Photographing the White House

In October, I was fortunate enough to be selected amongst a group of photographers and Instagram enthusiasts to visit and photograph the White House. The majority of my time was spent photographing some of the rooms within the East Wing of the White House.

To give a little bit of context, there were over 40 people on this visit so I had only moments to take these handheld photos as tripods and flashes weren’t allowed and nearly every photo you see is either seconds before or after the last person entered or exited the room.

One of my dreams is to go back and photograph the White House properly, in its entirety, and if I am lucky – with each new administration.

See more photos from my DC trip and from the White House on my Flickr feed (that I hardly use :).

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DJI Phantom and accessories for sale

The minute I learned about these things, I had to have one. I invested around $1300 in this whole kit and got my moneys worth within a few flights. I crashed it this past fall and one of the motors needs to be replaced (very, very cheap – I just don’t have the time) have replaced the motor – thought it is not soldered, so if you want to do that you certainly can. It is flying once again though. The Phantom itself is in very, VERY used condition (NOT NEW AT ALL) with some modifications (drill holes and all), but flies just great. Did I mention this thing is in very used, but working condition?

Because I simply don’t have the time to fly, update, or clean it I have decided to sell it to someone who has been wanting to pick up this hobby.

I am selling the following:
– Phantom 1 (as is – dirt and all) ($500 value if brand new)
– HPRC 2700 case w/ foam cutouts – ($170 value)
– 7 DJI Phantom batteries and charger ($150 value)
– Extended legs ( work, but broken )
– Prop guards ($10 value)
– Tarot T-2D Gimbal ($155 value)
– Fatshark Predator FPV Goggles ($359 value)

*I am willing to sell the case separately, but everything else must go together.
**I am willing to throw in the GoPro for an additional $200

To buy all of this new would cost you roughly $1300. I am willing to start the bid at $300 OBO. Please email me through the contact form on the website if you are interested and we can make a deal.

Here is a short video of some of the flights I ran, and photos below:


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Best of Houzz 2015


Jordan Powers of Mankato Receives

Best Of Houzz 2015 Award for Architecture & Interior Design Photography

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Images and Photographers in the United States and Around the World

[Mankato, MN], January 21, 2015 – Interiors and Architectural photographer Jordan Powers of Mankato has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The owner of Mankato Home Tours, and Jordan Powers photography was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community for Architecture and Design Photography and Customer Service.

The Best Of Houzz for Architecture & Interior Design Photography is awarded to photographers whose images were most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners and home professionals identify popular and top-rated professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“Professional photography is instrumental when it comes to showcasing the work of professionals on Houzz and building their company brands,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Jordan among our “Best Of” professionals for photography and customer service as judged by our community of homeowners, home building, remodeling and design professionals, and design enthusiasts.”

Follow Jordan Powers on Houzz

About Jordan Powers

Jordan Powers is a Minnesota based commercial photographer and video producer specializing in interiors and architectural photography. To see more of his work, visit

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit

Pricing for interiors and architectural photography

The first question I am always asked outside of my availability is “how much do you charge”?

So many factors go into pricing for interiors and architectural photography that it is nearly impossible to give a flat answer without a little bit of clarity on the scope of the project.

Some of the questions I ask in return are:

– What is your budget?
– How many photos do you need?
– What will you be using the images for?
– Will I be limited on time?
– How soon will you need the photos?

The way I price my work always starts with time. How much time will this project take me from initial inquiry to delivery? I have to take all things into consideration including the time spent planning, answering emails, driving, the shoot itself, editing, getting licenses prepared, answering more emails, and delivery.

I have been doing this long enough to where I know that one single standard image will take about an hour of my time in total. If there is more than one image in the same room, that time gets cut significantly. For example, I could take 5 images of one room and it would take me a total of two hours total, but if I take 5 images of three different rooms, that could take up to 4 hours total. If it is a twilight image, that could take several hours depending on the complexity of the shot.
Interiors & Architecture for 26 Danbury Court, North Mankato, MN

From there I have to pick a wage for myself. How much is an hour of my time worth? I would love to say $500 per hour… but that just isn’t realistic where I live. $100 per hour is where I settle (depending on the job), but it is more realistic depending on the complexity of the shoot. Roughly half of that goes to the government, 25% goes toward my business, and the other 25% goes to my checking account.

$100 per hour may seem like a lot initially, but in that fee includes the equipment I use:
Canon 24mm TS lens ($2000)
Canon 16-35mm lens ($1200)
Canon 50mm lens ($400)
Canon 70-200mm lens ($1600)
Canon 5D Mark II (paid $2500+ for it, but since discontinued)
Canon 7D (Paid $1200 for it, but since discontinued)
Manfrotto Tripods and Heads ($500+)
Flashes (5 flashes worth over $1000)
Computer ($2000)
Misc tools and accessories ($1000+)
Adobe Creative Suite ($60/month)
Website ($10+ / month)

And probably hundreds of dollars more of other miscellaneous expenses and tools I didn’t cover here.

If a client is willing to provide their budget for a certain project, I can fairly quickly say what I can do for them within that budget. That is my preferred method of setting up a shoot (wink, wink).
Next comes the licensing. Why not just give the photos away since they are paying for the shoot? Well, because this isn’t wedding or portrait photography, but commercial photography. When it comes to commercial photography, the photographer is hired to make images that are displayed with the intention of bringing business to the client, they aren’t usually for personal use.

Licensing is the tricky part because it all depends on where and how the photos will be used. If you plan on just using them for Facebook or your website, the fee is pretty low. Each image can be licensed for anywhere between $20-$50+ depending on the image. Twilight images are always more expensive due to the amount of time involved in them. If you plan on using the images for advertising purposes, the fees get slightly higher because they are being used for a wider audience… and so on, and so on.

Hopefully that sheds a little light on how I price my work. Other photographers in different markets may work slightly different, but the fundamentals are usually the same. If you have any further questions on this, shoot me an email or comment below and I would be happy to help.

Jefferson Good People Award

Last year I co-founded a project called “Made in Mankato“. We are a group of independent filmmakers who highlight a local business each month by creating a mini-documentary on them. I was contacted by our local news station, KEYC, to do a small piece on what I do.

While this was a great honor, it is important to me that the entire team is recognized for MIM, not just myself. I play a pretty big role in the project, but without the team this project would have died off within months of starting. Thank you to Ted & Tonya Wittman, Ryan Frederick, Caleb Curran, Judy Ebel, Ty Leyrer, for sticking with this month over month, and dedicating a ton of your free time to this project. What we do is making a huge impact in our small business community, and hopefully we have all sparked some inspiration in others to do something impactful with their talents that helps strengthen our community.

Click HERE to view the video.

Data Backup Solutions

It is crazy when I stop and look at the amount of data I have accumulated throughout the years doing photography and video.  I wanted to share a couple of tools that I have used over the last 5 years that I would highly recommend to anyone.

The first one is Drobo.  I started with the original 4 Bay Drobo in 2008 and upgraded to the Drobo S in 2010.  The way it works is you simply buy hard drives, plug them into the Drobo, and the send your files to it just like you would any other hard drive. What the Drobo does is it creates a redundant backup on itself so that if one of the hard drives fails on you, you lose zero data. Just take the bad hard drive out and put a new one in. In 5 years, I have not lost any hard drives or data that I didn’t chose to delete on my own.

This is what one of the screens on the Drobo Dashboard looks like:


I was only a few gigabytes away from capacity, so I did some spring cleaning and got rid of un-used files to save myself a terabyte.

It isn’t safe to have all of your eggs in one basket, so I also do a cloud based backup solution called Backblaze. Not sure of the cost now, but I pay $50 a year for unlimited storage. It automatically backs everything up I specify on the Drobo and the computer. Depending on my bandwidth, it can backup up to 40gb per day. I can access the files from anywhere using my phone, tablet, or another computer – which is an added bonus, although I haven’t had to use that feature yet.

Here is a screenshot that shows an overview of what I currently have backed up:


I just wanted to post a short and sweet recommendation of two of the products I use. This is not a review by any means. They have both been great services, but they also come with their share of headaches.

What do you use for your backup solution?