Photographs capturing exterior and interior images are essential when selling your home or choosing a new property to buy. Buyers will see these photographs before they visit a property that is for sale. This is especially true for now when all real estate agencies and agents have websites that display the properties in their portfolios. Additionally, there are a number of places to list your property for sale that are exclusively online.
You do not need to be a professional photographer to create good photos for real estate. If you sell your home, we will give you the Top 7 tips and secrets that professional photographers use in their editing. We will help you turn your real estate photographs into beautiful, life-like images.
How does real estate photography differ from other forms of photography?
Real estate photography differs from many other types of capturing images. Often, wide-angle lenses are employed by the photographer, which is not the case in architectural photography. Also, when capturing a correct angle, any issues arising focus of the image. The entire room must be in sharp focus in real estate photography and shown in the best light possible. There is no single object that becomes a focal point.
7 photo editing tips for real estate photographers
Using tools such as Photoshop and Lightroom, you can create outstanding interior and exterior real estate photos that really pop from the screen. Here are our 7 top secrets that we will share with you:
1. Colour correcting – This tip is possibly the easiest to use when editing images. It is also the most common to overlook. Almost all image editing apps include a colour correction function. Adjust the hue to make all your images warm and appealing, just as they are in real life. You can change the levels of the saturation, the hue, and the tint. Bring your pictures back to life by making small adjustments at first and see which settings work best for your image. Colour correction can really help to make your photos pop with colour. This can be performed in both Photoshop and Lightroom, although the latter may be easier – just use the ‘eyedropper’ function and click on a neutral space in your photo.
2. Keep the lines straight – If all the structural lines in your photo are not perfectly straight, it will detract from the symmetrical beauty that a potential house-buyer expects. Just in case you have already taken photos of your home, and some of the lines within the images are not 100% vertical, you can use a function such as the ‘Free Transform tool in Photoshop to straighten them. Select your entire image, then drag the cursor point opposite to the way your lines are leaning, and they will straighten. You will need straight lines to be consistent across all images, both interior and exterior. This will make your home appear more uniform and in proportion, as it is in real life.
3. Light balance – Many poor real estate images are due to poor light balance. Indoor lighting and reflections can create shadowed areas and bright spots. You can alleviate these problems by adjusting the light balance in an app such as Lightroom. Changing the levels of shadows and highlights will make your images more appealing and balanced. You can also increase the black sections of your image and the white parts. Making these colours bolder and more solid will give your photo a greater balance. Again in Lightroom, keep the ‘Alt’ key held on your PC (‘Option’ on a Mac) while you drag the white or black bars towards the right to increase their density levels. Check out B&H’s tips on white balance and colour temperature.
4. Keep the symmetry – A symmetrical image is a well-balanced one. Symmetry naturally appears in architecture, and I am sure you will find such views in your home. Look at the image before you take the shot and try and keep lines balanced. You might have to move the camera slightly to change the angle of your photo. It is more common to include vertical symmetry in real estate photos, with the vertical lines at either edge of your image looking very similar. The photographic blog at DepositPhotos has detailed information about the symmetry of photography.
5. Cloning – This is a life-saving tool for many photographers when photographing real estate. Ideally, you will capture your home as a blank canvas so potential buyers can project their own ideas and styles into your home. The ‘Clone Stamp’ feature in Photoshop can let you cover potential unwanted items in your photos. Hold the ‘CTRL’ key and click your mouse on a part of the image that you wish to copy. Release and now slowly ‘paint’ over the unwanted item. It will be replaced with the copied section. In effect, you could remove a poster from your child’s bedroom wall, or cover a picture on your living room wall with a few clicks of the mouse. This is a lot easier than physically removing the items before the photos are taken and then replacing them.
6. Remove the background of an exterior shot – This is a sneaky tip. Take a good image of the exterior of your home. Is the sky visually appealing? Using Photoshop, or an online tool to remove background, by selecting the foreground and inverting the selection, then cut the sky out of your image. You can then find a nicer sky online or in stock photo collections and paste it into a background layer behind your photo.
7. Lens correction – This technique can help to correct any issues that arise from your camera or phone lens. All lenses have a different sweet spot for distance, lighting, exposure, and other optical variants. Lightroom contains and ‘Lens Correction’ function. If you enable that and enable ‘Profile Corrections’, then ‘Remove Colour Aberration’, this will help bring your photos to life. This tip will help you to make your photos look more life-like and realistic. Distortions, or dark and light spots, created by lens irregularities will be improved at just a single click. Lightroom, as shown above, is ideal for this editing procedure.
We have shown above how important good images of your property are when you come to sell your home. The tips and tricks above will help turn any photographer into one with the skills to produce wonderful images of their real estate listings. With just a few clicks of Lightroom and Photoshop, you can transform ordinary photos into extraordinary images. Use the above list to make sure your property is represented in the best way.