9 Little Known Real Estate Photography Tips For Realtors

Here are some ideas that you may or may not have considered. There are several categories that are addressed. Follow my series of articles for more great tips and Happy Photography!

Equipment – What Kind of Camera Should I Use?

TIP 1 – Many point-and-shoot cameras have a lot of the features found in more expensive digital SLR cameras. Unless you’re a “gearhead”, try using what you already own rather than spending a lot on a new camera. You may find that it works perfectly well for what you need. I would not, however, suggest using your cell phone’s camera. There are too many limitations. Ideally, you want to have control over some of the functions such as using a tripod, adding an external flash or adjustments such as: shooting mode, aperture (F-stop), shutter speed and white balance. There is not enough room in this article to go into depth on any of those topics, but you can easily find more information with a web search.

Camera Settings – What Photo Size Should My Camera be Set at?

TIP 2 – Quality – shoot in JPG mode rather than RAW or other settings. The JPG photos will be of a much more manageable size and unless you want to learn a lot about photo editing tools, like Photoshop, your photo editing requirements should be minimal.

TIP 3 – Photo Size & Resolution – Small photos cannot be enlarged without a noticeable loss of quality. Better to set your camera to the highest resolution and largest size photos it can handle (without using RAW). Photos used for print ads or flyers should be shot at 300 dpi (dots per inch). If you don’t know how to determine what the resolution is of your photo, here’s how… On a Windows OS, right-mouse-click over a photo that you have taken, click on Properties, then click the “Details” tab and scroll down to Horizontal and Vertical Resolution.

Preparation – What Can be Done to Get Ready for a Photo Shoot?

TIP 4 – Remove Clutter. This should not be a secret to any agent. It’s very much like preparing for an open house. Treat it as if there will be 1,000 people walking through the home and you want it to look its best. Clear away anything that doesn’t add to the charm of the home. Clean the windows. Use the garage for storage or a secondary bedroom if no other storage area is available. Clean up any clutter in the yard and porches. Mow and trim. Hide any pet dishes, beds, scratching posts, etc.

TIP 5 – Make Certain the Lighting Works. Very Important! Check every light fixture both inside and outside the home. Replace any burned out bulbs. Make sure curtains, shades and blinds all work and can be easily adjusted for the photo shoot.

The Photo Shoot – How Should I Position the Camera?

TIP 6 – Set your camera at a height about a foot above table-top. This is fine for most indoor areas. Raise it a little higher (6″ more) in the kitchen to account for counter height. Also, use the higher position in rooms with vaulted ceilings.You are trying to show some of the ceiling, but not allow it to be the most prominent part of the photo. For outdoor shots, standing, eye-level height is suggested.

TIP 7 – Regarding camera tilt… keep the camera plumb and level so it is not pointing up or down as this causes perspective distortion (wide at the top, narrow at the bottom, or the reverse).

Other Tips – What are Some Things to Watch Out For?

TIP 8 – Don’t take a photo with large objects that are very close to your camera. A dining room table, kitchen counter, sofa or bed may end up using a large part of the photo image and make the room size appear to be very small. A wide-angle lens will make this even more pronounced. Step to the side of these objects.

TIP 9 – Watch out for mirrors! Stay out of them and keep your flash out of them. In a bathroom, shoot from an angle that doesn’t show you in the mirror or drop down below the mirror line and take a lower shot.

Keep in mind that taking high-quality real estate photos is an art unto itself. It is not the kind of thing that even an experienced wedding photographer can easily step into and do a good job of without specific training. It involves a different set of techniques.

Learn Digital Photography – 5 Pro Tips For Photographing Children

So what do the pro child photographers have that everyone else doesn’t? Better equipment? Yes. Better training? Yes. More creativity? Maybe. Combine these elements and you’ll have fantastic children’s photos? Yes, true as well. But how do they do it and do I need all of the above to do the same? The answer is no. They use simple steps all the time to take great photos of children.

Many people think that it takes a degree, diploma or thirty years of experience to shoot fantastic shots of children. True, those things are contributing factors but really it’s years of dedication and learning a few basic principles that makes it work all the time. And, this is the reason we pay pros to shoot our children. And it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some simple steps that will help you photograph children like the pros.

1. Allow them to be themselves

Where we learnt that all photos need to be taken with everyone in a row looking at the camera, like in a driver’s licence photo, I don’t know. Allow the children to be children, within reason of course. Let them do the things they usually do like play, read or work. As soon as you take them outside their comfort zone they become suspicious, fearful and on edge. Make them comfortable and 50% of the battle for great photos has been won. A familiar environment is more conducive to great images than a portrait studio with lights and equipment. Natural is natural.

2. Great interaction for great photos

Interaction with children is paramount to smiles and comfort. When you interact with someone they focus on you and not the camera and other equipment. Get the children to make fun of you and take the attention off them. When they feel more in control of the situation they become relaxed and happier. Happy children make happy photos.

3. Never say cheese

Saying cheese makes cheesy photos and we can also see this in photos. Who coined this phrase I don’t know. Children don’t have to smile to make a great photo. A happy child doesn’t mean a smiling child. When a natural smile does come out in a photo shoot it makes a fantastic image. It’s like the sun breaking through the clouds. Although, a serious look on a child can make an outstanding portrait shot.

4. Let them have fun

Above all let the children have fun. Kids who are enjoying themselves make better subjects and better images can be created. Sometimes a little leeway allowing them to do things they are not usually allowed to do adds to the fun of the occasion. And coupled to this let them decide when the shoot is over and should continue on another day. When the fun stops the setting for good photos is also over. Don’t push the children past their limits. You’ll ruin any opportunity for future fun filled photo shoots.

5. Use props

Props can be a useful addition to a shoot and actually put a young child at ease. Their favourite toy or book makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. But, don’t let it distract the viewer or the child. A prop that dominates or competes for attention with the subject is a big no. Linked to this point is the fun element. If the prop adds to the fun it helps build the shoot to a point of great images.

The pros are not miracle workers nor do they have anything special that is not available to you. They just know how to use their tips, tricks and secrets and when to apply their photo knowledge gained from years of experience. It all boils down to practise, practise, practise. The more you shoot and experiment with your ideas the quicker you will become more natural at it. Always keep an open mind and be prepared to learn as you go along. Happy shooting!

Photography Tips

Have you ever seen great pictures that people in your family have taken and wondered how they got that good of an image? Have you ever looked at your pictures and been completely unsatisfied? After reading this article, you will be better equipped to leap into the world of digital photography. Develop or have a desire to learn the art of digital photography, Whether you just want to learn something new, take better pictures of your kids, get more interesting photographs, or get a new hobby, you must have a desire to learn. Anything that can take a digital picture can be used for digital photography: a cell phone camera, a $20 mini camera from Walmart, a simple point and shoot, or an advanced DSLR. It doesn’t matter what you use to get the shot, you can get good pictures with anything. There is a plethora of information about photography on the internet. Search for articles on the basics of photography, such as exposure, rule of thirds, and light. The more you learn, the better at photography you will become. Never stop searching for new information. The two major programs are Adobe Photoshop and GIMP. These can be extremely complicated, technical, and hard to use, but once you master the basics you will be very happy that you took the time to learn. For beginning photographers, GIMP is perfect because it is completely free. It is similar to Photoshop, but a little bit less daunting and much less expensive. Start by reading a few articles on how to use GIMP, then spend time experimenting with your own images. These will help you learn new techniques, see professional work, etc. Some good ones include: Chase Jarvis Photography, D-Town TV, Photography 101, The Art of Adventure Photography, and The Art of Photography. Take lots of pictures. Unlike film photography, the cost of taking 10 images and the cost of taking 100 is the same. If you see something you like, take pictures of it. If you see something interesting but don’t think you can get a good shot, take pictures of it. You may be surprised with what you get.

Get your friends into photography. They can point out new and interesting pictures to take, and it’s always more fun when you are taking pictures in a group.

Don’t get discouraged. If someone leaves you a negative comment on one of your images, realize that it is only an opinion. The only opinion that matters is yours. If you like your pictures, then you succeeded.

Pictures are all around you. If you run out of things to photograph, go out into your backyard. If you start looking for pictures to take in familiar environments, they will show up like magic. Look for contrasts, Look for something that stands out from the rest of the shot. In your composition, use the wide end of your zoom (or a wide-angle lens) and get closer and make it so. Look for contrasts of all the things above: colour amid dullness, light among darkness, and so on. If you’re photographing people, try putting (or finding) your subject in a context in which they stand out. Look for happiness in unexpected places. Look for a person in a surrounding in which they appear out-of-place. Or ignore this and take them completely away from their context by opening your lens all the way to blur the background. Look for anything that will hold a viewer’s interest which isn’t a traditional “subject”. As you find your niche, you’ll probably find that you end up going back to taking photographs of subjects again. This is fine. Looking for things which aren’t subjects will improve your photography no end-you’ll soon see a different world altogether. Don’t look at images full size. Ken points out that the most important parts of an image are those that can be seen when the picture is seen at thumbnail size. There are people out there who will pick at flaws they can only see in 100% crops of your photos. That’s okay, because they aren’t really worth listening to. Feel free to pass over anything that doesn’t look great when it takes up a quarter of your screen (or less).