Is there one real estate photography technique to rule them all?
Photos are essential when it comes to marketing your new listing both online and in print. Over 96% of home buyers search listings online before scheduling a showing.
While there are a number of ways to produce real estate photography images for your MLS and listing websites, is there one photography technique that stands above the rest?
This post will help expand your knowledge on the various real estate photography techniques used by both listing agents and professional photographers.
Boosting online traffic with listing images
Everyone can agree that listings with images receive more interest. Let’s further agree that professional photos receive even more engagement than run-of-the-mill images. In fact, 86% of homebuyers say images are the most important feature when deciding to view a home.
An impactful real estate image will showcase the best angles and composition of the space. Furthermore, a stand out listing image has adequate lighting and exposures to show the space as if you were in the room.
Agents that use professional photography see 60% more online traffic, more showings and more offers than agents that do not. Images captured by different vendors can also affect traffic. For example, agents using Virtuance, a leading real estate photography company, receive 2 times more clicks than agents who use another professional photographer.
Real estate photography techniques
While there are a number of techniques for taking real estate photos, some methods greatly outshine others both online and in marketing materials.
Many agents take their own images or enlist an amateur to shoot their listing. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of agents do not use professional photography for their listings at all – are they missing out on the secret to winning more listings and selling them faster?
Whether you are looking to hire a professional, to switch photography vendors or to grow your own photography skill set, here are some techniques that may help enhance your listing images:
Capturing images using a smartphone’s HDR feature
Smartphones have drastically improved over the last decade. They are practically a computer with a pretty incredible camera. Most of the new smartphones offer a camera with an 8 to 12-megapixel main shooter and an option to capture images in HDR, or high dynamic range.
This capability allows the shooter to capture and produce an image with a greater range of luminosity. Be wary of cameras that capture in HDR, though. They often generate images that are cartoonish, which can appear fake and cheapen the look of your listing.
While smartphones are an easy and cost-effective way to capture images of a listing, this technique will not grab attention in the same way as a DSLR camera and you could lose out on interested buyers.
On-camera flashes and flash lighting kits
A popular option for a variety of photographers is the use of flash. Flash photography allows the shooter to capture a room with adequate artificial lighting. There are a few different techniques when it comes to flash, and some are better than others.
An on-camera flash is an option for beginners and non-professionals. This technique has some downsides, though. With an on-camera flash, you will not have control of where the light hits when you capture the image. You will also not have an appropriate light range of the space. Your room may have odd shadows, flash spots, and no view of the exteriors through the windows.
Flash lighting kits are used by professional photographers and allow for effective strategizing on where the lights need to hit in order to capture the space. Off-camera flash kits allow for complete control of ambient lighting in order to photograph the interior while still pulling in light and clarity from the exterior. This technique means more time on the property, but less time in front of the computer in post-production.
There are downsides to off-camera flash kits. Because they are separate from the camera, they can be burdensome to lug around a property. They will force the photographer to spend more time on the property and more time in each room with set up. Small spaces will be difficult with obtrusive equipment in the way.
A technique that requires minimal equipment while producing great results is photo bracketing. Bracketing is where a shooter will take the same image with a DSLR camera in 3-7 exposures in order to shoot a space capturing all depths. If you want to capture real estate photography without flash, this is a great option as extra lighting is not required.
Professional photographers use this technique to produce an image that showcases a range of exposures. This allows viewers to see the space as they would in person. Photo bracketing requires less time on the property as the photographer is not carrying around off-camera light kits. It does, however, demand more time in post-production.
HDReal® Image Processing
This last technique for shooting real estate photography is unique to one professional photography vendor. Virtuance’s HDReal® Image Processing uses the technique of photo bracketing alongside proprietary photo editing technology powered by machine-learning, known as HDReal®, to create consistently high-quality images for their clients.
HDReal® Image Processing requires professionally trained Virtuance photographers to spend less than an hour onsite for most properties. The Virtuance photographers use photo bracketing to capture a range of exposures, and HDReal® does the rest. After the bracketed images are processed, Virtuance image processors make any final edits before the photos are sent to their clients.
This technique requires minimal time onsite by eliminating the hassle of flash kit equipment. It also allows for a quick turnaround time (clients are guaranteed images by 5 PM the day following the shoot) and consistent images.
Virtuance created this technique in 2010 and has shot over $35Bil worth of real estate in 26 markets nationwide.
Which technique is right for you?
There are a number of options to select when deciding how to showcase your listing online.
Choose a technique that works for you. If you want to avoid a steep learning curve and receive high-quality listing images, hire a professional photographer every time. With professional images, you will generate more traffic, more showings and more offers.
Virtuance found that their clients sold listings 45% faster than when they used the next most effective photography provider, and many of Virtuance’s clients receive multiple offers over listing price. Perhaps most importantly, 88% of Virtuance clients report winning more listings when partnered with Virtuance.
Want to learn more about the power of HDReal®? Check out this infographic.