Jul 9, 2013

Tips for Photographing your House

Since posting our updated little house tour, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the best way to photograph rooms in your house (for a blog, for a real estate listing, etc.). After writing the same email over and over I decided to just do a post about it instead.

You need a decent camera.
Don’t use your phone. And a small point and shoot has a very narrow range. A basic DSLR camera opens things up quite a bit. And if you can get your hands on a wide angle lens (like I recently did, which helped motivate finally doing our new house tour), you can really capture the room. I am truly an amateur photographer. I struggle with the manual settings on my camera all the time. But even using a DSLR camera with the automatic settings will take MUCH better pictures than anything else.

Clear the room.
Real people live with clutter we don’t even see anymore. It’s just a fact of life. So if you’re going to photograph a room, empty it of almost everything. If you look at catalogues and house magazines, the surfaces are mostly empty except for a few extra touches (like a vase). So take the time to clear the room. In real life the room will feel stark, but on camera, it will look decorated. Even a few things left out can make the room look a touch crowded. Since my style leans more towards a quirky-cluttered Anthropologie meets an overcrowded-cozy Pottery Barn display, I don’t mind leaving a few extra things out. But if I were taking photographs for a house sale, I would strip everything out.

Use a tripod or duck down low.
The most flattering angle to photograph a room isn’t standing up at full height, it’s actually around 4/4.5 feet where a tripod would be. So use a tripod, or bend your knees.

Open the blinds and shades, turn on lights if you need to, bring in as much light as possible. The room will look a million times better.

Do test shots.
Photograph the room, then look at the picture carefully. In person you might not notice the curtains are askew, but it’s blatantly obvious in the pictures.

When all else fails, Photoshop.
You can make a lot of adjustments to the lighting, coloring, white balance in photoshop. You can hide a lot of sins that way too. In the name of honesty I did not remove things in Photoshop that I didn’t like in our house tour pictures, but it was tempting. Like the ugly outlets with power strips hanging off of them all over the house. I wish we could cover those up better!

1 comment:

  1. So true...great tips! Your home is lovely :)