Photos are probably the most important thing that people are going to see when they’re shopping for your home. Whether it’s searching on Zillow and Trulia, receiving MLS updates form their Real Estate Agents, or seeing a social media ad for your house, visuals sell.
So how do we take great photos? Well the first thing to do is take out your smartphone and get a roll of tape. Electric tape is perfect for this, but duct tape will do. Now take a small 1 inch piece of tape, and place it directly over the lens on your smartphone’s camera and leave it there. Because we are not going to be using our smartphones to take pictures of your home.
If you have a real estate agent and they show up with a smart phone to take pictures of your home, fire them. Immediately. Photos of your home should be taken by a professional with a reasonably decent professional camera. I worked as a professional photographer for many years before becoming a realtor. I always bring my professional equipment to shoot any house that I’m listing. Any DSLR by Canon or Nikon will do. I personally love some of the new Sony Mirrorless Cameras.
Look at the difference between a smartphone photo of a listing and a professional shot:
Typical smartphone photo of a home shot by a real estate agent
Professional photograph of a kitchen captured by Stephen Dispensa using proper camera and lighting
As you can see using the proper equipment and understanding the fundamentals of photography can create a huge difference in the quality of photograph you can capture. Here's a few basic suggestions for taking better real estate photos:
Try to balance exposure between daylight coming in windows and the interior of the room. Ideally, both the inside of the room and the outside of any windows should both be exposed equally. This may be difficult without extra lighting equipment or using a process like HDR imaging in Photoshop to combine multiple exposures. One way around this is to shoot later in the day when the sun is lower in the sky and there is less direct light coming through the windows.
Use a wide angle lens for entire rooms. Using a wide angle lens will not only make your rooms feel larger in photos, but it will allow you to keep more of them in focus.
The picture on the left was captured with a 17mm lens, making the room feel spacious
Use the rule of thirds. When setting up the shot imagine your picture as if a tic tac toe board is laid over it. Place the most important elements in the shot where the imaginary lines would meet.
Use doorways as natural frames. A great technique to draw attention to something is to use the “frame within a frame” technique. If we think of our entire picture as a frame, when we shoot through a doorway or halfwall, it’s as if we have another framed picture inside our picture.
Keep the camera low and slightly angled upwards. There’s two reasons for this. Firstly, angling up will always make your rooms feel larger in the photos. Secondly, it’s usually more important to show off your flooring that it is your ceiling. Keeping the camera closer to the floor will create natural vanishing points in your images and give your potential buyers a good idea of the flooring in your home.
Use a long lens to focus on special elements. I like to use an 85mm f1.8 lens to shoot special details such as high end hardware on sinks, lighting fixtures, and impressive countertops.
A long lens limits depth of field and creates focus on a feature
When you consider the value of your home, hiring a photographer is a minimal expense compared to the value you’ll get out of it. What’s even better is if you use a Realtor, they’ll almost always pay for your photos.
I’ve spent years working as a photographer and I still shoot all the photos of my own listings to this day. One thing that I feel I can bring to your home photos that other Realtors can’t is that I’m approaching your entire listing and your photo set with the same focus. I know both real estate and photography inside out.
Hopefully you found this guide useful in your Tampa home sale. If you have any questions on this process, feel free to contact Stephen Dispensa of Real Broker LLC. and Tampa Real Estate Secrets:
Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
Real Broker, LLC.
Tampa Real Estate Secrets