Selling your property? Want to take your own property photos? Here are some things to consider:
Professional real estate photographers use specialised equipment when they are taking property photos.
Lenses are typically “wide-angle” to get a wide view of the rooms and make them look bigger. If your camera doesn’t have that capability you run the risk of the rooms looking small and unappealing online – and remember, these are the images that will potentially sell your home. So get hold of a camera with a lens that is around 12mm wide. Ask at your local camera shop if you can rent one.
Professionals also use off-camera flash lighting, usually triggered by remote-controlled triggers. You can get away without using extra flash, but you will need to do some post-processing in your computer to make the images look great. The reason that flashes are used is that there is often quite a difference in the amount of light inside the room and outside of the door/windows, and the flashes are used to balance the light so that you don’t lose the details of the view outside. Of course, there may be times when you don’t want to show what is outside the window!
To get a great looking image without the use of flashes, you will need a tripod as you’ll have to set your shutter speed very slow to allow enough exposure for the inside, and then take a second shot exposed for the outside light. When you get back to your computer, you can “layer” the two shots and blend them to create one well-balanced images. There are a number of programs that you can use to do this. I use Adobe Photoshop.
Always check that your camera is level, otherwise any vertical lines will be tilted. Shoot with the camera at about mid-torso height. You may also like to zoom the lens in a little to get a better perspective on the room – furniture can get distorted at the edges of an image.
Have a critical look through the lens before you shoot. What kind of clutter can you see? Do you need to move that vase so that it looks better positioned in the image? A big one for me is the duvet cover in a bedroom shot – make sure that it’s even and covers the mattress underneath. You’ll be surprised at the items that are glaringly obvious when you get it up on your computer screen that you wish you’d seen at the time!
In closing – yes, you can take your own real estate images if you are selling your home – but remember that bad photos will cost you many times more than paying a professional for a set of great images will set you back.