Doing Real Estate photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by footballfan993, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. footballfan993

    footballfan993 TPF Noob!

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    So I'm currently looking at houses, because I want to buy one, even though I can't afford it, but I still like looking at them.

    I regularly look at the site Zillow, I've noticed that a lot of the houses in my area don't have the best of pictures. If you'd like to look click here: 54481 Real Estate - 134 Homes For Sale | Zillow

    My coworker, thinks that it would be a great idea to lend my time as a photographer to take pictures of the houses that are for sale. I am interested in doing this, but I did just recently get into photography, and don't have that much experience, and I don't have any in real estate. I do suppose I could practice on my own house, as well as my parent's house.

    What kind of things does it take to get good at real estate photography, should I use additional artificial lighting, or stick to natural lighting, and the artificial lighting that comes with the house, like ceiling lights, etc (which would show the lighting capabilities of the house)

    What are some good lenses to use? I have a Canon Rebel T5, a 43" 5-in-1 reflector, that comes in the colors White, Gold, Black, Silver, and Translucent, and I have a Manfrotto tripod. As for lenses I have a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, a EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, and a EF 50mm f/1.8 II Standard Lens


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The main problem with real estate photography these days is getting someone to pay for it. Most agents are happy with cell-phone snaps they take themselves, unfortunately. If you can get someone to pay for it, you'll be lucky to get $150 for a session. That aside, it's not terribly difficult and it can be done with ambient light only, 'though not as effectively as with supplemental lighting IMO.

    I would suggest using HDR to allow for varying exposure situations (lights, windows, televisions, etc). The part that's often overlooked is the preparation. Making sure the room is clean, tidy, and clutter-free.
     
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  3. footballfan993

    footballfan993 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I'm not really looking for much money out of doing this, I'd be content getting $25-$50 out of a session. I just thought that it'd be something cool to do and practice, and a way to get a few extra bucks here and there.
     
  4. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You wont be lending it you will be giving it away free.

    $20-$50 For the time and work needed to make good photos it wont even cover the time you spend. Keep in mind travel and post processing time in addition to the time actually spent shooting.

    Unless its a high end piece of real estate all the agent really care is if the photos are "good enough" and honestly call phone photos probably are in most cases. If the images spark enough interest in to actually view the place then they are going to be good enough.

    If you want to do quality real estate photography partner with an architect. They want quality photos to show to potential clients etc.
     
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  5. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't get the wrong idea, you are getting the truth about the current state of real estate photography. Most house sales have a slim profit margin for the agent and they can make it better by just taking snapshots with their cellphones instead of paying for photos by a pro.
    High dollar estates have enough margin for photos but the competition is fierce and the people doing it have the equipment and experience to get good shots.
    Nothing wrong with doing some for the experience and if you can cover some of the expense with a 20 or 30$ fee why not. You can do an acceptable job with your DSLR and a little photo stacking to get the windows and the inside both looking good.
     
  6. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    right, not much money - you will need flashes, remote trigger and a wide angle lens
     
  7. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not true. You don't need flashes. You need good ambient lighting coming in Windows, and all lights turned on. Then adjust in post processing.

    I just listed my own house and was going to have a real estate photographer take the pics. The photographer wasn't going to be available soon enough, so I opted to take them myself so I could get my house on the market sooner. I was skeptical about this at first because I want the best for my own listing.
    Turns out I did a pretty damn good job! Probably just as good as the actual "real estate photographer". I don't know what her talent would have produced, but I guess it doesn't matter, my house sold in 3 days.

    My advice, walk into a real estate brokers office and give out a business card. I bet you'll get at least one to bite.
     
  8. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Another issue with real estate photography is staging. I have to add that when taking my own photos, I had to re-take a couple shots because of staging issues. You're not going to stage somebody else's house, and you also don't know what features the seller might want to accentuate. I knew exactly what I wanted people to see about my own house. That might not be the same should I take photos in some other house.

    6-shot panorama. Olympus 12mm.
    image.jpeg
     
  9. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As Tirediron noted in his post, HDR software is pretty much the standard for good real estate photography. You'll need a wide angle lens and a tripod in addition to the HDR software.

    Look, if you want to take pictures of houses, just do it. Trying to work with real estate agents is likely just going to complicate things--you'll spend more time talking to them to get in the door or coordinating time for you to gain access when the house will be vacant then you will shooting.
     
  10. Ihatemymoney

    Ihatemymoney No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lenses for real estate ..... out of a dozen lenses that I own the list of lenses below would be my first line up of lenses to do real estate photography.


    TSE 17mm f4 L
    TSE 24mm mk I or mk II
    I might take one or two photos with a 8 mm fish eye depending on the home and the view.

    I would think that most lenses 35mm or below would work.
    I own a EF-S 10-22 mm for my t3i and hands down I would use either of my TSE lenses first on either camera bodies I own T3i and a 5Dmk II.
     
  11. minicoop1985

    minicoop1985 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I feel like your most important equipment will be a good wide angle lens, good editing software, and a camera body with some impressive dynamic range. That being said, if you don't have a great camera body, you'll still do better than most agents can by themselves with their iPhone.
     
  12. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I do room interiors with a 22/f2 lens

    it's all about image quality .... with a $50 lens !

    [​IMG]room by c w, on Flickr
     

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