Although stay-at-home orders are ending in many states, several areas are still asking residents to shelter-in-place. If you are still being asked to stay at home, or if you want to try a different photography style, you may want to give real estate photography a try. You can use your own home as a canvas and add it to your repertoire of photography talents. Check out these real estate photography tips!
Choose the right time
Choosing the right time is very important for real estate photographers. If you have the opportunity, schedule the photo shoot during the day so you will get a lot of natural light and bright, saturated colors in your pictures.
Examine the property beforehand
Make sure to take your time and learn every nuance of the house. Every house is different, so you must pay attention to every detail. Before the photo session, walk around the house and exterior, taking 2-3 pictures of each room/area. You should examine these shots very attentively to identify features that should be considered when taking the photos so you will be able to ensure that the house is ready for shooting (you may even need some time to correct imperfections practically or in post-production).
Natural light is always the best option and you can enhance the effect of natural light with LED panels and reflectors. They will help you highlight important details (such as metal, wooden or textile elements of furniture) while allowing your photos to look as realistic as possible and ensuring the clients see how the house actually looks.
Turn on all the lights
By turning the lights on and off, you can achieve different effects; it all depends on your goals. For example, the additional light will give some warmth and coziness to your pictures (remember during your post-production that photos with the lights on will require light temperature correction). Working with the lights off will bring you a balanced temperature, but the pictures may have an empty feel.
Use a tripod in low light
In order to get the best real estate photography at night or in poor lighting conditions, you’ll need to use a tripod. It will help you achieve good image sharpness and simplify the shooting process.
Add external flashes to your residential photography toolkit. You can attach it to your camera or place it anywhere to improve lighting and highlight important details.
Find creative angles of shooting
Do not photograph the interior of the room from the corner. Try to find a more interesting area, like a doorway. By using this method, you’ll capture the maximum amount of space and show the whole room. Also, do not forget to pay attention to details. If you notice any distracting elements, such as a picture or pieces of furniture, remove them from the frame to create a clear image.
Try staging a bouquet of flowers or a bowl of fruit in your image. These props add life and style without breaking the bank (try using just one color such as all green apples or all red roses). Also, get rid of any clutter (stacks of paper, trash cans, countertop kitchen devices, toiletries in the bathroom, etc.) and stage interiors for best results. Kitchens – and all areas – look best when they are open and clear of clutter.
Set proper camera settings
Residential photography requires good lighting. If you do not have special lighting equipment, you can try these camera settings to keep the quality of your photos high. For the aperture: use an aperture value from f/7.1 to f/9. For the shutter speed: the shutter speed should be between 1/60 and 1/2 a second. This value is dependent on the amount of light in the room.
Higher shutter speeds require increasing the ISO value. Do not forget that the higher an ISO value, the more noise in your images. Try to set the ISO below 400 for the best results.
More often than not, artificial lighting can give an unpleasant yellow tint. To eliminate this effect, move the yellow (or orange) slider in your post-processing program (like Adobe Lightroom) until the yellow shade turns white.
Lighting for exteriors
Experiment with different lighting on location and take pictures with mixed lighting. Make sure your exterior photos are filled with sunlight, but make sure not to remove all shadows while editing.
Lighting for interiors
Take photos only from a standing position using a tripod to avoid blurred images. Focus on the subject, adjust the light to it, and move things in the room to compose the image. Also, bring at least two lenses – a wide-angle lens (around 24mm) for all photos and a standard one (around 50mm) – for details in the room. Another way to maneuver the lighting in your favor is to use natural light in conjunction with LED panels and several reflectors.
By using these tips, and a little patience, you can take some beautiful images of your abode. Who knows, you may even be able to parlay it into a real estate photography career (or even a feature in Architectural Digest)!