Who remembers from their school or uni days those pyramid chart things in text books? Maslow anyone?
Here’s one for you about different aspects of property photography ranked from most to least important. I call it The Pyramid of Importance – no lectures, I promise. The pyramid below shows what I believe to be the 6 most important factors that can impact how great / stunning / beautiful / highly average / or completely awful the property photos that you capture will be. Without further ado, here it is in all its glory…
The first thing to understand is that skill and experience are the least important factors. With the right know-how (we have a FREE Ultimate Guide to Property Photography eBook for that) and the right equipment, you can go out a complete DSLR virgin and take some pretty impressive shots right off the bat.
Most of the magic that radiates from a pukka property image comes from using the right camera and lens, and from boosting the pixels you capture in post-production back in the office. Photoshop not your bag? Just send them to us for a spot of Image Enhancement, we love it!
Next I’ll quickly run through each part of the pyramid, starting with the absolute must-have, most important bit of kit – the lens.
1. Wide angle lens (most important)
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most important bit of kit to help you capture stunning property photos. Expect to pay a few quid for a good one but it really is worth every penny. In this blog post I dive into my lens recommendation in more detail, but if you’re pumped and looking to get one right now, this second, good on you!
The lens I love is the Sigma 10 – 20mm f3.5 EC DC HSM wide-angle lens, it was born to capture killer property photos. Here’s the links for the Canon and Nikon versions (make sure you get the right one!) if you want to buy one from Amazon.
2. DSLR Camera
Next up, you will need the right camera to screw the lens into – for that you need a DSLR (or Digital Single Lens Reflex). A DSLR is much more than just a lens holder though, it will give you the ability to capture high resolution, professional, vibrant shots with ease – plus the whole set up looks cool and anyone who sees you shooting with one knows you mean business.
You don’t need the top of the range model, in fact, the entry level model will sort you out just fine. And don’t worry if you think it will be too complicated to use, it won’t be. You have my word. You only need to master around 10% of the settings.
Expect to pay around £250 – £300. Sure other brands and models are available but I’m here to keep things simple for you so go with a Canon or Nikon. Here are two fantastic camera body’s (no need for the standard lens) that will be just perfect for you: You won’t go far wrong with a Canon EOS 1300D or a Nikon D3300. If you’re on the fence, I’d say go Canon.
The truth is, you can do a damn good job of taking the shots at the property, but most of the time the images on the memory card just look kind of flat and uninspiring. It’s not your fault, that’s just how it is! But there is something you can do – cue Adobe and its nifty photo editing software packages.
Photoshop and Lightroom are essential tools to transform the wow factor and appeal of your images. Grey sky? Insert a blue one. Cars or bins on the drive? Remove them. Messy bathroom? Tidy it up. Dark rooms? Brighten the shadows and boost the colours. Wonky shot? Straighten the walls. The list goes on.
Read more here about the top 5 edits to turbo charge your wow factor, and remember if you can’t do it, we can – from £6.95 for a full set of images. You can even try it for FREE! Simply use the promocode BLOG 16 when signing up for some free orders.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – a well composed image is the foundation of a great property photo. You could have all the gear, but if you don’t frame the shot properly in your viewfinder then it will look crap and won’t show your property in its best light.
Shoot in landscape, from waist height, into the corner (or at an angle), and use things visible in the shot to help you frame it. It’s dead easy. That’s the recipe for the best composition. To read more on this, take a look at 5 tips to help you compose your shots like a pro.
I put this high up the pyramid i.e. towards the lesser importance end of the spectrum because I truly believe you don’t need much to be able to consistently go out and take beautiful property images that will help you stand out online, generate more enquiries and impress your vendors and landlords.
It may take a little trial and error to get used to the camera, master the settings you need and understand how to deal with tricky weather conditions, but it’s not hard.
6. Skill (least important)
Last (and least) is skill. I’m not saying skill is not important, it is. It’s just the least important of the factors in the pyramid. Skill is ‘the ability to do something well’ and my point is that everything that comes before skill in the pyramid can make up for a lack of skill.
Over time, the more you shots you take, the more skilful you will get. Don’t worry if you’re just starting out with a new DSLR camera or sending out a new recruit on their first shoot. The most important skill to master is keeping the camera still when you take the shot!
Whether you’re shooting properties with a high degree of skill or just pointing, clicking and hoping, as long as you have the right gear, compose the shot correctly and use Image Enhancement to inject the wow factor – you’re miles ahead of most of your competition and your marketing images will attract enquiries like bees to honey!
Do you want to learn more about taking great shots?
In our FREE eBook, I teach you everything I’ve learned from the thousands of shutter releases and repeated squats in vendors houses that have enabled me to capture stunning shots like these which helped our clients sell or let their houses in double quick time. Grab your FREE Ultimate Guide to Property Photography today!