by Samantha Haas
on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 at 7:19am.
Lights on, fans off. That's how Beau Meyer gets his photo shoots started. His subject? Homes.
Without giving away all his tricks of the trade, we want to share a few reasons why Beau is one of our favorite photographers to work with for our listings.
Even without seeing Beau's before and after shots on his website, there's no denying his knack for interior photography.
One of his trademarks is to make the exterior views visible through the windows. To do this he combines multiple exposures of images to "make it just like you see it."
He especially loves taking photos of lake homes or "anything with a view."
Realtors trust him to pick out the most valuable features in the house. And even though many of the homes he shoots have already been staged, he makes sure the main focus of the photos is on the house and not the furniture.
Sometimes that means taking a few intimate shots of a large space rather than getting it all in one frame, he explained.
"I think that people like to see their house look like it's out of a magazine," he said.
His photos of this mid-century modern masterpiece on Beaver Dam Lake have even been featured on Curbed.
Good rapport with clients
Beau genuinely enjoys the work he does, and it shows. Especially when he interacts with clients (and sometimes their kids and pets) if they happen to be home during the shoot. His easy-going personality seems to invite questions from clients who may wonder what kind of equipment he uses, for example, and he calmly answers while setting up his next shot.
Since he always takes his shoes off and makes sure to turn off all the lights in a room when he's done shooting that area, you may never know he stepped foot in the house -- except for the postcard about his business he leaves on the table for clients.
With the amount of houses he visits each day (sometimes three or four), Beau doesn't always hear feedback directly from the clients. But he usually does from the agents, especially when a listing he shoots gets an accepted offer -- his record is two hours after hitting the market!
"I feel like I'm able to help people get through the process of selling and buying," he said. "I realize that if I don't keep my clients happy they'll find someone else."
After photographing a house, Beau said he makes "every effort" to send the final images by the next day.
"I've changed shooting styles so that I can get in and out of the house faster and then spend more time with compositing and blending images in the computer," he said.
Part of this change is using a "good mix of portable and powerful" equipment with a goal of making his "lighting invisible." How many photos does he shoot to do this? "As many as it takes," he half-joked, adding that he typically pares his shots down to two or three per room to combine.
Up until recently he had been doing the postproduction editing, but now he's handed that off to his sister-in-law "to get a consistent look from room to room and house to house." This allows Beau to shoot more houses each day. He shoots whenever he's available, but sometimes the biggest factor is having enough time to drive from one location to another throughout Southern Wisconsin.
"I can do 15 homes most weeks," he said, adding that spring and summer are his busy months.
Beau's interest in photography sparked when his first child was born in 2004. He and his wife now have two kids.
"They are far enough apart in age and opposite genders so that they interpret things completely differently based on their experience and different things in the world," he said. "It's just fun experiencing the world through their eyes."
He decided to go back to school and completed the photography program at Madison College in 2008, and he started shooting for real estate companies in 2013. Much of what he has learned outside of the classroom has come from networking with other photographers in the field and watching online videos.
Beau is always interested in trying different techniques and learning new things. He said that's especially apparent when dealing with natural light throughout all four seasons and whether it's really sunny or overcast.
"The light changes from day to day with weather," he said. "And in winter you've got beautiful white snow reflecting white light into the house, and in spring and summer the light picks up all the green from the trees and grass and you have to watch for the color casts coming in."
When he's not shooting homes, you'll find Beau at local community theaters, where he both performs on stage and takes photos.
"I used to play golf, but golf season is busy season in real estate," he laughed, noting that he's picked up downhill skiing in the winter instead.
He also said it's nice that real estate is pretty quiet during the holidays so he can enjoy vacations with his family.
"I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing," he said. "That's always a good feeling."