Real estate photography plays a key role in getting your house sold. In fact, studies have shown that houses with high-quality real estate photography sell up to 32% faster on the market.
Obviously, if you’re trying to get your house sold, this is something you want to cash in on. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you brush up on the basics of real estate photography and find out what options are available to you when you sell your home.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about real estate photography so that you can take advantage of this field to sell your home faster—and potentially for more money. In a nutshell, I’ll cover the equipment, lighting, and how-tos of real estate photography you should know before selling your home.
Table of Contents
Why Real Estate Photography?
You may be asking, “What can real estate photography really do for me?” After all, it’s the home that sells, right?
Yes, that’s right—and wrong. The truth of the matter is that real estate photography can make or break a prospective buyer’s first impression of your home. Think about it this way: your house is listed on various real estate apps… but it only has one photograph.
Of the outside.
If this is the case, your house may not be sold as quickly as you’d like. In fact, studies have shown that houses with just one photograph spend roughly 70 days on the market. Conversely, houses with 20 photographs spend just 32.
Other research has shown that a whopping 87% of online homebuyers found online real estate photography to be one of the most useful features provided by real estate websites.
It stands, then, that real estate photography plays a massive role in getting your house off the market. Knowing this, let’s take a look at some of the basics of real estate photography.
Real Estate Photography Equipment
For those looking to take those ultimate real estate photoshoots, it’s imperative that you have the right equipment. This means, first and foremost, that you invest in a quality camera. When it comes to selling your home, you want to have a camera that checks a few boxes.
The first box pertains to your lens. As a general rule, real estate photography must be taken with a wide lens. Why? Simply put, wide lenses are able to shoot an entire room and have the added effect of making the room concave. When online viewers see these photographs, they’ll perceive the rooms as if they are actually in them.
You’ll also want to invest in a good tripod. This will keep your shots from coming out shaky or blurred. Having a high-quality tripod can go a long way to getting those perfect shots, so make sure you don’t skip out on this important piece of equipment.
Real Estate Photography Lighting
When taking your real estate shots, you should also pay particular attention to lighting. In general, real estate photography should be bright and complement a room’s natural features.
For exterior real estate photography, you want to shoot your photograph when the sun is directly in front of your house. This will generally be the time when the sunlight outside is the brightest and when you can get a shot with the finest contrast.
Interior shots, however, require a bit more work. Specifically, there are a few pointers you should keep in mind when photographing inside.
- Avoid shooting in the direction of uncovered windows
- Play with blinds and curtains
- Mix up artificial lighting for better contrast
In general, you want to avoid shots where the outside of the house looks brighter than the inside. This makes a house’s interior look worse by comparison, so any shots with blinding windows are a no-no.
Additionally, it’s better that you play with lighting to show off your room’s best features. This means shutting some blinds and leaving others open for greatest appeal.
Finally, you don’t always need to leave your overhead or lamp lights off. Instead, turn them on and see if they can better show off your room. Keep in mind, however, that artificial light can make a photograph harder to develop. Still, it’s often worth it if the light enhances the mood of your shot.
Best Lenses for Real Estate Photography
So you know what equipment you need and what lighting considerations to keep in mind, but what lenses offer you the best real estate shots? Simply put, there are two factors to weigh: focal length and aperture.
Let’s break these down into simple terms. Generally speaking, focal length refers to the width of your shot. Here’s a good rule of thumb: shorter focal lengths mean wider shots. Typically, real estate photography calls for wide focal lengths, generally between 20-25mm. Anything longer can cut out valuable space from your photograph and ruin the effect. Shorter lengths can cause distortion.
Keeping this in mind, you should also focus on aperture. In layman’s terms, aperture is what manages your camera’s light flow. Measured in what we call “f-stops,” aperture ranges can be quite extensive. In general, however, higher apertures are used in real estate photography because they allow for greater light and more depth.
How to Take Good Pictures to Sell Your House
With all this in mind, how can you start taking better photographs to sell your house? Generally speaking, there are a number of areas you should focus on. Let’s look at a couple.
- Composition—Remember that your real estate photos are essentially marketing tools. This means that, like any good advertisement, your photographs should be strong on composition. This means that you should effectively stage your scene before taking your picture. Make sure your room is more than just clean. If you must, do a bit of rearranging and do what you can to make your room look inviting. Remember that the goal is to get your house sold quickly.
- Take HDR Photographs—Another helpful tip is to take HDR photographs. HDR photographs are achieved by taking multiple photographs at different apertures and combining them post shot. This gives you a chance developing a photograph that takes the best qualities from different exposures to make a more inviting final piece.
By following these simple tips, you can make your real estate photographs more inviting. Remember that you can always touch your photographs up post development if you are having a hard time getting that perfect shot.
How to Photograph Your House Interiors
Photographing the interior of your house is one of the most important parts of the home selling process. As such, you’ll want to make sure that you get everything right as you take pictures of the inside of your home. In general, you’ll want to consider the following tips when photographing house interiors:
- Consider Angle—When you photograph rooms in your home, you want to do so in a way that shows off the natural highlights of a room and its full size. In order to do so, it’s best that you take your photographs from an angle. This will give you a photo with more depth than if you just stand in the doorway and fire away.
- Include the Floor—Interior photographs without floors are like portraits without necks. They look weird and somehow unnatural, so make sure you include your room’s floor when you get your shot.
- Shoot at all Times of the Day—If your room has windows, you’ll want to shoot at various times of the day so that you can capture your room at various levels of natural light. You may find that lighting later in the day shows off more of your room, or it could be just the opposite. The point is: you’ll never know until you try so make sure you don’t skip out on this tip if you’re looking for a better interior photograph.
How to Take Real Estate Photos with iPhone
Don’t have an expensive camera? You may get buy with just your iPhone. The Apple signature is known for the quality and depth of its camera, which means you can likely use the small machine as a substitute for more expensive camera options.
If you don’t feel like investing in a pricy camera, it’s perfectly okay to use your iPhone for your real estate photography. Keep in mind, however, that the same general rules apply whether you are using your smartphone or a camera.
This means that you should set your camera settings for as wide a camera lens as possible. Try shooting from a few widths to see which shot comes out the best. You should also make sure you are using a tripod. You don’t want your picture to come out unsteady because you took it while bobbling an iPhone.
The good news? Your iPhone may make it easier to shoot those HDR shots. Simply take several pictures of your room so that you have more to work with during post-production.
Real Estate Photo Tips
As you might expect, there are a number of tips you should keep in mind when it comes to real estate photography. Adhering to these tips can get you one step closer to selling your house.
So what should you keep in mind? In general, you should make sure that you:
- Declutter—It doesn’t really matter how nicely-decorated your house is. If your room is busy, it will look smaller in pictures. For this reason, you want to declutter your rooms before photographing them.
- Clean Reflective Surfaces—If there are any mirrors or metals in your shot, you want to make sure that they are sparkling clean before you take your photographs. Dirty reflective surfaces show up well on photographs, and you certainly don’t want that impression to be left with potential buyers.
- Move Your Car—When photographing your home’s exterior, make sure none of your personal artifacts get in the way of a clean shot. This means moving your car if it’s photobombing your picture.
Family Photos when Selling a House
If you’re selling your house any time soon, you may be asking yourself what to do with those beautiful family portraits hanging on the wall. Should you remove them while you’re getting your shot? Or is it okay to leave them up?
In asking this, you’ve stumbled into the age-old real estate photography debate. In other words, there’s more than one opinion to this issue. On the one hand, some photographers believe that leaving family photos up is a great way to sell the value of your home. On the other, some believe it’s a good way to clutter your home and take away from a buyer’s connection with the house.
What can you do in this situation? Take this advice: show your family photos, but don’t overdo it. This means that it’s okay to leave your photographs on the nightstand and other surfaces, but those huge portraits you’ve got hanging over the mantle certainly have to go. This will allow buyers to see firsthand the possibilities of the space without feeling like an outsider.
Professional Real Estate Photography Pricing
With all this being said, you can always go with the pros. If you’re not comfortable photographing your home yourself, there’s no shame in leaving it in the hands of a professional. In doing so, you could be securing a much better deal for your home!
In general, you can expect to spend between $100-$300 for a professional photoshoot offering between twenty-five to fifty photos. While this may seem like a lot upfront, it will be more than covered by the cost of selling your home. For this reason, don’t be afraid to call in some professional help if you’re having trouble getting those expert shots!
Here’s the bottom line: real estate photography can help you sell your home.
For this reason, it’s important that you keep the above information in mind so that you can get your house off the market as quickly as possible. With the tips in this guide, you’ll be on track to selling your house in no time! Specifically, by using the right equipment, lighting, and angles in your real estate shots, you’ll create pieces that will help your home sell.
What do you think? Are there any other tips that we missed out on? Let us know!