Driving through neighborhoods and taking snapshots of houses is not a hobby enjoyed my many, but there are occasions for getting a good photograph of your home. This could be a house you’re trying to sell, or a prospective house that you would be interesting in buying. Compiled here for you are a few tips on how to make the house you’re shooting come across the best, in areas of size, lighting and atmosphere.
You might say this is obvious but I am always astonished at house photos with unkempt gardens and weeds poking out from between the paving slaps. If you spend ten minutes tops just having a sweep, mop and general tidy it will save you hours of plucking away with the Photoshop tool.
Pick an Angle
If you want to give your house extra added dimension and character, try shooting it at an angle different than straight-on. You should only really use a straight on shot if your house has a big front wall and you want to give it a desolate look. Real estate housing should be shot from an angle as you are trying to enhance the house’s dimensions. A wise choice for you may be to intentionally expose the house, as a stark look is created. Remember, your house looking pretty is not always the right answer.
Watch the Weather
If you’re saying this is obvious and of course it needs to be sunny. Then…… you’re wrong. Surprisingly the best weather for photographing a house is when the conditions are overcast. This is when the light is most even, giving you no nasty shadows to deal with.
Balance the Light
Try your best to make your house look cosy and inviting. To master this, you have to ensure that the balance of light from the house is equal to that of inside. So, the right time of day is essential. The best time is just as the sun is setting. Make sure you have all your lights blaring inside just as the light looks like it is fading out. This will give your house a lovely warm glow. But this gap in the day is a small one, make sure you have everything set up before, as you would hate to miss it and have to wait a full 24 hours.
Shoot in Raw
If your camera has RAW settings, this may be the perfect time to use them. This setting specialises in striking a balance between the contrast light from outside and the artificial lighting coming from the house.
As you are shooting at a time very close to when the sun goes down, it will be essential that you do not wait too long between shots as within 10 minutes your window of opportunity may have closed.
You should use the widest lens you possess to shoot your house. It will give the house greater dimension. But you have to keep the camera steady or the result will be all over the place.
High Dynamic Range photography
You will wow real estate agents if you shoot in the twilight with your HDR setting. Real estate agents seem to love bringing a beautiful sky into the photograph.
When there is a blue sky you should use a polarised filter, however, if the conditions are slightly more overcast you may want to try a gray filter instead as these will darken the effect of the sky on the shot.
If you want to create a nicer darkened sky and deepen your colours then try adjusting the exposure down by appx 1 stop and ramp up the flash 1 stop. But make sure you use a hotshoe flash as the pop up flash will distort your shot. It is perfect to use this technique with the “middle of the day” sun, as it dampens its harsh effects. By switching all of your interior and exterior lights on then you will create more drama in your photo.
Don’t always religiously follow guidelines. Photography is a way you can show off your creative side. So once in a while, break the rules and see what happens, you may be totally surprised by the results, in a good or bad way. There will be a few bad’uns but in general this will keep you producing fresh, exciting images. You could perhaps shoot with a longer focal length lens from a distance rather than an ultra-wide from up close. But one rule to not break is tilting the camera up as this will cause poor perspective. If your camera has a keystoning affect this can easily be altered in Photoshop, so don’t panic. But be careful not to remove it all as otherwise it will look odd. A little keystoning is what you should be after. If you wish to remove this problem before shooting, then place a grid in your line of sight so you can make sure your photo lines up. But the only way of altering it permanently is by eyeballing it. You will then become more accustomed to shooting better photographs.