Have you ever wondered how to take proper real estate photos? Here are the important things you need to know about real estate photography.
Two weeks ago I went on my first on-location shoot with Jon. I shadowed him as he took real estate photos for a house in West Brant. He took the time to explain each shot to me as we walked through the interior and exterior of the house.
I learned a lot about architecture and real estate photography during the shoot; everything from the technical settings to the artistic angles as well as how to act professional during a shoot (especially when the realtor and home owner are there).
While we were there I noticed how efficient yet effective Jon was. He got the job done in a timely manner, always staying on task, while also taking the time to make sure that each photo was focussed correctly to maintain the high quality of his images.
I took some photos as we walked around but mostly I just listened.
Here are some of the tips and tricks that I learned during the shoot:
1. Clean Photos
It's not only important that you take clean shots compositionally but it’s also important to make sure that the actual room is clean. Especially if the family is still living in the house because there might be a lot of clutter or garbage in the room. It is essential that you remove any unnecessary items in a room, making it look as clean as possible.
But with that being said, it's also important that each room is staged nicely. Without proper staging, the room is boring to look at. The benefit of having furniture in the room is that it helps for scaling so the viewer can see how big the room is and how much can fit in it. But don’t fill the room with too much furniture. Things like artwork, beds, tables, chairs, and couches make a room look more appealing.
2. Wide Angle Lens
For real estate photography it is necessary to use a full frame camera with a wide angle lens. I only have a Nikon cropped sensor camera and my widest lens is 18mm-55mm which is not wide enough for real estate photography. I wasn’t able to include the whole room in some of my photos. But Jon used his Canon lens at 17mm. Wider lenses allow you to see more of the room.
As you can see, my lens wasn’t wide enough to include the entire room
3. Different Angles
A rule of thumb for real estate photography is to always take at least three different angles of each room, if you can. That way you have more to choose from when editing and you can give the realtor more variety.
Where you position yourself is also very important. You can take a shot from eye level or you can take a shot from a lower angle which can make the room look bigger. You can also line yourself up with the middle of the room so the center of the room is in the middle of your viewfinder. Or you can stand in the corner of the room to put the room on a nice angle.
Your final product needs to give the potential buyer a sense of the layout of the house. Try to take your photos in chronological order of the house. That way you feel like you’re actually walking through the house (it will also be easier for you when you’re editing). For instance, make sure your photos don’t jump from upstairs to downstairs or from one side of the house to the other. Include the entrance and exit doorways of each room so you can see which room leads into the other.
In school we didn’t learn about videography and film so I learned a lot about it with Jon. When using the slider equipment for smooth gliding movement with the camera, one thing I learned was to always include an object in the foreground like a wall, counter, doorway, or tree. This will give the viewer a reference point and show movement in the shot. It also makes it look more professional and looks like a person is actually walking through the house.
If you can, turn on the fireplace
Make sure you’re always in focus
Keep your lines straight!
Nothing less than 1/60 for video
Take different angles of the front of the house: straight on, 45º angle, farther away, closer up, lower angle, include the lawn and the sky in the photos
I learned so much about photography and especially videography during this shoot. And about how important it is to maintain a good relationship with a real estate agent.
I hope you learned something too. See you next time! :)
Check out the video for the house here