Essential Equipment for a Professional Real Estate Photographer

Feb 2

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by Devon Higgins

You don’t want to go camping without the right a tent, camping stove, sleeping bag, and other gear. This very same principle holds true in photography. To take professional real estate photos that will totally impress clients, the right equipment is needed.

As a professional real estate photographer, these items must be in your arsenal:

1. High-Quality Camera

The bulk of your budget probably goes to this single piece of crucial equipment. The good thing is that real estate photography is usually less demanding of the camera itself when compared to other photography niches. In other words, you don’t need to buy the most expensive camera to achieve great shots. Generally though, you get exemplary performance and great features from recent camera models.

Choose a camera with a large full frame sensor that will give you a 1:1 ratio with lenses. Anything less than 1:1 will result in a loss of image space when you use a wide-angle lens for your shots. In addition, check if your camera has an automatic exposure bracketing feature and the ability to set your shutter speed, aperture and ISO manually. For the best results, get a camera with a great sensor that will allow you to shoot well in low light with minimal noise.

However, remember that technology in photography is advancing very rapidly and it can be difficult to keep up. Cameras with new, better, and more advanced capabilities are popping up constantly and there are many options in the market. Thus, for more specific information and advice, you can get in touch with us by clicking this link.

2. Wide-angle lens

Almost as important as your choice in camera, having a wide angle lens is essential for real estate photography. The wide perspective offered by a wide-angle lens allows you to capture a whole lot of space and allows you to photograph the whole room even when it is a tight space. In addition, the imperceptible concave view also has two surprising effects: one, it makes the viewer feel as if he is actually in the room; and two, it will show off every aspect of the room from wall to wall.

 3. A Tripod

Another essential piece of equipment that should be in your bag is a sturdy tripod. A tripod holds the camera in position for an indefinite period without any camera movement. This allows you to take sharp, crisp and clear photos even with a slow shutter speed. A tripod also allows you to take multiple exposures of the same frame and blend them together to get a more even distribution of light, something that would be impossible with hand-held shots. A tripod is also essential when taking exterior night shots or interior shots that require long exposures.

4.  Photo editing software

Photo editing software such as Photoshop, Enfuse, Lightroom, and similar other programs are used to improve digital images, correct errors, and remove blemishes. They are essential tools for real estate photographers since it is very rare that they can get the images that they exactly envision.

Other items that might be useful:

5. External flash units

The built-in pop-up flash in your camera is not adequate for lighting real estate photography  – if you need extra light use an external flash instead. You can mount the external flash directly on your camera or place one or multiple flashes around the room to light particular parts of the image. Since you can swivel an external flash unit in all directions you don’t have to point the flash directly at the subject, allowing for much greater control in lighting the room. Some professional real estate photographers even use multiple external flashes that are synchronized to fire at the same time. Flash units are not strictly necessary, lots of photographers only shoot with ambient light because they like the visual effect often blending together bracketed images in order to minimize shadows in their shots, but they can be really handy if there just isn’t enough light on hand.

 6. Lens Filters

Have you ever wondered why, in many top-quality real estate photos, plants are beautifully green or the sky behind the property is majestically blue? Chances are, the photographer is using a polarizing filter attached in front of the lens. A polarizing filter darkens skies, reduce glare, or eliminate reflections. Other filters you could use include a simple UV filter or a neutral density filter which allows you to shoot at lower shutter speeds or with a larger aperture even in bright light. Although many of the effects of on-camera filters can be replicated using photo editing software, it’s always nice to capture things in camera to minimize the work after the shoot.

7. A Light meter

A light meter is a piece of equipment that determines the right amount of exposure for a photo. It allows the photographer to determine and choose the right aperture and shutter speed for optimum exposure, given an area’s lighting situation. Most cameras come with a built in light meter that is suitable in most cases. However, the built-in meter measures the light striking the camera, not the light striking the scene, which is not always an effective way to expose an image. Having an external light meter can help you expose your shots better in all situations.

8. A professional photography website

Although not strictly a piece of photography equipment, if you want to be a professional real estate photographer in today’s world, an online space where you can show off your work in an appealing and professional manner is essential. There are plenty of innovative and attractive photo website templates you can choose from. Start out with minimalist website templates if this suits your photographic style or try something more flashy if that better suits your work and your offerings. Having a professional looking website is almost as important as having the perfect camera in your bag.

Having the right tools is important to successfully perform an exterior or interior photo shoot. With a complete set of essential equipment, a thorough understanding of real estate photography principles, and a dose of creativity, you are assured of getting those award-winning property photos.

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