New Agent File: Easy Real Estate Photography

Would you like to display beautiful photos on your website, flyer, or just listed postcard? Like this one?

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Here are some tips on how to get high-quality photos if you don’t have a big budget and can’t spend a lot of money on professional photographers. 

Invest In A Camera

Smartphones can be very convenient for taking photos of your listings. Unfortunately, a disadvantage to most smartphone cameras is that the lenses are not wide enough. This may prevent you from providing a clear, complete view of the room. 

With the use of a standard digital camera, you will begin to see a huge improvement in your images. Digital cameras allow you to modify settings accordingly to the environment. Photos taken from a digital camera are much bigger so they will not become blurry or pixelated when uploaded onto a website, and can be used across different platforms. Good quality photos will minimize the amount of time you spend on editing them.

If you decide to go out and buy a camera, we have a few suggestions of cameras under $300. Some of these might not be the newest models, although, they are inexpensive and produce high-quality photographs.

  • Nikon Coolpix P530 (around $200),
  • Canon Powershot SX530 (around $280),
  • Nikon Coolpix L840 (around $229)
  • Olympus TG-870 (around $280)

Note: make sure that the camera you buy offers wide angle

Staging the Home Well

When staging the home, make sure the homeowner declutters. One or two pieces of artwork on the walls, but no more than that. Keep only main furniture (table set, couch, bed, etc.) that complements the room, in the room. If there are any marks or scratches on the wall, it is a good idea to repaint it. The house should look new, clean, inviting, and move-in ready.  ThinkstockPhotos-88014266.jpg

Only leave few decorations/ artwork in the room to give the room more open space

A depersonalized, decluttered and clean house will make your photos look much better. It gives a viewer the feeling that the house has more open space. This will encourage your potential buyers to visualize how the house will look with their own personal touches. There is only so much a camera can do; you will not be able to properly showcase the house if it is cluttered and dirty.

ThinkstockPhotos-87464744.jpgThis kitchen is clean but still has too many small objects, make it looks a bit messy.

ThinkstockPhotos-532610829.jpgThis kitchen is stripped from cluster, allows a complete view of the room

Work With The Light

Unless you are willing to invest in a good quality flash (which is not cheap) and actually understand how to use it; try to avoid using flash. It tends to reflect off of the surfaces, create unwanted shadows, and flush out the color of the room without effectively lighting up the dark corners. Instead, try to take advantage of natural lighting.

BadPhoto-16.jpgBeside the bad composition, you can clearly see the flash reflection on the window and harsh light around the objects – makes it looks unrealistic. The color of the whole room is also looks flushed out.

ThinkstockPhotos-99907105.jpgBeside the dog that should not be there, this photo looks so much more realistic and welcoming when the room is lit evenly with natural sunlight.

Consider the time of day when taking photos of the home. It is best to take pictures when more natural light is available.

For exterior shots, pay attention to the lighting and the shadows that the lighting creates. The best time to shoot exterior is either early or late during the day. A sunny day is great for exterior shots, however, remember not to shoot straight into the sun. Before coming to the house, you may want to ask the homeowner or use Google maps to see which direction the house is facing to determine the best time for the photo shoot.

The windows can be your friend since the natural light source enters from that point. Try to avoid shooting directly into windows. If outdoors is much brighter than inside, consider partially closing the blinds and turning on the lights inside. Remember to be mindful of what can be seen outside of the windows/ doorway as well.

ThinkstockPhotos-126923799.jpgThe light from the window would be too bright in this photo. The blind minimise that, while the other lights inside help lit up the room, balance the contrast between outdoor and indoor

Note: It will also be very useful to buy a travel tripod. A tripod enables you to shoot using lower slower shutter speed in case there’s not enough existing natural light.

Angles, Perspective, and Composition

The best angle of a room should display as much space as possible and showcase the best feature/ architectural elements of the room. Try to capture 2- 3 walls in your shot, it will give the viewer a better idea of the size and space of the room.

ThinkstockPhotos-491894365.jpgWith photo like this, you will be able to give the potential buyers a clear idea of what the room look like

Pay attention to the angle of the photo. You should not show too much of the empty ceiling or cut off other features on the floor (unless there is something interesting about the ceiling). The ground and ceiling should be balanced in the photo.

ThinkstockPhotos-86526399.jpgKeep the balance between the ceiling and the ground. Don’t cut out any objects’ legs

Remember to give the viewers a sense of depth to the house. To do this, include some shots showcasing the connection between rooms and large elements of the house.

ThinkstockPhotos-492150983.jpgThis photo show how the rooms are connected to each other, showcase the general structure of the floor-plan

You should avoid displaying a large object in the foreground as it can block the view and prevent the eyes from flowing through the room.

Note: Keep your photos tilt-free. Either the vertical or horizontal lines visible in the photos have to be straight. This will make your photos look much more professional. If you find it’s hard to do this, using a tripod or a bubble level will help.

Good luck with your photos! 

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