Thinking of selling or renting your home? You need some good images to attract the right buyer or renter, right?
It used to be that you would have to hire a professional photographer to take excellent photos. Well, not anymore.
You have what you need right in your hand. Your smartphone combined with a few new skills will have you taking excellent real estate photos of your property.
Read on to discover some helpful tips and tricks to take exterior and interior photos with your smartphone that look professional. By following these tips you will be able to show photos with the interior and exterior evenly exposed and make your house look spectacular.
Helpful tip: Make sure the property and grounds look clean and tidy. It’s also a good idea to do a little home staging to make your photos look even more professional. Simply moving clutter out of your shot, fluffing pillows, adding flower arrangements, and rearranging a few things can have a huge impact. Your space looks more inviting when it doesn’t look cluttered.
Lighting Your Real Estate Photos
Natural light is the best light for real estate shots. If you choose to add artificial lighting make sure that it is consistent and doesn’t cast harsh shadows in your photos.
Open all the curtains and let as much natural light in as you can. Observe how light enters your home throughout the day and take your real estate photos when it is the best time. Rays of the setting sun may look nice but will be difficult to photograph.
You can shoot the exterior during golden hour when the sky isn’t so bright. Turn on all the lights in your home to give a golden hue.
Tip: Don’t use the flash on your phone as this will make your photos look flat and create uneven lighting in your photos.
Shoot at Waist Level
Shooting at waist level will make your room look bigger and will keep lines straight. Move into a corner of the room and try to capture as much of it as you can. Also, photograph in horizontal (landscape) mode to get more of the room into your shot.
Helpful Tip: Turn on the gridlines on your phone to help you align vertical and horizontal lines.
Pro Tip: Use a tripod to make sure that your photos are super sharp.
Photo taken at regular eye level.
Photo taken at waist level.
Notice how the room looks bigger and the lines are straighter.
Tip: Make sure to add a corner of the room in your shot to give the space some dimension and also to help it look more spacious.
Shoot in HDR or Use a Photo App
What happens when you take a photo ofthe interior with a window or door exterior view? Your camera exposesthe shot for the interior OR the exterior, but not both. The results? Either a dark interior with a perfect view of the outside or awell-exposed interior and blown-out windows where you can’t see outside.
What you want to achieve is a well-exposed interior while seeing theview out of the windows.
The HDR feature on your phone can help with this but sometimes it isn’t enough to evenly expose the photo.
You can download a specialized app, like Photomatix Real Estate Camera for iPhone,that will take several photos in different exposures and automaticallystack them so that you have a view out the window while the interiorremains well exposed as well. (The app is not available for Android atthe moment)
Photo taken with HDR feature on iPhone. Notice how we can’t see out the patio doors.
Photo taken with HDR feature on iPhone. We can see the beautiful view but not the inside.
Photo taken with Photomatix Real Estate Camera app. Notice how we see outside the patio doors and the interior is still evenly exposed.
Photo taken with Photomatix Real Estate Camera app. Now we can perfectly see the outside and the inside.
Straighten the Verticals
There is a good chance that yourhouse will look skewed when standing and shooting it straight on. It’snothing you’re doing wrong, that’s the perspective from your standingpoint and there is nothing you can do about it.
The height of thebuilding and the distance that you are standing from it will have aneffect on the perspective of your photo. But what you CAN do is edit thevertical lines in a photo editing app.
Thankfully, apps like Snapseedoffer a cool feature where you can upload your photo and pull the photointo a straight alignment so that the building looks perfectlyvertical.
Photo straightened in Snapseed using the PERSPECTIVE tool.
Extra Tips and Tricks for Amazing Real Estate Photos with Your Phone
- Be mindful of mirrors. You don’t want to show up as a reflection in the photos.
- Take photos of details that are interesting in your home, but don’t use the zoom on your phone. Move in closer or crop the photos.
- Bathrooms can be tricky. This is a space where you can get high up in a corner to get most of it in your shot. Stand on a chair and point your phone down.
- Tap your screen on the farthest part of the room to make sure that the whole space is in focus.
- Use a remote shutter release to make sure your phone stays perfectly still.
- Don’t hesitate to edit your photos.
The more time you put into preparing your home for the real estate shoot will be rewarded with photos that you will be proud of. Take your time going through your space and try different compositions in each room. Remember, you want the viewer to purchase or rent your space and if your photos look better than others that they are viewing you will stand out and look more professional. It is absolutely possible to get great real estate photos with your smartphone.
Join us in our Facebook group Shoot Like a Pro With Your Phone to mingle with like-minded people all passionate about phone photography. You will have access to more tips and tricks, fun photo contests, and even occasional giveaways.