First impressions are everything, and in the digital age that we live in, you only have a few seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. This is why taking great real estate photos is so crucial. Investing in a nice camera will certainly aid you in capturing better photos, however in this article we’re going to focus on three of the best tips that will help you take better real estate listing photos - even if you only own an iPhone. Let’s get started.
1. Follow the Rule of Thirds
Quite possibly the most essential tool for a beginner photographer, the Rule of Thirds is a guideline which encourages the capturer to imagine their composition in nine equal parts, separated by two sets of equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines.
In the image above, you’ll notice a certain flow that carries your eye from one side of the picture to the other. This is due to the fact that there’s a point of interest positioned at each of the line intersections; and the photo is balanced since its key elements each occupy the composition equally. The bookshelf along the left grid column balances out the hanging plant and desk chair in the right column, and the airiness of the top row counters the business of the bottom row as the centered couch anchors the photo. While master photographers can break the rules as they please, for the rest of us, it’s generally a good idea to follow the Rule of Thirds as a guideline. Don’t be afraid to crop your photos to obtain better results!
2. Light Your Subject Well
People want to imagine themselves living in the property that you're photographing, and no one wants to live in a dungeon. Open the curtains in each room and, if possible, photograph the home on a sunny day. You’d be surprised what a difference natural sunlight will bring to both your interior and exterior listing photos. This tip will also help you avoid making the property look overly sterile since the natural sunlight will provide a warmer characteric to your listings. A word of caution: do not overly expose your photos. For quick shots, you can certainly use your camera's automic features, but for the more significant shots - such as the outdoor feature image - I'd recommend investing in a cheap iOS or Android photography companion app such as PhotoBuddy on the iTunes App Store, which will help you perfect the exposure and depth of field of the image.
3. Bump Up the Contrast and Saturation of Your Photos
A balanced, well-lit photo will certainly increase the amount of eyes on your page, however a slight increase of color contrast and saturation can really make your real estate listings pop off the screen.
Mobile apps like Mextures, Afterlight, or even Instagram can work well for adjusting pictures on the fly. If you're at home on a laptop or desktop, there are several free photo editing tools online such as Pixlr and Fotor. You'd be surprised how many real estate agents don't edit their photos, and enhancing the color of your photos is a fantastic way to set yourself apart. At the end of the day though, remember the most important aspect you can bring to your photos is honesty. Viewers on social media channels like Instagram have become pretty accustomed to spotting disingenuous posts - so don't try to present the property as something it's not.
If you're reading this blog post and are interested in learning even more tactics for selling homes, then check out our continuing education course, "74 Ways to Sell Your Listings in Today's Market," which is available to purchase for $24.00 by agents in the state of Colorado and Oklahoma. If you're not the either of those states, we have plenty of other real estate licensing, continuing education, and GRI designation courses.