- Create a Shot List That Works for You
- Give Yourself Enough Time
- Do a Walk Through on the Property
- Focus on Your Composition
- Get Multiple Shots Until You Understand Editing
- Basic Real Estate Photography Tips for Absolute Beginners
- Real Estate Photography Services You Should Offer
photo by hikesterson via iStock
Learning how to fulfill the requirements of good photography while showcasing your creativity is going to make you an incredible real estate photographer.
But, in order to make a name for yourself in real estate, you first need to sift through a slew of introductory real estate photography tips (many of which say the same, nondescript things).
In an effort to actually be informative for you, I’ve put together some instructions on top real estate photography tips ranging from very specific editing techniques to gear information (and lots of things in between). Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Create a Shot List That Works for You
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash
There are hundreds of introductory real estate photography tips on the internet and they all won’t mean anything if you don’t first draft a shot list that works for you.
A real estate photography shot list should basically act as a step-by-step guide for what you’re going to do immediately upon entering a house for one of your clients.
A shot list that works for you is going to save you time and money by ensuring you don’t have to return to a house for a reshoot.
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Photo by Ralph Kayden on Unsplash
While you should personalize your real estate photography shot list (and continue to personalize it as you become more familiar with your business), there are some basic shot list tips that will help you learn how to take better real estate photos.
For example, your bedroom shots should be clean and inviting with a made bed and no clutter or dirty clothes on the floor. Furthermore, taking photos from the corners of the room (as shown above) allows you to highlight the space more easily than if you were to stand in the middle of the room along the wall.
photo by hikesterson via iStock
Your living room shots should also be inviting, since most of a prospective buyers’ time will likely be spent here. Living room shots should include any natural lighting sources, like windows or skylights, and they should also show you what other rooms the living room leads to.
When taking photos like the one above - in which there are windows with a view - it’s best to bracket your exposures. This enables you to get exposures for the bright windows, the darker areas inside the room, and the tones in between that you can then merge together to get a beautifully exposed photo.
If you tried to capture this scene in a single image, you’d likely find that the windows are well-exposed but the room is dark, or that the room is well-exposed but the window is bright. In either case, it’s not an ideal situation!
If you’re not sure how to merge bracketed exposures together, consult the video above to learn a quick, simple, and effective technique.
Your kitchen shots should include all of the appliances (if the home comes with them) like the oven, fridge, and stovetop. Your goal with kitchen shots should be to showcase the ease with which someone can function in that environment.
photo by adamkaz via iStock
As for your bathroom shots, many prospective buyers base their decision to buy a home, in part, on the bathrooms, so the point of bathroom shots is to showcase the different amenities in them.
If you’re having trouble starting your own list, there are a variety of options online to get you started.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash
One of my favorite accessories when I go on a shoot is a wristwatch, which may sound old fashioned but it helps keep me on track.
Everyone feels the pressure of timed shoots, whether you’ve been in the business for a decade or three weeks, and that pressure can translate to bad photos if you’re not careful.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
In the end, there’s only so much planning you can do. You need to get out into the field and adjust your times as you become more proficient at real estate photography.
And becoming more proficient is the goal - the less time you need to photograph a property, the more time you have to schedule other properties after it.
Do a Walk Through on the Property
As Dombowerphoto shows you in this video, a walk through on the property is an absolute necessity.
Firstly, you want to make sure the property was accurately described to you. You’d hate to not know that there was a pool on the property and leave it off of your shot list.
But, you also want to get a feel for the property.
While introductory real estate photography tips are great, they can only get you so far. You need your intuition for a lot of real estate photography.
photo by Bulgac via iStock
While you’re going on your walk through, be thinking about what kind of shots you’d like to see of this house if you were thinking of buying it.
What aspects of the house stand out to you while there? If you can capture these aspects on film, your client will love your work.
Focus on Your Composition
There are hundreds of videos out there about real estate photography composition tips, but this video by JRDNPWRS gives you a short, digestible introduction to it.
Learning how to photograph real estate is really learning how to take your Photography 101 techniques and applying them to photographing homes and other properties that vary widely from one to the next.
Basic rules like the rule of thirds will come in handy to create balanced images of exterior and interior elements.
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash
You’ll also want to only shoot from angles with the best, natural lighting.
Natural lighting isn’t always possible in real estate photography, but there are windows in most rooms. Use them! Natural light combined with the bracket and merge technique mentioned earlier will get you much more pleasing results than if you rely on complex artificial lighting setups. Using natural light is faster and less expensive, too!
Get Multiple Shots Until You Understand Editing
Photo by jana müller on Unsplash
Until you understand how to take better real estate photos, you’ll need to overshoot. The absolute worst thing you can do is need to go back to a house a second time because you didn’t get enough photos the first time around.
Of course, there are easy introductory real estate photography tips, like the ones discussed in this video by Stallone Media:
Use videos like this one to introduce yourself to editing and never stop practicing. Eventually, you will understand the exact shots you need, but until then, getting more shots is going to be essential for you.