Excellent guest post by Dylan Darling for Tech Savvy Agent. We have talked about some of the things he mentions in this post on Tech Savvy Agent, but he does an amazing job of tying the concepts together into a single article!
Real Estate Photography Tips
It drives me crazy that sellers allow their agents to get away with posting DARK, BLURRY, & PLAIN HORRIBLE listing photos! Almost all buyers are searching the Internet for their next home to purchase. What grabs buyer’s attention online? PHOTOS, pure and simple. Most buyers won’t read about the home unless the pictures speak to them. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and give your listings photos that “pop”. You and your sellers will be rewarded with more showing activity and quite possibly a higher selling price.
The examples below are of a Redmond home for sale. The home was listed by another agent prior to me getting the listing.
Looks like two different properties! Notice the angle change. A slight change in angle allows for a much better view. THINK ABOUT YOUR SHOTS before you just fire away. Then preview your shots (most digital cameras allow you to preview your photos right after you shoot them).
Some Basic Real Estate Photography Rules To Live By
Prepare- Look around. Close toilet lids, clear off counters, move furniture if needed, etc. In most cases you’ll also want to turn on all lights and lamps. Professional staged homes look much better, so talk to your sellers about hiring professional, interior designer.
- Shoot, shoot, shoot! You’re not paying for film in the digital age, get more photos than you need. Play with angles and different camera settings. You can review and pick the best shots later.
- Think- Take your time and think about what you are doing and what you’re trying to portray to prospective buyers. Imagine the shot before you snap away.
- Use a tripod! The use of a tripod will keep the camera stable, and take away any chance for blurring caused by camera movement. When using a tripod, it’s best to use a shutter release or set your camera to timer mode. This way your finger pressing the shutter button doesn’t cause the camera to move. Tripods also allow for slow shutter speeds in low light conditions.
- Invest in equipment- DSLR’s are affordable these days. Pick yourself up one and learn how to use it. Invest in a quality wide angle lens (I love the Cannon 10-22mm for real estate). More advanced photographers will want to purchase a few external flashes as well. Search Craigslist for used equipment.
- Level- Try to get your camera level, especially if you’re using a wide angle lens. This will take away the fisheye look.
- Verticals- In most cases your vertical lines should be that, VERTICAL. When using a wide angle lens check your verticals and adjust the camera until they are all straight up and down. This will give a natural look to the photos.
- Explore your cameras settings- Most agents just use the Automatic setting. Explore your settings. Most pro photogroaphers will shoot in Manual mode. When shooting in manual mode, make sure to keep your aperature above f/8 (f stop). This will keep entire rooms in focus. When you start dipping under f/8, your depth of field shrinks and you may loose focus of near or far subjects.
- Invest in post processing software- such as Lightroom 4 or Aperture. (CHECK OUT THIS INTRO VIDEO TO EDITING)
- Brightness and Contrast- Adjust the brightness and contrast of each image. Most interior real estate photos look better bright and contrasty. But be careful not to over do it.
- Saturation- Give your colors more saturation where needed. Saturation can be overdone as well… So use caution.
- Crop- Crop your photos for the best display (most MLS’s use a standard 4X6 display ratio)
- Re-Size- 72 DPI is the best resolution for the web. See what size your MLS allows and re-size the photos at 72 DPI. For our MLS I’ve found that the best size is 1200X800 at 72 DPI.
- Sharpen- After you’ve re-sized your image for the web, use your photo software to sharpen the image. This is a great way to give your listing photos more “pop”. Sharpened images stand out online.
- Save images for web- Adobe Photoshop has a great feature, FILE, SAVE FOR WEB AND DEVICES. I’ve found that if you save real estate images using File, Save for web and Devices method, they’ll display awesome on the web.
If you can’t take great listing photos, hire a pro real estate photographer. The money is well spent. You’ll get more internet leads, more phone calls, more showings, and many times a higer selling price. A great site for real estate photography information with a real estate photographer directory is www.photographyforrealestate.com. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge on this site for newbie photographers and pros.
Written by Dylan Darling, a Bend Oregon real estate agent.