They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s never been more true than in an industry that deals with something very close and personal to people: their homes. Real estate photography is a very technical field and though it might not seem that difficult, it does takes years of experience to develop the right skills to get the right picture. If you’re about to sell your home, knowledge about what real estate photography involves can also help you save money or decide whether the photographer you’re hiring is a good fit for your property. That being said, for those budding photographers who want to get involved in the home selling process, it’s never too early to start practising. Here’s a handful of tricks of the trade that you should get yourself familiar with.
- Have the correct equipment You’ll need a wide-angle lens to make spaces look larger but avoid using a fish eye lens, as they often distort proportions and make spaces in the home look distant and false. On top of that, you will need a trusty tripod to make sure your shots are clean as shooting in low light will otherwise almost always result in blurry photographs.The flashes that are built into DSLR cameras are often not strong enough so having a flash or portable light is also very important, even if you think you can rely on the natural lighting. Don’t forget to bring light stands - there might not always be a place to set down your light.
- Get the room ready Make sure the room looks spotless by getting rid of clothes, paper, books and other clutter. Think of what would be in an IKEA showroom and remove everything else. Turning the lights on will make sure darker areas like the corners are properly lit up and that the property looks warmer and more inviting.You also want to consider the time of day you’re shooting at, as this will change the way rooms are illuminated as well as how windows are presented in a photograph. Experiment with how you can combine natural lighting with the lights in the house to make your property look spacious and clean.
- Compose the elements Tour the property and get to know the best view points. You’ll want to get shots that convey space and often this means you’re going to be shooting from one corner of the room, or from a corridor that shows rooms flowing into one another.Make sure you take multiple shots from different angles, but it’s important to keep all the vertical lines (counters, cupboards, windows for example) in a picture vertical. This makes the room look clean, sturdy and reliable and you can do this by taking the time to aim your camera perfectly horizontal. Different real photographers vary in their advice on the height of the shot, so depending on the room get a picture from both the waist and chest height. You don’t want to capture too much of the ceiling if it’s not a feature you want to show off, and same with any walls or floor.
- Process the photos It’s important to know how to edit your pictures to get the best lighting and composition. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a go-to for industry professionals so if you’re not familiar with the software, get to know the basics with online tutorials.Make sure you don’t go overboard with editing and that the colours aren’t oversaturated or the picture overexposed. You want to maintain the integrity of the picture and save the file in a high quality format so that it is ready for online use but can also be printed in a magazine if the opportunity arises.
It couldn’t be easier! Still, if you’re not too handy with a camera, your safest bet might be going with a professional.