Introduction for Real Estate Photography

Hi my name is Alex and I will be taking you through a photographer training tutorial where you learn the principles and techniques of real estate photography. Make sure you have your camera and tripod on hand so you can change settings accordingly and experiment with some of the techniques intermittently as we go through different processes and ideas.

Before we get started on the photography side of the job, we need to do a basic overview of best practices once you arrive at a property.

Firstly, it's important to remember that though there are formulas and rules of real estate photography that you'll be thinking about every shoot, every agent and broker has different preferences and goals, depending on their taste and the distinctive characteristics of the listing. Therefore after you've met the agent and gone through baseline introductions, ask them to give you a tour of the property so they can voice any specific shot ideas,angles are elements of the property they especially want to capture.

This will give you a good sense of their marketing goal and the layout of the house so you can mentally prepare for the forthcoming shoot. Don't hesitate to respectfully raise concerns if agent has a poor shot idea that you know won't work. In these situations you may want to take the shot and show them it's a bad idea rather than trying to describe why. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal is to give the agent what they want, so be compliant and experiment with bizarre ideas if necessary.

Sometimes you may even be surprised. After you've gotten a tour from the agent, start prepping the house for photos. This means turning on all light fixtures and lamps, pulling up blinds and hiding remote controls, Kleenex boxes, sponges and any other items inside that will show poorly in photos and make it difficult on your real estate image retouching company. For staged houses, you probably won't have to move anything out of the way but in properties where the homeowners are still living there, you may have to hide some personal items and declutter a bit. Remember you have a limited amount of time to finish the shoot, so if the house is overly cluttered or unprepared for shooting, ask the agent whether you should reschedule or if they're comfortable shooting the property in its present condition. There's only so much you can do and you're a photographer not a home cleaner/stager.

Do not spend more than 15 minutes prepping the property.

Do what you can within that limit, however moving heavy furniture, decluttering every room, sweeping etc are not your responsibilities. If you have time, avoid including the following items in your shots; bath mats, small carpets or mats on the kitchen floor, modems and bundles of cords, the homeowner's personal photos, toothbrushes, shampoo bottles and personal toiletries in general, trash cans, bedside alarm clocks, home phones, dog beds, litter boxes and anything else that will negatively affect the marketability of the listing. Usually these items can be gently move to the outside of the frame of the photo, then returned once you finish capturing the space. A note on blinds, in general all window blinds should be pulled up there are few exceptions to this rule, so leave the blinds up if;

A. The view outside is really unpleasant, for example there's a dumpster and industrial refinery, a chaotic construction site or anything else that would devalue the listing.

B. If the agent and insists for whatever reason, on leaving them down, you are after all working for them.

And lastly:

C. If the blinds are broken and won't stay level or pull up entirely. Sometimes excessively heavy blinds can be problematic and it's best not to risk pulling them off the wall. Leave the blinds down and twist them open so light can come through the windows. Other notes on prepping the house; make sure you remove security signs from the front yard before taking exterior shots, also hoses should be either coiled or removed from view.

Garage doors should be closed and garbage cans either moved into the garage or out of view. In kitchen's especially, make sure you double check for cabinet under lighting and turn the stove lights on. Dining room and breakfast table chairs should be tucked in even and orderly. Fans, fireplaces, TVs in any other kinetic features of the listing should be turned off. These objects will appear blurry and disorienting once the disparate exposures are fused by your real estate photo retoucher into an HDR composite.

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