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Property Photography Guide

If you'd like some tips on taking photographs of your home, you've come to the right place. We'd always recommend using the services of our professional photographers, but where that isn't possible this can help you get the most out of your property photos.

Declutter

Before you look at how to take a good photograph, you first need to ensure that the rooms you will be photographing are being presented in their best light. We have written a staging guide that will give you clear instructions to make your property look its best. Once you are sure your property looks great, then continue reading.

Topics Covered

Tips For Mobile Phones

  1. Turn your phone sideways. You want your pictures to be horizontal, not vertical.
  2. Make sure the pictures are taken using the highest quality possible.
  3. For most phones, if you tap the screen before taking the photo it will focus and expose the image for the area you tapped. This can be handy when you're taking a photo with a window in, as the phone might expose for the window making the room dark. If you tap the darkened room, the camera will adjust to make that portion exposed properly, and it will make the window super bright (but that's fine, people want to see your room, not what is out of the window.
  4. Take shots from at least two angles in each room.
  5. Take shots from around chest level, not eye level
  6. If your camera has a wide angled mode take picture using this and the standard mode, then you can select which looks best.
  7. Make sure the camera is steady when you take the shot to prevent blurring.
  8. Use the timer. It will help you position yourself and hold steady, without having to press to take the shot and risk wobbling the phone.
  9. If taking a video, stand in the corner and take a steady pan from one side of the room to the other, shift to another part of the room and do the same.

Lighting - On or Off? Should you use flash?

For video – all lights on.

For Photos - Ideally it’s better to turn all lights off as the natural light from a window gives the room shape.

Wall lights, standard and table lamps are acceptable (if on a low a setting) but ceiling lights cause the viewer to look up to the ceiling and not at the room itself. Exceptions to the rule are big grand rooms where you need all the light you can get, though it’s best to try and get a photo without them on if you can.

Flash will fill in the shadows and help the overall photo but only use as a fill not the main exposure. You want it to fill shadows, not illuminate the whole room as this makes the image look flat. Exception – properties where there is no power or rooms with no windows.

Conservatories with clear roof panels – just use natural light.

Externals

Under normal circumstances it’s best to take a photo of the front of a house from further away. This does two things:

  1. It gives the house look a more natural look (not skewed or overbearing)
  2. It raises the roof-line – making the house look taller/more substantial

If there are cars/vans/hedges in the way or the driveway is long, use a monopod or rest on / against something solid and shoot over the top if possible, if not, a house will always look better even with a bit of car or hedge in.

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Above photo taken too close, below photo taken further away and looks better

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Above photo taken too close, below photo taken further away and looks better

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Gardens

One of the complaints from prospective buyers is about gardens. Often they look much bigger than they are so best practise is to take a photo from eye level and not looking down. If there is a big patio and a big lawn just take two shots. If the garden has other points of interest add those too, and the best shots can be chosen.

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Above example of a typical garden of a modern house, below an established garden

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Above, garden overview with pleasant backdrop, below typical new build house garden

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Internals

Generally most rooms are best taken from a corner showing a feature plus a window (or two if dual aspect) and best taken from a height of 3.5 to 4.5ft high. Older terrace houses with high ceilings are fine to be taken at 4.5 – 5.5ft.

Bedrooms

You need to show floor space around the bed. Ideally the photo should be taken so that the bed is as small as possible within the room and not taken from too high a viewpoint.

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Above, typical bedroom photo showing floor space, below a bedroom with built in wardrobes being the key feature

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Above, showcasing a wall of fitted wardrobes, below a typical loft room showing window and height

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Kitchens / Kitchen Diners

Follow the advice for other internal rooms, but also ensure pictures are taken at a height to show the work tops.

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Above a typical modern kitchen diner, below a more spacious kitchen diner showing the full length

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Above a contemporary kitchen diner, below a typical smaller kitchen showing worktop space well.

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Reception Rooms

Best taken to show off a feature fireplace, lit if possible or Bi-Fold doors open and closed (from inside or out). If reception rooms connect through an opening show the full length of the property in your shot.

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Above a period lounge showing dual aspect windows, below a typical lounge photo of a three storey townhouse

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Above modern house lounge showing feature fireplace, below a traditional lounge also featuring the fireplace as the focal point

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Bathrooms / En-suite / Shower Rooms

Always show in landscape format. Step back out of the bathroom and include the door if opening onto a bath. For en-suite/shower rooms we need to see the base of the shower so again step backwards and include the door.

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Above bathroom straight on with door partially showing, below a typical shower room showing the bottom of the shower tray

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Above en-suite with part door showing, below a Cloaks/WC with part door showing

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