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.