8 Quick Tips for Better Real Estate Photographs
Real estate photography aims to capture the unique features of a property and get potential buyers to book a visit. It’s never been more important than in today’s market.
Keep in mind that just like any other type of photography, there’s plenty of competition in this field as well. If you’re a real estate photography enthusiast, here are the 8 best tips for you to create the best-looking photos.
The Gear Matters
To stand out from other photographers, showing up with the right gear is essential. Real estate photographers often only have a few minutes to photograph each room. A simple but effective setup is key!
Anything between 14mm and 30mm will usually do the trick, but of course, having a wide-angle zoom lens can help get you out of a tight spot… quite literally.
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You’ll never know what the environment and lighting conditions will be, and that’s why it’s best to be prepared for every situation. Some houses have plenty of natural light, while others have smaller windows or architecture that don’t let in as much light.
A tripod allows you to set up your camera at the same height from room to room and achieve consistency. It will also allow you to capture real estate photos with proper sharpness and focus by avoiding blurriness. A tripod comes in handy in many different situations, especially if you have shaky hands.
The last thing you want when you’re at the property taking photos is to waste time checking for sharpness – a tripod is an essential tool for that.
4. Remote Trigger
To ensure that you capture detailed real estate photos, especially indoors, you might need to go with a low shutter speed. Your camera must be steady in such a scenario, and any accidental vibration will ruin the image. You can easily avoid this by using a remote trigger and set up your camera on a tripod to capture touch-free shots.
If you want to take your real estate photography to the next level and stand out from the crowd, investing in a drone can be a great idea. It will allow you to capture stunning aerial images of any property’s exterior, and you’ll also be able to display the entire property along with its surrounding area in a single shot.
Approaching the Property
The first image that most people want to see is a general exterior photo. It’s one of the most important photographs that you need to capture to grab the attention of the people reviewing a property online.
The best way to capture the property’s exterior and get the best angle is to ask the agent or owner of the property and learn more about important features that your images should highlight. Usually, you’ll need to capture the exterior to highlight the front and back of the house as well as any patio or deck, hot tub or pool, gardens and landscaping, barn, or other outbuildings.
The best time to cover the exterior is either late or early in the day. You can also use Google Earth or Google Maps to find out the best time to cover the exterior of any property.
It won’t take more than a few minutes, but it’ll save you a lot of time and energy that you otherwise would need to spend to find out whether a certain property faces the sunset, sunrise, or neither.
If you need to capture photos in overcast skies, that simplifies things. But it can easily lessen the impact or richness of a property. A neat trick is to shoot a few exterior photos at dawn or dusk and have all the outdoor lights turned on.
Capture the Interior
The most important thing you need to do before covering the interior of any property is to ask your client to clean the property thoroughly. You can also create a list of tasks and suggestions to prepare the interior. No one wants to see toys, laundry, or other objects that might distract from the property’s features.
Once that’s done, enter the property and cover the main (must-shoot) rooms such as dining area, living room, master bedroom, kitchen, master bath, etc.
There could also be a small home cinema, library, large walk-in closet, office, or any other unique place that adds more value to the property. Never forget to cover such areas by seeking the best possible angle for each.
When it comes to balancing the darker interiors with brighter window light, the perfect exposure for the interior area becomes challenging. There are several ways to handle this.
One of the most commonly used ones is to cover the interior when the outdoor light level is low. It’s important not to forget to turn on every interior light if the outdoor lighting level is high.
It’s one of the most crucial steps to master your real estate photography that many photographers ignore. While capturing different areas of any property, you need to capture photos with different angles.
Regardless of your composition and area, you need to make sure that you keep your camera straight. Not only does it allow you to avoid distortion, but it also helps you to minimize your post-processing work. You’ll notice that vertical lines start to slant if your camera is even slightly up or down. The recommended height to capture photos of a property’s interior is roughly five feet. That’s because it feels balanced and looks natural regardless of the style and shape of any room.
Avoid Mixed Lighting
Photos captured in the perfect lighting will always have neutral colors. Different light sources offer different color temperatures and different white balance. For example, the light from the window most probably will be warmer than a LED light fixture. When there are multiple light sources with different temperatures in your frame, you’ll end up with a photo that’ll have some undesirable color casts. You’ll need to fix those in post-processing.
If you’re capturing in daylight, you can turn off all the interior lights to capture photos without color cast. You can also use gel filters if the temperature of your speedlight doesn’t match the other light sources. A custom white balance can also go a very long way!
Be Flexible and Improvise
One of the best things that you can do to improve your real estate photography is to be flexible. It’ll allow you to improvise according to your surroundings.
Additionally, it’ll also help you to settle in quickly in different scenarios. For example, suppose you’ve planned to cover a property in the early sunlight, and you end up with overcast skies. In that case, flexibility will help you to improvise to capture the property anyway with great results. That’s why it’s important to stay flexible and open to surprises and any sudden change.
If you want to become a successful real estate photographer, then the best thing you can do is keep practicing.
Moreover, keep in mind the tips and tricks mentioned above next time you go out to capture real estate photos. It’ll allow you to improve your skills, and you’ll start achieving the results quickly and efficiently.