I liken good property photography to curb appeal of a property. If the prospect drives by and it looks terrible, they aren’t going to call or make an offer. If the advertising photos on the internet are dark, out of focus, flipped sideways, or show it in an undesirable condition, the prospect isn’t going to call, make an offer or even drive by!
I have outlined below a few quick rules and tricks that I’ve learned when doing property photography to make the property have great “electronic curb appeal”, attract better prospects, increase interest and over rent or sell the property faster.
Unless you are marketing to vampires, most people consciously or subconsciously look for places that feel open and bright. Light, bright places also feel bigger and cleaner. When photographing a room, turn on the lights, open the blinds and even force a flash on your camera. Most cameras now, including cell phones, allow for a forced flash. If you are the lucky recipient of dark photos and you can’t take more, use a simple photo editor to increase the brightness, levels or exposure depending on the sophistication of the program. Below are two examples of how light dramatically changes a photo. This one was altered in a photo editing software from a photo that was already provided on the left:
One of the worst things that I see when looking at comparison properties online are photos uploaded sideways. If you don’t have a photo editing software and must upload directly from your phone, make it a point to always take photos landscape (horizontal) not portrait (vertical). Most, if not all, of the online real estate advertising software conforms photos to a landscape direction anyway, so you might as well start that way. Here’s an example of how to take a landscape photo in a small space vs. portrait on the right:
Sometimes the curb view of the property isn’t spectacular, but the interior is great. Nothing says in advertising that you have to use the front photo of the property for advertising! But, make sure that when you upload your photos that you arrange them in proper order and that you don’t have a photo of the toilet as your cover!
Most bathrooms are small. Make sure when photographing bathrooms that you open shower curtains if the tub is nice, close the toilet seat and if the property is occupied, remove the items from the sink. Most photographers want to get the bathroom from floor to ceiling so all photos are portrait. It is ok to take the photos landscape, just take the photo from a mid angle, not top down.
Multiple room views: It is ok to show multiple shots of one room from different angles. It give the prospect an idea of the layout and what rooms are connected.
Top down and bottom up angles: Get creative with angles. You don’t have to take photos of a room straight on. Try getting lower to the ground and shooting bottom up, or get higher and shoot top down. Depending on the room, it makes a HUGE difference!
Level: Keep your photos level. Some cameras will have a horizon feature where you can show the imaginary horizon line and keep the photo level. Looking through crooked photos is annoying.
Stand in the closet, hall, tub, shower: If the room is small, be creative, stand in the closet to get farther back, stand in the tub or shower to get a better angle on the bathroom.
Ceiling and floor: Try to get both ceiling and floor in the photo, it makes the room look larger
Door knobs: When framing a photo, try to keep the door knobs and frames out, it cuts the photo up.