by Danielle Mason August 14, 2019 5 min read

One of the main parts of creating an enticing online listing for your property is the imagery. Images online consistently outperform text and there’s a lot of data to support this. Video performs even better, that though, is for another article.

  • 60% of people are more likely to click on a local search if it has an image.
  • Web pages with images in get 94% more views.
  • Renters spend 60% of their time when searching for properties looking at image.

The easiest way to get the best image is simply to employ a professional for a day. However, we don’t all have the budget or time to find, organise and pay for a professional photographer. So, unless you have a mate who can do the job for you on the cheap you’re left in a bit of a bind.

Renters, when looking at properties online will often make snap decisions in seconds about whether or not to go further with a property based solely on the images available. Having low quality images then will be detrimental to say the least.

That’s why having the very best photographs of your home is so important. Get the photos right and it could mean more interested parties, faster and that means less time empty.

Related: 5 Ultimate and Effective Marketing Ideas for Landlords

There is no good reason you wouldn’t be able to get good photography of your property yourself. Here’s how: 

Prepare the house

Tidy, Tidy, Tidy

It may sound obvious but the easiest most effective part of prepping a house for a photoshoot is simply tidying everything away.

Here are a few quick tips for tidying:

Outside

  • Mow the lawn
  • Move bins or hoses or other items that might be laying about.

Outside property photo

Dining/living room

  • Remove scruffy throws from sofas
  • Arrange cushions to look smart and tidy
  • Set dining room tables
  • Put away any children’s toys, piles of magazines, or DVDs etc.

Dining Room

Bedrooms

  • Make the bed and choose bed sheets that compliment the room.
  • Anything stored under the bed should be completely out of sight.
  • All drawers and wardrobe doors should be shut.

Kitchen

  • Clear all work tops (including appliances) and make sure there are no tea towels or chopping boards on show.
  • Move bins out of sight.
  • Clear the sink (no dirty dishes!)
  • If you have pets, hide their food bowls and beds.

property photography bathroom

Bathroom

  • Close the toilet lid
  • Remove products like shower gels and tooth brushes.
  • Remove the toilet paper.

Dress it up

If your rental comes unfurnished you may want to think about staging your unit. Rooms with furnishings in look more homey and appealing and can actually look bigger.

RelatedThe Pros and Cons of Furnishing your Rental

Choose the right Time of Day

Brighter always looks better, and can truly bring a space to life. It is also advisory to photograph without a flash as flashes can make a photograph looked washed-out.

Choose the time of day when the house has got the most natural light.

Add Focal Details.

When staging your unit for the shoot, think about adding focal points to an image. These draw the eye and make the image more interesting. A ‘pop’ of colour from a well placed cushion for example. A coffee plunger and mug will add warmth. Flowers in the table, or a bowl of colourful fruit are also effective props.

A full, fresh fruit bowl can add a flash of colour.

Related: How to Write a Killer Listing

Taking the Pictures

1) Follow Basic Photography Rules

The basics of photography are the basics for a reason, they apply to everything. The main one to consider is ‘the rule of thirds’.

The rule of thirds proposes that the image be arranged in thirds, horizontally and vertically essentially dividing the frame into 9 imaginary, equal parts. The focal point of the image should ideally fall at the intersection of two of these imaginary lines.

Following this rule ensures a neat and visually interesting image. 

rule of thirds

In this image you can clearly see the rule of thirds being used with the bathtub drawing your eye to the bottom central third.

2) Pick the Right Angle

It’s hard to take a picture of something, especially if you're inside it. Getting the right perspective is a challenge.

Set the camera at a height of 5 - 6 feet and try positioning yourself in the corners of the room, or in the doorway. Your aim is to provide a realistic perspective of the space.

Also, get yourself a tripod. Trust us they are inexpensive and well worth the investment, you don’t want shaky hands to become a factor.

angles for property photography

They took the photo from right in the corner allowing them to show the entire room and making the space look larger.

3) Highlight Unique Features

Much like when adding focal details to your images, try focusing on the properties unique features. For example, if you have a brick fireplace, a balcony, beautiful french windows or a newly renovated deck, these should be front and centre.

4) Keep Photo’s Straight

Straight lines are super important. You don’t want to be taking crooked photos. Don’t worry too much at the time of taking the photo, but remember that you will want to edit and straighten any photographs before posting online.

5) Use a Proper Camera

The difference between an iPhone and a standard DSLR camera is pretty huge. Whilst an iPhone will get you adequate photos, it may be worth your while investing in a quality camera.

For your references an iPhone 8 has an 8 megapixel camera. A standards DSLR has a 21 megapixel camera.

6) Take Plenty of Pictures

More is more. Take as many pictures as you think you might need, and then take 5 more of each shot. When you’re going through them later, you may find that the first image you take is the best, but more often than not the 3rd, 4th, or 5th is just way better.

Taking plenty of pictures gives you plenty of options and means you can experiment a little with angles and positioning of your focal points.

balcony property photograph

7) Photograph Everything

What should you take pictures of? Which rooms?

The answer, take pictures of everything! Every single room, from plenty of angles, and don’t forget to photograph the outside of the house.

8) Editing your Images

Once you’ve taken the photos you need to sit down with your laptop and go through them. Not all of them are going to be winners, and even the best ones will likely want a bit of editing.

We recommend using your laptop for this because the screen is bigger and you will have more capability and processing power to quickly manage them.

Whilst you don’t want to be deceptive there’s nothing wrong with editing the images to highlight the appeal of your property.

The four main actions are lightening, cropping, straightening, and resizing.

  • Lighter photos are more cheerful and easy to see.
  • Cropping out excess ceiling or blank wall for example will help you get the best framing. (NB: make sure all the photos you upload are the same ratio).
  • Make sure all the vertical lines in the image are straight, eg. bookcases and window frames.
  • Resize for web. If you’ve used a DSLR for example, you will likely have a very high resolution image. This is a good thing to have especially if you are going to print flyers from them for example, but it may be too large for use online. You will want to compress it.
  • Recommended dpi (dots per inch) for web is 72dpi and we suggest a maximum longest edge of 1500 px (this is the largest you will need for a banner image, smaller images can be used inset into a page). 

NB: when editing your images always save the edited version as a copy, do not overwrite the original as this cannot be reversed and will result in image quality loss.

Like this article? You may be interested in:

5 Best Websites to Find Good Tenants for Free

What do you do if your Tenant Leaves Possessions Behind

Danielle Mason

"Danielle is a specialist content creator with a keen interest for real estate and tenanting issues. She loves travel and works remotely when she can. Prior to joining LandlordBoss, Danielle wrote for companies in the technology, retail and start-up industries."


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