Real estate photography – If you’re trying to sell a house or an apartment or any other kind of real-estate, you know how important good, quality photos are. No matter how great a particular property is, if the photos are grainy or poorly lit, potential buyers are more likely to opt for another property that may not have all the amenities or as great features if the photos are more attractive.
Taking great real estate photos is not an easy task but it’s not mission impossible either. That’s why in this post, we’ve gathered the best real estate photography tips and recommendations for lighting, the best lenses, and camera settings so you can improve your real estate photography tenfold.
Basic Real Estate Photography Tips and Tricks
Before diving into the technical tips and recommendations, let’s go over some basic real estate photography tips first.
Use A Tripod
The simplest and most important tip is to use a tripod whenever you’re taking real estate photos. This applies to both interior and exterior photos and it will help you avoid the common problem of shaky photos. As a result, your photos will appear sharp instead of blurry.
On top of that, a tripod will help you shoot straight vertical lines and to shoot comfortably at chest level, eye level, or knee level. It also helps you adjust your shutter to a slower setting.
Shoot in RAW
Keep in mind that as you’re preparing to take a photo, you only see the scene in the viewfinder. Your camera is gathering a lot more information about the photo you’re about to take. That information is crucial for improving brightness, shadows, and highlights during post-processing. As such, shooting your photos in RAW format allows you to be more specific when editing those image settings later on.
Pay attention to the focal point
When shooting your photos, go for the highest focal point setting possible although be careful not to go over 22mm. If you go above that, you may wind up with a photo that has weird distortions and perspective issues.
Open up the blinds and curtains
Whenever possible, allow for natural light to enter the interior of the property. Open up the blinds and curtains to let the light in. This will help you avoid artificial blue or yellow hues that often come as a result of turning on all the lights in a particular room.
Keep the property tidy
It goes without saying that the property you’re photographing should be kept tidy. You might be thinking that it’s not your job to clean up the place. While this is true, a quick clean up of the place before you take photos can do wonders for the end result. You might also talk to the real estate agent or the homeowners themselves and discuss the importance of cleaning up before the photo shoot takes place.
Choose interesting angles
When taking real estate photos avoid taking photos from the corner of the room or from the center. Instead, try finding interesting angles that accentuate the room you’re photographing.
Use a drone for outside photos
Consider using a drone to take outside photos of a real estate property. This will help you capture not only the property itself but also its surrounding areas and the neighborhood as well.
Real Estate Photography Tips – the Lighting
Now that we’ve covered the basic real estate photography tips, let’s go over specific lighting tips that will help ensure your photos are well-lit and attractive.
Choose the right time
When planning a real estate photoshoot, it’s important to choose the right time. Ideally, you want to pay attention to the weather and schedule your photoshoot for the day with sunny weather. You can also schedule a few different shoots throughout the year to capture the property in various seasons if you’re dealing with a particularly difficult property to sell.
Opt for natural light
As mentioned earlier, opt for natural light whenever possible as this will give you a more natural light for your interiors.
Use artificial light to enhance natural light
While you should avoid using flash as it can make your photos look unnatural, there is nothing wrong with using artificial light to enhance natural light. This can include using umbrellas and strobes and other photography lights.
Best Lenses for Real Estate Photography
When it comes to finding a lense for real estate photography, there is no shortage of available lenses. In general, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a lense:
- The angle of the lense
- Prime vs zoom
- Interior vs exterior setup
- Focal length settings
- Focus settings
Ideally, pick a lens that has angle settings between 10mm – 24mm. If you can splurge, pick a prime lense as it typically has a sharper focus. You might also pick a different lense for interior photography and a second one for exterior photography. Lastly, consider the focal length settings and whether you want to manually adjust the focus or if you prefer auto focus settings.
With that said, here are the top 3 lenses for real estate photography.
1. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED
The first lens on the list is Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED. It’s ideal for wide angle and normal shots and offers both autofocus and manual focus mode. It also comes with image stabilization and vibration reduction and allows you to take sharp interior and exterior shots.
2. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
If you prefer Canon, this lens will be a perfect choice. It’s perfect for taking wide angle photos and can focus in as close as 11 inches. It’s also dust resistant and features ultrasonic focus and three Aspherical lens elements.
3. Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM
The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM is a great choice for ultra wide angle photos. It gives you all the benefits of sharp and fast focusing and has a range of 12-24mm. This particular model can also be bought for Nikon cameras.
Camera Settings for Real Estate Photography
Lastly, let’s go over the camera settings that will give you great results when taking real estate photos.
Shutter speed settings
It’s recommended to keep your shutter speed between 1/60 and ½ a second. The final setting will depend on the amount of natural light available so adjust accordingly.
Your aperture should be set to f/7.1 to f/9. You can adjust this if you need to highlight a particular feature in a room or elsewhere inside the house. For exterior photos, keep your aperture between f/8 and f/11. If you’re shooting detail photos, adjust your aperture to f/2.
Your ISO settings should start at 200 and you can gradually increase this to 400 if a room is particularly dark or poorly lit. If you go above 400, you might wind up with too much digital noise in your photo which can seriously reduce the quality of your image. For exterior photos, keep your ISO at 100; unless you’re shooting at night in which case you should increase the ISO to 400.
The three setting above will help you get well-lit photos in any situation. For other settings consider these guidelines:
- White balance — use auto setting for both interior and exterior photos
- Camera mode — set your camera to AV mode for interior and exterior photos
- Metering — use spot metering for both interior and exterior photos
- Focus mode — use single shot or autofocus mode for both interior and exterior photos
Once you’ve got the basics of real estate photography down, you’ll be able to take stellar photos for your real estate properties and get interested buyers. The tips in this article will help you take your real estate photography to the next level so start applying them today.