Real estate photography is a critical component of any property's marketing plan, and the quality of the photos can make a significant impact on the level of interest generated by agents and potential buyers. In order to create an emotional connection with viewers and attract the right audience, it's essential to have high-quality photos that showcase the property's best features. In fact, the importance of real estate photography cannot be overstated - it's just as crucial as the MLS listing itself.
This article is written for agents who may not have access to my services or are located outside of Southern California. I hope the resources provided in this article can assist you in better serving your current and future clients.
A wide-angle lens is a crucial tool for real estate photography as it allows you to capture more of the room, making it appear more spacious and attractive to potential buyers. However, it's important to ensure that you use a lens with low distortion, as fisheye photos can be unappealing. To make the most of your equipment, consider using an ultra-wide lens with a full-frame DSLR. This setup can help you bring in more light and utilize more of the lens's area, resulting in photos that showcase the property's best features and make the room feel even larger and brighter.
Investing in a high-quality tripod can make a significant difference in the sharpness and stability of your real estate images, particularly in low-light conditions. This is particularly important because not all homes have ample natural lighting, and some homeowners intentionally keep their homes dimly lit. With the help of a reliable tripod, you can capture crisp, blur-free shots that do justice to the property's unique features, regardless of the lighting conditions.
Staging is a crucial step in making a property look attractive and inviting. Ideally, this should be done before the photoshoot. You can ask the seller to remove clutter and personal items, religious artifacts, and arrange furniture to make the space look more spacious and welcoming. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing listing photos with the toilet seat up – remember to put the lid down! Also, ensure that bills, family photos, and refrigerator magnets are removed from sight. This will make a huge difference in the overall aesthetic of the property.
Capturing the perfect lighting is crucial for real estate photography. While it's not always possible due to the homeowner's schedule, aiming to shoot during the golden hour can make all the difference. During this time, the exterior of the property is bathed in a beautiful warm glow, creating soft shadows and rich foliage colors that can make your photos feel warm and inviting. It's important to plan ahead and arrive early, as you only have a limited time to capture the golden hour. Focus on capturing the exterior shots during this time, and schedule interior shots before, you can take interior shots after golden hour if the property has great artificial lighting typically found in luxury homes.
Natural light is a key ingredient in capturing beautiful and inviting real estate photos. To take advantage of it, open curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. However, I recommend turning on all interior lights to ensure that the property is well-lit. More light means better quality photos with less noise and sharper details, because of a lower ISO and faster shutter speed. Make sure to take advantage of natural light and interior lighting to capture the best images possible.
When it comes to real estate photography, creativity is key. Don't limit yourself to the same angles and compositions for every shot. While it's easy to stick to what you know works, experimenting with different angles and compositions can showcase the unique features of the property and make your photos stand out. Try shooting from high and low angles to capture the property's best features from unique perspectives. Drones can also be a great tool to use for aerial shots, especially for larger properties. However, it's important to be cautious when using drones indoors as they will lose GPS connection and become less stable. If the property is large enough and you have the experience, utilizing drones indoors can allow you to achieve some truly amazing and seemingly impossible angles for interior photos. So, don't be afraid to get creative and try new things to capture the property in the best way possible.
To enhance the quality of your photos, post-processing is crucial. I spend the majority of my time editing my photos to ensure they are of the highest quality. I use three different AI editing softwares to quickly batch all of the images, enhancing details. Then, I go through each photo by hand to adjust the brightness and contrast, straighten the horizon, edit colors, and remove any trash or debris. For a basic photoshoot, I spend an average of 45 minutes per photo. However, for high-end properties, I have spent up to 8 hours per photo, especially if the property is being featured in a printed magazine.
Real estate photography is arguably the most important marketing tool when it comes to selling a property. If you are unable to invest in additional marketing materials such as a property video, 360 virtual tour, or watercolor floor plan, make sure to allocate sufficient resources to getting high-quality photos taken. By following just a few simple tips, you can significantly improve your images and showcase the property's best features to attract potential buyers or tenants. Remember to invest in quality equipment, stage the property, shoot at the right time of day, use natural light, and edit your photos to enhance their quality. As someone who loves to help new agents and photographers, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about equipment, editing, or any other aspects of real estate photography. I am always happy to spend a few minutes on the phone with you to help you with your next listing.