How To Take Better Real-Estate Photos (For Realtors!)

real-estate-photography

The real-estate market is booming, and to stay competitive realtors need top-notch real-estate photos to help sell their homes. While it may seem overwhelming at first, anyone can take high quality photos of the homes they are selling.

Here are some tips to help take fantastic real-estate photographs:

Keep a Shot List to Use For Every House

This will help organize the photos you’ll need to take, and make it easy to check off each one. Make sure to include the following photos in every shoot:

  • Kitchen
    Make sure to have at least two wide-angle photos of the kitchen. If there are any epic design features, make sure to include shots of those.
  • Living Room
    Depending on the size of the living area, you’ll want one to two wide-angle shots of the living room. If there is a feature that you think is a big selling point (fireplace, big French doors leading outside, etc.), be sure to grab a photo!
  • Bathroom
    For most bathrooms, one photo is enough. Usually, this should be a wide angle, as it’s a small room. If the bathroom is large, feel free to take two!
  • Exterior
    Curb appeal is incredibly important. You’ll want to take one or two photographs of the front of the home. While taking a shot straight on is nice, try a couple of different angles. Also, don’t forget to try and take it from an angle that keeps telephone poles or garbage cans out of the shot!
  • Garage/Mud Room/Miscellaneous Rooms
    Take one photo of each of these rooms, making sure to focus on the best features of each (a barn-style garage door or organized shelving in a pantry).
  • Bedrooms
    Take at least two shots, at a wide-angle, of every bedroom. Make sure the bed is made, and clutter is cleaned up. After all, this is where people want to feel cozy!

 

red-bank-real-estate-photo

Use the Right Gear

While sorting through all of the camera gear out there can be confusing, it doesn’t take much to take great photographs. Here’s a breakdown of the essentials:

Camera

It’s time to put away the point-and-shoot or your phone, and upgrade to a DSLR camera. You don’t need to go out and spend $3,000 to get a solid camera for real-estate photography, as there are plenty of DSLR cameras out there to choose from. There are a few key elements that come into play when choosing the right camera:

  • Full-frame vs. Cropped Sensor
    A full-frame sensor is larger than a cropped sensor, allowing in more light and give the ability to shoot images at a higher quality in low light. This is not to say a cropped sensor camera can’t do the job, as it should be just fine starting out. 
  • Brand
    There are a ton of cameras out there, but I’d recommend sticking with Canon, Nikon, or Sony.
  • Video
    Many realtors are starting to include video in their listings. If this is important to you, definitely choose a camera that records in 1080p or higher. 

Lens
Choosing the right lens is as (or more) important than the camera you decide on. You will definitely want a wide-angle zoom lens, as you’ll need the ability to take a photo of any room so that it appears large and welcoming. Be careful not to get a fisheye lens, as you won’t want any image distortion.

Having a second lens that isn’t as wide will allow you to zoom in further and spotlight different features in the home. 

Image quality is important in real-estate photography, and purchasing a better lens will help minimize chromatic aberration, image sharpness, and distortion.

  • Full Frame Lenses 
    For full-frame cameras, your wide-angle zoom lens choice will vary slightly, depending on the brand. You will want to choose something with a focal length starting around 16mm (some are 14mm, others are 17mm) and going up to around 35mm. Lenses in this range will allow you to make a room look spacious, with minimal distortion.
    • Your second lens should be a tighter shot. This will vary based on how ‘detailed’ you want to get with your photographs. While a little pricier, a 24-70mm f/2.8 or 70-200mm f/2.8 lens will give you a wide range of focal lengths, and the ability to let in a lot of light.
  • Cropped Sensor Lenses
    Since a cropped sensor essential “zooms” in the image, you’ll need to purchase lenses with ‘wider’ focal lengths. If you plan to upgrade from a crop-sensor camera in the future, remember that these lenses may or may not work on your full-frame camera.
    • Wide-angle zoom: A 10-24mm or 12-24mm lens will work well to open up a room and capture the feel of the space you’re photographing.
    • Second lens: Try and find a 17-50mm and/or something around 45-120mm.

Tripod
Generally, photographing a home in natural light will look warm and inviting, and produce a better than flash. That being said, photographing in lower light without a flash will require you use a tripod and longer shutter speeds to achieve the best results. Choose a tripod that is sturdy, and holds the camera without any movement or shake when taking a photo.

Using a tripod and the cameras Live View function is a great way to shoot, helping you compose the shot in the back of the camera, without looking through the viewfinder.

You may want to purchase a remote trigger to reduce any camera shake introduced by manually pressing the shutter button.

Flash
While not necessary, having a flash can help brighten up darker rooms in the home, or add fill light in dark corners. Buying a flash that you can use on or off of the camera will give you flexibility with light position.

Also, be sure to take advantage of interior lights, as long as they don’t cast ugly shadows in the photo. Turning on the lights can create a warm, inviting look in the house.

Other Considerations

  • Charge your camera and flash batteries the night before, so that they are ready for the next day. Also, bring your charger and extra batteries with you to the shoot, just in case.
  • Walk through the home, making note of any features you’d like to photograph, where the light is coming from, and where you’d like to take your shots.
  • Clean up any clutter or messes before taking the photos. Nothing is worse than a messy room!

If you still find all of this overwhelming and you’d rather hire a professional real-estate photographer, feel free to reach out to us for more information. JAM Creative & Technology has the expertise needed to take your real-estate photos.