How to take great DIY listing photos

6 tips for agents making the most of their marketing budget

Most real estate agents know a thing or two about “curb appeal,” but not everyone will happen by your listing.

Forty four percent of buyers start their search online, which means that listing photos are essential in wooing potential buyers to come check out that stellar listing with the amazing curb appeal.

If your marketing plan doesn’t include getting professional photos done, don’t fret. Fortunately, agents don’t have to hire professional photographers to take gorgeous home photos. Just follow these practical and effective tips.

Experiment with using available interior lighting

When shooting interior photos, some agents mistakenly think the natural light coming through the window is sufficient for making the room look nice. But without artificial lighting, the room could appear to have dark, gloomy corners that aren’t appealing.

Before taking pictures, you should be aware that some lights can create odd shadows that detract from the overall image aesthetics.

When that happens, the easiest thing to do is change the angle of the shot, so it doesn’t incorporate the light or lights causing the issue. It may also be necessary to use shades if some parts of the shot are too bright.

Lighting also helps set the mood. A well-lit space often looks more cheerful and inviting than one that’s darker, which is why interior lights can help.

Check for ideal frame composition

There are differing opinions about the best camera height to choose when capturing photos. People with access to tripods can quickly try different heights and make educated decisions about the ones that work best for particular kinds of shots.

However, many pro photographers advise not to stay locked into a certain height, especially when shooting rooms.

That’s because some areas of a home may have things high on the walls to include in a shot, full-length mirrors or kitchen cabinets, for example.

A height that’s too low won’t show those things to the viewer.

For best results, you should study a room first, then determine the best way to fit all the essentials into the frame. An excellent home photo features a frame composition that expertly shows off what a room includes and doesn’t have lots of dead space.

Invest in a wide-angle lens

When real estate agents take pictures of homes frequently, they often find wide-angle lenses are truly indispensable items in their gear bags. That’s because wide-angle lenses capture large rooms in an abode, so they appear proportional.

Otherwise, the lens may make a well-sized room look too small, so they seem cramped to the viewer.

Wide-angle lenses from 16 millimeters to 24 millimeters are usually appropriate sizes to focus on when shopping for camera tools.

They’ll allow for getting accurate perspectives of the whole room and creating a sense of depth without sacrificing detail. However, a lens that’s wider than 24 millimeters could make the space look distorted.

Research apps that improve photographs

Sometimes, the built-in capabilities of a smart phone camera aren’t enough to take the kinds of photos a discerning real estate agent demands. In those cases, purposeful apps such as these two could fill the void:

  1. 360 Panorama is an iOS app that allows for creating panoramic photos of a room. Even better for real estate experts, they can post the pictures directly to social media, thereby driving more potential traffic to an upcoming open house event.
  2. Diptic is a collage maker that permits combining several photos into one. It’s available for iOS and Android and could be useful for people who like to group their home photos strategically to let individuals know what to expect before coming for a viewing.

Go with the landscape orientation when possible

Another worthy real estate photography tip is to prioritize the horizontal, or landscape, orientation over the vertical one.

Humans see the world in approximately a 4:3 aspect ratio and naturally view many things in horizontal orientations, with televisions and computer screens among them.

This reality makes photos shot with the landscape orientation more natural and pleasing to view.

Another reason people prefer horizontal images is that they give the shot more context than a vertical one. If a person snaps a vertical photo of a bathroom, it might be impossible to show how close the sink is to the shower or make it obvious there’s designer tile decorating one of the walls.

However, the landscape orientation typically gives a more diverse picture of the area.

Use these tips, and you’ll find improved DIY listing photos. You’ll also likely see the interest in your listings go up as well.

Kayla Matthews covers smart technology and future trends for websites like VentureBeat, Curbed and Motherboard.

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