photo by Ryan Herron via iStock
Real estate photography is a profitable business open to many skilled photographers. We have many articles covering real estate photography tips and also a lot of articles covering drone video tips. So, we’re combining these thoughts as some useful drone tips for real estate photographers.
Using drones for real estate photography can put you ahead of the curve in finding clients since there are many photographers without drones or don’t yet know how to use a drone for real estate photography.
If you have or are planning to acquire a high quality drone, here are a few drone photography tips for making good images to include in a real estate photography package or service.
Use a High-Quality Drone
Quality for drones involves more than camera resolution, it also covers the flight and control characteristics of the drone. First off, though, you want the camera and lens to be able to provide video footage and still images on par with the camera you’re using for the regular photos.
By on par, I mean being close enough for online imaging to not show a definite difference in quality. So, if you’re using a Full Frame or APS-C DSLR or mirrorless, you won’t need an exact match of sensor, but you want one that is better than the cameras included in hobbyist style drones.
DJI Mavic drones like the DJI Mavic Air 2 with a ½” sensor and DJI Mavic 2 Pro with a 1” type sensor in its Hasselblad camera. Both are reasonably priced for professional photography with the Mavic Air 2 coming in at a little over half the cost of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Intelligent Flight Modes
photo by Fototocam via iStock
Part of the quality of the drones for real estate is how well they fly and how smooth the control of the drone is. Many of the better drones have specialty flight modes that are very usable to ensure higher quality images and video.
A wobbly flight means poor quality photos, just as if you had poor technique for holding your DSLR causing unsharp images. Intelligent flight modes such as what is found in the DJI Mavic drones provide smooth and even control of the flight and shooting the photos.
Shoot In HDR Mode
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If your drone has the mode available, HDR will provide the most balanced exposure for the aerial scenes being pictured. HDR is High Dynamic Range photography, a method of bracketing several frames taken at the same time and then merged in post processing in order to capture good detail in highlights, mid range tones, and the shadows.
Here is an excellent YouTube video explaining how to use HDR for real estate photography.
I consider this one of the top drone tips for real estate photography because you should already be shooting in HDR for real estate photography. The bracket and merge technique of HDR photography has many advantages for all types of real estate photography from residential and luxury residential to commercial properties.
So if you’re using the bracket and merge technique for your ground based images and interior images, you want the drone photos to have the same great looking detail across the entire dynamic range of the scene and the entire package of images.
Follow the Rules
photo by Remus Kotsell via iStock
One of the most important drone tips for real estate photographers is to meet all the requirements for drone operation in your area and follow all the safety protocols. For drones of a certain size, this will include the regulations for drone flight and registration. In some jurisdictions, this will involve testing and licenses.
Since using drones for real estate photography is likely part of a business venture, you will also want to have the proper insurance coverage to protect yourself against any liability claims, both personal and property.
How to Take Real Estate Photos: Post-Process for a Natural Look
photo by Robert Ingelhart via iStock
Even though we are using what some may consider to be an artistic technique, HDR, for our real estate photography, the end results we’re after should have a natural appearance. The bracket and merge technique can supply us with beautiful, full range images, but we want to keep the colors and details as natural and true to life as possible.
We may be presenting the property in the best light, but the images should remain realistic, accurately portraying the real estate property. Cleaning up the images is a good idea, but major alterations might prove to be problematic in the long run.
It’s a good idea to post-process your drone images to the same standards used in the rest of the images. In other words, the color balance, sharpness, and exposure values from both cameras should complement each other instead of being obviously and glaringly different.
Offer Pricing Packages
photo by grinvalds via iStock
In order to get paid for using your drones for real estate work, it helps to offer a variety of pricing packages that include drone images, beauty shots, and twilight images. Adding these services to your pricing packages, either one at a time or as multiple combinations, can create interest in them and possibly result in more clients opting for them.
Take advantage of these drone tips for real estate photographers to learn how to use a drone for real estate photography and to improve your techniques using a drone in order to supply the best images for your real estate clients which will give you more profitable success in this fascinating field of professional photography.