The market is competitive right now. Sellers have their prices at rock bottom, not even that jacuzzi is enough to get your property noticed. Ever thought about improving your photography skills? Listings that have a professionally taken photo, are at least 15 percent more likely to sell.
First thing’s first, you need a decent camera. While you may have a lot of love for the photos you take on your mobile, and you’ve even managed to get a handful of Instagram likes; taking a photo to sell a high priced product like a house, needs a quality camera. I’m not here to get into a discussion about Canon vs. Nikon; for me, both have their merits. Industry experts tend to use the Canon 60D. You really can’t go wrong with it and it will handle elevated shots of exteriors and detailed interior pictures.
The lens is important; as you will find yourself inside bathrooms or squeezed into a corner of an upstairs bedroom. A wide angle lens like the Canon 10-22mm will be your best friend. Shooting too wide can create false perspectives, accuracy is crucial or the person viewing the house will be disappointed- false advertising comes into play here. If you have a wobbly hand, invest in a tripod to ensure a perfectly focused shot.
Get the Property in Sight
The exterior photo is the first impression a house hunter gets. You mess this one up and they look to the next listing- immediately. Take time to find the best angle and light. The agent will give you a good idea of what features to pay particular attention to. Shots from the front and rear and of the landscaping and gardens are good starting points.
Each feature should be emphasized, by setting them against a backdrop of, for example, a manicured garden. If there is a nice outdoor patio, try to include it as part of a wider garden shot, showing how it all fits together, creating a positive impression on the viewer.
To Drone or not to Drone
To get a superior aerial shot, there is no comparison to something like the DJI Phantom Quadcopter or a GoPro Hero 3. There are still some legal restraints when using drones for commercial use, so it’s best to ask before using.
Drones take aerial real estate photography to the next level. Unless you have your own helicopter, this could be a good option for you.
The timing here is important. Early or late afternoon is the best time to take a photo. You can use Google Maps and Earth to work out when is best to do the shoot. You should take into account whether the house is north or south facing and plan accordingly. In Winter there might be a big problem for south facing homes to get enough light for the front side photo. Try to photograph from the same side of the house as the sun.
Dusk/Dark Technique- This technique involves turning on all the lights in a particular room and shooting from outside, at a certain time. After sunset, the sky will be in an even balance with the light exposure from inside the room. This creates a great picture, used in everything from hotels to beach resort prints.
One thing that will ruin a photo is clutter. Make sure the place is spotless before shooting. The key here is creating a visual flow. Avoid having something large in the foreground which will draw the eye and stop the viewer from taking in the whole image as one. For example in the living room avoid having the sofa in the center of the photo, as this will distort the shot.
Height and Vertical Edges
Vertical edges need to be accurately vertical and this is harder said than done. Everything from windows to door frames needs to point straight in the shot. One approach to minimize the risk is to level the camera with what’s called a hot shoe bubble level. Lowering the camera itself can mitigate the problem but there is not that much scope to do this and still have a nice photo.
What is the ideal height? Some consider chest level to be perfect others go with the doorknob.
You will generally have either interior or window light. You can also add light with a flash or strobe. In cases of mixed light (light from a bulb and window light), you can reduce it by matching the color from the inside to the outside, photoshop colour correction can also work.
If you are using the photos for the web, low resolution will be fine, for print it will require high res. Contact your agent for information on what is the proper format and size for images on our website