- DIY Real Estate Photography Tips for Realtors
- Easy Real Estate Photography Tips for Better Interior Photos
photo by EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE via iStock
With the housing boom that has been happening over the last year, more and more people are getting into real estate photography. You could be someone looking to sell your house during this boom or you could be someone who is getting into real estate photography for the first time in order to diversify your photography income during the pandemic.
Regardless of your reasoning for getting into real estate photography, you’re going to need a real estate photography gear list. While a lot of photography gear can easily translate to real estate, there are a few pieces of real estate photography gear that you’ll likely need to purchase specifically for shooting real estate.
In this real estate photography equipment article, I’ll walk you through the exact equipment for real estate photography you’ll need to get started.
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The most important piece of real estate photography gear is not your camera or your lens. It’s actually a tripod. Tripods allow you to ensure that every photo of a home is taken from exactly the same height, which gives potential buyers the feeling of walking through a home digitally.
Tripods also help every one of your images to be as sharp as possible, even if you find yourself shooting in low-light situations.
If you’re transitioning to real estate photography from another photography niche, then you likely already own a tripod that will work. But, if you have a small travel tripod, an upgrade to something that’s taller and more sturdy is a good idea.
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The next piece of real estate photography gear you need to worry about is your lens. Unfortunately, one real estate photography lens likely won’t do the full job. You’ll need to buy a few.
For the outside of homes, you’re going to need a mid-range zoom camera. If you’re working with an APS-C crop sensor, then you’ll need to purchase a lens that is either 18-55mm or 16-50mm. If you’re working with a full-frame camera, then you’ll be looking for something like a 24-70mm.
For the inside of homes, you’re going to need a completely different lens. Since the size of the interior will be far smaller, you’re going to need a lens that is capable of taking wider shots. So, for interior shots, you should be looking for a focal range of 14-24mm or 16-35mm. Again, if you’re going to be shooting with a cropped sensor, then you will likely find something more like 10-20mm.
Thankfully, you really don’t need to spend a ton of money on your lenses, which will make it more affordable to buy two. This is because you don’t need a fast aperture to take real estate shots.
If you can afford to purchase an ultra-wide lens for better interior shots, then I recommend you do.
photo by Evgeniia Ozerkina via iStock
I realize that it may not make a ton of sense that a camera is so far down in my real estate photography gear list, but tripods and lenses will make or break a shoot, while you can feasibly work on a cheap or old camera. Some modern cameras have far too many high-end specs for real estate photography and I’ve even seen excellent real estate photos done with a great tripod and a smartphone.
So, if you already have a camera because you’re a photography, or because you are a photography enthusiast, then you should be able to use that camera for real estate purposes just fine.
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Still, should you feel that you need to purchase a real estate photography camera, then you’re going to be looking at one of two options: crop-sensor or full-frame. While both of these cameras have their pros and cons, it is important for you to not solely purchase one of them for your real estate photography needs, since they will both work. Make sure you’re thinking about what other types of photography you may use them for.
I’ll start with a crop-sensor camera. Crop-sensor cameras are usually far cheaper than a full-frame camera, because full-frame cameras offer more high-end options to photographers. But, an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds camera, which are both types of crop-sensor cameras, will allow you to shoot real estate photography beautifully.
If you do opt for a full-frame camera, you should do so because you’re planning on using it in future photography endeavors outside of real estate.
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No matter the kind of camera and lens you use for real estate photography, you will want to invest in HDR software.
One of the most common issues in real estate photography is the high dynamic range that interior scenes often present. That is, the windows in the room are often very bright while the interior spaces are far less bright. Even a high-end camera might struggle to accommodate all that dynamic range.
That’s where HDR techniques come in…
By bracketing your exposures and merging them together, you can create a single composite image that accounts for the bright highlights and the dark shadows in a room.
As you can see in the video above, merging the images together is a quick and simple process.
This is an investment for your real estate photography that will pay dividends over and over again. It’s a small price to pay, but the quality of your interior images will be far, far better, and that’s a good thing!
photo by Huseyin Bostanci via iStock
This is likely the only piece of real estate photography gear on this list that you don’t already own, aside from the real estate photography software.
And, depending upon the type of property you’re photographing, you may not need to purchase this specific piece of real estate photography gear right away. However, drones for real estate photography are becoming more and more popular, so you would be wise to learn how to shoot these sorts of aerial shots sooner rather than later, especially if you’re planning on doing real estate photography in the long term.
The primary thing you should be looking for when buying a drone for real estate photography is one that takes RAW images. They allow you to edit the photos much more easily because RAW files retain all the details that the sensor captures. Thankfully, most photography drones include this feature now.