It was Sunday morning. My phone rang while I was tying my surfboard to the roof of the Passat. A San Diego Home Photography call. What happened to the ‘day of rest’?

I answered anyway.

It was a real estate agent asking for photos of a 3500 square foot house in Del Mar. We set up a shoot time for Tuesday morning.

A Jack Russell terrier met me at the driveway, barking his little head off. I made it to the porch unscathed, and the homeowner invited me in.

She fussed over throw pillows on the couch. “Selling this house is so much work! I didn’t get to sleep until 3 a.m. last night. Which room do you want to do first? I’ll have to move the planter in here after you finish the kitchen. Do you want to start here or there or where?”

Kitchen. I’ll start in the kitchen. Then I’ll go outside to grab the pool shot while you move your planter, and then I’ll come back in for the living room. Sound good?

“Okay, sure. You know I don’t even care about the photos. It’s my husband who wants them. People have to come to the house anyway to look at it before they buy.”

She had a point. However, the key is getting them there. I do make a job out of this whole photos-sell-houses theory.

We went through the rest of the house, her writing off room after room. “See here? The furniture is supposed to be in that room, not this one. I can’t have you shoot this.”

Okie dokie. Bathrooms?

“Oh, I don’t care about the bathrooms.”


Either of these bedrooms?

“No, they look too bare.”

After suggesting the view from the master bedroom might be worth a shot, then sneaking a photo of the dining room (she didn’t say if I should shoot the room or not, so I covert-opted it while she was in the kitchen), I managed to get the 10 images I had quoted the agent.

Usually clients want everything. “Did you get this room? That angle? Did you get the garage? The pantry? The linen closet? You crawled into the attic, right?”

But this client? She didn’t care. She was a client who didn’t want to be a client. It was a bizarre change of pace, but I welcomed it. She turned the reigns over to me completely. “Whatever you think,” she said, “you’re the professional.”

That’s right.

I was in and out in under an hour. ☼