Shooting Real Estate With Your Cell Phone Camera

The professional photographer has cancelled and you NEED to order a flyer today for the weekend open house. Don’t panic. Grab your cell phone and head to the property.

We vastly undervalue our cell phone cameras for no reason at all. Many times, under the right lighting and direction, photos from our phones come out looking high quality and professional. So if your professional photographer had to cancel on your property at the last minute, read these tips on getting the most out of your cell phone camera.


Move in Closer

Fill the frame with your subject and take out needless background clutter. If you’re shooting a picture of a flower at a property, for example, you don’t need the whole meadow, skyline, backyard, and whatever else in the picture. Simplicity is key here. Look around the viewfinder and consciously note all the things that are going to appear in the image when you press the shutter button.



Think About Your Angle

Not every picture needs to be shot at eye-level while you are standing. If you’re shooting a front exterior shot, for example, kneel on the ground and try shooting upward at the home. The right angle makes for more visually interesting and dynamic images.


Low Light? Turn Off Camera Flash

Do NOT use a camera mounted flash when taking pictures of properties in low light. Nothing is less flattering than blinding white light that accentuates flaws in objects. Go into your camera settings and find a way to make the ISO (film speed) higher. Even point and shoot digital cameras should have a way to do this.



Turn on the Grid

First, check your phone’s settings section to see if it has this feature.

The grid – which consists of two horizontal and two vertical lines that divide the screen into three equal parts – is an extremely useful photography tool to use. With this, you can apply the rule of thirds to your subject.

In its most basic form, the rule of thirds states that the most important subjects of the photo should be placed along the gridlines and at the intersections of these lines, which are known as junction points.



Set Focus and Exposure

One of the most essential features of a cell phone camera is the ability to set focus and exposure by tapping anywhere on the screen (note: this works for the iPhone 6; you should check to see if it will work for your cell phone).

If you don’t set focus and exposure, the cell phone will do that for you. For the most part, it does a fairly good job. However, there are times when autofocus fails and your photos end up blurred. For this reason, you should almost always set focus and exposure manually to make sure that our photos are sharp.


You don’t need a $1,500 DSLR camera to get amazing pictures. What most people do that ruins their shots is they just stand there letting the camera do all the work for them. If you do this, all of your shots will look like your aunt’s boring vacation photos. Be deliberate, shoot from different angles, get creative, and have fun.


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