I Just Booked My First Real Estate Photoshoot. Now What Do I Do? (Part 1)
First off, congratulations! All that time, energy, and effort you have put into making calls to agents, promoting yourself across different traditional and online platforms, as well as reaching out to friends and family has finally paid off as a Realtor needing your services has decided to hire you to shoot their newest listing. I remember getting that first call and experiencing a sense of happiness and excitement in knowing that finally I had the opportunity to prove to myself and my clients my photography acumen in relation to shooting properties. That said, I have decided to break this topic down into two parts. The first part which will address specifically the exteriors of properties and what to consider when going out to shoot your first listing will be the subject of this month's blog posting and then the second part will follow in December and will focus on the interiors of properties and the considerations you should account for before and during your first real estate shoot.
1. TIME OF DAY AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
When it comes to capturing real estate properties and showing the exteriors one of the first things you should do is determine when is the most appropriate time of the day to shoot the property. One way to do this is by asking your client which direction the house faces. In other words, does the house or property face east or does it face west? For east facing properties it is generally a good idea to shoot them in the mornings before noon and for west facing properties in the afternoons. The other aspect to account for is the weather. For me, I like to check the weather channel app and look at the 10-day forecast to give me a better idea of when the best opportunity during the week will be to shoot the outside of a property. If the weeks seems like its not good from a weather standpoint I ask the client how soon they need the photos by and then based on their response I will advise the best course of action in regards to getting the exterior photos taken. For example, I recently had a property where due to bad weather throughout the week I ended up shooting the exteriors on the following Monday of that week followed by the interiors. The client had mentioned to me previously that he needed the photos done within the following two weeks so, I had time to work with and schedule accordingly.
One of the benefits of shooting the exteriors of properties is the ability to use natural lighting from sources such as the sun to help create a natural ambience in the images. When I first arrive at a property I start by doing a walk-around to determine which areas are more illuminated and which areas are not as much, which is important to consider when editing the images later on and adjusting the exposure, shadows, highlights, and so on. Also, by doing this it allows me to determine the best spots to place my camera that will show the best exterior features of the property. Generally speaking, I avoid using artificial lighting such as strobes and just use my camera and my tripod. Since this is will be your first photoshoot less is more in my opinion and encourage you stick with
your camera and tripod for the outside shots.
3. SHOOTING TECHNIQUE: HDR & SINGLE EXPOSURE
Finally, comes the manner in which you capture the actual images of the outside of the property. For me, I usually choose to shoot using the high dynamic range (HDR) technique as it is fast and guarantees that I will get the proper shadows, highlights, and correct exposures in a single bracketed set. For more information on this technique I suggest heading over to YouTube to see videos explaining this technique in greater detail. Another technique I use and only for twilights (evening photoshoots where the client wishes to have night time photos showing the property) is taking a single exposed image and then making the adjustments as necessary in post. The image above I took using this technique. I suggest, playing around with the different techniques and see which one you feel most comfortable with before you go out to your first photoshoot.
In summary, I hope you have enjoyed reading this month's blog post. When it comes to shooting your first listing and more specifically the exteriors there are a number of factors to consider some of which I have discussed here to help better prepare you for your first shoot. The best piece of advice I can give is to: do your research and take the time to learn the different shooting techniques and your overall workflow processes as it will vary depending in part on which shooting technique you choose to use. In addition, don't be shy to ask questions to other real estate photographers in your area that are willing to help you. Lastly, don't forget to have some fun while shooting the property!
Finally, as I have mentioned in previous blog postings, if you know someone looking to get into real estate photography and believe they would benefit from this post or others I have written before, please feel free to share it with them. Also, make sure to subscribe to my email list to receive the latest news and updates from Marcos Guevara Photography (just enter your email address at the bottom of the screen when you first visit my website). Lastly, please be sure to like my social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Have a great day!
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