March 22nd, 2011
Estate agents generally aren’t trained in photography. Point and shoot cameras honestly are not the greatest equipment for capturing images of your clients’ properties. They’re not designed for photographing interiors – they’re meant to be used for snatching holiday snaps and party memories.
Here are a few tips that’ll help transform photos of your interiors – but keep in mind that if these work for you, your pictures will still have room for improvement a hundred times over, if you take the trouble to learn how to do the rest properly…
- When photographing interiors, lower the angle of your camera to around waist height. If you’re using an SLR you’ll have to kneel because you probably won’t have a flip-up viewfinder. It’s worth kneeling though, because you’ll notice an instant improvement in the way your interiors look!
- Use the best equipment you can afford. Never use the camera’s own flash because the light from it will make your picture appear harsh and flat. Also, if your camera has a wide-angle lens attachment, you’ll get a dome-shape shadow to the bottom half of your picture. Instead use a dedicated flashgun with a swivel bounce head. Point the flash head towards the ceiling. This way you are using the ceiling to “bounce” light around the room and this will create subtle shadows giving your picture shape and depth. Most ceilings are white, but some are coloured so understand that if you bounce light off a coloured ceiling, there may be a colour-cast that will need to be removed in Photoshop. Some people advocate not using flash at all. This is often a mistake because if you are photographing towards a window there will be too much shadow to the back of large objects, unless there is some form of room lighting to light those areas that are not directly facing the window.
- Really look through your viewfinder at the picture you’re taking. Roll your eyes around/over the edges, don’t just look at the middle. Look to see if there is anything out of place. You’ll be surprised when you do this, how often you’ll find yourself moving an object out of the way, rearranging the furniture or fluffing some cushions that you didn’t notice beforehand were flattened and out of place.
- When you’re photographing exteriors look for the best angle. If you can, frame the picture with a (real) tree branch or foliage from a bush or perhaps something architectural like an arch. You may have to take the photo from across the road to do this and stand in a neighbour’s drive. Make sure you ask permission, or that they’re not bigger than you if you don’t.
- When photographing modern houses with a low pitch to the roof, stand as far away from the house as you can. Many modern houses have a low pitch to their roofs, so standing close with a wide-angle lens can make the roof look flat. Standing well back will enable more of the roof to be shown.
- When using a wide-angle lens keep it as close to 90 degrees to the floor/ceiling as possible. If you slightly tilt the camera forward or backward you’ll exaggerate the distortion you get with most wide-angle lenses. That said it is almost inevitable that you will have to tilt the camera slightly when photographing interiors, in order to avoid captring too much ceiling. A little distortion can be corrected in Photoshop, but the more correction that is needed, the more of your photo will be lost at the edges.
- There’s a lot more to taking a great property photo than can be written here, but these tips will start you off on the right track
- If, having read this section, you’re still unsure how to get the best from your camera, take a look at my Trainingsection..
- Or if good photography is just beyond you and you’re losing the will to live and haven’t the time to learn or use these tips, take a look at my other site, hello-photo.co.uk and consider asking me to take your photos for you. I love photographing houses, and there may be some occasions (perhaps for some of your larger properties) when my services will be useful to you. I cover Surrey, Hampshire. Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and London