Taking real estate pictures for beginners

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Taking real estate pictures for beginners


I was going to write a blog on staging ideas to sell your home, but I then realized we have multiple blogs on this topic:  Our first staging blog was written 3.5 years ago and still remains applicable with DIY Home Staging tips.  This blog gives you practical tips on how to sell your home over the weekend (yes this is possible, and staging is KEY).  This blog is 10 common mistakes sellers make in Bozeman (you can expect to see staging in there). And our last blog is titled "Does Home Staging Really Work?" (Based on how many blogs we write about the topic, you can probably assume the answer).

So I thought I would give you tips on the NEXT step after staging, photographing your home.  Usually your realtor will take pictures, or preferably hire a photographer (this can really make your home stand out), but if they don't, you may want to consider delivering high-quality pictures to them.  Why? This is the first thing people see when they are interested in your home.  Most people find their home online and then attend an open house or contact a realtor to show them the home.  This means your pictures better be spot on and inviting to draw in the perspective client.  Here are some tips on how to take quality photos:

1. close the toilet lid

This may seem like an odd tip to put as #1 but it is crucial and can so easily be overlooked when you are going around snapping a ton of photos.  No one wants to see what's in the bowl, so close the lid.  

2. use a tripod

This is a definite in real estate photography.  Tripods will allow you to take crisp photos in low light.  Explain: when you take pictures with long exposure (takes the shutter a long time to "click" because it is allowing a lot of light in) you NEED proper stability so your picture doesn't turn out blurry.  

3. use a wide angle lens

If you are a novice photographer, this may be a hard one to get, but you can always rent cameras and lenses and it may be worth it.  I'm not saying a fish-eye lens (these can make the home deceiving, which isn't your goal), but you want a lens that will zoom out far enough to capture the entire room, otherwise it will look much smaller than it really is. 

4. lighting

Make sure your lighting is good- turn ALL the lights on and choose a bright time of day.  This can make a world of difference in your photographs.  Nobody wants to enter a dark room, so light it up and if it is still dark, bring in some other lighting!  This will make the room look inviting and warmer and fill in the dark areas in the corners. 

5. Prepare the room

Ok I lied, I will talk about staging a bit.  This is so vital when taking your pictures.  People are thinking about this as THEIR future home, so get rid of things that scream YOU.  This includes the 29 photos of your mom, dad, great aunt, great great grandparents etc.  If there is clutter (clothes, your kid's homework) get rid of it (or put it to the side where it isn't in the picture).  Plump the cushions, make the bed, straighten the curtains, you get the idea.  

6. Get off auto (if you can)

If you know the basics of the camera, get off auto!  Keeping your ISO on 100 (or maybe 200) as default will usually set you up for good interiors and get rid of the graininess. Set the aperture to f/8, f/11, or f/16 and then change if needed.  This will create good focus and a wide enough depth-of-field so the WHOLE ROOM is in focus.  If it is looking too dark, you probably need more light so then you can choose a smaller f number. 

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