I had the opportunity to photograph a friend’s house that he’s renting out a while ago. Since I normally shoots scenery and portraits, real estate photography was a completely new realm for me and I had to do some quick research to prepare myself. Sites like Improve Photography and Digital Photography School offer some very useful tips that even people with little experience photography could follow.
Because most of the photos would be taken indoor in confined space, a wide-angle lens is a must. External flash units would also be useful in case the property has poor lighting, and another potentially useful gadget is the tripod for extended exposure time. Below are the gears I used during the shoot:
Before the shoot, I took a few minutes to determined what I need to do. I needed to create the impression (or the illusion) that the property is spacious, clean, and has abundant natural light to attract potential buyers. To achieve that, I chose to shoot during mid-day and roll up all the blinds to let in as much light as possible, then use fill-flash to light up the rooms from opposite angles. I avoided turning on lights that are within the frame because the glare may be distracting to viewers and change the atmosphere to something completely different from what I have in mind.
The living room and family room are the most spacious in a house, and that’s where I started. The living room has a glass sliding door that leads to the front yard so I positioned my camera as far back in the living room as possible, and took the shot facing the sliding door. This connects the outdoor space with the indoor space, creating a flow from one space to the other that makes the whole area appear spacious. The same goes for the dining room/kitchen and the garage since they, too, have large opening that lead to an outside.
Bedrooms, on the other hand, do not have large sliding doors that leads outside, so I incorporated the windows instead to connect the bedrooms with the outdoor space.
If there’s one thing I could have done differently, it’s to stage the house with furniture. Incorporating furniture into your photos not only makes them more vivid and colorful, but also allow the house to have a character of its own. Moreover, having furniture in the house helps viewers envision a life inside this house so they are more likely to find it attractive.