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Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips

  
 
Ming-Tzu
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


So I'm not trying to get into the real estate photography business, more like helping out a friend who needs a few properties done. But I have zero experience doing this type of work so looking for some pointers.

I plan on using my 5d4 on a tripod of course, with either the 17tse or 24tse. I think taking pictures of the house outside is easy enough but curious if there are any tips for inside and the individual rooms. Where does one position the gear for an individual room? Since it's a manual focus lens on a tripod, do I have enough room in the corner to set up and get a good shot? Are room shots typically taken from the top or bottom corner or somewhere else?

Any information that can be provided would helpful. I plan on searching these forums and elsewhere online for pointers as well, but figured I'd get the ball rolling here. No real timeframe for when it's needed as of right now. So just trying to gather info if/when it happens.

Thanks everyone!



Jun 10, 2020 at 02:07 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


The 5D and the 17tse is the best way to start and you can practice at home. More often than not you will be shooting for an agent and they will tell you exactly what they want.

They are not "shy."

Visit www.mlsli.com and visit some listings to get a feel for the venue for which you are shooting you are shooting.

Most agents try to save the money and shoot with their cell phones and don't be offended when they offer you $50.00. BTW, that is agents in Sands Point, NY.

I have a Haida filter set for outdoor shots because I hate a dead sky.

PM me if you need more.



Jun 10, 2020 at 03:12 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


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Edited on Jun 11, 2020 at 12:22 PM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2020 at 03:13 PM
Rivermist
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Ming-Tzu wrote:
So I'm not trying to get into the real estate photography business, more like helping out a friend who needs a few properties done. But I have zero experience doing this type of work so looking for some pointers.

I plan on using my 5d4 on a tripod of course, with either the 17tse or 24tse. I think taking pictures of the house outside is easy enough but curious if there are any tips for inside and the individual rooms. Where does one position the gear for an individual room? Since it's a manual focus lens on a tripod, do I
...Show more

Here in Texas the fashion in RE is definitely towards the HDR look, so use your camera's ability to do that (you can always use the RAWs later if the outcome does not please). As said by earlier poster, for pictures including outdoor windows, bracket exposure so that you can have pictures with windows that show the outdoors and the indoors properly exposed. 17 and 24 are great focal lengths, while 17 will show some added spatial distortion the aim is to show the home completely with a limit to the number of shots most RE systems allow (32, 54, etc..), so expect to use that lens more than the 24. If you can lay your hand on a 14mm or borrow the 11-24L, these will help in small rooms / spaces. Shoot from about 4 ft high dead horizontal, unless a ceiling has great features (recessed light, vault, pockets) it is much more boring in most cases than the floor (rugs, furniture, tiling, ...). For outdoors, try a drone, it is pretty much a requisite here to show a property from the street, get an overall view of the back yard, etc.. Some evening shots for the outdoors are also valued if there is a nice landscape and/or building lighting, back yard patio / pool, etc.. While the 17mm has great depth of field, you may be using it at full aperture, so some photographers have got into focus stacking such that everything in the picture is sharp.



Jun 10, 2020 at 04:26 PM
Skyhawk15
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Hi Ming-Tzu, especially if this is "just for a friend," I'd keep it pretty simple. Personally I'd strap on a wide-angle zoom lens (17mm on the low end), boost ISO and shoot hand held unless the rooms were really dark. Waist-high to eye height, nothing too arty. Just common sense stuff when setting up the rooms, turn all the lights on, make the furniture look inviting etc. Watch for color temperature issues.

I would definitely shoot raw and plan on spending a little time in lightroom or whatever you've got to adjust shadows/highlights and get color to somewhat match though the set.

The last house I shot, stills were the easy part, much more labor intensive was the "virtual tour" which is becoming very common now. Time well spent though as the home rented to someone based only on this tour (they never set foot in the real home).



Jun 10, 2020 at 06:10 PM
Rivermist
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Skyhawk15 wrote:
Hi Ming-Tzu, especially if this is "just for a friend," I'd keep it pretty simple. Personally I'd strap on a wide-angle zoom lens (17mm on the low end), boost ISO and shoot hand held unless the rooms were really dark. Waist-high to eye height, nothing too arty. Just common sense stuff when setting up the rooms, turn all the lights on, make the furniture look inviting etc. Watch for color temperature issues.

I would definitely shoot raw and plan on spending a little time in lightroom or whatever you've got to adjust shadows/highlights and get color to somewhat match though the
...Show more

On this note and since we understand that the proper fees ($450 and upwards) are probably not coming your way, make sure either the owner or the agent takes care of tidying up the rooms and outdoors and removing unnecessary stuff from the place ahead of your arrival. You can easily double your time on location if the place has not been prepared for the shoot.



Jun 11, 2020 at 09:16 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


TS-E a MUST!!!! Yes...No clutter! Less is best!! Try some test shots first.
Good luck!
Dan



Jun 11, 2020 at 09:26 AM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Are you going to do 360 degree panos or as described as virtual toor? If so you may need a pano head for that. For my brief stint doing this I converted a macro rail. Also pano software.

http://www.johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm



For homes with no furniture and not many windows I would put post-it notes on the walls so the software had a reference when splicing. Mostly rec rooms. Then I would clone/heal them out.



Jun 11, 2020 at 10:39 AM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


The OP would need a Nodal Rail and must find the Nodal Point. (https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Professional-Release-Camera-Compatible/dp/B00J7LT4ZK/ref=sr_1_2?crid=30NPW4LXBRLQI&dchild=1&keywords=nodal+rail&qid=1591891599&sprefix=nodal+%2Caps%2C142&sr=8-2)

This is all waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than the OP needs to know about a free shoot for a friend in a staggering NYC real estate market where people undercut the market.

Take a photo, remove the clutter, photograph the room and use the first photo to return everything to it's proper place.

The TS-E17L is good at F11 while my 14L II and the 16-35L IS are great to F22.

My best advise, it you don't own the TS-E17L or the TS-E24L don't waste the money if you are expecting a return on investment.



Edited on Jun 11, 2020 at 11:21 AM · View previous versions



Jun 11, 2020 at 11:14 AM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Yes it is way too much if the OP doesn't need to shoot virtual tours. I was required to do 3 per gig. I don't know what the OP's requirements will be. Since I was making so little money it wasn't worth any investment which is why I used a macro rail that I already had. I was able to adapt it, found the nodal point and it worked great.


Jun 11, 2020 at 11:20 AM
 


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Ming-Tzu
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Thanks for the advice everybody! I have RRS gear panos (nodal rail, etc) but don't feel like spending that much time and effort for this. I'll probably just try to keep it basic. 17tse and 24tse, which I already have, with the 5d4 on a tripod. F11. Exposure bracketing if needed.


Jun 11, 2020 at 12:44 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


I don't blame you. Personally I fount it a nightmare and it really slowed me down. This was over 10 years ago and Pano software was not as sophisticated. The only one I found that gave me consistent results was Auto Pano Pro by Kolor which by just checking went under in 2018. I wouldn't have recommended it today anyway as I haven't kept up to this. That I had to pay for myself.

Sounds like you are set up. Remember no clutter and put the toilet seats down That is big one. LR really helped me with shadow and highlight control but there is so much other software these days.



Jun 11, 2020 at 01:08 PM
Dragonfire
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Ming-Tzu wrote:
Thanks for the advice everybody! I have RRS gear panos (nodal rail, etc) but don't feel like spending that much time and effort for this. I'll probably just try to keep it basic. 17tse and 24tse, which I already have, with the 5d4 on a tripod. F11. Exposure bracketing if needed.





Jun 11, 2020 at 03:30 PM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


As Frank and Zenon state..you have enough to do well!
Dan



Jun 12, 2020 at 10:18 AM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Danpbphoto wrote:
As Frank and Zenon state..you have enough to do well!
Dan


Yes because customers would get a list of instructions before the photographer/s showed up and often didn't follow them. My other role during that short gig was also called nanny.



Jun 12, 2020 at 10:27 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


It doesn't seem like the agents pay much even though they expect you to basically use your experience and expensive gear to do the first contact on a property that generates a LOT of revenue. 6% seems pretty standard. $24,000 total for both agents on a $400k home or property.

I've done some for a relative I like a low distortion lens and lens corrections are nice to have. Even a zoom with distortion might be fine imo if you use lens corrections. One thing I liked on the 11-16 Tokina: low distortion. Pretty close to 0 at 16mm, like 0.5% 11mm.



Jun 12, 2020 at 12:34 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


I used my Tokina 11-16 for that. I really liked that lens. If I had been paid appropriately I would tried it for longer because I was looking for something to do after I retired. I was using expensive camera gear and post processing skills were a must and there was no training for that part. Gas and wear and tear on gear and vehicle just wasn’t worth it. Also the deadline. I had to have the files downloaded to the companies website by a certain time at the of the day of the shoot. Sometimes the site was down.


Jun 12, 2020 at 12:47 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


"6% seems pretty standard. $24,000 total for both agents on a $400k home or property. "

Six percent has been the considered norm but it's often negotiated down to five percent or less in higher dollar properties and that commission is split between the buying and the selling retailer, so not $24K per but half that on that deal and perhaps less.



Jun 12, 2020 at 12:59 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


I've shot a lot of commercial real estate (and some upper-end residential) using 4x5, and later digital FF with 17 and 24 TSE lenses.

Your plan sounds good, and there has been a lot of good advice here.

We just listed our California home and put on the market. I was pretty impressed by the images from the realtor's photographer, who came in and shot the house in about 30 minutes. He used a Canon 5D3 and 16-35/2.8L II lens, shot from about 3' above the floor, shooting a lot into diagonal corners (showing mostly two walls). I was surprised how great the images looked with simple HDR.

Mainly for others who don't have TSE lenses: Don't worry -- a wide angle lens, level camera, clean visual lines, and decent lighting/HDR are the essentials.



Jun 12, 2020 at 03:02 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Beginner Real Estate Photography Tips


Peter Figen wrote:
"6% seems pretty standard. $24,000 total for both agents on a $400k home or property. "

Six percent has been the considered norm but it's often negotiated down to five percent or less in higher dollar properties and that commission is split between the buying and the selling retailer, so not $24K per but half that on that deal and perhaps less.



Like I said, $24k for both agents. Both sides. That's still a pretty good chunk of change to help generate, even at only 5%, for only $40. Or whatever the going rate is for real estate photography. Seems ridiculous.

The relative I help found a 4% agent. Had to change the locks out at one place, thought I'd see if she was showing it, so I didn't give her a key. Never heard from her. But I think a lot of the under 6% disappeared after things got a lot tougher after the 2008 debacle.



Jun 12, 2020 at 03:11 PM
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