Tips for enhancing listing photos

Online property portals are now the first stop for prospective home buyers and to ensure your listing stands out from the rest, beautiful property photography has become vital. We take a look at some tips and tricks that will help you showcase your listing at its best!

Set the stage

Whether you are using a real estate agent or selling privately the first thing you should do before you take out the camera is to declutter the room. By putting away things like TV remotes or hiding cables, you are making it easier for potential buyers to focus on the space as a whole, instead of focussing on the clutter. 

5 Bedroom House for sale in Sandhurst, Sandton

Let the light in

The best time to take photographs is during the early morning or late afternoon, the sun is softer and more even during these times. Open shades or curtains to let in the natural light, if you need more light you can switch on lamps or overhead lights but be attentive to the shadows these lights cause.

Try a tripod

Investing in a tripod will instantly enhance your photographs - photographs will be sharper because the camera is more stable than it would be when held in your hand. If you use a tripod you can set the camera on a longer exposure shot, thus reducing the need for a flash or switching on extra lights. This will ensure that your photo is not over exposed and there will not be strange shadows in important places. 

4 Bedroom House for sale in Bishopscourt, Cape Town

Shoot from your knees

Getting down on your knees will mean that you will have a lower perspective. Shooting while standing up causes furniture legs to be cut out of the picture and also gives the ceiling a dominating role in the photo, making the room appear smaller than it really is.

Widen your angle

If you have to photograph a small space like a bathroom use a wide angle lense, your average zoom lens cuts out too much of the interior and once again makes the space look smaller than it really is. When using a wide angle lens keep your composition in mind and your end product will be worthy of a magazine spread.

4 Bedroom House for sale in Blair Atholl Golf Estate, Centurion

Determine your point of view

Normally every room has a focal point, try to capture that while keeping in mind the direction of the prevalent light source. Avoid shooting directly into the light, rather shoot in the same direction for an illuminating effect.
Know Your Aperture

The larger the Aperture (lower the number, i.e. f2) the more light will enter into the image, but the shallower the depth of field will be. When photographing interiors it is best to use an aperture of 5.6 or higher so that the entire image (foreground, middleground, background) is in focus.

Know Your Shutter

The slower the shutter speed (ie 1/30 of a second), the slower the aperture opens and closes, meaning the more light gets into your image. Slower shutter speeds are fabulous for bringing out warm ambient light but require a tripod. When shooting with flash, always use a slow shutter speed so the flash does not overpower the shot and flatten your image.

5 Bedroom House for sale Midstream Estate, Centurion

Expose Correctly

Blown out (overexposed) whites in windows are mostly fine as long as you have the proper exposure on what you consider to be the main subject. ISO is also your friend and should be increased as needed. Try to start at 200 and slowly increase, never going over 1000. Your ISO latitude will depend on your camera model. Higher end cameras are very forgiving; lower end, not so much.

Post Production

When shooting RAW you must take time to sharpen and add some black and contrast to your images. Color correction and composition can also be perfected at this step. Just be very mindful of not overdoing it - people are very aware of Photoshop and will know when you have overdone it.

Remember that you are trying to sell a property and you will need to showcase the property at its best, and adding borders, frames and weird filters won’t do anything for the listing. 

5 Bedroom House for sale in Bantry Bay, Cape Town

Shoot this, leave that

Each property is unique and there aren’t rules of what you should or shouldn’t take photographs of but there are a few things buyers would want to see and what not.

Do shoot:

- Exterior (back and front)
- Bedrooms
- Kitchen
- Living areas
- Bathrooms

Don’t shoot

- Fixtures and fittings that will not be included in the sale
- Inside closets
- Avoid including too many personal touches of the seller’s home

Keep in mind that you aren’t just selling a home but also a lifestyle - if the house has a beautiful lush garden, add a photo of this. Nothing ages a photo quicker than a timestamp, remove it while editing your photograph. 

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