The following real estate photo tips will help you to get started as a professional photographer. But even if you are not looking to make this a career move, these tips would help you nevertheless to get cleaner, more professional looking images, in case you are looking to list your home for sale. All you need is a camera that allows you to control your exposures manually and a photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom.

real-estate-photo-tips-1

House Exterior – Real Estate by BrianDooley.com

There are two ways to approach a real estate photography. You can either start with the absolute basic and then spend hours processing each image in Photoshop or get much of the image right in-camera and later just blend everything together and do light retouching to ready the finished product. The later requiring you to depend more on tools to get a usable photo straight out of camera.

Real estate photography requires many of the same techniques you would normally use when photographing architecture. And just to clear the air, you don’t need anything more than you would need to set-up a small studio.

Basic Approach

We will shall talk about the tools for real estate photography later. But first we shall concentrate on the basic approach. The basic approach for any real estate photography is to ensure that there are lots of light to expose the inside of the property. So, turn on the lights inside the room and ensure that every nook and corner is properly illuminated. Set up your flash / strobe to compensate for any color temperature from the lights in the room.

Pull away the curtains to ensure there is some light coming through the window. Hopefully the lights is not too harsh. If the light is too harsh pull down the blinds and then gently open them up a bit to diffuse the light and make it softer.

For every room that you photograph, ensure that you have an image from all four corners to cover the entire four-corner perspective. This would allow you to choose the best one when you finally sit down to process them.

Composition is critical to any type of photography and the basic elements of composition apply to real estate photography as well. An important thing to note in your composition is that nothing should be out of place in the image. If the furniture are not in place and your experience tells you that they can be better arranged, take permission and do that. Your clients will love you for the photos.

Camera Settings

Let’s start with the ISO as this is something that is often overlooked. The last thing that you would want is noise in your images. Noise can pose a problem when you want to have a clean pin-sharp photo of the interior of a house. Noise reduction uses some degree of image blurring and that creates softness, something that is unacceptable for real estate photos. So set your camera to the lowest ISO setting possible on your camera.

Aperture should be set to something like f/11 or smaller. This depends on a few things. First is the size of the room you are photographing. If the room is too big, even f/11 would be insufficient.

Shutter speed is the final element of the exposure triangle. Since you are using a tripod there should be no worries using a slow shutter speed. Remember, shutter speed controls the amount of ambient light that you are going to capture. You don’t need it to be any slower than necessary. Slow shutter speed can also contribute to noise as the sensor captures light over a longer time frame. Instead of a single slow shutter exposure you can make several exposures and then blend them together.

real-estate-photo-tips-2

Real Estate by Aurimas

Auto Exposure Bracketing

Even with all the careful adjustments and settings a single exposure might not be enough to do justice to an interior. The windows may be too bright. There may be pockets of dark areas that simply refuse to comply. The solution in such situations is to either do a large amount of post-processing, bringing the shadows up or use what is known as exposure blending or, in some advanced shooting requirements an extensive amount of both to ensure that you have a print quality photo.

Exposure blending, truly speaking, is a post-processing technique that blends two or more images not necessarily of the same scene, into one single image.

HDR

HDR as a technique is no longer a novelty. Far too many photographers are doing it these days and some with really horrifying results. The technique involves using multiple exposures of the same scene each one with a different exposure setting and then blending together all of the exposures into one image. This sounds like something that we have already discussed in the paragraph on exposure blending. But the difference in this technique is that all of the exposures are of the same scene. They are identical in terms of composition. The only difference being the exposure value.

HDR as the name suggests is a technique that is aimed at creating images with a far greater dynamic range than is possible in a single exposure. It is like mimicking the capabilities of the human eye in an artificial way. Don’t go overboard with the HDR technique as you can easily ruin your photos.

Light Painting

Light painting is yet another technique that you can use in real estate photography. This is probably one of the best kept real estate photo tips you will ever stumble upon. It usually involves a hand-held light source and then using it to paint the subject while the exposures are being made. Essentially, in real estate photography you would use a faster light source. Something like a speedlight. Set it on slave mode and it would fire the instance the camera fires. You would physically move around the scene painting it with the speedlight as the camera fires the shots remotely. Light painting is the only way to convincingly make the exteriors of a real estate photo go from OK to wow.

White Balance

Sure you can change white balance later during post-processing and you may have the inclination to shoot in RAW and auto white balance. But, you are advised not to. Auto white balance can sometimes get it horribly wrong and that means a lot of work correcting it in post. Set your white balance to the most dominating light in the frame. In case you are using flash / strobes, set your white balance to the color temperature of your flash output.

real-estate-photo-tips-3

Treviso – Sherwood Real Estate by Sherwood CC

Tools – Camera

Full frame cameras are the order of the day. Though, in some cases even an APS-C camera will do. Full-frame cameras capture a much wider slice of the scene. This is what you would ideally want when working in a tight position and really cannot backup any more. However, in defense of APS-C cameras it must be said that they tend to produce a greater depth of field compared to full-frame systems for the same lens and camera settings.

Lens

The lens you want don’t have be a fast wide prime. You would never be using it at a wide aperture anyways. What you need is a super large depth of field and that can only be produced using a small aperture. Neither does it have to have the ability to zoom. If the lens gives you a 35mm format equivalent angle of view as a 16mm (or wider) lens you are fine.

What you need to have other than a wide angle of view is that the lens must be super sharp. Only a super sharp lens will produce images that are appealing and worthy of being used as real estate adverts. The Nikon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens is a good choice.

Tripod

Tripod is a must have for real estate photography. This list of real estate photo tips would be incomplete if I don’t stress on the use of a tripod. A tripod is essential because A – you need to be able to shoot with some sort of stability and B – you might need to blend a few exposures together and for that it is imperative that the exposures are perfectly aligned.

The tripod that you choose should allow you to adjust the shooting angle. In case you wish to shoot from a height higher than your eye level, the tripod should go high enough to allow you to do that.

real-estate-photo-tips-4

Real estate Twilight by DigitalRealism

Remote Trigger

Comes in handy in situations when you need to shoot with absolutely no wobble added to the image. Other than a remote trigger if you could connect your camera to your smartphone and fire remotely that will do just fine.

Transceivers

Transceivers are radio triggers for your flash. Two of these make a pair wirelessly connecting the camera with the strobe / flash. These are really convenient to shoot with. Some of the techniques that we discussed above, such as light painting requires that you use a transceiver. That way you can remote trigger the camera from a distance and aim the flash at an object at the same time.

Light

You will need one light. At least one would be a bare minimum. This would ensure that you are able to light those pockets of dark areas in the scene that are interspersed with the properly lit areas. With a flash powering down on the scene you will also be able to use a faster shutter speed and cut down on the ambient light coming through the windows or produced by the other lighting sources. For using a faster shutter speed you will need a strobe / flash that allows high-speed sync.

Post-processing

Post processing real estate photos is a subject in itself. I will not be delving too much into it here as I plan to do a separate real estate photo tips dedicated to the basics of post-processing real estate photos. However, I will touch a couple of points.

real-estate-photo-tips-5

Sherwood Real Estate by Sherwood CC

Always shoot in RAW. That goes without saying. When importing multiple exposures for blending them in to Photoshop import them as layers for a single image.

Select at least three exposures when blending your images. This goes for real estate exterior photos. For insides a minimum of two exposures are necessary. Select one exposure that exposure the sky properly. One which exposes the exterior walls of the property properly and finally one that exposes for the vegetation, the sidewalk and those sort of areas which are usually the darkest.

With wide angle lenses you will get a bit of barrel distortion. Check for the ceilings, the cupboards and any straight lines there may be in the frame and whether they appear to be converging. If they are converging then there is some barrel distortion. This will be more towards the fringes of the frame. Ensure that you correct any such barrel distortion in your photos.

There is a lot that you need to pay attention to. The entire shoot has to be pre-planned right down to the number of RAW frames you need, keeping in mind your post-processing routine. Let’s say that you have a restaurant to photograph. For each table set-up you will need a separate frame (without changing the composition). Each time a handheld flash is fired to mimic the overhanging light source.

The best thing about real estate photography is that it is a unique and hard genre and not many people are doing it. If you really put your heart and soul into it there is a good market for this type of work.

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib Mukherjee

Rajib’s love for the road is second only to his love for photography. Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly. He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favourite pursuits.
Rajib Mukherjee

You may also like

Rajib Mukherjee September 25, 2014

Photography inspiration: How to keep shooting images

As an amateur we see images taken by photographers like Eric Kim or Jeremy Cowart or Chase Jarvis ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 10, 2014

An introduction to creating timelapse videos

Timelapse videos have become somewhat clichéd these days with an increasing number of photographers ...

Ben Novoselsky July 2, 2017

Best Books on Portrait Photography

In this discussion we shall take a look at some very useful books on a particular genre of ...

Rajib Mukherjee March 21, 2016

Lighting techniques for shooting in studio environment

A studio setup allows you to be creative in ways you could never ever manage without lights. There ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 17, 2016

How to Bounce an On-camera External Flash to Produce Better Images

Having purchased your first external flash you must be super-excited. You must be experimenting ...

Ben Novoselsky August 31, 2015

Data Management for Digital Photographers: An Introduction

If you are a digital photographer, which is most likely (well you are here reading this isn’t?), ...

Rajib Mukherjee March 3, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Shoot Environmental Portraits

As a genre, environmental portraits are a challenge of sorts for most photographers. It is because ...

Ben Novoselsky May 10, 2017

How to Make a Good Photographer Online Portfolio

Introduction
These days an online presence is as important as an offline store or an office. In ...

Ben Novoselsky July 28, 2016

Why Adjusting White Balance Can Lead to a Better Image

One of the challenges faced by photographers on a daily basis is adjusting white balance of their ...

Ben Novoselsky April 12, 2016

Microstock Secrets – What Kind of Images do well as Stock?

There is a lot of misconception among first time stock photo contributors about the kind of images ...

Ben Novoselsky April 25, 2017

Background for Portrait Photography

Background for portrait photography – An Introduction
Backgrounds assume a critical importance in ...

Rajib Mukherjee August 6, 2016

Essential Tips to Improve your Photography

If you have recently migrated from a compact point & shoot to a DSLR you no doubt will be very ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 19, 2016

Choosing the Best Travel Photography Lens

A lot of amateur photographers find it difficult to zero in on the best travel photography lens for ...

Ben Novoselsky July 14, 2015

Five Natural Light Shooting Tips

You may have heard, nature and natural light photographers often say this – you must head out at ...

Ben Novoselsky September 21, 2015

Five Indicators That Reveal You Are a Photographer

These days with smartphones, camera phones and advanced pocket sized Point & Shoots everybody can ...

Ben Novoselsky March 25, 2015

The Use of Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition

We often read about the creative uses of lines in photography. The horizon line is one such oft ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 4, 2017

5 Simple and Free Ways to Find Customers for Photography

Prelude
Today we are going to discuss about how to find customers for photography. Back in 2006 I ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 11, 2016

An Introduction to Hyper-lapse

What is a Hyper-lapse?
Hyper-lapse is one of those cool photography techniques which uses a ...

Ben Novoselsky September 17, 2015

About focal length and background distortion

You may have heard professionals talking about the right focal length and how choosing anything ...

Ben Novoselsky December 23, 2015

Outdoor Photography Beyond the Golden Hour

Landscape photographers love shooting during the golden hour of the day. They love the warm mushy ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 10, 2015

Why You Should Print Your Images

Last Monday it rained the entire morning. It was a particularly off day for me too as I spent about ...

Rajib Mukherjee March 22, 2016

How to Photograph Christmas Lights

Watching the Diwali lights come on one by one, at each house in our colony I couldn’t stop thinking ...

Ben Novoselsky January 7, 2016

Product Photography Tips to Get Started

Apart from portraiture, product photography is one of those few genres which can provide a steady ...

Ben Novoselsky April 20, 2015

Low angle photography tips

One of the least used perspectives in photography is the low angle. I bet every photographer thinks ...

Ben Novoselsky November 13, 2015

Shooting Wide Panorama of Cities

Even with a wide angle lens you need to realize that there is no way that you can shoot a wide ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 6, 2015

How to grow your photography business – standing out

A lot of digital photographers make this cardinal mistake when they work on their portfolios. They ...

Ben Novoselsky May 14, 2017

Survey of Photo Contests by Industry

Does photo contests make sense in participating? – For Recognition
Absolutely. There is no better ...

Ben Novoselsky August 21, 2014

Tips for Shooting Fireworks Photos

Every Independence Day, or even Memorial or Labor Day, it’s common — a given, even — to see ...

Ben Novoselsky July 20, 2015

How to Grow Your Photography Business – Branding and Other Tips

As a budding entrepreneur looking to start your own photography business, you should give proper ...

Rajib Mukherjee February 25, 2015

How to Make Your Backgrounds Blurred

Sometimes you may need to blur out the background of your images. Let’s say you are shooting ...

Ben Novoselsky May 9, 2016

What Kind of Wedding Photography Lights Should You Buy?

Lighting in wedding photography is a big thing. Regardless of your budget you have a responsibility ...

Ben Novoselsky June 22, 2015

The Comparative Analysis of Outsourcing against Making Your Own Prints

There are a number of reasons for which you may want to outsource printing your images to a lab or ...

Rajib Mukherjee February 23, 2017

Pricing Yourself – How Much to Charge as a Wedding Photographer?

In reality it is a question of assessing your costs and then setting a price which covers that ...

Ben Novoselsky August 3, 2014

5 Useful Tips for Making Great Images in Low Light

Cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D3X have completely changed the playing field when ...

Ben Novoselsky June 12, 2015

How Would You Respond as a Photographer if You Are Asked to Work for Free?

Often photographers are approached with a request to work for free. The request can come from ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 13, 2017

Protecting Your Photos in the Digital World

Different techniques of protecting your photos: Watermarking
Watermarking is one of the most ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 31, 2015

How to use the Panning mode in photography

Panning is the technique of going with the flow of a moving subject to make images. The movement of ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 5, 2016

Five Ways You Can Use An External Flash In Outdoor Shooting

This article is meant for photographers who want to learn how to use an external flash in outdoor ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 22, 2015

What is Focus Stacking?

Landscape photographers are obsessed with the idea of sharp images. They use a multitude of methods ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 11, 2017

Camera Settings Presets for Shooting Different Scenes

Camera settings presets are a combination of buttons and dials that can be used to recall a ...

Ben Novoselsky July 18, 2016

How to Work with Leading Lines in Your Photography

Leading lines are one of the most important aspects of photography. They have the power to draw a ...

Ben Novoselsky September 12, 2014

The Basic Rules of Photography and Common Mistakes

Everyone, even professionals, makes mistakes, although their mistakes are rare and usually caused ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 7, 2014

Understanding the Basics of a Good Exposure

Exposure is the key concept that governs all forms of photography where light in some form or the ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 26, 2014

Don’t copy the masters’ style blindly, create your own style

Growing up as photographers one of the biggest source of guidance are the works created by already ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 1, 2015

Five features on your DSLR camera that you probably never use

Your camera comes with three handy metering systems. If you are using a Canon system camera yours ...

Ben Novoselsky August 12, 2016

About Flash Sync Speed Limitations and How to Work Around It

We often hear about flash sync speed and how we normally cannot use a flash to sync at extremely ...

Ben Novoselsky March 23, 2017

Shooting Solo vs Shooting with a Photography Assistant

Many among us have often felt the need to employ a photography assistant to help us manage a shoot ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 3, 2016

Getting Started in Low Light Photography

Introducing Low Light Photography
For those of you who primarily shoot with a smartphone or even a ...

Ben Novoselsky May 2, 2016

How Does Hyperfocal Distance Affect Your Images?

Landscape photographers often use the terms focusing distance and hyperfocal distance in relation ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 9, 2016

Advantage Of Shooting Film In The Digital Age

Old But Not Obsolete
The dawn of digital sensor also brought in the demise of film. In many ways ...

Ben Novoselsky June 11, 2016

Things to Consider When Drafting the Wedding Photography Contract

About a year and a half ago I read an eye-opening article by renowned wedding photographer Gary ...

Ben Novoselsky March 28, 2017

How Real Estate Photo Editing Services Help to Sell Your Properties?

Looking to put your home up for sale? Planing to move to a bigger home for your growing family and ...

Ben Novoselsky August 9, 2016

How to Use Backlighting to Isolate Your Subject

I love shooting with backlighting. Backlighting is one of those acquired tastes in photography that ...

Rajib Mukherjee November 26, 2015

Photographing a landmark at night

Often, when traveling through a foreign land we find ourselves in front of an iconic building or ...

Ben Novoselsky May 18, 2017

Best Metering Mode for Landscape, Portrait, Wedding Photography

One of the most fundamental aspects of photography is to meter a scene. Metering denotes measuring ...

Ben Novoselsky July 1, 2015

How to grow your photography business – pricing tips

Pardon me for saying this, but not a good deal of photographers quite know how to price themselves. ...

Ben Novoselsky May 11, 2015

Understanding Lens Vignetting

A technical term that you are likely to hear a lot is lens vignetting. Lens vignetting (sometimes ...

Ben Novoselsky October 6, 2016

Some Basic Food Photography Tips

If you are a genuine foodie it would be a natural transgression to want to shoot images of the ...

Rajib Mukherjee April 23, 2015

Benefits of joining a photography class

Digital photography is a vast field of specialized knowledge. Well, even if not many ...

Ben Novoselsky April 6, 2017

Correct Framing in Portrait Photography

Framing is an integral part of the whole process of image making. Be it landscapes, or portraits or ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 8, 2015

Great Images Come From Great Underlying Stories

I am a photographer who loves making photos of people and places. So every now and then I pack my ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 6, 2014

Everyday photography ideas

I wrote a detailed article on the topic of photographic inspiration recently. The aim was to keep ...

Kelsey Fox December 18, 2014

How Properly Holding Your Camera Can Lead to Better Photos

The way you hold your camera is almost as important as choosing the right kind of camera to shoot ...

Rajib Mukherjee May 1, 2017

Wedding Photography – the History of the Genre

The history of recording a wedding dates back to a time long before photography came about. The ...

Rajib Mukherjee August 30, 2016

Introducing Canon Dual Pixel RAW Technology

Last week, the much awaited Canon 5D Mark IV made its debut. The rumor mills have been abuzz for ...

Ben Novoselsky March 28, 2016

Which Tools does a Beginner Photographer Need?

A typical beginner photographer would ask these questions –
“What do I need to get started into ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 23, 2015

Understanding ISO, the least understood of the three exposure parameters

If you look at the main aspects that govern exposure, you would obviously realize that there are ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 6, 2017

What to Discuss with Client Before the Photo Shooting

A digital photographer, someone who works on assignments, his greatest friend is the agreement that ...

Ben Novoselsky January 7, 2015

How editing your stock photography can lead to more sales

Before you can start selling your images on microstock websites you ought to know a few things ...

Ben Novoselsky June 18, 2015

How to Price Yourself as a Photographer

A question often asked by entry level protogs is how much to charge for their services. Many find ...

Ben Novoselsky September 22, 2016

Seven Photography Tools that You Should Possess to Improve Your Images

This discussion is about the tools of trade that we photographers need to possess in order to make ...

Ben Novoselsky April 25, 2016

How do you tweak the Sunny 16 Rule in Photography?

You are out with your family on a bright sunlit day. The kind of day on which photographers prefer ...

Kelsey Fox June 29, 2014

6 Tips for Shooting in Harsh Light

Whether they dabble in photography or shoot with the pros, most photographers know that there is no ...

Rajib Mukherjee December 21, 2015

Some creative uses of Depth of Field

The main shooting mode dial on your camera has the letter(s) A or Av (depending on the camera ...

Ben Novoselsky August 19, 2016

Why You Should Invest in a Tripod

There are probably a hundred reasons why you should invest in a tripod. I am not going to detail ...

Ben Novoselsky June 29, 2017

7 Main Mistakes when Retouching Wedding Images

If there were one genre of photography that you could do without retouching then that genre would ...

Rajib Mukherjee January 19, 2015

Light Painting in Photography: An Introduction

Light painting is a very interesting technique in photography that predominantly uses artificial ...

Ben Novoselsky August 6, 2014

Auto Exposure Bracketing: Everything You Wanted to Know


Multiple camera shots with different expose combined in HDR photo
by sumitrodda


If you are just starting out in digital photography, you have probably never heard about auto exposure bracketing (AEB). If you are an enthusiast photographer, probably you have heard about this but never quite mastered the concept to use it with confidence. Regardless of your expertise in digital photography this article can help you master an extremely important feature of your DSLR, i.e.; auto exposure bracketing (AEB).

Читать дальше...

Ben Novoselsky July 9, 2015

How to Grow Your Photography Business – Five Marketing Tips

One of the things that photographers don’t pay attention to, when they are just starting out ...

Ben Novoselsky October 27, 2014

7 Silly Mistakes I Made as an Amateur Photographer

1. Leaving the lens cap on

Amateurs are guilty of making some of the most cardinal of mistakes. ...

Ben Novoselsky June 25, 2015

A Review of Online Photo Printing Options

One of the things that photographers are guilty of and I am referring to both amateurs and ...

Popular posts

Rajib Mukherjee October 14, 2014

How to Get Started in Wedding Photography – Part 1

Weddings are not only fun but they are also one of the most solemn of occasions. Two souls unite ...

Rajib Mukherjee July 31, 2015

How to use the Panning mode in photography

Panning is the technique of going with the flow of a moving subject to make images. The movement of ...

Rajib Mukherjee September 16, 2014

7 Tips to Shooting Great Portrait Photographs

Portrait photography is like a bread and butter thing for professional photographers. No matter ...

Kelsey Fox September 24, 2014

8 Unique Ideas for Wedding Photos

A new spouse, a new last name, and photos - the three must-have takeaways of any wedding. Though ...

Rajib Mukherjee October 16, 2014

How to Get Started in Wedding Photography – Part 2

Compositions are everything in wedding photography; at least when you are not shooting candid ...

Ben Novoselsky August 3, 2014

5 Useful Tips for Making Great Images in Low Light

Cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D3X have completely changed the playing field when ...

Ben Novoselsky November 6, 2014

Portrait Photography Lighting Tips

Portrait photography, especially when we talk about studio portrait photography, as a genre, is ...

Ben Novoselsky July 29, 2014

4 Methods to Get White Balance of Your Images Correct

Image before white balance correction

Are you plagued with the problem of strange color casts ...

Ben Novoselsky March 25, 2015

The Use of Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition

We often read about the creative uses of lines in photography. The horizon line is one such oft ...