In Focus with Todd Feeney: What it's like to shoot Real Estate with Meero
Todd Feeney has not spent the majority of his career as an official professional photographer. But from waiting ten hours to get the perfect shot of fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge in 1983 to doing real estate photography in the East End, it is safe to say he has always had a passion for it. In September 2018, this self-taught photographer joined the Meero community.
This is part of our In Focus series. Discover more photographer interviews here.
“Photography had always been a passion of mine and as the internet began to take over the world, people needed photos for their websites. As it was a passion of mine, I would do all of the stuff for the companies I worked for. I would do their photographs and things like that, the buildings they built and the projects they did.”
An abrupt wake-up call
Working as the unofficial photographer for his architecture and engineering sales firms for 30 odd years, 54-year-old Todd Feeney decided to stop working in sales and get involved in photography after an abrupt wake-up call.
“I had two heart attacks and I said I just finally had enough of this. I closed the biggest project we ever did, dropped the mic, said I don’t want to be here or do this anymore, spoke to my wife and said listen I want to give this a shot full-time. We made an agreement.”
His wife is a special-needs teacher in Queens, and after discussing it, they decided Todd would spend six months trying to make photography a full-time job. In the end, it only took three months for them to know it was working. That’s when he went full-time and he hasn’t looked back since.
© Todd Feeney
With two community college classes and an arsenal of YouTube tutorials, Feeney is able to figure out any photographic techniques he has needed over the years. 90% of his photography is architectural and real estate work, with the occasional shoot of cars and food for good measure. He works mostly for different architectural firms and Meero in his free time. For him, working with Meero is about not having to find his own clients.
“It’s really just being able to set my own schedule and not having to do so much from a sales perspective. The work comes to me. It’s been great. Like I said I’ve done, I can’t tell you how many real estate shoots on Long Island I’ve done. A ridiculous amount. But you know the work comes to me and they’re a solid group of people to work with. I’ve never met anybody there that I’ve even had the slightest problem with. Everybody there is golden.”
© Todd Feeney
Working with Meero
Todd Feeney started as a Meero partner in September 2018 before the New York office even opened up.
“I’ve probably done… Geez, it’s got to be well over 200 shoots with you guys… I’ve worked with 10 different producers… I was dealing with Paris for most of the time.”
In order to plan his day, he squeezes the real estate photography missions in between other assignments since they are more flexible than other types of assignments like weddings. Before heading out for a real estate mission, however, he makes sure to confirm the appointment.
“It generally runs smoothly because I’ll confirm directly on the phone: what time I’m coming, what we’re doing, explain everything to them. It’s a very rare event that I’ve had problems. Well, I remember I got to one house and the guy actually did not know how many bathrooms he had. So we ended up counting… He didn’t know he had nine bathrooms. He had nine bathrooms.”
And that’s one of his favorite parts of the job: Meeting all types of characters.
Meeting interesting people
“I’m a talker. I’m a salesperson at heart and I get into conversations with people when I’m doing the shoot and you find out what they do for a living and you always meet interesting people… I’ve met directors, all sorts of different business people, actors, stuff like that.”
Feeney told us the story of a Real Estate shoot out on the East End.
“There was one shoot at this lady’s house. It’s a nice little modern one-level square house. It’s big, don’t get me wrong. It’s a ranch. She comes out and says ‘Oh before you start the shoot I want to show you my chickens.’”
During the shoot, Feeney was shown around a heated chicken coop with more than 200 chickens, which during the conversation he found out started out from four. “She started falling in love with chickens.”
That particular photo shoot ended with a home-cooked grilled-cheese sandwich, so you really never know who you’ll meet when out on a shoot.
“I’ll never turn down a grilled cheese.”
© Todd Feeney