Real Estate Photography

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Photography is no longer about models and scenes. It is also a contributing factor when it comes to influencing home buyers to buy. There are guidelines to follow for all persons who are interested in this new field of photography.

Camera Equipment

A camera, lens, and tripod, are all that is required to get started, but you might quickly learn that many competitors are very proficient at using supplemental lighting and Photoshop techniques.

Your camera should allow you to add a cable release, a flash, different lenses, and wireless triggers. Wide angle lenses are required. For cropped sensor cameras a lens around 10-22mm or 12-24mm is perfect, and for full frame sensor cameras, a lens around 16-35 mm will do the job.

Approaching the Property

The first image a potential buyer sees (usually) when reviewing properties online is an exterior photo. That photo is important so take the time to find the best angle and best light. Ask the realtor what are the important features to highlight. They usually want exterior photographs from front and rear, a deck or patio, landscaping and gardens, pool or hot tub, a barn, shop, or other outbuildings. Each feature should be emphasized in the composition by using the surroundings, like beautiful gardens leading to a cool garden shed.

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A good workman does not quarrel with his tools but when it comes to photographing a house then you need the right tools. This is not about Nikon and Canon lovers, it is about productivity and quality results.

Basic Camera Equipment Used


Let’s not get into a discussion about Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony! My goal is to provide you with what has works for me in my real estate photography business. I am only familiar with Canon because that’s where I started. That doesn’t mean any of the other brands can’t support you in this business! If you use camera equipment other than Canon, take the real estate photography tips I give and apply it to your brand.

Canon 60D and Canon 5D MK II Camera Bodies

Real Estate Photography Tips – Camera BodyI use two different camera bodies: the Canon 60D and Canon 5D MK II. The 60D handles all of my still photo duties from elevated or pole aerial photography of exteriors to all of the interior photography. The 5D MK II has the task of completing all of my real estate video work.

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You need to ensure that the photos are not just taken but well taken. The living room is one of those areas that potential buyers will think a lot about so better have good photos. There are tips to help photographers do a good job on this room.

TIP: I found that placing an area of carpet closest to the camera (instead of furniture, a wall, etc) made the room look extremely large because the super wide angle lens distorts distances to make things closest to the camera look larger than they appear in real life.

To avoid distortion from the wide angle lens, I avoided putting the intersection of the vertical walls and the ceiling anywhere near the edge of the frame. On wide angle lenses, the areas nearest the edges of the frame distort far more than the center of the frame.

Last, the lighting. I opened all of the windows to let in bright clean light. Since the light bulbs in the room were warm incandescent lights, it produced ugly competing color temperatures in the areas further away from the windows. To fix this problem, I used a YN-560 flash pointed at the ceiling that matched the daylight from the windows. This illuminated the darker areas of the room and made the room lights look like small warm accent lights while still leaving the room with a neutral daylight color temperature.

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