Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography (#1)

Part 1: Gears and Equipment

Real Estate Photography is never easy to capture. Not only it requires knowledge or experience, but also a complete preparation of needed equipment. In this article, we will take a swift look at what gears should be provided, and how wisely should you use it to create a perfect shot.

Camera lenses

Camera lenses play a decisive role in giving viewers a sense of the property’s space, so you need to pay great attention before investing any equipment for your camera.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Lens always plays a big part of your photography career | Source: Devin Avery (Unsplash)

These days, a lot of photographers prefer choosing wide-angle lenses with short focal lengths (less than 15mm), to easily cover the details of the house. Of course, wide-angle shots are very impressive – this is especially favored by many Real Estate Agents. But be careful, since overdoing them can bring some opposite effects.

Wide-angle lenses tend to converge vertical lines in the house – for example, the edges of walls or doors. They can cause distortion like a fish-eye lens. This effect can make viewers feel tired and found difficult to estimate sizes in the property. Just in case you made that mistake already? We at Revina are able to fix that with our Photo Editing Service, fortunately.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Wide angle effect can be impressive, but try not to overdo it | Source: Skitter Photo (Pexels)

On the other hand, when your focal length is too long (> 30mm), it can also create narrow scenes – this is extremely prohibited in Real Estate Photography.

As a result, the best focal length for indoor shots should be about 24mm. So the ideal option for you will be the type of lens which has a flexible focal length in the range of 16-35mm, or 17-40mm. Consider choosing a tilt-shift lens if you can: Not only they can give you a realistic view, but they can also help you bypass any unnecessary details in the photo – like the boring plain ceiling or ventilation fan.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Best focal length for Real Estate Photography should be 24mm | Source: William Bayreuther (Unsplash)

Some great picks you might want to look at:

– Canon Tilt-Shift 24mm F3.5 II
– AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
– Tokina 16-28mm 2.8
– Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Tripod

Whatever type of shots you are going to make, we suggest you that use a tripod to create stabilization in the picture. Make sure to carry your camera to the store, and try it manually with the tripod you are planning to buy. This tripod has to be larger than your camera and has the ability to hold it steady. Don’t forget to check the sizes of thread holes on both your camera and tripod, so you can mount your camera easily.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography
A tripod comes handy for image stabilizing | Source: ShareGrid (Unsplash)

An ideal tripod must let you adjust the height and set the angles with no effort (so you don’t have to bend your knee to look at the screen). It should also include a detached remote to take photos, once again avoid the shakiness that may happen when clicking the button physically.

Tripod head is also a crucial factor. Depends on the camera, the things you shoot and the budget you have, you can choose the suitable types of tripod head. Normally there are Gimbal head, pan-tilt head, and ball head.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Choosing an afforable tripod head to improve your work | Source: BENCE BOROS (Unsplash)

Gimbal head is the most ideal choice for Real Estate Photography since it can secure any heavy camera, while pan-tilt head is the cheapest one. Whatever your choice is, investing on a flexible tripod head is never wrong.

Last but not least, remember that you are working in a dynamic industry. Everything in your gear collection must be lightweight and can be put into the back of your car. Your tripod also.

Some great picks you might want to look at:

– Rangers 55”
– Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod
– ManfrottoMKBFRA4-BH BeFree

Polarizing Filter

Do you need a polarizing filter in Real Estate Photography? Yes, you do. Especially if you want to take exterior and outdoor shots.

But… what is polarizing filter anyway?

Basically, it is a layer of two circular specialize glasses that can be rotated and adjust the intensity of polarization. Polarizing filter is one of the most crucial instruments in outdoor photography since it can make the sky bluer and eliminate reflections on any shiny surfaces like cars, floors or windows.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography
Polarizing filter can remove any reflection in exterior photos | Source: Kitchendecor Club

Why is removing reflections so important? Because every time your photo records reflections, the camera sensor cannot capture any information underneath, so there is no way to edit or fix that afterward.

To use it, you only have to put the polarizing filter in front of your lens. Then rotate and adjust the right amount of polarization you want in your images. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and turn your beautiful, blue sky into black!

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Before and After using Polarizing filter comparison | Source: Seriously Photography

Furthermore, let’s make sure you have taken note of the diameter of your lens before making a purchase as there is a large variety of lens sizes. And keep in mind that polarizers are not something that can be cheap. You get what you pay for.

Some great picks you might want to look at:

– Hoya PRO1 Digital Circular PL
– B+W XS-Pro Digital MRC Nano KSM

Drone

Not only camera drone is compelling to Real Estate Videography, but it is also the most powerful weapon for Real Estate Marketing ever since the breakthrough of the Internet. With drones’ support, you can create more dramatic images/footages easily. These features add a big thumbs up to property listings that hooks viewers’ attention immediately. And when your agent loves it, you love it.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography
Who doesn’t love dramatic views? | Source: Max Böttinger (Unsplash)

Besides, camera drones are highly convenient. They can help you access to areas that might be difficult to walk in physically. And not to mention that they are an affordable investment (comparing to taking pictures with a helicopter!).

The average price for a drone real estate photography is ranging from $500 to $700, for a 2-minute video. Choosing the perfect drone can be challenging since it has to meet a lot of requirements. If you are just a beginner, make sure to head for brands like DJI that have a simple, friendly interface so you don’t have to struggle with how to use it. It should also have a good built-in image stabilizer and the ability to rotate 360.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
Make sure your drone meets all of the requirements | Source: Diana Măceşanu (Unsplash)

If possible, you should have two types of drones for Real Estate Photography – one with a 4K camera to get high-quality images from the outside, and a smaller the second one, with the ability to install the camera on it.

Some useful tips for you when using a drone for Real Estate Photography/Videography (you can read more here):

– Shoot long, steady shots. A drone with a gimbal will be needed because it will keep the camera steady.
– Follow the 10-second rule: whenever you are done shooting the video, don’t stop filming right away. Instead, count slowly to 10 and then hit the stop button.
– Play it safe, by filming the same footage for a couple of times, in case of technical problems and other reasons.
– Use the wind. Allowing the drone to move naturally instead of against the air current can improve the quality of the footage.

Strongly recommendations for drones in Real Estate:

– DJI Phantom 4 Professional
– GoPro Karma with HERO5 Black
– Yuneec Typhoon H

P/s: If you are working in the United States, be sure to get a commercial license issued by the FAA.

Magnetic Level Balance / Bubble Level

Along with tripods, bubble levers can be a big help for Real Estate Photographer. Regardless of how you frame your shots, a bubble level attached to your camera can really help straighten things out.

Starter Guide for achieving success in Real Estate Photography | Revina.CO
A bubble level is tiny but mighty | Source: Nick Collins (Pexels)

At various online retailers, you can buy bubble levels designed specifically for cameras. The price can range from US $3 to even $30. You can slide them into a spare hot shoe, or more professional, buy a tripod that already had built-in bubble levels on it.

If your camera doesn’t have a hot shoe, looking for a level which has a flat bottom and set it on top of your camera. As long as the level rests flush against the camera’s surface, you can start your job immediately.

How to use a bubble level:
– Mount your camera on a tripod and attach the level.
– Adjust the tripod until the bubble is centered.

Getting confused? Stop worrying about image straightening, color enhancing or any other problems by using our Photo Editing Service today – now available with a great offer!

Alexis Tran

About Alexis Tran

Alexis Tran is currently working as a Digital Marketing Executive at Revina. She loves writing, reading books and hopes to use her words to create magic.