Saturday, November 16, 2013

What Defines Good Real Estate Photography

Why is it so necessary to have professional real estate photography? The main reason, "to draw potential buyers to your properties". This is the one and only reasons, all real estate agents and brokers should consider using a professional photographer on their listings. However, if you are good with a camera (mainly a DSLR and not a Point and Shoot or Cell Phone), then you can shoot your own photos of your listings. It is rare to find an agent or broker who can do this. Okay, now let's get to the guts of what defines good real estate photography. The first is lighting and the second is angle of view, which, by the way, was covered in one of my previous blogs.

Lighting & Exposure

Why is lighting so important. Simple, without proper lighting, you get windows which are "blown out" which look bright white and basically shadow the rest of the room. See the example below for "blown out windows".

This type of exposure & lighting is very poor. The white around the window detracts from the room. Also, this photo was taken with a cell phone or small point and shoot and no post production was used.. Notice the grain or pixelation. This type of photo is usually typical of the type most real estate agents and brokers take.

Here is how a room should look. This photo was professionally taken, with the proper exposure and "fill in light" to not only enhance the room but to offset the amount of light coming through the window.

This photo isn't bad, except again the exposure and lighting is wrong. Also, the photo is not in focus, which is another problem with real estate agents and brokers have. The person taking the photo should have used a flash or set aperture opening of the camera wider open to allow more light in the photo. This could also have been done in the editing/post production process in this photo. The lighting was not so bad that it couldn't have been changed in the post production process. Again, an exposure problem and the lack of knowledge in photography.

This is another example of a professional photograph, with proper lighting and exposure and has been edited for quality and clarity. Notice the difference in the brightness of the room and also the ability to "see through" the window at the far end of the room.

I cannot stress the importance of good photography. This is what brings your clients to you. Good photography gets the potential buyers to spend time looking at the rest of the photos you upload to HAR and gets them to give you an inquiry call, even if the photos make the home look better than it really is. In today's house buying public, potential buyers only visit homes where the photos, neighborhoods, and price catches their attention. Poor photography will cause the loss of many potential buyers to your listings, even if the neighboodhoods and prices are great. Remember, the money you spend on professional photography will be reimbursed to you in the final sale many times over and you'll probably sell quite a few more homes with professional photography, rather than your own cell phone cameras or point and shoots.

To learn more about the services of professional photography I offer, visit my website at

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Angle of View in Photography

Angle of View is the amount of a scene a photograph captures and can be measured vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Also known as angle of coverage or field of view, angle of view changes given the type of lens a photographer uses to take a picture. While wide-angle lens tend to capture more of a scene than any other lenses, longer lenses generally get about two degrees of a scene within their angle of view. The further away an image that a photographer is attempting to capture within their angle of view, the longer and more narrow the lens should be. For instance, a picture of the stars or far-off marine life would be taken with a longer, narrower lens than one that has an image with an angle of view that is twenty feet away. Similarly, if a photographer wants to include more or less light within an angle of view, they can use a petal or a hooded lens respectively. Whether you are a novice or expert photographer, changing the angle of view of a scene can add a fresh, unique spin to a traditional picture. Rather than shooting a photo straight on, as is the traditional method, a lowered or slanted angle of view may give your pictures an unconventional flare.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Are good photographs the key to selling your real estate property online?

You must have been familiar with the proverb “a picture's worth more than a thousand words”. Photos, when incorporated in websites or newspapers change the total worth of the news or the content as visitors or readers feel more interested in reading something when it is supported by an image. Similarly, if you have a website and you want to boost the sales of your company online, you should integrate some good photographs that are professionally presented. If things look shabby and unprofessional, not only will the buyers find the property to be unappealing, but also associate you and your company with unprofessionalism. According to a Realtor's Association survey, it has been revealed that when it comes to the online features that most visitors consider, 85% of them cited pictures or images, 80% cited a Will you go for article exchange ?detailed representation of the real estate property and 55% cited virtual tours. As the real estate buyers begin to search and narrow down their search, the key enticing element is certainly real estate photographs. The listings that you have in your website might have to be visually enticing and also of superior quality. The size of the photo that is being used in your real estate website is very important. The shots should be large to display the details of the room easily be visible. On the other hand, while it should show the intricate details of the room, it must also be small enough so that it gets loaded within few seconds. It is often seen that online visitors waver away from the websites that have a high loading time. The internet users are usually accustomed with pictures getting clear within seconds and if your real estate website is not able to do that, you may lose traffic very soon. The second factor that you need to keep in mind is to maintain professionalism as much as possible when you put photographs on your real estate website. There are many good digital cameras that can perform this job well. You must invest your dollars in getting yourself a good digital camera and use the camera with wide angle lens. Get a hot shoe attachment as this will work best while shooting the pictures of your real estate photo. Now that you have the best camera to take your real estate photograph, you have to determine the purpose of adding the photo. Sometimes, staging rooms with the best things can often be helpful to grab the attention of the highest number of eyeballs but you must take care that you do not focus all attention to the furniture or the decoration of the house. Focus more on the architecture, design and space of the room. Remember that the front exterior shot is the most important featured image of your real estate website. Make sure that the exterior shot is strong enough so that it communicates in a better way to the online visitors and gives them a clear idea of what they're going to purchase. Therefore, real estate photography is of utmost importance if you have a website that caters to the needs of the prospective homebuyers. Follow the tips mentioned above so that you can grab the awareness of most online visitors and thereby boost profit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quality photos make all the difference in marketing your home Proper lighting makes all the difference in photographing rooms in a house that's for sale. (VHT photo / July 26, 2012) Mary Umberger On Real Estate 3:43 p.m. CDT, July 26, 2012 Companies that sell products tend to be meticulous about the photography of the merchandise they're advertising — the pictures are almost always crisp, detailed and attractive. So why is real estate photography so bad? If you've surfed online for houses, you know what I'm talking about — the offending photos are so dimly lit you can't tell how big the family room is. Or toys and family clutter are all over the place. Couldn't they even bother to take the dirty dishes out of the sink before they photographed the kitchen? MARY UMBERGER Bio | E-mail | Recent columns RELATED Open houses this weekend Ads by Google Looking To Buy A Home? We Have A Network Of Top Agents Waiting To Serve You! Fast & Easy Used Office Trailers & Portable office buildings Save money with refurbished. Brian Balduf runs a company that provides photography services to real estate brokerages, and he has seen it all. He said the quality of real estate photographs didn't used to matter much, but the growth of online real estate marketing and the advent of the iPad and photo-sharing sites has changed that. Balduf, chairman of Chicago-based VHT Inc., explained how it's crucial these days that photographs of your house must really sell it: Q: I suppose it's easy to blame the real estate agents for poor real estate pictures — after all, they're agents, not photographers. But why are so many of the photos so bad? A: Agents, in the past, just marketed homes to other agents (by generally only placing photos on their multiple listing service). They weren't marketing to consumers. Then the Internet came along, and (the photo quality) still didn't matter a lot. Until the iPads and tablet displays became really popular recently, all real estate photos on the Internet originated from the MLS, and the images just weren't very detailed. But as soon as you started presenting them full screen on iPads or people were able to look at them on 50-inch, flat-panel television screens, consumers started realizing, gee, these photos are bad. It's interesting, because consumers aren't used to seeing bad (marketing) photos. Every other product, even if it's a $2 bucket atWal-Mart, is going to have a good photograph. And the photos are going to be critical for grabbing the attention of the people who are cruising through houses on the Net — if you didn't get them with that first impression, you may never get that buyer back. Q: If you're listing a home for sale, what should you ask an agent about photography? A: First, ask to see samples (of photos of previous listings), just like with any other service provider. And ask for photos (of current listings) that are being used to market the houses you're competing with. If you're selling a three-bedroom, two-bath, ask to see the photos of other three-bedroom, two-baths nearby. You're starting to see more progressive real estate firms saying this is important, and they're having their listings professionally photographed. But it varies a lot, regionally, and the number of professionally shot houses is small, maybe 10 to 20 percent of the market. Chicago is fairly good about using professional photography. It's starting to pick up more on the coasts. On the West Coast, you probably see the most professional photography in San Diego. In Florida, you're seeing it more, and you'll see more aerial photography there — that is, they might shoot a house from a crane or boom because buyers want to see what's behind the house — a waterway, a pond, the Everglades. Q: What goes into good real estate photography? A: It's harder than most people realize. Room photography is lighting, lighting, lighting. And when you photograph a home, you may be dealing with every kind of lighting — exterior lighting, incandescent, fluorescent — so without controlled lighting, every room is going to come out different. You may see a lot of bluish bathrooms and kitchens. Outside, you want to time the photograph to control for weird shadows; you also want to get rid of parked cars or garbage cans in the driveway. And it takes a real camera. Technology is making it easier to shoot bad photos — camera phones don't have enough flash or depth of field (for rooms). Your drunk friend at a Cubs game, a camera phone is great for that. But if you have a room that's deep, you want to be able to see it. A room needs to be shot on a tripod — it's a must, because the shots have to be level. It can be a gorgeous home, but if the photos are dark or crooked or pixilated, you have either helped the buyer pass your home up or they'll place less value on it. Q: What if you have a very simple, ordinary, unadorned home? It may be a great place to live, but what if there's nothing in it that would look particularly "gorgeous," by room photography standards? A: If you don't have anything that's unique about your property, then you want to make it look as good as possible. Good, clear photography of a neat, clean home may be your one competitive advantage if you're on the market and competing against 20 similar starter homes. You may be able to make it sell before the guy who has the same house across the street.