Propsocial property tips and tricks for property photography on your smartphone camera
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A picture tells a thousand words. Professional real estate photography has been the hype these days, and it is a paid service being offered in many developed countries. The cost of it? 80USD to 300USD in the USA, for 25 to 50 photos.

Professional real estate photographers know the angles, positioning, lighting, and placement of items for a perfect shot to deliver compelling photography of properties for his or her client.

For those who wish to sell their house, be it property agents or individuals, good photographs of their properties could result in a quick sale, simply because their listing gets noticed easier as compared to others.

But how many of us are willing to fork out a fortune for that perfect shot?

With the advancement of smartphones and the never-ending innovative race for better cameras in our devices, it is without a doubt that many of us now rely on our trusted phone cameras to take photos.

Look through property listings and it doesn’t have to take a trained eye to tell if the photos were taken on a smartphone. However, even with the most advanced camera technology in smartphones, there is no guarantee of a perfect shot without knowing some basics.

With some fundamentals in photography, just about anyone can take a good shot of their property.

Hence, here are some key tips when taking photos of properties on your smartphone with some basics in angle, furniture placement and even editing.


1. Brightness is Key

The first and foremost important element in any photography, be it on a DSLR camera or smartphone camera, is lighting. Ample lighting will ensure that details in a photograph are clear while avoiding grainy photos. Other than that, a dark photo would also look less appealing than a brighter one.


(i) Make use of natural lighting and turn on all lights

Lighting is important, and natural lighting is best when it comes to taking pictures. Open windows, curtains and doors as well as switch on all lights to ensure ample light and avoid dark shadowy areas.


(ii) Edit brightness and exposure to brighten photographs

However, should there be insufficient natural lighting, editing is another way of brightening photographs. Most photo-editing applications (apps) whether on a computer or smartphone will have the option to adjust ‘Exposure’. For instance, a popular photo-editing application available on Android and iOS devices, Camera360.

Most apps will have an ‘Adjust’ button, as seen below (left). After selecting ‘Adjust’, find ‘Exposure’ (right):

Adjust the ‘Exposure’ of the photograph by sliding right or left. Exposure brightens the overall areas of the image, so you don’t have to worry about the value to set.

*Just slide it till the image looks bright and comfortable to you.


Apart from ‘exposure’, another feature which can be adjusted to brighten a photo is ‘Center Light’. ‘Center Light’ brightens the middle of the image, it can be used after adjusting the ‘Exposure’.

*Again, you don’t have to worry about the value to set. Just slide it until it appears bright enough.

Examples of a photograph with the ‘Exposure’ and Centre Light’ adjusted:


2. Vibrancy and Colour

Most smartphone cameras are unable to capture the vibrancy and colour that our eyes can. Hence, there are times when photographs can appear dull, which could be made worse if there isn’t enough brightness or exposure. Thankfully, most photo-editing smartphone apps (like Camera360) give users the option to adjust the colours of their photos.

Find the ‘Vibrance’ option on the photo-editing app (can be under ‘Colours’ option on some apps). ‘Vibrance’ enhances the colour of the overall image.

*Just slide left or right till the colours are as close to (or more vibrant, if you’d prefer) as the actual scene.


Here is an instance of images where the ‘Exposure’, ‘Centre Light’ and ‘Vibrance’ have been adjusted:

*Extra Editing Tip: Beware of over-editing, which could degrade the quality of your image, making it blurry.


3. Angle & Aim

While there is much to be learned about getting the right angles in photography, the best way to take an image of a room or property is to stand at one corner of the room and aim at the opposite corner.

You may want to take notice of objects within the room which you want or do not want to include in your frame as well, such as doors, walkways, staircases and so on to give viewers a better idea of the layout and size.

*Note that the above photos convey the shape, size and layout of the spaces with the use of doors and archways as an estimate for viewers to gauge their sizes.



4. Lens Type

Usually, the normal lens on a smartphone camera is sufficient to capture a room. However, there are instances when small spaces require the use of wide-angled lenses to fully photograph all elements of the room. These days, there are clip-on wide-angled lenses which can be bought for as cheap as RM15. However, it is not recommended that you use these lenses unless absolutely necessary as photos could appear blurry.

In the case of small rooms like bathrooms, the use of a wide-angled lens may help in giving viewers an overall look of the space, their layout etc..


*Extra Photography Tip:
Use a tripod if possible (you can find tripods for smartphones at any phone accessories shop or even online), or find something to steady your smartphone on when taking a photo. If not, try to stand firmly with both feet at shoulder width and keep your arms close to your body when taking your shot to avoid blurry photos from shaking.



5. Objects Placement

With the basics of lighting, angle and lenses done, the next thing to focus on before snapping away is the objects within your frame.

(i) Tidying up and avoiding clutter in your shot

If there are objects such as furniture, clothes, pots and pans, cups etc. within the room you intend to photograph, the best thing to do is arrange them to ensure that the space looks neat and clean.

Unsightly objects such as old newspapers, clothes, dirty dishes, pails, etc. should be put aside or arranged neatly to avoid the image from looking cluttered and thus, giving your property a negative impression.

*Tidying up a space you intend to photograph can do wonders for how you present your property and the impression people will have, thus improving your chances of getting their attention.


(ii) Create space by moving furniture

Sometimes, certain pieces of furniture in a room or property may be hindering you from taking a good shot. If that is the case, you can always consider moving them so that you can get a better angle. Just make sure not to hurt yourself moving heavy objects or leave scratch marks from dragging or pushing furniture around.

*Note how moving the couch on the bottom right of the photo enables the full expanse of the space to be better captured on camera.


Real-Estate Photography a Form of Art

It is hoped that these basic tips and tricks in lighting, editing and object placement can help you better engage potential buyers by presenting your property in the best way possible through photographs.

However, photography is highly complex and it takes years of dedicated training and a keen eye to get compelling shots of properties and developments.

Hence, should you feel the need for more professional services to better capture your properties, feel free to drop by PropSocial.my for a visit and contact us to get in touch with professional and personalised photography services in Malaysia for your property needs!


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Thanks for sharing the helpful tips


James bond craig junio2006 small

What about SnapSeed photo editor app? Do you think it's better than Camera 360? I am currently using SnapSeed and I love it!

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good sharing. it is important to catch people attention at the first time. 

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