What Do Your Pictures Say About YOU?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you think your pictures are saying about you and your listings? I want your pictures to say “Buy Me!” or “You Know You Want to See More of Me!” or “Wow, Am I Gorgeous or What!”…
To create great real estate photography you need to start with a good camera. You don’t have to hire a professional, if you can learn some basic camera skills, unless you want to of course. With recent innovation you can buy a good digital camera for under $500 with a wide-angle 18-24mm lens. If you want to step-it-up, buy an SLR camera with wide-angle lens for under $1000. There are many great cameras from Canon, Nikon and others that will meet your needs. You could use your iPhone 5, newer Android, or other high-resolution phone but there are some considerations. We will discuss those in another blog.
There are three main keys to capturing good real estate photos:
1. Wide-angle lens - You want a lens that is somewhere between 12mm and 24mm for a digital camera. The lower the number the wider the lens. A standard camera uses a 35mm lens so an 18mm will shoot much wider shots. We recommend 18mm or lower (wider).
2. Good Composition – You want the picture to include as much of the room as possible, be clutter free, and to be level/straight, not crooked. Always use a tripod whenever possible! You will want to be sure the camera is level and that's hard to do when hand holding the camera. You can use walls or furniture to align your picture to be sure you are shooting level/straight. Also, remember to squeeze the shutter button half-way to focus and then gently finish the squeeze… gently now to not shake the camera. TIP: You can focus on one area of the room to lock the focus (such as windows or away from windows) and then re-position the camera for the composition and lighting.
3. Proper Lighting – There are several tricks to lighting. You can use a very slow shutter speed (on a tripod) such as 4-6 seconds for a long exposure with natural light (no flash), or use an external flash (preferred). TIP: Always turn on all the lights in the room you are shooting and let in as much light as possible. Turn the blinds so that the light is allowed into the room without glare if possible. Another trick is to shoot the property an hour after dawn or an hour before dusk. Lighting is best when the sun is near the horizon! Another new development is HDR photography (High Dynamic Range) but that is a topic for another time.
Now you have the photos, how do you display them to your potential buyers and future sellers? For now, let’s get them on the MLS and then tomorrow we will discuss some other real estate marketing options for using your great picture. In the meantime, I would love to hear your feedback or comments. Was this helpful? What other topics in the world of real estate marketing, photography, virtual tours, video, etc., would you like to learn more about? I look forward to reading your comments…