Photography 101 For Real Estate - Part 2

photography 101 for real estate
Welcome to our new blog post about real estate photography! We have already presented the three things you need to start taking pictures for your real estate listings: a good camera, a tripod, and a good picture editing software.  Let's continue our real estate photography series with more details on how to take great interior pictures.

Home owners and real estate agents are dependent on high quality images to sell their properties. The better the pictures, the better the property looks online and the more people get interested in that property. Oftentimes real estate agents or home owners have little control over the external environment of a home, but there is much more control over the details of the interior. You can pick the light, the shooting angles, and you can even move smaller pieces of furniture around to get better views of the rooms. So let's go over a few tips and tricks for better real estate interior photography:
  • Use natural light as much as possible - nothing puts things in a better perspective than natural light. Human eye is capable of interpreting and adjusting for artificial light but image sensors on cameras are not that good at that. The more natural light you can bring in through the windows the better pictures you will be able to take. If you don't get much natural light in the room don't despair: this is where a good dslr camera and a tripod gets to play their part. Set the camera on a tripod to avoid any movement that would blur your pictures and slow the shutter speed. The lower the light in the room the more time you need to give your camera to absorb that light. Adjust the ISO too, but don't set it too high or the images will look "dusty". Try to fight the temptation of using a flash light since that would create sharp edges and dark shadows. Natural light helps emphasizing colors and reduces the post-production time needed to improve the image.
  • Always shoot raw  - this is another reason to use a good dslr camera. Unlike point-and-shoot cameras that save the images directly in jpeg format, dslr cameras can be set to shoot in raw format. This allows you more opportunities to improve the image if you did not set the best options at the moment of taking the picture. This is also the time a good picture editing software plays its role. You can use Photoshop to process raw images or you can rely on the software that came with your camera. Remember, if you take pictures in jpeg format you minimize the post-production editing capabilities of the pictures you take. Raw format gives you the best chances to end up with a great picture even in less-than-perfect shooting conditions.
photography 101 for real estate - align with the grid
  • When in doubt, shoot straight on - point the camera so that it aligns with one of the longer walls. Use the viewfinder on your camera to align the horizontal and vertical lines of the room with the grid on your camera. Some people have more artistic talent than others. You can sometimes take great pictures with interesting angles, creating a good dramatic effect. Make sure, though, that everyone will interpret the image the way you intended. The more artistic you shoot, the greater chances for other people to dislike the images. So when in doubt, shoot straight on.
photography 101 for real estate - small room - shoot through the door
  • Change the environment - the rule especially applies to small rooms, when getting a good shooting angle puts you with your back at the wall - literally. When shooting in small rooms you have two options: you either use wide-angle lenses or you move stuff around to allow you getting a better view. Wide-angle lenses might not be the best choice since they also create a fish-eye effect and distort the images. So you may end up having to shoot through the door or move small pieces of furniture around to make room for you to get a good shot.
  • Set up the space - you can easily improve the content of an image by simply adjusting a few things in the room. Re-arrange small furniture, add a few magazines on a coffee table, a laptop on the desk, or add more color with a few flowers in a vase. It might even be a good idea to add a few magazines, a laptop, and some flower to the list of props you regularly carry with you when going out to shoot for your real estate listings.
Always keep an open mind when taking real estate photography. Experiment with your images and make sure you take plenty of pictures. This way you give yourself a chance to get great images and make your listings stand out from the crowd. We'll continue our photography 101 for real estate series with some other great tips and tricks. In the meantime, happy shooting!

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