The first time a buyer sees a house is usually in the listing photos. Good listing photos will stick in a buyer’s mind, increasing the chance they will want to see the real thing. It takes a lot to convince a buyer to take time out of their schedule to see a place based on a bad listing photo. Plus, a bad photo can make the realtor look less competent, depending on how bad they are.
Here are 6 ways to improve your listing photos:
- Buy A Quality Camera
Your phone camera does not compare to a real camera. If you want quality pictures, you’re going to have to use a quality camera. Simply put, the sensor in your phone, which captures light, is not as big as the one in a real camera. So, no matter how many megapixels it has, it won’t capture as much.
2. Add More Light
The whole point of a listing photo is to give buyers a chance to see what the property looks like, so you want to capture as much light as you can. As a rule, natural light always looks better in a picture than artificial light, so make sure to open the windows.
You can also capture some good outdoor pictures during what is known as the “magic hour” or “golden hour.” This is the first or last hour of sunlight when the light is softer and redder. Filmmakers often shoot during this time to get more romantic or emotionally heightened shots. Turn on all the lights in the house to make these pictures pop!
3. Use A Tripod
One way to make a photo brighter is by reducing blur. When you are taking a picture by hand, any slight shake will cause a blur, which will make the image look dull and dark. A tripod can also help you make a dark room look brighter by allowing you to take a clear picture with lower shutter speed.
4. Use Shutter Speed
You can make a room look much brighter by lowering the shutter speed on your camera, which increases the amount of time that light hits the sensor. However, be aware that any camera movements or movements in front of the camera will be amplified during this time (that’s why you need a tripod).
It is usually better to lower the shutter speed than to increase the ISO, which will add noise, or decrease the aperture, which will affect the depth of field.
5. Keep It Horizontal
The human eye is accustomed to horizontal (landscape) photos more than vertical (portrait) ones. Unless there is no other way to capture an image, you should always remember to keep the camera with the widest side parallel to the floor.
6. Use a Wide-Angle Lens
A wide-angle lens will capture more of a room in one shot than a normal lens. A lens wider than 50-35mm (the smaller the number, the wider the lens) will also keep the whole room in focus.
However, the wider you go, the more distorted the image will be. A really wide-angle lens, known as a fisheye lens, does not help a small space look bigger. In fact, a fisheye lens can make a room look so distorted that it becomes hard to judge the size of anything.
7. Hire a Professional
If you are having too much trouble getting the shot just right, hire a professional to come by. Then, follow them around as they take pictures and see if you can learn something about the way they shoot.
The only way you’re going to get the best listing photos is by understanding how the camera sees a space. You will probably have to play with it for a while until you start learning, but if you put in the effort, your pictures could end up being worth more than a thousand words.