Take Better Property Photos With Tips From a Professional Photographer

Make sure your listing is worth the click with great photos of your property. Learn how from photographer Kevin Icabales.

The power of the photo is undeniable. In the visual age we live in, it is important for brands to understand the key role that good quality photography plays in marketing your product or service. A good photograph could spell the difference between actually being seen or being skipped–often it will determine whether your advertisement gets those coveted views and clicks, eventually leading to a successful sale.

This is definitely true for real estate. Because property-seekers look to the internet for their prospects, quality photographs of the property is a criterion for listings. Buyers refer not only to listings but to social media, where good photos are essential. Those seeking to sell properties should respond to this demand. It is said that properties with better quality photographs (not to mention, more photographs) sell faster and for significantly higher prices. Sellers should up their game when it comes to real estate photography if they want to remain competitive and secure leads. The question is—how?

We talk to real estate photographer, Kevin Icabales, who imparts ten great tips to improve your property photography.

Know the highlight of your property

Determine which part of the property is best to feature. Every property is different, and you should know beforehand what could set your property apart and try to highlight it in your photos. Are you particularly proud of the views from the bedroom window? A wide shot showcasing this would definitely add a wow factor to your listing.

Knowing the location is important

Location is a crucial feature for every property and it will help you determine how to frame your photo accordingly. For example, if you’re shooting a high-rise condo unit, it will be best to feature the entire length of the building, amid busy and buzzing streets. On the other hand, if you’re working with a property that’s more in tune with nature, it is best to feature its surrounding greenery.

Photo via Kevin Icabales (instagram.com/everythingbeautifulinitstime/)

Look for landmarks in the area

You must also note important landmarks in the area that could boost your property. Being in close proximity to landmarks such as schools, airports, malls, hospitals, or churches is always a plus.

Shoot in clear blue skies rather than gray skies

Shooting in clear blue skies will simply make your property look better. It will also give your listing a more cheerful, positive tone rather than a dull and sleepy vibe a gray background would give.

Always check the property before the shoot

Prepping the property before shooting is a must. You should take care to ensure that it looks its best before taking photos. For one, you should look for some areas that need paint jobs, just in case the place needs a retouch. You should also remove unnecessary objects and decors. Do note that overdecorating is a no-no—ultimately, you still want the property to shine through. Check on the fixtures such as all the lightbulbs and replace the ones that aren’t working. Hide electrical plugs and cables properly. While these are normal parts of the property, they could be unattractive elements in photographs. Also, iron all the sheets for a crisp, clean look.

Photo via Kevin Icabales (instagram.com/everythingbeautifulinitstime/)

Be mindful of the verticals in your photo

Verticals are a bit of an optical illusion—images with verticals done well trick the eye with height and line, often making the object appear in a more flattering light. It is also good for focusing the attention of the viewer, so it will definitely highlight particular features of your property.

According to Icabales, verticals will help ensure that the photo accurately represents reality, while also presenting professional-looking images that create an engaging experience. Skewed and distorted lines are not as attractive for real estate photos. Then, of course, it’s all about the visibility—Icabales states that vertically-corrected images get more clicks and views.

Make sure that everything is in focus

A blurry photo is never useful, especially for property-seekers who want to see details of a particular property. Make sure your photos are always sharp and spot-on. A wide-angle lens can help you achieve this.

Correct the white balance and exposure

Editing will ultimately get you more polished real estate photos. After you decide which photos represent the property best (and take lots of them), it is now a must to post-process them by correcting the white balance—as different settings will yield different light temperatures—and exposure. You could also make adjustments such as deepening the blacks and brightening up shadows.

Shoot with a reliable and sturdy tripod

A sturdy tripod can aid in achieving great photos especially when the camera is set at an ideal height. According to Icabales, shooting too high will yield lots of negative spaces, while shooting too low makes the objects appear smaller and tighter.

Photo via Kevin Icabales (instagram.com/everythingbeautifulinitstime/)

Find the best angle

Find the best angle and composition for your photos. It is really important to know how to best show off your property in its parts and as a whole. For example, a room would be best showcased from a doorway or corner so you can adequately present the scope of the entire room and give it perspective. Meanwhile, an exterior shot of a house is best executed from an angle rather instead of straightforwardly, to show that the property has depth and dimension.

With these tips, it will be a lot easier for you to determine the best way to make your property shine through in your photographs. Coupled with an effective listing, you’ll be on your way to locking in a sale in no time.

Kevin Icabales started his career as a wedding photographer and does street photography for his personal works. Eventually, he got a call to do real estate photography. He shoots for various hotels, condominiums, and housing properties. His works can be seen in billboards and magazines like Mabuhay and Smile.

Sources: Ris Media, Slr Lounge, HGTV

Read our previous journal for more tips and advice. 

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