Whether you work as a realtor or as a real estate photographer, the goal of taking photos of homes for sale is to dramatically increase the interest from buyers and get the property sold as quickly as possible. It is important to note that the majority of homebuyers who are looking for their next home head to the Internet first to perform their search. Therefore, it is imperative that high quality images accompany the description of a home in order to give buyers a clear understanding of what the home is really like. This will prevent everyone, from the homebuyer to the realtor, from wasting time looking at or showing a home, respectively, that was not the right fit from the start.
Capturing the best images that will stand out against the competition and bring out all of the best features within a home is not an easy task. The first step involves understanding your camera and how it functions, as well as how you can use your equipment to shoot in a variety of different types of locations and still get the highest quality results. If you need assistance with the basics, take this course, which focuses on everything from choosing the right camera mode to getting perfect exposure in every shot. Once you really know how to use your camera in low-light and tight environments, you will be able to capture the best images no matter what type of property you find yourself in.
Work with the Owner
A clean home will make the property look larger and more appealing in photographs. It will also ensure that you have less to edit out of the images before publishing them. Simply ask the homeowner to clean up and remove clutter before your appointment so that you can rest assured you will have plenty of open space to work with.
Choose the Right Time of Day
When it comes to photographing both the exterior and interior of homes, timing is everything. For the exterior of a property, choose a time of day when the sun is not too harsh and you can capture plenty of detail, especially if there is beautiful landscaping to show off. This is important when it comes to selling homes because curb appeal is one of the first things that attracts buyers. Taking a course in landscape photography can give you the skills you need for exterior shots if you don’t feel as confident shooting outdoors.
As for the interior, it is also best to choose a time, such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when the sun is not coming in too harshly through the windows. This will ensure that you can properly expose each shot without the sun’s rays getting in the way.
It is a good idea to discuss your options with the homeowner, as he or she would know when the natural light that flows through the home throughout the day is at its best. This will ensure you book an appropriate time for the shoot when you can get your shots right the first time.
Bring Plenty of Equipment and Backup Gear
Having the right equipment with you will ensure you are able to capture the best photographs, no matter how large or small the rooms are. In the event that you still notice problems with your photos, however, this course will teach you how to fix the most common mistakes that photographers make, as well as how to avoid them next time.
For tight rooms or exterior photographs, have a small stepladder available so that you can give yourself a bit of extra height to remove obstructive objects from your view and gain a better vantage point. Bringing a small tripod that will easily fit into tight spaces, while ensuring each shot is level and clear of any blur from handshake, is also a great idea. Many professional photographers use a small spirit level along with a tripod in order to be absolutely certain that the camera is straight before taking the shot. This will reduce the amount of time you would spend editing the photographs to make them level.
Bringing spare equipment, including a backup camera, extra memory cards, and extra charged batteries, is also necessary in ensuring that everything will go smoothly, especially since photography equipment can fail unexpectedly or become damaged while on location. Bring a variety of clean lenses, too, in order to be sure you can take attractive photos of every type of space within the home.
Lighting equipment is optional, as you can simply turn the lights on within each room before you photograph it. But sometimes even rooms with the lights on are still quite dark, especially if there are no overhead lights within the space. Other times, compact fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs cast a glow that makes photos unattractive. Therefore, having your own lights on hand, as well as a flash to use in order to brighten a room, will help you adjust for these problems without having to deal with them all at once when you sit down to edit the photos.
Setting Up for the Best Shots
Once at your location, it is time to start setting up to ensure every shot will be clear and bring out the best qualities of the home. Turning all of the lights on will prevent dark, grainy photos, especially if you choose to not bring along your own lighting equipment.
Take several photos of each room, experimenting with lighting, different angles and exposure settings, and varying viewpoints. A good rule is to walk around each room, looking through the viewfinder of your camera until you find the vantage points that make the room appear large and inviting. Once you upload your images to your computer for editing, you will have a lot of options to work with and you can then choose the highest quality images that represent the property best.
Also, be sure to take note of any objects within a room that may end up being an eyesore in the final image. Kindly ask the owner to remove these objects, or just temporarily move them out of the way yourself. Again, simply asking the homeowner to tidy up before your appointment will reduce the risk of this occurring.
Using a wide-angle lens may help you photograph tight spaces, but watch out for distortion. Sometimes it is best to take multiple photographs of different parts of a space and then stitch them together during editing.
Do not forget to take plenty of photographs of any areas of the home that really stand out as being unique from other properties in the area, such as an in-ground swimming pool or a well-established garden area. An office room, a finished basement, and a game room are also examples of features that will stand out, so take extra photographs of these areas as well.
Editing the Images to Make Them Perfect
Even if you cannot get the perfect images in-camera, photo editing software is available to help you transform every image as needed. Read through this blog for guidance on the best photo editing software for professionals who use Mac platforms.
First, crop an image to remove unwanted objects or distractions from the top, bottom, and sides of the photo. The goal of cropping is also to establish a sense of openness and space within a room. Your photo editing software should also come with a tool that allows you to quickly level a photograph that was taken on an angle.
Adjusting the white balance will remove any unwanted yellow or green hues within the image that resulted from the camera or the photographer choosing the wrong setting when the shot was taken. In the same way, adjusting the contrast will help bring out the colors and details within a space, so take the time to increase or decrease the level of contrast within each image as needed until you find the right level of saturation.
Practice to Enhance Your Skills
Real estate photographers have to hone their skills and learn how to work in a variety of different buildings while still obtaining the highest quality images that will entice homebuyers and assist sellers and realtors in their efforts to stand out against the many other properties that are for sale. This field is dynamic and exciting, as every home poses new challenges and opportunities to practice and improve. Many professionals compare old images to new ones to gauge how they are progressing and to pinpoint areas of weakness that they need to improve upon. And the rewards of a job well done include an increase in the number of properties sold.
If you are ready to work as a real estate photographer, or if you are a realtor who wants to know how to capture great images without hiring a professional, take this course to learn all of the skills required to photograph real estate and architecture.