Hello, What is the best way I can take great photos just starting off in real estate. Do you like photo apps best? Camera filters? Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Why do you need to take good pictures? Are you listing the properties? Or for rentals?
@Jj Smith I always did my own photos, but I've been a pretty serious photographer for over 50 years. That said, here are some of the things I do:
Use a good DSLR - full frame if possible. I'm shooting with a Canon 5D Mk III, but there are a lot of others that would work well.
Use a mid-range lens for exterior shots. Mine is a Canon 24-105mm L IS and I'm usually at ~100mm.
Use a wide angle for interior shots. Mine is a Canon 16-35mm L II. These are especially important for tight bathroom spaces where I'm almost always at 16mm. For bedrooms I'm 25mm - 35mm.
Shoot RAW, not JPG if your camera allows it. RAW gives you far more flexibility in editing. Things like recovering blown highlights or blocked shadows. If you try that in JPG, it not only won't work, but you'll create distortion.
Shoot in-camera HDR (high dynamic range). Other cameras work differently, but the 5D III will take 3 shots. +3 stops, normal, -3 stops. It combines them in camera, throwing out the over and under exposed parts. That's how you get the interior shots with windows that aren't all blown out. You can also do the same in post processing, but in-camera is easier.
Don't forget to use an image-stabilized lens where possible.
Shove your ISO sky high so you keep your shutter speeds up for interior shots. I normally shoot at ISO 2000 - 4000, which lets me hand-hold the camera. I'd never shoot with the ISO that high for any work that was for any sort of artistic purpose, but these are going on MLS, so you don't need to worry about the noise in that application. For wildlife, people, landscapes etc, I'm usually at ISO 200 - 640.
If you can't hand-hold without getting blurry shots, use a tripod. I have one handy for especially dark spaces, but they're cumbersome and I try to avoid them. BTW - many tripods let you retract the rubber feet to reveal a metal spike for use outdoors. Don't forget to use the rubber feet on your clients hardwood floors!
I avoid the use of flashes. They just create all sorts of shadows that you'll have to overcome with more flashes or deal with in post processing. Open the windows and turn on all the lights. That should give you enough light - especially with a high ISO.
As to composition, tell a story with your images. Start with the "establishment" shot - a wide shot showing the street view. Instead of straight on, move to the side about 45 degrees.
Next, show the entry way if there is one. If not, start with the kitchen. One shot from two opposite corners.
Next, living and dining rooms. Followed by baths then beds. All with the same opposite corners if possible.
If there are any unusual features, take a shot. Things like stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, etc.
Finally, the basement and mechanical spaces. Tight shots of the breaker panel, furnace, water heater and anything else you would want to see if you were the buyer.
That should get you started. Good luck!
Clearly Charlie has the expertise here, but I will emphasize the importance of a wide-angle lens for interior shots, especially tight bathrooms, etc. It does wonders compared to a mid-range that typically comes with a DSLR "kit" or an iphone
@Jj Smith , I agree with Charlie on most items.
Decent DSLR with good lens. I use Canon 6D Mark II, which is full frame, but an entry level will do just fine, but makes getting wider framing hard. Lens is Canon 17-40mm F4 L. Use a tripod. I prefer high aperture and long shutter speed.
You typically have about 1 hour either just as the sun is rising or setting to get best light. Overcast days are great for interior shots. I do NOT turn on interior lights as they are 99% of the time too warm (yellow). Flashes are a no-no, particularly if it is the top of camera flash. You can boost ISO, to a point.
Regarding RAW vs JPEG, JPEG will look better out of camera and for MLS/Zillow/Craigslist, the additional detail available in RAW is lost in compression to the sites anyways, plus there is more editing needed right of the top, and converting before uploading.
The goal with all photos is to grab attention. This is a balance of giving the viewers an idea of the space (wide) but also making sure you get attention by highlighting the interesting features that will make people want to schedule a showing.
Also, PLEASE CLEAN UP THE SPACE. Generally with decor, less is more and you want just enough furniture, items on shelves/walls to make it feel livable and not stark, but clutter detracts from the house overall.
Either what's recommended above, or you hire a pro - I pay about $120 for a full house photo shoot and I also do that for my rentals. Best money you can spend.
I own a DSLR and I have a love for photography, but I am not even getting close. A good wide angle lense is expensive and without it don't even try.
My new phone (latest top model Samsung) has actually an amzing wide angle mode and makes better interior shots than my full frame DSLR with a cheap wide angle lense