PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS

by Dina Theriac

Many real estate agents are quite savvy with a camera and are able to show off their clients homes through photos with plenty of pizzazz.  But as with most business professionals, agents are just too busy to invest the time required to tweak the scene and to add enhancements to the images, let alone put together a professional photo tour for digital sharing.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer with minimum experience in photography and want to improve your technique, these photography tips just might add an edge to get your listings noticed.

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Interior Photography

Real Estate Photography Tips

Many homes have great features that photograph readily.  Unique design elements, architecture and lighting present well on their own.  Not all homes fit this ideal.  So, the goal for the real estate photographer is to make even the least attractive house look appealing.  Points to consider when shooting interiors include equipment, lighting, staging and composition.

EQUIPMENT

Equipment is typically dictated by the house itself.  Great natural lighting may not require use of a flash.  To ensure crisp images, always use a tripod.  But, most important is to use a DSLR and a nice prime lens rather than a zoom or too wide lens.  Wider angle lenses cause excessive distortion.  A faster lens is also preferable for lower lighting common with interior photography.

LIGHTING

The importance of lighting is often reflected in good architectural design.  The use of natural light or well designed lighting systems also means less equipment to coordinate.

Begin by turning on all the lights.  This will give depth and color variance to the room.  Be sure to avoid aiming into reflective surfaces such as mirrors, glass and pictures.  External lighting may be needed to balance the natural light.  Use of tungsten bulbs in your flash and strobes instead of incandescent bulbs will provide consistency to color temperatures.

It’s also best to direct the portable flash toward the ceiling or a wall to diffuse the light and spread it throughout the entire room.  Avoid shooting when the sun is at its strongest because direct sunlight streaming through expansive windows is distracting and causes exposure issues.

STAGING

Of course, staging is all about presenting the home attractively.  Tidy up and move things around as necessary.  Creative placement of various objects or furnishings can lead the viewers eye to key elements of the room.  A brightly colored vase near a staircase will make it stand out against the other elements of the room.

COMPOSITION

Framing the room through the viewfinder is when the fun begins.  Composition is all about balancing the elements inside the box.  Shoot into corners or from lower angles.  Aiming at a wall causes the image to appear flat.

Include interesting parts of the room in the frame.  Pay attention to vertical and horizontal alignments.  Keep things straight.

Finally, consider the goal.  Is your purpose to present the ambience of the home or its architecture?  Compose your shot accordingly.

Source:  Alphonso Sanchez for PicturePerfect.com.