They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s never more true than in real estate. Thats because the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times quicker than any other type of information. So, before you can get buyers to your home, you have to entice them with stunning visuals. They should be able to see themselves living or working in this space, and the best way to paint the picture is by taking one.
Are you a complete beginner when it comes to real estate photography? You’ve come to the right place. We have tips from real estate and photography professionals who’ll give you great beginner advice on taking photos that sell homes.
Ivan Ciraj, Sales Representative, Square One Condos
Tip #1: Always use a wide angle camera lense to capture the full essence of a space. This allows for a wider shot which gives a true sense of both depth and detail.
Tip #2: HDR photography allows you to stand out from the crowd. HDR takes several exposures of the same photo and combines them giving you professional photographs that look rich and full of dynamic shades. When potential buyers are looking at photos online, HDR leaves a memorable note due to its unique a polished look.
Peggy Gachet, Broker-Associate, Watson Realty Corp.
Every time I think I’ve seen it all, another photo shows up in marketing pieces that show an auto in the driveway, magnets all over the refrigerator or something equally as bad. Professional photos are a must and if you hire a good photographer they will look through the lens and tell you what needs to be removed from the picture. The goal is to make things look as neat as possible and clutter shows up twice as much in a photo than it does in person.
We’ve routinely move rugs, kitchen counter appliances, bathroom essentials and even furniture. I always prepare the seller for disruption of normal and apologize in advance for the inconvenience of not putting things back exactly as they were before, though we get pretty darn close. The real estate photographer then looks at the finished product with me and we jointly determine if more needs to be done. Yes, it takes more time and energy but it is always worth it.
John B Thomas, Jr., Realtor and Associate Broker, RE/MAX & WorldVentures
Shoot your photographs in the horizontal or landscape orientation whenever possible.The human eye sees the world in a roughly a 4:3 aspect ratio, though the standard ratio is moving to 16:9. So our brain finds the more pleasing view the horizontal/landscape NOT that smart phone vertical picture I keep seeing more and more!
Blain Handley, Realtor, Keller Williams
[Don’t] scrimp on the cost of an highly experienced real estate photographer in the field. This industry is littered with agents who take photos of high dollar properties with iPhones and androids. Having good pictures, done professionally is truly the key to marketing and selling the home.
5. Here’s a vote for your smartphone. I believe the right editing apps can truly boost your photography skills.
Kevin Cash, Staff Writer, NerdWallet
Use an app like Google’s Photo Sphere Camera. This gives prospective buyers/ renters a complete image of a room’s size and arrangement. It essentially emulates standing in the room in person.
Giovanni Farinacci, Courtier Immobilier Real Estate Broker, Keller Williams Prestige
I tend to orchestrate the shoot room per room. A decent shoot takes about 2 hrs for a 3000 square foot home.
Liat Tzoubari, Director of Sales & Marketing, Apartable
Our top tip for real estate photography would be to take a photo that emphasizes that specific room’s selling point, whether it be the natural light in the room, the spaciousness, or the little nook in the corner that will make buyers curious to see more.
8. There are three essentials for successful real estate photography: a tripod, a wide angle lens, and a flash.
Gary Lucido, President, Lucid Realty, Inc.
You need a tripod and a wide angle lens and a flash. And you need to know how to adjust the exposure settings in the camera.
Alyssa Pridgen, Account Assistant, Michelle Damico Communications
Show off your work on hi-def devices! Printouts and folders are old school. With wifi-enabled high definition televisions in most living rooms, you can use your prospects’ 60-inch TV to showcase your presentation. Take the time to learn how devices such as Apple TV can stream your presentation from your tablet or iPad to the big screen.
Tamela Ekstrom, Owner & Broker, HAVEN Real Estate + Design
When we are selling homes, we like a neutral color pallet so the homes appeal to a larger pool of buyers. However, in real estate photography, it’s the pops of bright color that photograph well. My biggest tip is using colorful artwork and vibrant pillows to make real estate photos pop and garner attention.
Include lifestyle photos (such as a fire in the fireplace, iced tea on the table next to a lawn chair, an open book and tea next in a reading nook).
Without a doubt, remember to correct for distortion in post. Vertical lines should always be perfectly at 90 degrees.
13. Not everyone is a fan of wide lens photos. Sometimes, depending on the market, the best photos are the most realistic.
Jennifer Allwood, Owner, The Magic Brush, Inc.
There is a trend right now in real estate photography to shoot homes with add wide of a lens as possible. Not only does this look ridiculous, but it’s deceiving to the potential buyer. Making a space look larger than it is by using a lens that distorts the area is not going to increase a buyer’s interest. They are going to arrive expecting a mansion and viewing a shack. Honest photos which exemplify the space are best.
John Bodrozic, Co-Founder, HomeZada
Since 92% of buyers use the internet to research homes, and they want to know as much about the home as possible before going to visit, it is important to show as many pictures as you can about the home. Consumers are used to seeing lots of photos when they shop for cars, vacations, clothes and everything else, they want more when it comes to real estate
People want to see:
- Each stainless steel appliance
- A close up of what that granite countertop looks like
- A close up of the flooring, wood, carpet, tile
- A close up of the cabinets for storage space
- A close up of the equipment such as the furnace, air conditioning unit, hot water heater
- Close up photos of windows and blinds so they can see the views
Check out this sample of a home with over 200 photos of the home.
15. Top 10 Real Estate Photography Tips (And Mistakes to Avoid) for Beginners by Tanya Goodall Smith
Gifted photographer Tanya Smith discusses tips and pitfalls to avoid when taking your own real estate photographs. She advises that you use a tripod, go for wide angle lenses, and use preset editing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
Leading real estate investor and educator Than Merrill shares his dos and don’ts for photographing your estate. For example, you may want to consider using a drone for aerial views. Definitely avoid taking photos of pets, holiday decor, or anything overly personal and specific to the previous owner when doing your real estate photography.
Ever wanted to do the twilight exterior photo shot? Take a look at this video excerpt from a course by master photographer Mike Kelley. There’s lots of great tips here to get you started. If the video piques your interest, you can also download the full 8 hour course from the Fstoppers store.
Placester is a great place to learn about real estate marketing, and this article by Matthew Bushery is an awesome resource for creating your own photos. Whether you’re shooting luxury or rural, this article has easy, actionable steps you need.
Sometimes you can learn from others’ mistakes, and this article by the folks at Adorama gives you nine great examples (with pictures). Get rid of the clutter, watch the angles, and let there be light.
What if you need to take photos of a vacant lot? Steve Sanders at LotNetwork.com has the perfect article for you. From how many photos you should include to dos and don’ts of which angles you should shoot, this article has lots of advice for capturing photos that sell.
Sometimes you can’t afford an expensive DSLR. That doesn’t mean your photos have to suffer. Here’s eight tips from Kristin at the Automated Housing Referral Network on how to perfect your real estate photos with your smartphone.
Need a mini course for real estate photography? Check out this five part course that covers everything from file management to memory cards to Lightroom presets.
If you think the photos are better suited to professional photographers, here’s another article by Placester’s Matthew Bushery.
Kyle Hiscock, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Keith Hiscock SOLD Team
The angle at which you are showcasing the various rooms in a home is extremely important. For example, if you’re looking to show off some high end cabinetry in a home, you want to take a shot of the cabinets from an angle that will show not only the depth of the cabinets but also the quality of the cabinets.
If you’re new to taking real estate photos, the best way to learn what angles will showcase your listings best is by practicing and making sure also that you take lots of photos. You can always delete bad photos but you cannot select a photo if you haven’t taken it. I suggest taking photos of each room from almost every angle that is possible.”
A big thanks to everyone who contributed. Now, it’s your turn: What’s your favorite real estate photography tip? Let us know in the comments below.
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