In a tough property market, you have to be exceptional to survive. There’s no room for average.
One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to turn your average listings into exceptional listings is to focus on property photography. Get your photography right and the benefits are numerous. You’ll create wonderful first impressions, attract more enquiries and win more instructions.
Photography is a fantastic tool to visually show everyone how you do things. If your photos are exceptional, people will associate you with an exceptional service.
Capturing amazing property photos isn’t as complicated as you might expect. In this summary of Rightmove’s recent webinar, given by Elements Property’s own Alex Stretton, we’ll give you the lowdown on the most important property photography tips and techniques to get you shooting like a pro!
If you’re not already signed up to receive the incredible content Rightmove puts out for agents each week, sign up to the Rightmove Hub right now!
The impact of amazing property photos
First impressions count. It’s a cliché for a reason. Rightmove listings has just have three seconds to make the right first impression. Don’t forget that this is also when people will make their first impression of your company or brand, so make sure it’s a good one!
One of the first things that potential customers will associate with your name is your photographs.
If you were a homeowner or landlord, who would you choose? The agent who takes five dull, uninspiring photos, or the agent who puts the effort in and takes 12 bright, beautifully composed shots?
It’s a no-brainer.
Preparing the property before the shoot is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your photos.
Ask the vendor to tidy up beforehand, move cars and wheelie bins out of shot, turn on all the lights, and open doors, curtains and blinds.
These may seem like minor points but you’d be surprised at how often they’re overlooked, and how much difference they can make.
Use a wide-angle lens
Even if you’re completely inexperienced when it comes to property photos, the right equipment will put you well on your way to professional-looking shots.
The most important tool in your property photography kit is a wide-angle lens. This will allow you to fit more into the shot, giving a more spacious feel. Because human eyes are built to see things in a wide angle, these photos give a more accurate impression of the property.
We recommend the Sigma 10–20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM wide-angle lens with autofocus, which retails for around £300 to £320. Make sure that the lens is the right fit for your camera brand before you buy!
Purchase a DSLR camera
You may have been able to get away with a point-and-shoot camera for many years, but estate agents can no longer afford to slack off when it comes to property photos.
DSLR cameras provide huge amounts of functionality and customisability through interchangeable lenses and technical settings.
You can save money by purchasing just the camera body and buying a wide-angle lens separately.
Essential camera settings
When you’ve got the right equipment, you can take great shots with just a few basic settings.
If you’re new to photography and DSLR cameras, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are the only settings you need to master to capture amazing property photos:
- Save images as JPG rather than RAW.
- An ideal image file size is 3–6 MB.
- An ideal resolution is 4272 x 2848 pixels.
- Setting your camera to 12 Megapixels will give great quality images with a reasonable file size.
- Set your shutter speed between 1/5 (slower) and 1/25 (faster), depending on the light. Slower shutter speeds let in more light and are better for darker conditions, but increase the risk of blurring.
- Set your aperture using the Av or Ev button, depending on your camera brand. This allows you to choose the size of the aperture (f-number) while the camera automatically selects a shutter speed for the correct exposure
- Using the camera’s internal landscape mode will enhance blues and greens in external shots and keep both close and distant objects in focus.
- Save time and money by not using an external flash or tripod.
Compose your shots like a pro
Amazing property photos should get people excited about booking a viewing. By taking the time to properly compose your shots, you can improve the visual appeal of your photos with very little effort.
Here are some top composition tips for property photos:
- Always shoot in landscape orientation. Along with the wide-angle lens, this will help to capture even the tiniest en suite.
- Crouch down and shoot at waist height to keep walls vertical.
- Frame the shot by aligning objects in the corners, such as windows, door frames, or where the walls and ceiling meet.
- Shoot through an open door and include the door frame in the shot. This produces inviting photos and is a great way to capture small rooms
- Use the Golden Ratio when composing your shots.
- Show off your property’s unique features. Include close-up shots of details like beautiful woodwork, elegant taps or ornate fireplaces.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Property Photography for even more tips on capturing amazing property photos.
Enhance your images with post production
No matter how well you take the shots, they can sometimes still look a little flat. Grey skies, rogue wheelie bins and poor lighting can all ruin a perfectly good image.
Fortunately, photo editing software makes it possible to change things we couldn’t control during the shoot.
Here are some of the many edits you can make to ensure that your photos do the property justice:
- Brightening the shot and removing shadows.
- Adding an inviting blue sky.
- Straightening wonky shots.
- Cropping or re-framing for better composition.
- Removing unwanted objects like clutter, cars, wheelie bins or competitor boards.
While it’s fine to enhance what’s already there, it’s not okay to make significant changes that would be misleading. Be aware of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.
Outsource your property photo edits
If you’re not familiar with software like Lightroom or Photoshop, these edits can be tricky or time consuming. Fortunately, Elements Property can help you to make the most of your property photos.
Our Image Enhancement service allows you to benefit from all the essential edits that will give your photos the wow factor without you having to lift a finger—other than sending us the files! We can even add your logo as a watermark for a truly professional feel.
If you want to stand out from your competitors even more, we can turn your photos into an engaging video with our Video Slideshow service.
Take advantage of our free trial by entering code BLOG46 when you create your account and see how we can take your photos from good to amazing!START FREE TRIAL
Latest posts by Alex Stretton (see all)
- A guide to the essential edits we perform on your property photos - August 17, 2020
- What do the numbers on a camera lens mean? - May 12, 2020
- Mirrorless cameras: The future for property and real estate photography? - May 7, 2020