It has been awhile since I've blogged here so I thought I would ease back into it. Over the next few months I will be posting a 10 part series (that's right, 10!) on how to improve your listing photos. My goal as an Atlanta Real Estate Photographer is to give amateur photographers some practical ideas that will not only make taking listing photos less of a chore but improve the final result as well.
As a Marietta, GA Real Estate Agent that does his own real estate photography, I had to learn quite a few lessons on my way to competence. Even though I was a decent photographer, or so i thought, it didn't take long to realize that taking pictures of homes came with its own set of unique challenges. This blog series is written with the amateur photographer in mind. Whether you are a real estate agent, home stager, seller or just interested in taking better pictures of homes, this blog is for you.
Part 1, Learn what makes a good real estate image.- It doesn't matter what kind of camera and equipment you use, if you do not understand the basics of what makes a good real estate image (or a good photo in general for that matter), chances are you will struggle to capture the image that you really want. Of course what looks 'good' is subjective; there are still several guidelines that are widely accepted as being the standard for quality. Some of these I will cover in future installments but in order to really get a handle on these ideas its important to study other photographers work. I recommend visiting forums like http://www.flickr.com/groups/photographyforrealestate/ or http://photographyforrealestate.net/ where not only do the photogs post exceptional real estate related photos but often discuss how they achieved their result. There are also countless books and articles on this subject but it is up to you to take the initative.
Photography is as much an art as it is a science. There are several aspects that are technical and can be taught much the same way as say, a subject like mathematics. There are formulas and equations and you will get the same result every time as long as you work the equation correctly. On the other hand, there are many more aspects that can be taught, but must be truly learned through internalizing and seemingly random epiphanies. I liken this aspect of photography to learning to play a musical instrument. Someone can show you how to play a song note for note but that doesn't mean you will be able to instantly recreate the original music. There are guidelines here but the real beauty will lie in your interpretation and execution.
Study carefully the work of those that are producing photos you find appealing. Make notes on what catches your eye and try to reproduce those elements in your own work. Don't try to simply mimic them, rather try to use your trials and errors as stepping stones to a better understanding of what it takes to reproduce those elements on a regular basis. It won't happen overnight, but if you have a talented muscle in your body this exercise is sure to make it grow.
We all have to start somewhere... (this is a photo from my first listing)
Thankfully, hard work pays off. (and a more recent example)
Be sure to check out the other blogs on the Tips to Improve Your Listing Photos series:
Part 5: White Balance and Color Control
Part 6: Understanding Focal Length