Real Estate Photography
There are a couple of things that you want to accomplish with a real estate shoot. You want the home to look large and spacious. You want to capture photos that are unique so they grab the attention of potential buyers. And you want the home to look clean and bright and inviting. Your smart phone has the capability to take beautiful and sharp photos that you can easily use for your listed properties. There are a few tricks to make sure you have the right light, angle, and styling for professional looking photos. These tricks allow you to showcase the features of the home and all of the amenities.
Natural light is always the best choice. Flashes can easily wash out the photo and details will get lost in the picture. Allow natural light to enter the room and make sure the light source is behind you and the camera to avoid glares or bright streaks. For professional and clean photos you also want to stick to a landscape orientation style for most of the photos taken of your listing. This way you can cover more ground horizontally and show the home’s layout.
The first picture a potential buyer sees when reviewing properties online is an exterior photo. This photo needs to be taken from the best angle and best light. Most realtor’s want exterior photographs from both the front and the back. A deck or patio, gardens, pool or hot tub, a barn, shop, or other outbuildings should be included in those photographs.
Real estate exterior photos benefit from early or late day lighting.The dusk/dark technique is often requested by clients because it gives a dramatic flair to the properties. The image is photographed outside and from the best angle to showcase the house. Then, the technique is to turn on all the lights in a room and shoot at a certain time. After sunset the sky’s exposure will balance with the room lights’ exposure. A better approach is to add lights to the rooms creating even lighting, and working this way means not having to wait for that perfect balance between room lights and outdoor light.
The interior of the home normally is the living room, kitchen, dining area, master bedroom, master bath, are all ‘must shoot’ rooms. There could also be a library, office, large walk-in closet, and more. Using the inside elements, such as the furniture, windows, and room layout, you can create a visual flow. Do not use something large in the foreground because it prevents the eye from flowing through the room. The perfect interior exposure is difficult when balancing bright window light with darker interiors. Shoot when outdoor light levels are lower. Midday light will be much brighter outside than during or after sunset, or on a cloudy day. Turning on every light inside increases the interior brightness. If you have a dark cabinet against a dark wall, adding supplemental light can bring out that needed detail.
Camera Height is always a bit controversial. You are trying to get the view of someone standing in the doorway of the room. A level camera at chest height can result in the foreground subjects, like furniture being cut off at the bottom with too much ceiling at the top. You may need to rearrange the setup of the room. Lowering the camera height will improve this problem. Try taking pictures at door knob height but watch for distortion of the vertical lines in the corners and framing elements. These are closets and corners of the room and large framed pictures. To avoid distortion from the wide angle lens, avoid putting the intersection of the vertical walls and the ceiling anywhere near the edge of the frame. On wide angle lenses, the areas nearest the edges of the frame distort far more than the center of the frame.
Shooting real estate photography is a real skill. It can be a challenge and very time consuming. But, it can also be extremely valuable. Small cluttered photographs, out of focus pictures and room set ups that are claustrophobic can halt the sale of the property. Keep in mind, while setting up your photo shoot, whether you would like to live in the rooms as seen through the pictures!
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