Real Estate Photography Tips & Information
Taking Real Estate Photos
When you arrive at a house to take photographs you should treat it as an open house.
Turn all lights on, remove clutter and straighten up as needed.
Removing clutter will also help outdoor photographs of the house. Remove garbage
cans, lawn mowers, bicycles and other toys in the front yard. A freshly cut lawn
is far preferred over an overgrown jungle. Also, if possible have all cars moved
from the drive way and in front of the house.
The final format of your photos will most likely be small images displayed online at MLS and other real estate websites.
Even the largest size photo on most real estate websites is considered small so it is easy to lose detail and a sense of size and space. For this reason it helps to have uncluttered pictures. For example,
kitchen countertops will look much bigger and spacious when there is nothing placed
on them. In some rooms you may have good results by repositioning or removing furniture
such as a coffee table or a chair to open up the room and show more space. Moving
furniture may also help you get a better unobstructed angle of the room.
For brighter interior photos you will usually get better results by pulling the shades and drapes shut in all windows. This may seem counterintuitive, but with the shades drawn the lighting will be more even with less contrast between the bright outside and darker interior. This will make it easier for your camera to calculate a correct exposure setting for the interior instead of the brighter view outside the window.
Set your camera to shoot at the largest size and highest quality settings possible.
Even though the final format of your photos may be smaller, you will get better
results by manually resizing the photos yourself compared to letting the camera
do it for you. Also, even if you only intend to use the photos on MLS you may
later decided to run a magazine ad where you will need a higher resolution photo
so it’s better to have a high quality “negative” to go back to.
Use a tripod! A tripod will allow you to take photos with longer exposure times for sharper, brighter photos.
If you don’t have a tripod one technique you can use is keeping your elbows against your body when you hold the camera. This will keep the camera steady more than if you have your arms extended straight out.
Take Photos, Lots of Photos
You can never have enough photos of a property. In fact recent statistics indicate
listings with more photos sell faster and for more money. Take as many photos as you have time for. Try taking photos of each room from multiple angles.
Photo Shooting Tips & Tricks
- Try not to shoot straight on towards wall – rooms tend to look smaller and flat
- Shoot exteriors from a slight angle – will add some dimension
- For smaller rooms try shooting from a corner or closet across the room diagonally
- Shoot from a lower angle – just as things looked larger when you were a child a photo taken from a lower angle can make rooms look larger
- Watch out for mirrors, windows and other reflective surfaces – you’re photographing the property, not a self-portrait – also watch out for the flash reflection showing up in a photo
- Close doors, drawers, cabinets – all the way
- Put the seat down – bathrooms are tough as it is don’t waste a nearly perfect shot by leaving the seat up
- Exteriors – leave additional space to crop if you’ll be working with third party design applications