Ranch Photography Techniques
An Interview with Michael DeShore by Matt Konen
Photos taken by Fay Ranches broker Michael DeShore were recently featured in a two-page spread and on the cover of Open Fences magazine. We interviewed him to learn about his experience photographing the ranch and some tips for property owners who want to learn to showcase their property’s most striking assets.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A BROKER WITH FAY RANCHES?
DO YOU TAKE A LOT OF PROPERTY PHOTOS FOR THE FAY RANCHES WEBSITE?
No more than any of the other brokers. All the brokers take the photos for their own listings. I think it’s really important for a broker to be able to take quality photos though because they know the property and all the assets that make it valuable or special.
WHAT MAKES THE COONEY CREEK RANCH SO SPECIAL?
The Cooney Creek Ranch is as stunning a location as I’ve seen in my five years with Fay Ranches. I travel to a lot of ranches, and the way it’s nestled in the valley, so dose to the Swan and Mission Mountain Ranges, makes it such a unique property to visit and photograph.
Editor’s Note: Mike still shoots many of his photos on black-andwhite film.
WHAT ORIGINALLY GOT YOU INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
It started as just a hobby. I’ve always appreciated art, and I can’t draw or paint, so I figured photography would be my next best chance.
ANY PARTICULAR SUBJECT MATTER?
Working on ranches has given me so many great opportunities to get out and shoot photos in some of the most beautiful places in the country. I tend to focus most of my efforts on improving my wildlife, landscape, and architectural photography. My girlfriend is into birding right now, so we spend a lot of time going out and shooting pictures of birds.
HAVE YOU EVER FORMALLY STUDIED IT?
Not really. I learned most everything I know from the internet and personal experience.
FILM OR DIGITAL?
It’s getting harder to find a place to develop it, but I still like to shoot film. Not for the website, though. The turnaround time is too long with film.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR RANCH OWNERS WANTING TO USE PHOTOGRAPHY TO MARKET THEIR PROPERTY?
Here are a few:
1. Use a tripod and make sure your photos are level.
2. Bracket your photos to get a variety of exposures.
3. Capture the best lighting by shooting late in the day or first thing in the morning.
4. Learn how to operate the different functions on your camera and try to get off of”auto” mode.
5. Study good photos and ask yourself what makes each photo exceptional.
6. Have two cameras with you. I keep a 10-22mm on one body and a 100-400mm on the second body. This prepares you for the unexpected moments that inevitably arise.
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER?
I like to use fredmirand.com for lots of things. THeir classifieds are a great place to shop and the forums are full of equipment reviews and tips. Numerous tutorials are available on Youtube, and great inspiration can be found at flickrhivemind.net.
Being able to photograph your property properly is a valuable skill that can mean the difference between an interested buyer call you or skipping over your listing and moving on to the next one. Use the resources and tips Michael has provided here to tell your property’s story and highlight its best assets. For details about the Cooney Creek Ranch or other ranches and land for sale in Western Montana, contact Michael at the Fay Ranches office in Missoula.
ABOUT MICHAEL DESHORE
Michael DeShore is a ranch broker with nearly 20 years of real estate experience. He has also been a hunting guide and is an advocate for the preservation of all things wild and scenic.
ABOUT MATT KONEN
Matt Konen is a digital marketer in Bozeman, Montana. He helps Fay Ranches market properties and promote their brokers by creating content that supports their long- and short-term strategic goals.
A native Oregonian, Mike was raised in Portland, but after completing his education, he soon found a preference for mountain communities: Truckee, California; Bend, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana, and Missoula, Montana. In 1998, he began his Real Estate career in Bend, working for Coldwell Banker at Sunriver Resort, specializing in the sale of vacation properties to West Coast clientele.
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