Real estate photography blends objectivity and subjectivity. The pictures inform potential buyers by displaying essential elements of the house, but also spark their interest by not showing too much. They are matter-of-fact illustrations of the house description, but also appeal to the viewers’ feelings and aesthetic sense. To master these two aspects, there are specific real estate photography tips that you can apply.
Here are 8 tips to achieve stunning real estate pictures that would do wonders on any house listing.
1. Invest in the right equipment
Professional gear will take your real estate photos to the next level. First, invest in a high-quality digital camera. When looking at the price tag, keep in mind that it will be your main working tool! Add in a few other essentials, such as a tripod, wide angle lenses and external flash units, and you are ready to shoot.
2. Get to know the property
Each property is different. Take a little tour before you start working, to get a feel of the uniqueness of your model. Identify the flaws and the assets of the property, think about how to minimize or highlight them.
Pay attention to the elements that make the house stand out. It is easy when there is a swimming pool or a jaw-dropping view, but sometimes you have to be aware of subtler details. A hardwood floor, a cozy nook in a room, a ceiling with exposed beams…They can be the key to a potential buyer’s heart.
3. Stage the house
Light and space are the universal features that draw us to a home. Thus, the rooms you are about to capture need to be decluttered. You can send a suggestion list to the sellers so they can prep the house beforehand. Make sure everything is clean and tidy before you start shooting.
After this step, the house should be neutral and clear of any personal items, such as family photos. However, don’t make it look empty! It must be esthetically pleasing and demonstrate how the rooms live.
4. Take care of the composition
Real estate photography is a technical field, but it has its share of creativity. Furniture can be rearranged to showcase the potential of a room : create depth by setting a foreground, a middle ground and a background. Use one or two decorative props, like a flower for a pop of colour, or a blanket on the couch. Trust you artist’s eye!
When it is time to take out your camera, keep the basic theories of composition in mind. Learn about the rule of thirds, perspective, vanishing points, vertical and horizontal lines. You will soon be able to create masterful shots.
5. Select the best angle
Your best bet to capture most elements in a room is to shoot from a corner. However, you should diversify and take a series of pictures from other perspectives. Also, remember that the camera should be placed at chest-level to create an immersive picture. The viewers will feel like they just stepped into the house before actually visiting it!
6. Choose the lighting wisely
Lighting is what brings the real estate pictures to life. Artificial light is convenient but creates a lot of shadows and can give a cold, harsh look if not used properly. Whereas natural light is warm and welcoming, it is harder to control. Remember that no room is not evenly lit. Your task is to balance out the dark and light spots.
“Bracketing” is a technique used by many professionals in the field. By taking a series of pictures at different exposures, they can merge them in post-production for impeccable results.
One of the best real estate photography tips we could provide concerning lighting: whatever solution you choose, keep it consistent throughout the photoshoot.
7. Don’t neglect post-production
Some real estate photographers spend more time editing their pictures than actually taking them! Free options exist for beginners, but it is advised that you invest in a professional software. Lightroom is a reference in this domain.
Improve your pictures by correcting distorted lines, retouching the colors and tweaking the lighting. If you feel lost, an array of tutorials are available online. You can also hire a professional. Don’t skip this step, or your work won’t reach its full potential.
8. Practice makes perfect
If you are a beginner, offering a couple of photoshoot for free or with a discount might be a good idea. It will allow you to practice before putting your name out there and building a reputation. You should also peruse the portfolios of experienced professionals, study them to nourish your own work. Explore your personal style, and remember that learning is a permanent process. These real estate photography tips are only the first step!
Try these tips and notice the improvement! Don’t only think of your pictures as selling arguments. They are a medium that connects people with their dream house. They can be the beginning of a beautiful story!