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Learning how to photograph exteriors involves taking advantage of tips for real estate exterior photography concerning the all important real estate hero shot.
What is a real estate hero shot? Why is it so important? And what real estate photography tips will help us with crafting a good real estate hero shot as we learn how to take real estate exterior photos in general?
The Real Estate Hero Shot - Why So Important?
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The real estate hero shot is the cover photo for our virtual property flyer, also known as the MLS listing. It’s the first thing prospective buyers will see and if it captures their attention, then those potential buyers are as good as in your virtual front door.
The real estate hero shot is not new to posting real estate pics online. It was being used when newspaper print real estate flyers were being printed weekly as the listing photo. Some luxury style homes would have brochures or “slicks” printed with a beauty or hero shot on the front cover.
What makes it so special in digital format is that home shoppers can now browse through hundreds of listings in a brief time. If an image of a home catches their attention, they can immediately see more images of the home by simply clicking on that listing.
Additionally, digital real estate hero shots can take full advantage of the capabilities of digital photography to create uniquely crafted images.
What Is a Real Estate Hero Shot?
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While most of the images we present for our real estate clients, or for our own personal listing if listing FSBO (for sale by owner), should be simple, straightforward, and well crafted as opposed to being artsy, a hero image can involve some photographic art.
Instead of a straight on view from the road, we can change the view a little, perhaps moving over a little bit to highlight the beauty of the structure. (Another term for a real estate hero shot is the beauty shot.)
One of our favorite real estate photography tips, the bracket and merge technique, can be used to make the perfect real estate hero shot. Especially if you use that method to capture twilight views of the home for sale.
Twilight Shots are Great Hero Images
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A great beauty shot, a real estate hero shot that immediately captures attention, is the twilight image shot with the bracket and merge HDR technique.
Twilight images shot in HDR have a unique look that tends to set them apart from other beauty shots. When crafted properly, a twilight image will show the house with great colors in the skies and windows while maintaining a relatively normal appearance in everything about the exterior of the house.
If you haven’t yet tried the backet and merge HDR technique for your regular real estate images, watch this YouTube video explaining how you can use it for both interior and exterior real estate images as well as all sorts of other types of photography.
How To Take Twilight Images
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You already know how to photograph real estate exteriors and make them look great, in order to craft a twilight image as a real estate hero shot, you simply need to take that skill one step further.
First, decide which twilight you want to use, because there are actually two twilights in each day. One is just after sunset, the other is just before sunrise. Twilights is the time when the Sun is below the horizon, out of view, but the sky still has a lot of illumination.
One direction of the twilight sky will be brighter than the other, mainly because that’s the direction the Sun is. You’ll want to scout out what direction the house you’re photographing faces in relation to the sun position so you have some of that sky brightness to use.
Turn on the house lights inside and out, open the blinds and curtains, frame the house slightly off center, and with your camera on a tripod take those 3, 5, or 7 exposures to blend together with your HDR bracket and merge post processing program.
In your HDR processing, use the slider tools to adjust colors and color temperature, exposure and densities for highlights, midrange, and shadows, plus controlling what style of image you want.
Grab Attention for Your Own Real Estate Hero Shot
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Use your new power wisely! Bracket and merge HDR photography for real estate imaging is one of the best new techniques to come along in digital photography.
It doesn’t have to be a twilight image to be the beauty shot, but the bracket and merge technique can be used any time of day. After using it to make your own real estate hero shots, try it out for all of your other real estate photos and any other type of photography you think could work for you.