**********I've been photographing high-end real-estate for about 6 years and have probably shot several hundred, if not thousand, properties in that time. When I look back at the images I handed over to my clients in my first year, I cringe. Back then I thought to myself “how hard can this be? Walk in the room, take a photo, email it to the client, nailed it!”. If I could go back, I’d give myself a nice open hand slap.
You see, property photography is a skill. It’s as much science as it is artistic. Both sides need to be studied, practiced and mastered if you’re to succeed in this saturated and competitive field of photography. Being one of the areas of photography I focus on most (no pun intended), I spend a lot of time looking at professional real-estate images. Some leave me in awe, others leave me swearing out loud. From my experiences over the last number of years, coupled with the failings I've witnessed in some photographers’ work, here are my top five tips for great property photography.
1. Use The Correct EquipmentThere are certain must-have items you need to photograph a property. Wide-angle lens – For general use on cropped-frame bodies, Canon’s 10-22mm and Nikon’s 10-24mm lenses are ideal. For full-frame bodies, consider the Nikon 14-24mm, Canon and Nikon 16-35mm lenses and the Canon 17-40mm. These zoom out far enough to make rooms look large and spacious without causing any distortion or unrealistic proportions. Never use a fish-eye lens. Once your budget allows, look in to arming yourself with a proper architectural lens or some high-end primes. Tripod – Hand-holding your camera with property photography not only looks unprofessional, but it will result in blurred shots every time. Arm yourself with a tripod and a remote shutter release to eliminate the risk of camera shake when taking a shot. Flash – Get yourself at least one good-quality flash, as your DSLR’s pop-up flash simply won’t cut it. In fact, I’d go so far as saying your flash is one of your most important tools in real-estate photography. If you’re using off-camera flash, you’ll also need some wireless triggers. Something like the Phottix Strato II can be found for £75 a set and are the ones I use myself. These will give you the freedom to use your flash away from your camera without any restrictions...
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