I'm amazed at some of the photographs I see in our MLS. I went to school for photography and worked in the industry for many years. I thought I'd share a few tips on photographing the outside of a house. The following are samples pulled from our MLS last year for a lecture I did. Yes these were the lead photos on listings... they are examples of what not to do.
With so many people looking at houses online, you do not want to scare the buyers away with your photos. Outfocus, Improper exposure, camera not level, houses cut off, showing udesirable elements.... These houses didn't have a chance!!
Yes there are better camera's for real estate than others, but it really doesn't make a difference what camera you use if you don't take advantage of their full potential. Here are some basic tip to photographing a house:
- Level the camera and make sure the house looks level in the photograph
- Crop out unwanted items from the photograph...The first photo shows mostly road. It gives the viewer the sense that the house is on a busy road. Theres no reason the agent couldnt have gotten closer and cropped out most of the road and the houses to either side.
- Try to only get the subject house in the photo(not always possible)
- Make sure your photo is in focus
- Make sure your photo is properly exposed
- Show the entire house
- Stop the car before you take the photo (thats a joke but sometimes you have to wonder)
- Always try to photograph the house with full sunlight on the front and blue sky in the back. Preferably you take a shot from the front either slightly to the left or right. You want the side of the house bing about a quarter of the shot and preferrably in shadow. (gives depth to the house) Avoid shooting straight on.
One of my hard fast rules is number 8. I keep going back until I can acheive that shot. Its not always possible but at least try. Theres a couple of reasons why its important. First the architects spend a lot of time giving the house shadow lines to give depth and create interest. You need full sun to take advantage of the design. Secondly, your eye always follows contrast. When your on a page of photos the human eye will naturally go to the photo with the most contrast.
This was a stand alone condo in the same complex. The first photo was from a listing agent that was on the market the same time I was. The second one was mine. I sold mine for 15k more and in half the time. I believe the quality of the photos had a lot to do with it.
Same house. The first shot was from the listing agent prior to me. The second shot was mine after the property expired and I picked up the listing. Shot one looks like a dull gray day and you notice the empty lot next door. I had buyers tell me they by passed this listing the first time but they took a second look with the new photography of the house. I sold this home in 30 days after it expired previously.
Houses photographed in full sunlight are cheery they create a happy feeling. Avoild the dull grey days and pay attention to the details. Hope this helps. If there is more interest I will do more on photographing real estate. Good Luck!!