//This blog is updated in 2020//
When you are trying to rent or resell your space, whether a large bar or a small room, it is important that your prospective customers have a clear real estate photo to look at. This is because great portrayals not only draw attention, but also incite inner desires to own the product ( the real estate, in this case), and maximize willingness to pay. Your photo of your property is the determination point on whether they are interested in more information. Hence, marvellous photos are the key to succeed in the rental and resale business. Taking a good photo for your space is key to selling or renting it out. You don’t even need to hire a professional photographer to take photos for you. Taking photos on your own can be just as good! Here are some proven real estate photo taking tips & techniques that will increase your chances of conversion.
1. Organize Your Space
When you are attending a formal event or going on a date, you tend to wear nice clothes and try to leave a good impression on others. This should be the same when you are shooting interior – take care of the scene setting.
Begin with cleaning up, because messy environments are never attractive. Also try to organise shelves or placement of objects. Making it look neat and tidy is cruicial. You don’t want to present your space as messy and dirty. Then, decorate the corners you are going to take photos of. Give small props so that people are able to imagine living in it. Props give viewers the feeling of homeliness. Shiny or light-generating items are useful for creating atmosphere and adding richness to space. Even more, think of your target audience when you do a real estate photo shoot. Knowing your audience that will view the photo can really help increase your chances to sell your property. For example, if you want to attract a tenant with kids, put toys in to help them imagine their life in the space. Or if you want to attract a tenant who works, lay some magazines and books to help them see their life in the house.
2. Choose Your Light Source
One of the most important factors for any type of photography is the lighting. Lighting can make the biggest difference on the delivery of the property. It can help it look better or it can make it look worse. Depending on which light source you use, the mood of your space can turn out in totally different ways. There are many difference types of lighting. Color light is usually not a popular choice for home apartments, but can be in for bar property or restaurant. Bright white light is always a good choice as it shows the are in true colors and makes it look clean. Try not to take your photos in dark lighting, unless you are going for a romantic or cozy mood. For instance, a picture of the livingroom with a fireplace would be appropriate to take in dim lighting. However, places like the kitchen or a childs bedroom should be taken in bright lighting that is clear and vivid. More importantly, without enough light, your photo will not be able to deliver all the necessary details about your space.
Above photos, although of slightly different angles, are indicating an obvious difference between good lighting and bad lighting. While you can even see the spots on the ceiling in the first one, it is impossible to recognize where the second photo was taken. The first photo will catch a lot more attention than the second and this is just from lighting factors.
Then, what should be your light source? There are two main options: natural light and artificial light.
The biggest characteristic of natural light is its dispersion. If you have a property that faces towards the sunlight, make good use of it! As you all know, the sun is so far away from your space that it does not shine more on a spot and less on others. Although sometimes objects such as the window tile or trees can block the sun from spreading evenly, the light is usually evenly spread throughout your whole space. Therefore, you do not have to make an effort to brighten up your space or adjust the colour in the editing process. Natural sunlight for photography make it easy to edit afterwards but could be difficult to schedule the photo taking (as the sun is not consistently out). Typically, early afternoon is the best time to take the photo with natural light. However, keep in mind that direct sunlight can cause over exposure to the photo so be careful when you take it.
On the other hand, you might be willing to use artificial light which includes ceiling lighting, lamps, and any other light sources that you’ve got. Depending on the specific mood or atmosphere you want to arouse, lamp lights or coloured lights could be more effective. Because artificial lights are controllable, you can use and modify them according to your purpose, carrying out your intent completely. The good thing about artificial lights is that it is consistent and you can take your photos any time of the day with the same level of exposure. However, it is more difficult than natural light to cover a large area at a time.
3. Shoot Your Site
1. Night Scene Interior
One advantage of night scene interior photography is that it sheds light on specific objects. This type of lighting is effective in that it creates a mood. Instead of showing every aspect of your space, you can expose only what you want to.
Here are some tips for setting:
✔ Change the ISO on your camera to the maximum (or above 1600)
✔ Take note of light reading and exposure reading
✔ Use a tripod to make the camera stable during exposure
✔ Use a timer to avoid jostling the camera when you press the shutter
2. Day Scene Interior
When you are taking a photo of your space during the day, benefit from the natural light!
✔ Add supplementary light by using flash units or strobes
✔ “Stage” your scene: again, never forget to tidy up and organise your space
✔ Shoot into the corner of a room to make space look larger
✔ Capture unique aspects of your space (e.g. old brick, light patterns, etc.)
✔ If possible, use panorama mode on your camera (rather than to post-edit photos)
✔ Overlap 15% to 30% of the photos to make the connecting parts more natural
✔ Use a tripod to keep your camera on the same level
✔ Take the photo multiple times to grab more details; no need to stop after a single pass!
A 360-degrees photo is a great way to portray the interior of a hotel or a cabin, but it is hard to take a good one because if the exposure is correct, the details are blurred out and if there is not enough light, the atmosphere is not complete. Hence, in order to solve this problem, remember to use multiple exposure techniques. Also, take at least six photos – four on the horizontal side and three on the vertical side, one of each overlapping with one another. (Imagine a planar figure of a cube!)
You might want to take a video of your space, to provide an even better description of your space. Videos are more informative of the overall house to costumers but it can be hard to take a good one. When you are taking a video, you really need to make sure that the setting is perfect, because post-production of videos is much more time-consuming than that of photos. (For instance, you cannot simply delete an obtrusive object once you have taken a video.) Moreover, one video shows more than one photo. This can be both good and bad; you can be more detailed and informative but might have to expose some defects of your space as well. In photos, there is an advantage in that you can focus on the positive part of your house and minimise attention on the negatives.
One mobile application you can use is FiLMiC, which is a high-definition video camera application. It provides variable speed zoom and aspect ratio overlays. Aspect ratio function should be particularly useful, because, in interior photography or videography, the structure, angles, and ratio largely influence the audiences’ perception. It is a perfect app to video record space and area. It is easy to use and on learning is needed. With this application, you can also control the focus, exposure, and white balance. It is highly recommended for these purposes.
Finally, we have arrived at the very last part, which is editing! This stage can help you enhance your photos to look professional or even save a bad photo to be presentable. Post-processing gives you a chance to really liven up your photos. Even if you made mistakes taking the pictures, the right software can help you bring a perfect result. Simples tricks in editing such as cropping the photo to omit the parts you don’t want or
For photo editing, GIMP and Paint.NET are the two we recommend to you because they are both free, accessible, and easy to use. It is good for beginners because it doesn’t confuse you with complicated processes and provides the basic tools needed for photo editing. Because this editing process will accompany a little bit of adjusting and a little bit of cropping at most, and because you will be editing your raw photos, such software will be able to do the job with no problems and shortcomings. Of course, if you know how to use Adobe Photoshop, you can use it as well. It is a more professional tool for photo editing, but it is not a necessity in this case.
Again, the most important thing about DIY site photo taking for rental and resale is attractiveness. The better quality your photos are, the more attractive it will be to viewers. Of course, you should not be a photo fraud by totally distorting or recreating the photo of your space. But small tricks and tips can be used to enhance your space. Nonetheless, you need to draw the buyers’ attention. Hence, try to make your space look beautiful; present it as best as you can make it look. It isn’t difficult to take good photos of your space, but knowing these tips can help you get a head start and skip trail and error stages of photo taking. Try start taking photos right now. Clean up your area, organise your space and objects, decorate corners, then find best angle, best lighting, and best furniture disposition for your space to appear appealingly.
To find out more about different professional photo taking techniques, feel free to contact us or comment below.