Q&A With Twist Tours – Issue 1

Q&A With Twist Tours – Issue 1: Photographers, a Peek Behind the Curtain

So, you know how our Twisters are the leaders in real estate photography, right?
If you’ve ever wanted to peek behind that industry curtain and ask us some burning questions, here’s your chance.
We’re kicking off Q&A issue 1 with some true professionals – our rockstar photographers.
But first, a little secret…

The thing is: there are two types of real estate photographers in this world.
Type #1
These are the real estate photographers whose only goal is to photograph the highest volume of properties possible in a day. Their photos are basic, lack inspiration, and fail to capture the vibe and beauty in the home. Buyers see them and feel kinda…. Well, meh.
Type #2
Ah, now, these are real estate photographers of a different breed. The artists. The passionate ones. They capture the essence of the home, create stunning photos, and make a listing or design project stand out from the crowd.

Our guys Michelle, Travis, and Cat are standing firmly in the type #2 category, each having been with Twist Tours for or just shy of 10 years! They live and breathe real estate photography, so let’s pick their brains!

Q: What did you do before real estate photography?
Michelle: “I worked in food and beverage management for several years, and I tried a corporate banking job that I kind of hated. I got into photography when my first child was born. I started a family photography business as a side hustle. It all fell into place, and I’ve never been happier!”
Cat: “I assisted in wedding photography, interned at Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, and also photographed some properties around Austin.”
Travis: “I was a fire chaser for a fire restoration company for a short time, but it was not a good fit. I liked photography as a hobby and wanted to explore other subject matters, and the timing just so happened to coincide with the Austin real estate market exploding.”

Q: How would you describe your photographic style?
Michelle: “Fun! It’s hard to resist focusing on something fun and interesting when shooting a house. I’m a sucker for cute nurseries.”
Cat: “A blend of documentary and artistic styles. When I photograph a house the end product looks like I am telling a story.”
Travis: “I want to bring the viewer into the home, to make the audience feel like they’re there and get a true sense of the space.”

Q: What are some funny or cute pet surprises you have encountered?
Michelle: “I have 100% considered smuggling pets out of shoots under my coat before. I particularly love big dogs. I once carried a tiny kitten around during my whole shoot because I could not keep him out of my shots!”
Cat: “A surprise litter of puppies in the garage or backyard! Makes my heart melt.”
Travis: “Goats are usually really interested in what’s going on and will try to get as close as possible to the camera. I’ve had pigs chase me across the yard to say hi and try to lick the lens.”

Q: Any human surprises during a shoot?
Michelle: “I was shooting a rental once and the realtor went to tidy up the bedding in one room only to discover someone was sleeping under that mound of blankets!”
Cat: “When you photograph the entire house thinking no-one’s there and then a roommate wakes up from their nap at the very end!”
Travis: “I was almost done shooting a vacant house when I heard a door/window sensor chirp. I announced myself but no one answered. I checked the house and noticed the garage door was partially opened with no one in sight.”

Q: What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
Michelle: “People are shocked at the number of houses I can shoot in one day and don’t understand how much goes into it after I leave the property.”
Cat: “That you can use your phone for photos now or that my job ends after taking the photos. Editing is equally as important!”
Travis: “That the editing process is just applying a filter or that images come straight out of the camera looking like the finished product.

Q: What’s the most challenging aspect of real estate photography?
Michelle: “Getting the colors right and getting consistent results when your lighting situations are so vastly different.”
Cat: “Color correcting can sometimes be overwhelming, like when there’s a green cast on the walls from the trees outside.”
Travis: “Dealing with challenging situations indoors and out.”

Q: What was your most unusual photoshoot?
Michelle: “I shot a huge 80’s time capsule recently that looked like the entire family just vanished at some point.”
Cat: “There was once a house with more people than I could count.”
Travis: “I photographed a 5,500-acre ranch that had a huge collection of historically significant restored barns and prototype windmills from around the country.”


Q: What do you love the most about being a real estate photographer?
Michelle: “I love that I can work around my family. When I look at my shoots when they’re edited and think’ ‘those look great’ before I send them off to their new owners.”
Cat: “Every day feels like a new day, it never gets boring.”
Travis: “The comfort and flexibility of working from home some of the time.”

Q: What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Michelle: “If you’re committed and flexible, it’s a great career!”
Cat: “Remain flexible. Being able to properly handle different situations, weather and personalities is key.”
Travis: “Time management. In most cases there are multiple contractors, prepping, and owners taking time off to all coordinate with photos being taken. You have to be on time and efficient.”

Q: What are some secrets to your success?
Michelle: “Trying something new. I would never have thought I could produce floorplans and 3D Tours, but I really enjoy that, too!”
Cat: “Never giving up. Learning to get out of my comfort zone.”
Travis: “Being detail-oriented and constantly trying to learn techniques and processes to improve my end product and efficiency.”

Q: What do you do in your free time?
Michelle: “I hang out with my kids, husband, dogs, and cats. We cuddle on couches and watch a lot of movies! We go to the Frio River as often as we can!”
Cat: “I take care of animals, hike, and garden. I also like to color and read when I have enough downtime.”
Travis: “I play disc golf, tie-dye, practice woodworking, gardening, hiking, and plan our next national park trip with my wife.”

Stay tuned…
Please note that for legal reasons, we must clarify that no pets were smuggled under coats or time capsules operated in the course of our work. At Twist Tours, our team of skilled and motivated photographers plays an important part in elevating your listing – and loves doing so!
Stay tuned for the next issues featuring even more photographers on our amazing team, and get in touch to learn more about what we can do for you.