Real estate photography is not only intended to sell property, but to accurately represent the space. Like any other art form, shooting real estate takes time and practice. If you're looking for ways to improve your craft, these tips will help.
Use a Wide Angle Lens
Using a wide angle lens will allow you to capture a larger portion of the space, and most importantly, will provide an accurate representation of the size. Avoid using fish eye lenses, as they are incredibly deceiving. There's nothing more frustrating to a buyer than viewing a home that looks huge on paper, only to discover that it's a mere fraction of the size.
Bring a Tripod
You may have a top-of-the-range camera, good selection of lenses and a steady hand; however, if your client asks you for HDR (high dynamic range) footage – which is very common in real estate photography – then you definitely need a tripod. When you shoot HDR footage you will essentially take three separate photographs at different exposures, and then overlap them together. This allows you to expose the best elements of each photo to create high contrast images with vivid colours. If you don't have a tripod, HDR photography is almost impossible as the photos will be taken milliseconds apart.
Use a Lighting Kit
When you're photographing darker rooms, such as garages, utility rooms, closets, basements and spaces that don't have a window, a standard light bulb won't cut it. Sometimes a flash will be too bright or you'll have to increase the ISO so much, you'll end up with a grainy image. Having a lighting kit will simply give you some more options. A small temperature-adjustable LED light and a reflector will make your images look a lot more professional, should you need to large a dark spot. If using a light kit, remember to bring stands as well, because if you haven't got a counter top or shelving to place your lights on, you'll have little control.
Rearrange the Room
Mastering the mechanics of a camera is one thing, but if the room itself looks uninviting, so will the image. Remove clutter, paperwork or anything that doesn't add to the general aesthetic. Plump up cushions, turn on the lights and try to make the space look clean and tidy.
There's no substitute for natural light. Don't show up to take real estate photographs when it's getting dark outside. Pick a nice, bright time of the day when you can make the most of the sun, especially if you're taking exterior shots – there's nothing more inviting than a pleasant backdrop of the sky.