Property Photographs—2002 W Delray Drive :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Exterior home drone aerial photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior home drone aerial photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Super clean, remodeled throughout, and move-in ready on the upper west side of Peoria. Three bedrooms and three bathrooms with an attractive open living room/dining room/kitchen area upstairs. Christine Goodman has the listing and all of the details are on Realtor.com: 2002 W Delray Dr, Peoria, IL, 61614.

I used the drone for the aerials of the front and rear exterior views. These give the home a unique perspective that helps it stand out as shoppers are browsing through listings.

Exterior home drone aerial photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior home drone aerial photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room and dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room and dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room and kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room and kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bathroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bathroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bathroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bathroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Posted on March 27, 2017 and filed under Photographs.

Three Questions You Need to Ask Before You Hire a Drone Photographer

Home exterior photographed with a drone :: Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL // Michael Gowin

Home exterior photographed with a drone :: Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL // Michael Gowin

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS)—more commonly known as drones—are soaring in popularity in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recorded 670,000 drone registrations in 2016 and that number is expected to grow in 2017.

With the ability to make photographs and videos from new vantage points, a drone pilot can capture unique images for your business. Whether you need marketing photographs of a home for a real estate listing, a survey map of a farm field, or the ability to inspect a building or tower, drones offer notable advantages over traditional methods of doing the same things.

This new technology creates new opportunities but business owners, from real estate agents to farmers, need to be aware that they can't hire just anyone with a drone to do a job. Here are three crucial questions you should ask a drone aerial operator before you sign a contract.  

1. Are you an FAA-certified remote pilot?

The FAA passed new rules on August 29, 2016, governing the commercial use of unmanned aircraft in the national airspace. Referred to as Part 107, those rules include the following requirements for remote pilots (drone operators):

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center
  • Must be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)
  • Must register their aircraft

Drone operators who fulfill these requirements receive a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating from the FAA. Hobbyists aren't held to the same standards but anyone flying commercially—for hire to photograph a house, survey a farm field, or inspect a tower—must be FAA-certified. If they're not, they are breaking the law. Penalties could include steep fines.

There are other requirements and guidelines as well but a certified remote pilot should be familiar with them. Before you hire a drone photographer, ask if they are FAA-certified.

2. Are you authorized to fly in this area?

If you live in an area that's anywhere near an airport, your photographer might need permission from the FAA to fly there.

The FAA is concerned that all aircraft operate safely while they're in flight. Areas adjacent to airports are considered controlled airspace and remote pilots must be authorized by the FAA to fly in those areas. In central Illinois (where I live), for example, much of Peoria and Springfield are covered in Class C airspace and the entire Bloomington/Normal locale is encircled by Class D airspace.

As part of their certification training, remote pilots learn to read airspace maps called VFR sectional charts. Using these charts, remote pilots can see where controlled airspace begins and ends so they can 1) avoid a potential collision with manned aircraft and 2) be compliant with FAA rules.

Additionally, areas like national parks and the airspace around Washington, D.C., are prohibited and ban the use of drones entirely. Temporary flight restrictions, or TFRs, for special events (presidential visits, sporting events, etc.) can limit the use of unmanned aircraft as well.

Remote pilots can seek waivers/authorization from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace but these can take time for the FAA to review and approve—up to 90 days. The FAA is taking steps to reduce the wait but, at the moment, expect a 90-day lead time. 

Check with your drone photographer well in advance of your project to ensure they can request authorization if necessary.

3. Do you have drone insurance?

The last thing you want is to have your project spoiled by a crashed drone—or worse. A crashed aircraft can damage property and injure those on the ground.

Any good photography business will carry general liability insurance. In many cases, though, that general liability policy won't cover the use of an unmanned aircraft. Insurance companies now offer policies especially for drones. Though the FAA doesn't require remote pilots to carry drone insurance (yet), it's best to make sure your photographer is adequately insured in case of an accident. 

The proof is in the documents

Conscientious remote pilots should have their FAA documentation (Part 107 sUAS certificate and aircraft registration), any waivers/authorizations they've received, proof of insurance, as well as a pilot's log book available for prospective clients to examine. Just ask!

One last thing

If you plan to hire a drone pilot for photography or video work, you might find it helpful to familiarize yourself with the legal guidelines for commercial drone projects. KnowBeforeYouFly.org has an excellent—and brief—overview of those rules.

And one last, last thing: I passed my Part 107 certification test in February 2017 and am logging training hours on a DJI Mavic Pro drone. I'll be offering my clients drone aerial photography and videography services soon—stay tuned.

Posted on March 1, 2017 and filed under Advice.

Property Photographs — 1824 California Road, Pekin :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Exterior home photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior home photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Want privacy and space in the country but easy access to urban amenities? This could be your next home.

This Victorian-styled home features a country-contemporary interior with four bedrooms and a spacious finished basement. Beautiful hardwood floors and light oak details throughout. And it's located just minutes from Pekin, Morton, and Peoria.

Before I came in for photography, Elaine Goslin and Cheryl McGuire from Turning Point Spaces staged and styled the home. I appreciated their design work on another Peoria home I photographed last year—you can see they do a fine job.

Chris Augspurger in Morton, IL, has the listing. See more photos and full details at Realtor.com: 1824 California Road, Pekin, IL 61554.

Interior living room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior home office and dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior home office and dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior home office photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior home office photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior hallway and stair rail detail photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior hallway and stair rail detail photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Posted on January 26, 2017 and filed under Photographs.

Staging Photographs — Peoria, Illinois, Interior Photographer

Living room home interior detail photograph :: Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Living room home interior detail photograph :: Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Here's a project I recently photographed for stager and designer Tracy Molendi.

This home was being prepped for sale and needed a complete overhaul—paint, flooring, design, appliances—everything. Tracy worked with the homeowners to create an attractive space that would attract a buyer, and she's done a superb job. I came in to document Tracy's work for her design portfolio.

Aaron Miller has listing details on Realtor.com: 100 E Maywood Street, Morton, IL 61550.

Dining room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Dining room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Home office interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Home office interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Dining room and living room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Dining room and living room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Family room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Family room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Family room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Family room home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Living room home interior detail photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Living room home interior detail photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Kitchen home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Kitchen home interior photograph ::  Illinois Home Photography, Lincoln, IL

Posted on January 12, 2017 and filed under Photographs.

Property Photographs — 12433 N Oakmont Ct, Dunlap :: Peoria, Illinois, Real Estate Photographer

Exterior home photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior home photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

This lovely, large four bedroom home sits in a secluded cul-de-sac neighborhood just north of Peoria, Illinois. Beautiful tile and hardwood floors grace the open first floor. Spacious and move-in ready.

Jackie Hoerr has the listing; you'll find all the details on Realtor.com: 12433 N Oakmont Ct, Dunlap, IL 61525.

By the way—if this home looks familiar, it was featured in the before & after video I showed the other day. I'm developing some new interior lighting techniques and pleased with the way this home photographed. Thanks again to Tracy Molendi from Simply Organized & Staged for her fabulous work.

Interior living room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior living room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior dining room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior kitchen photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior family room photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior basement photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior basement photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior basement photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior basement photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior master bedroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior walk-in closet photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior walk-in closet photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bathroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bathroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Interior bedroom photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior back porch and deck photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Exterior back porch and deck photograph for real estate in Dunlap, IL :: Illinois Home Photography by Michael Gowin, Lincoln, IL

Posted on December 20, 2016 and filed under Photographs.

VIDEO: Before and After—The Difference Professional Staging and Photography Can Make When Selling Your Home

You have a home to sell. When home buyers are clicking through listings online, you've got just seconds to grab their attention.

How will you do it?

Stunning photographs stand out in the sea of average pictures you usually see online.

But is there really that much difference between a home shown in a "typical" listing and a professionally presented home?

That's the question answered in the video above (click here if you can't see it). 

The Peoria, Illinois, home featured in the video was semi-vacant: a few pieces of furniture set about but not in any intentional way. It looked big and empty.

Tracy Molendi from Simply Organized & Staged, LLC staged the home last week and I photographed it a few days ago. The video shows some of the rooms before professional staging and photography, and then those same rooms after Tracy and I did our work. The difference is dramatic.

Put yourself in the buyers' seat as you watch: which photos make me want to learn more about this home?

As you think about what you need to do to make your home appealing to buyers, remember: you only have a few seconds to grab their mouse click. It's a tough real estate market. How will you make your home stand out? Presenting your home professionally will get it noticed.

Posted on December 16, 2016 and filed under Advice.