There’s nothing worse than a blurry photo – 12.2 million pixels worth of blurry vinyl flooring is no joke. And it’s not that tripods are bad, they’re just unnecessary.

Us photographers are a mixed bunch, each with our own views, styles and ways of doing things. Put us all in a room together and there may be some heated words exchanged on my controversial tripod views.

Yes, tripods will clearly help keep the camera steady as rock, and for homes of serious grandeur, tripod photography could well be just what’s needed. But you’ll pay a pro an opulent fee for their troubles. Chances are you’re not a pro, but you can certainly shoot mass market properties like one – without a tripod in sight. Here’s why you shouldn’t rush out and buy one:

1. A tripod will slow you down

First you’ve got to lug it around with you, then you’ve got to set it up, make it the right height, take the pic, realise you’ve set it at the wrong height, adjust, go again, swear…. and on it goes. Isn’t your schedule busy enough?

2. Tripods are awkward to use

The best photos are taken from the corner of the room, right in the corner and at waist height – that way you fit more in the frame. So let’s say you set this up perfectly. So far so good.

But to get it perfect, you’ve got to peer over and around to check the composition through the viewfinder (no taking photos blind please) and be able to hit the trigger. Easier said than done when there are solid brick walls in the way.

Then you’ve got to bend yourself in a way so your own delightful frame is not in the shot (an armpit in the corner of the photo is a no-no). It’s awkward. Try it.

But aren’t there remote control triggers to avoid this? Yeah there are, but you still have to compose and focus the shot properly. And yes, you can sync this up to a laptop screen, but we’re getting silly now. Do you want to spend half a day at a property?

3. Tripods are an unnecessary expense

Every single shot in our gallery was taken without using a tripod. If you’d be happy with these shots then we’re both on the same page.

There are several necessary pieces of equipment that you do need, a DLSR camera and wide angle lens, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom for post production. Do you really want to spend your hard earned cash on one more bit of kit? (Hint: You don’t.)

So what’s the moral of the story?

Tripods will slow you down and trip you up. And make you pay for the privilege. Thankfully, we know a much better way – the ideal way to support your camera is by hand. Just do this…

  1. Go to the corner of the room.
  2. Crouch so the camera is at roughly waist height.
  3. Lean back against the wall(s) so that you are supported while you shoot.
  4. Raise the camera to your face and brace your elbows against the walls.
  5. Take a deep breath and hold it whilst you snap the perfect property shot.
  6. Hey presto you’ve turned yourself into one giant tripod.

If you can’t get into the corner and to its lovely supportive walls, choose the next best thing. A door frame, a kitchen counter top or your humble knee. They’re all still better ways to prop up and support your camera than a tripod (I really have a thing about tripods).

Still not convinced?

Download our free pdf – The Ultimate Guide to Property Photography for more top tips and industry secrets. You, too can learn what we teach our clients so they can take the best property pics in the business.

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Alex Stretton