Estate Agent Photography Tips
Photographs are an essential part of selling a property; it shocks me how little time, thought, and effort sometimes goes into this important piece of marketing. I purchased my current house around two years ago, the size of the property and the quality of the finish was not portrayed very well from the photographs that I viewed. I was not surprised it had been on the market for two years as the photographs seemed like a completely different property.
A little bit of time and effort is all it takes to get great photographs, this should then lead to more viewings, sales, and more reason for a vendor to choose you to market their property.
Here are my top ten tips on how to improve your company’s photographs.
A good camera is an essential to start getting consistently good photographs. I would always advise investing in a DSLR. This larger camera works much better in low light conditions compared to a compact camera; this is mainly down to the sensor within the camera. This will allow you to get nice ‘bright’ photographs even in quite dark conditions. My recommendation would be a Canon 600D which is around £350 (Jan 2013).
With a DSLR camera you can get different lenses for different uses. The best lens for estate agent photography is a wide angle lens. This lens gives the camera a much wider view allowing you to capture size and space pretty easily. It also makes it much easier to take photographs of smaller rooms which can be quite tricky with a standard lens. My recommendation would be the Sigma 10mm-20mm wide angle which you can pick up for around £300.
Most blurry photographs are caused by ‘camera shake’; this is caused when you haven’t kept the camera steady when taking the photograph. A steady camera will result in a much crisper, clearer photograph. A tripod will eliminate camera shake and is a must have piece of kit.
4. Camera Settings
Before you start taking photographs you really need to do some homework and learn what the settings on your camera actually do. There are some great learning resources on the Internet or consider a beginner’s photography course in your area. There are three main settings on all cameras that are used to get the correct exposure (brightness) of a photograph. These are Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Understanding these three settings are vital for you to start getting bright, ultra sharp photographs in any condition.
5. Property Preparation
Clutter is not going to sell a house! You should contact the vendor in advance and ask them to get all of the rooms in the best presentable condition possible. On arrival don’t just take photographs at random, have a quick walk through the house and note any features you want to capture and make a note of the rooms you are going to photograph.
Cameras love light, the more light you have available the better. Natural light is always best so open blinds and curtains, also turn on all of the lights if possible, even if it’s daytime. The more light you have, the warmer and more inviting the rooms will look.
7. Interior Shots
For the interior photographs you really want to capture as much of each room as possible, using the wide angle lens is definitely going to help with this. Get into a corner to give you the best view of the room.
8. Exterior Shots
Exterior shots are best captured mid-morning / mid-afternoon when the natural light will be at its best. Try to get a clear view of the property; don’t let fences or bushes block the full view. Use your viewfinder to frame the shot making sure that the photograph is not wonky. Most tripods will have a spirit level on them so you can get everything level before taking the photograph.
9. Camera Flash
Most cameras have a simple flash; this will work in small rooms but will not have enough power to light up larger rooms. It is worth investing in a Speedlight, this is a strongest flash that can be fitted to most DSLR cameras. Even in daytime with all the lights on use the flash. Remember the camera loves light!
10. Image Processing
Knowing how to use image editing software can be a real advantage. There are numerous free editing software available online, as well as the more popular commercial software such as Photoshop. If you do have a photograph that’s a little dark, wonky or blurry, understanding some basic image editing will allow you to correct this pretty easily.
Credits: This article was written by Chris Davidson who provides beginners photography courses and estate agent photography courses at locations across the UK.