The first thing that a prospective buyer looking to purchase some property is going to look at is arguably the photos of what he is buying. The old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s a hundred percent true in this case as well. However, the photos need to be great to impress a potential client – so if you’re ever called up for a photoshoot of a property sale, just make sure that you avoid these seven mistakes at all costs.
1. Relying on Artificial Light
This one applies to any sort of photography, but it’s such good sense that it simply can’t be omitted. An shot of an ambient filled with natural light is automatically going to look better than an overly lit or shaded one, so choosing the right time of day and the right weather is imperative to making property photos look good. Morning shots are generally recommended since there isn’t too much light, and staying out of direct sunlight can also be a good idea.
2. Not Having a Shot List
One thing you always need to be aware of when it comes to shooting property is that you’re limited by time – precisely because of the lighting issue we just discussed. If you start shooting at 8 AM, you have three to four hours to get the shots you need – maybe even less if it’s a particularly sunny day. One of the best ways to make sure you’re time efficient is to have a premade shot list. If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to see the property beforehand and plan out what sort of shots you’d like to make, and then make a list according to that.
3. Not Preparing the Property
This one is something you’ll have to discuss with your client, and make sure you make it very clear. A myriad of photoshoots have gone down the drain because the client didn’t do a good job of making the property look good in the first place. One way of putting it is that the house should look as nice as it would when the prospective buyer comes to see the property in person, because that’s the same impression you want to leave with the photos.
4. Crooked Lines
Vertical lines that aren’t really vertical are your worst enemy when it comes to taking a professional shot, and these happen due to lens distortion or incorrect leveling. This can be fixed during editing with the help of various tools such as Lightroom, but you can minimize how much editing you need to do in post-production by making sure your camera is level on shooting day (and the end result is that it will look more natural, as well). Which brings us to our next point:
5. Fixing It In Post
Photoshop can only do so much to fix a poorly shot photograph. Nothing can remedy a poorly lit room, or unintentional motion blur. Spend more time getting the shots right in the first place, and you’ll come up with more professional-looking photographs every time. Plus, you’ll save countless hours editing and trying to save your photos, so in reality you will end up with less work later if you commit to making a good photograph on shooting day.
6. Detail Shots
A shot of a nice looking detail such as a flower pot, window sill or even something simple like a doorknob can be a nice touch to spruce the whole thing up, but this should really be left for the end of the session when the important shots have been taken care of. When it comes to purchasing property, the buyer is almost always interested in the big picture. Shoot the property from every angle and capture as much of the house as you can, and then focus on detail shots.
7. Inconsistent Light Temperature
If you’re forced to shoot under artificial lighting, expect to encounter some inconsistency with light temperature. Some rooms might have incandescent bulbs installed, other luminescent, and this can make a big different to how „warm“ or „cool“ the tone of the photograph will end up to be. You can always fix this in post, though, and honestly it isn’t a major issue, but an overall balanced light temperature from photo to photo does look a bit more professional.
Real estate photography definitely has some unique challenges to it, that you need to be aware of before you set foot into it. Hopefully, these seven tips will help you do just that, so that the next time you have a property photoshoot, you can handle it like a pro and without any unexpected difficulties. Good luck!
For more than eight years now, PhotographyTalk has been helping both amateur and professional photographers in improving their skills and learning new and interesting things about their craft. With posts published on large platforms such as Forbes and even the Huffington Post, they relentlessly continue their mission of helping people make better photos every day.