The real estate market is always in demand for a high-quality photograph of houses and apartments for sale. Every realtor is interested in showing effectively the housing being sold. Professional real estate photography may seem daunting at first glance, but we have some simple and effective tips to help you take good photos.
Since this is a niche area of photography, it is not as popular as landscape or portrait photography, but it also means that you have a good chance of getting more clients and a steady income.
What kind of photography equipment do you need?
- Camera. Any crop or full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal for the job.
- Lens. A wide-angle lens will come in handy to help you capture even tight spaces. Its unique optics will show rooms more spacious. If you have a budget, consider purchasing a Tilt-Shift lens that has a larger field of view.
- Tripod. A tripod is always useful when you need to shoot long exposures. It stabilizes the camera and also helps keep perspective in the frame. If you fix it at a height of 1.5 meters, all images will be shot the same way and from the same angle of view. Remember that consistency in the photo set is a priority, especially when it comes to real estate photography.
- Remote control shutter release. If you are shooting at a slow shutter speed, it is best not to touch the camera. Even lightly pressing the shutter release button can lead to unnecessary shudder, so it is convenient to use the remote control for non-contact release
- Flash. Off-camera flash is one of the most important tools for indoor photography. Flash units are especially valuable when shooting in low-light locations.
- Flash Synchronizer. When using an off-camera flash, you need a device to synchronize the firing of the light pulse and the camera shutters. You will need to connect the transmitter to the camera’s hot shoe and the receiver to the flash. It should be noted that some flash models are already equipped with built-in receivers.
- Light modifiers. In most cases, it is enough to use photo umbrellas. They are small, lightweight and portable so they don’t get in the way when shooting in small spaces.
- Lighting stands. You will also need lightweight stands to support your flashes. For heavy monoblocks, stiffer struts may be needed, pay attention to lifting capacity. Depending on the shooting location, you need from one to four studio stands.
What to do before taking pictures of real estate
There is a standard short list of photographs for each property.
- 2 wide-angle shots in each bedroom, kitchen and living room.
- 1 bathroom photo.
- 1-3 photos of the backyard, even if it doesn’t have any unique features. 1-2 shots of the front of the house.
- 1 photo of each utility room such as laundry, garage and storage room.
This list is the starting point when photographing a property.
Preparation for shooting
It is necessary to prepare the space for filming. In our homes, we get used to a little mess. But all those small objects that a person usually does not notice will stand out in the photo. Keep surfaces as clean as possible – countertops, coffee tables, etc. If you need any decorative items, leave 1-3 items. When photographing interiors, do not photograph cabinets unless there is anything special about them and they are not custom made.
Walking around the house before shooting
Each house is different. Feeling free space before shooting will give you an idea of how you want to photograph. You will begin to mentally mark the best corners of the house and interesting interior items. Take a notebook and take notes, this will make it easier for you to have a photo shoot.
Things to remember while filming
- Use flash and diffuser
Using a camera flash will help you move from one room to another faster. Here it is necessary to use the reflection of light from the walls to soften the harsh stream of light. Aiming the flash directly into the room creates a bright area in the center and dark shadows around it.
Rotate the flash so that its light bounces off the wall behind you, the ceiling directly above you, or even off one of the side walls. The light will turn out to be more even and diffused. Better to get a flash that can be moved at different angles. Flash control is preferable in manual mode. For example, you can use 1/16 of the power as a starting point and adjust from this value. For large spaces, you can mount the flash units on stand-ups and point them up toward the ceiling, for example.
As a result, the position of the fixtures depends on the size and shape of the room. In most cases, you can place them in corners or even behind you.
- Hold your camera straight for less distortion
This is a very important tip. Be sure to keep the camera straight when shooting from different angles. This helps to avoid distortions that will have to be corrected later in post-processing. If you point the camera slightly up or down, the vertical lines begin to tilt, distort in one direction or the other.
The ideal camera height for real estate photography will be around 150 cm. Each house is slightly different, but this camera position will produce the most natural and balanced shots. If you lift the camera too high, there will be too much ceiling and not enough living space in the frame. If it is too low, then the frame will be filled with furniture and there will not be enough real room in it.
One of the disadvantages of using wide-angle lenses for indoor photography is the presence of distortion (geometric distortion). This type of optics tends to make everything look twisted. Be sure to first apply the Lens Corrections tool in Lightroom and correct the verticals. You can find the lens correction module under the Detail menu item. Check the Enable Profile Corrections checkbox. Make sure to use the exact lens shown in the drop-down menu under Lens Profile.
Adjust the color temperatures in your pictures. Use the Adjustment Brush tool for this. You can also balance the light temperature in the chamber using a color or gray card. All you have to do is take a picture of the card in front of the scene you are going to shoot. After loading the images in the graphics editor, open the “White Balance” function. Use the eyedropper to click on the gray color on the card and the editor will automatically adjust the colors.