As an agent, it’s vital that you make a big splash with your listing. In most cases, great photography is your only chance of enticing prospective buyers into coming by to take a look. First impressions are everything. Follow these tips to showcase your listing in the best possible light.
Step One: Use a Tripod
Whether you’re using a smartphone to take your pictures or a nice digital camera, a tripod makes the picture taking a lot easier. An uneven or blurry photo will immediately turn off potential customers, so it’s essential to get this step right. Low light is also one of the main reasons tripods are important. Why? To cut down on blurry pictures. Tripods make taking a steady and stable shot possible. If you’re taking a panoramic photo, a tripod allows you to pan seamlessly through a room. This is a great tip for capturing wide rooms, entranceways, and exterior shots. And yes, you can use a tripod with a smartphone if that’s your camera of choice.
Step Two: Take Advantage of Natural Light
Any photographer will tell you that nothing’s better than natural light. Flashes can saturate an image, and they don’t always illuminate what you want to showcase. Try to take your pictures on a sunny day, and take advantage of the early mornings and afternoons. This varies depending on which direction the house is facing and where the room you’re shooting is. But be mindful of bright light and use it to your advantage. Don’t forget to open those curtains to allow natural light into the frame.
Step Three: Adjust Camera Settings
If you’re using a digital camera, there are many settings to choose from. The different options at your disposal can seem endless, but it’s important to try and follow a few fundamentals as you get started until you become comfortable.
In the beginning, follow these simple steps:
- Set your camera to manual. Default settings can only get you so far.
- Select the lowest ISO setting. ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor is to light. A lower ISO will capture more detail, which is ideal when you’re trying to bring a listing to life.
- Adjust shutter speed for good exposure. A slower shutter speed allows more light into the camera sensor. Use this setting for low-light photos. A faster shutter speed helps freeze motion. Use this setting if you’re trying to capture movement.
- Adjust aperture to allow a low amount of light to reach the image sensor. Aperture controls the amount of light entering the camera.
If you’re using a smartphone, test out its various modes in different conditions like direct sun and low light. Android phones and iPhones are both well-equipped with features, from fast processors to high resolution displays. When using a smartphone, select a high resolution. The higher the resolution is, the better quality image you’ll get. This is perfect for showcasing key features inside a home.
Step Four: Adjust shot to highlight features
Every home has unique features, so show them off! Keep in mind that this is an advertisement for the home you’re trying to sell. Try to exclude obstructions and unsightly dumpsters, trash cans, or electrical wires.
When photographing inside, remember that interior rooms almost always look better if they’re being shot from the doorway looking into the room. If you want to make a room look big, use a wide-angle lens. Exterior shots benefit from shooting at low angles. This technique allows viewers to see the depth and scale of the listing.
Step Five: Edit your photos
Always take more photos than you think you’ll need. The more images you have to work with, the easier the editing process will be. Smartphones and most digital cameras have editing functions built right into them.
There are two basic principles to editing photos—adjusting color and light. No matter which tool you’re using to take your pictures, follow these steps for best results:
- Temperature: affects the yellow and blues of a photo. If you want a warmer photo, add yellows. If you are creating a cooler photo, add blues. Ideally you’ll end up with a balanced photo.
- Tint: adjusts greens and magentas. Making these adjustments will alter the tone of the photo as well.
- Exposure: evenly distributes brightness throughout the photo.
- Brightness: adjusts midtones in the photo.
- Highlights and shadows: if the photo is overexposed or underexposed, use this feature to even out the detail in the photo. For example if an area is very bright, you can lower the lights to bring out detail in the highlights of a photo. Shadows will only alter dark parts of the photo.
- Contrast: makes shadows darker and highlights brighter. Contrast adjusts the separation between the darkest and brightest areas of the image.
Feel free to go a step further and use editing software for more dynamic edits. In the end, remember to be selective and only post what best represents your listing. Let your pictures do the talking. After all, we live in a scrolling world, so make sure your listing doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Watch the CENTURY 21 Photography Tips tutorial below to see these tips in action.