Good pictures have never been more important to selling in real estate sector than it is today. While rising demand for property creates demand for snapshots, only a few photographers have taken as a career. Architectural photographer Henry Odhiambo, MD of Dream Spaces Architectural Photography talks of the role of cameras in design and construction sector
Milliam Murigi @millymur1
Tell us about Dream Space Photography.
We are an architectural, interiors and real estate photography company based in Westlands, Nairobi. The organisation was founded by Stephen Mukhongi and Henry Odhiambo in April 2018 with a focus in producing quality images for the ever-expanding real estate business in Kenya.
Why this line of photography?
We noticed lack of professional photos in marketing Kenya’s real estate industry and, therefore, came in handy to offer a solution. It is a relatively unique line of photography in the country in comparison to existing local photography business firms.
Therefore, our intention is to bridge the existing gap in the industry. We take on an activity-driven approach that promotes an enjoyable, inventive experience that yields quality images that will be valued for years to come.
How is the uptake of your services so far?
The reception has been amazing, albeit with a few doubts here and there largely due to the fact that what we are indulging in a new field. In a relatively new market that is fuelled largely in part by word of mouth, the biggest key to success is providing an excellent client experience.
By keeping the sessions hassle-free and focused on communication, this has created a connection between our clients and us and helps to create authentic images.
What type of services do you offer?
We have specialised in interiors and architecture photography. Our clients include architects, interior designers, property developers, real estate agents (realtors), hotels, resorts, restaurants, guest houses, holiday homes, franchises, malls, godowns, and institutions such as; educational and health facilities. We have consistently engaged a few notable companies such as Crystal Valuers, O’sinkiri Hotel Kilimani, Imperial Housing Ltd and Eunimark Agencies, amongst others.
What is the outlook for the sector?
The future is bright. One thing about real estate is that it keeps evolving and the marketing trends have equally changed over the years. These days’ clients want to see photos of a property as they are on the ground while they are thousands of kilometres away.
This is exactly where our services come in. Our services are mostly on a flat rate basis depending on what kind of property that needs to be photographed. After the shoot, we send the image files that have been edited and made available in an online gallery. Here they can digitally download the files. We also provide clients with an unlimited use licence.
What challenges do you face?
Kenyans are still grappling to understand us. Some even think that we sell the property. Our company telephone is often jammed with calls of people looking for a house or office space to rent. We do not send them away instead; we simply link them up with the specific property agent or owner.
The uniqueness and quality of our services is what has made us relevant since day one. We make it easy for our clients to sell their property using our high-quality images. A property worth Sh70 million needs to be captured well to create that belief that it’s truly worth the price. At the end of the day, an investor will easily take his time to visit the property and maybe acquire it.
An obstacle we face a lot often is the fact that cameras on cellphones are constantly getting better and people may feel they don’t need professional photography. They tend to believe that it is expensive to hire a professional photographer to take photos.
Some are also not aware that we exist. In most of these high-end hotels, they still fly in photographers to do professional photography. We have approached a number of them, but are still not sure whether we can be able to deliver compared to the established photographers they often fly in.
Are there opportunities yet to be embraced in this sector?
Yes sure, the cake is huge. I believe there are still more opportunities to be exploited in this sector. Running a photography firm requires skills and a lot of patience in order to realise a profit. The society still perceives photographers and photography with some little contempt.
Some people believe that by clicking the shutter release button in the camera, then you are ordained a photographer. Our work has been overly successful over the past few months due to aggressive research on new market trends locally and abroad. In less than a year we have been able to attract a good number of clients and even top brands such as Airbnb associate with us.