will become reusable across various fields.

The general idea behind her talk was that we are currently in uncharted territory. NFTs, AI, the Metaverse, and other forms of “future tech” are very closely related to what we do as real estate photographers.

It’s a good idea to have an understanding of these technologies sooner rather than later so we can implement them into our businesses properly.

Arturo + Lauren

Arturo + Lauren make an excellent team and offered up a talk that highlighted the importance of video services. If you’re not a fan of Arturo + Lauren already, have a look at their Instagram and watch a few of their videos. They have some serious talent.

Their talk started by highlighting the importance of video and why video is better than photography for storytelling and emotions. Being able to incorporate voices, music, and verbal explanations are all very powerful tools.

Arturo + Lauren drove home the point that now is an excellent time to get started in video. Just a few years ago, the gear necessary to produce high quality videos was somewhat prohibitively expensive, especially if you were unsure about your skills as a videographer.

However, there are tons of affordable options today and it’s likely that many photographers already own some of the gear necessary. You can check out our Gear page which has articles and reviews featuring the latest real estate photography and videography gear.

Throughout their entire talk they offered up excellent ideas for videos and strategies for marketing. Personally, I’m going to implement a few that I learned like consistent branding across all video content, neighborhood highlight videos, and homeowner testimonials.

Arturo + Lauren gave actionable ideas to really drive home their point that creating great video content is both achievable and worth it. Even simple vertical videos filmed with your phone and a mobile gimbal can look amazing and be an add on to offer your clients.

Staying on top of trends, like Instagram Reels, is a great way to continue to learn in the video creation field. Once there is a new feature available on social media, reach out to some of your clients and offer to create content tailored to this new feature for them.

We’re all experiencing the current shift to a “video first” mindset across most of social media. Just like many of the other speakers mentioned already, we are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend.

Devon Pastorius

PMRE Conference

Devon Pastorius is a real estate photographer based out of Windsor, Ontario and his talk was a bit of a step back from the nitty gritty in our industry. Devon challenged the idea of “photos sell homes” and asked that everyone in attendance attempt to change their mindset.

Personally, I found this talk to be absolutely on point and a great way to revamp your business model. The main idea behind Devon’s talk was this: we don’t sell houses, we sell real estate agents.

He outlined this idea by asking the audience to think about how real estate agents market themselves. Even the agents themselves don’t use a huge marketing strategy to sell houses. Their marketing strategy is designed to get more listings.

Billboards. Television commercials. Magazine and newspaper ads. Real estate agents don’t really market the houses they have to sell. Instead, they market themselves. And they do this to get more listings.

We as real estate photographers, again, are in a unique position to help them achieve this goal. Are you noticing the “unique position” trend yet?

Once we as real estate photographers achieve this shift in mindset, we will actually be better able to service our clients since we now know what it is that they want to achieve.

We need to show them that our photos don’t just sell homes, but that they’re actually an integral part of their marketing strategy to get more listings. This is where we can find our true value as real estate media creators.

The hardest part of an agents job isn’t selling a home, it’s landing more listings. Homes will sell as long as the price is correct for the market. However, future listings are not guaranteed unless they have a strategy in place.

This talk was particularly enjoyable for me and I found myself nodding my head in agreement throughout. I’d already written an article touching on the same exact points, Real Estate Photos Don’t Just Sell Homes, They Sell Realtors Too, so it was great to hear the same thing being discussed at PMRE Conference 2022.

PMRE Nightcap Networking Social

PMRE Conference

Day 1 of PMRE Conference 2022 ended with a nightcap networking social, which was exactly what everyone needed after a full day of learning how to better run a real estate photography business.

There were give aways that featured coaching with top real estate photographers, gift cards, and even a Macbook Pro. Everyone was friendly and eager to talk about real estate photography with their fellow photographers.

The night ended with a live band. Although I didn’t make it quite late enough to see the band perform, I was told it was a great concert and an eventful evening.

PMRE Conference: Day 2

PMRE Conference 2022 continued for a second day which highlighted four of the best photographers in our industry.

It’s not often that you find yourself in the same room as so many talented professionals, let alone a seat in the audience as they share their expertise.

Wayne Capili, Fraser Almeida, & Tony Colangelo

PMRE Conference

Wayne Capili from Interface Visual, Las Vegas’ own Fraser Almeida from Luxury Homes Photography, and Tony Colangelo from Tony Colangelo Photography all shared the stage for a very thorough live photo critique and editing session.

Real estate photographers attending PMRE Conference 2022 were invited to share their images to be critiqued on stage and even re-edited by three of the industry’s best. Kudos to those that took this opportunity and undoubtably learned a lot when their photos popped up on the screen.

Wayne, Fraser, and Tony walked us through their thoughts on each image and encouraged questions and engagement with the audience. It was truly a live critique and Q&A in every sense.

They got into the nitty gritty of what makes a good photo, how to think about lighting, why some compositions work better than others, and everything else you can imagine.

The encouraged audience engagement helped to really get into the thought process of Wayne, Frasier, and Tony starting from what they do when they arrive on location all the way through post-processing.

The idea of finding that perfect balance of light within the photos was spoken about constantly. You can read more about that by checking out our article Lighting for Interior Photography, which discusses many of the same ideas.

Identifying all your light sources and making sure you use them to produce a natural looking photo was a point made over and over again, regardless of how good the image they were critiquing was.

It was made clear that in order to produce top quality images as real estate photographers, we have to have a deep understanding of the lighting process

Ema Peter

Ema Peter was the final speaker at PMRE Conference 2022 before the closing Q&A panel. If you don’t yet know who Ema Peter is, then prepare for some serious inspiration. Go view her website here and then check out her Instagram. She is outrageously talented.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been a fan of Ema’s for years, but after she finished her talk I wanted to grab my camera immediately and start pushing my own boundaries. She was inspirational and encouraging while also being extremely humble.

Ema started her presentation by talking about and quoting Art of War by Sun Tzu. I never expected to hear how Sun Tzu is related to real estate photography until Ema related it to how conscious we have to be when developing strategies into our work.

Without descriptive goals and proper strategies to achieve those goals, much of which is talked about in Art of War, we won’t be working towards something, we will just be working.

Ema spoke about her career as a photojournalist and shared incredible images from both herself and others. She spoke about how necessary it was for her to gain inspiration from others work, something which was clear throughout her entire presentation.

When she eventually made the switch from photojournalism to architectural photography, she used many of the same principles to excel in the field.

She spoke of capturing the decisive moment; when the eye, heart, and lens are all in unison and experiencing the same thing. These moments make great photographs.

If I had to generalize Ema’s talk into just a few thoughts, it would be this:

Follow your passion and know what you want to accomplish. Work hard. Understand yourself, those around you, and your market. Don’t be afraid to go against all the rules you’ve been taught. Always consider the how the public will feel about an image.

PMRE Conference Speakers Panel

PMRE Conference

The speakers panel featured Ema Peter, Reed Fish, Emily Olman, Fraser Almeida, Tony Colangelo, Devon Pastorius, and Arturo Engel. It was moderated by Rachael Ann from the real estate photography podcast, Shooting the Shit.

The panel answered questions that were submitted by the audience and did an excellent job at offering different perspectives. I found the different perspectives to be particularly helpful since everyone in the audience lives in different markets, has different goals, and runs their businesses differently.

Some highlights from the panel included a full discussion on pricing of services, implementation of marketing strategies, and the panel members most embarrassing moments when on a job.

Takeaways from PMRE Conference 2022

Overall, I’d say there were two general themes from this years PMRE Conference:

  1. Real estate photographers are not just photographers, we’re media creators.
  2. It’s more important now than ever that we value our skills and services properly.

In one way or another, every speaker touched on both of these points. Whether it was Branick’s focus on the value of real estate photography right now, Emily’s ideas about future technologies, or Devon’s idea of shifting the mindset to selling realtors, the message was quite consistent.

We need to have a better understanding of our value. We offer so much more than just photos to sell homes and as soon as we as an industry have this realization, we’ll be in a position of influence in the greater media content space rather than just real estate sales.

Personally, I love that these were the overall themes of PMRE Conference 2022. Time and time again I’ve written about how we need to value our talents and services more and quite simply raise our prices.

Whether it’s something like our article on Why You Need to Charge More for AirBnb Photos, our Guide to Licensing Past Real Estate Photographs so you can increase the value of each image you capture, or the Scaling Your Real Estate Photography Business and Selling Realtors articles mentioned above, we need to value ourselves more in this industry.

I’m quite happy that I attended PMRE Conference 2022. I left inspired to grow my own business and take better photographs. If you’re looking for the same inspiration, consider coming to next year’s PMRE Conference.

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About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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