In the digital age, photos are the best way to make a dazzling first impression. Apartment photography is one of your key tools when seeking to attract prospective tenants; in fact, renter surveys show that listings with images get far more views. Learning to craft excellent pictures of your property, therefore, can help your listing stand out and ultimately generate the leads you’re looking for.
If you’ve never shot photos for a rental before, don’t panic. We have the guide to getting the best professional-grade snapshots of your property! Let’s talk about what it takes to get the perfect pictures.
1 – Choose your Camera Wisely
Great news—you don’t necessarily need a high-end camera to capture amazing shots.
With smartphone cameras getting more and more advanced, the solution to new property photos may just be sitting in your pocket. On the off chance you’re not a smartphone owner (or are simply interested in taking guaranteed-crisp photos), renting or investing in a DSLR camera is always a safe option. Just know that you don’t have to wait for your next paycheck to begin taking some stunning photos of your property.
Regardless of what kind of camera you choose, don’t forget to clean your lens. There’s nothing worse than gorgeous pictures marred by a smudge or thin layer of dust
2 – Determine the Best Time to Take Your Photos
After you have your camera, you’ll want to determine when to take your photos. The best time to shoot actually depends on which way the apartment (and the model unit) faces. You’ll want the sun to be behind the camera so that the property can be illuminated.
Outdoor/exterior shots are best taken at dusk. Avoid cloudy, rainy, or overcast days, as they can cause photos to appear overexposed.
3 – Let the Sun Shine In
Spring and summer are the most popular times to do a property photo shoot, and for good reason! Not only does warmer weather make the experience more comfortable for the photographer, but the pictures improve ten-fold as well.
This makes sense, as when it comes to property photography, nothing beats natural sunlight. Plan to take photos in the daytime AND turn on the lights. Brighter spaces tend to make an area look bigger on film.
If possible, avoid solely relying on artificial lights to provide brightness and atmosphere and forgo flash photography when you can.
4 – De-Clutter and De-Wrinkle
If at all possible, be sure to set the scene. A little bit of staging can go a long way. Leaving buyers wondering if their queen-size bed or exercise equipment will be able to fit through the building’s elevator or stairwell doesn’t bode well for generating interest. Strategically arranging proportional and well-spaced furniture will allow tenants to visualize their own belongings in this space.
5 – Add a Special Touch
The little things matter! The photos you’re aiming to take will inspire prospective tenants to imagine themselves living comfortably in your apartment complex, so make sure there isn’t anything around to hinder the fantasy. Be sure there isn’t clutter. Fluff pillows and invest in some cozy decor. A little cleaning can go a long way in assuring your future renters that their new home will be a cozy, tidy haven.
- Fresh flowers
- A cozy rug
- Pet beds and accessories
- Sophisticated neutral colors
6 – Consider Symmetry
Let’s discuss “The Rule of Thirds”. It’s one of the main principles of photography, and one of the first things you come to understand when learning about professional design. In a nutshell, the focal point of a photo should fall smack-dab in the middle of 2 equally spaced vertical and horizontal lines. An easy way to visualize this principle is to take a look at your picture and imagine 9 imaginary, equal parts— does your focus fall in the center?
Experiment by comparing a centered subject vs. one that falls on a third. We bet you’ll be drawn to a more centered, balanced photo; symmetry is preferred on a psychological level when determining visual interest.
Don’t forget, you can always crop a photo during the editing phase to ensure your focal point stands out.
7 – Same Shot, Many Angles
A wide-angle lens is your best bet. They can capture more of the room than a regular, zoom lens.
Shooting in a corner or from a doorway provides a realistic perspective of your space. Doing this will add scale and dimensionality to your image, while photographing a blank wall head-on can often make the space feel cramped. Try to keep the camera at the ideal height of 4-5 feet, and you should be good to go!
8 – Avoid Blurry Photos
The is the best way to avoid blurry images and to keep the photos straight and consistent. If you have any trouble maintaining a steady shot, consider using a tripod.
If really in a pinch, a stack of books, table, or chair can serve as a make-shift stabilizer so images of the apartment come out looking clear, level, and attractive.
This is one of the main reasons many apartment marketing agencies hire a professional photographer to take photos of properties so that they can rent more quickly.
9 – Take Many, Many Photos!
Take as many photos as you’d like! Tenants want to see every room and part of the property they will be paying for, including shared community areas. Plan to include the following elements in your shoot:
- All bedrooms and bathrooms
- Dining room
- Living Room
- Laundry Room
- Community Spaces, such as walkways and patio areas
10 – Highlight Your Curb Appeal
Don’t forget to show your apartments’ exterior some love! Your renters want to be able to see what your complex map and the curb appeal have to offer just as much as they’re interested in the interior. If you have a rooftop deck, courtyard, or parking spaces you’d like to show off, make sure you include those. Unique elements only drive further interest in your listing.
11 – Edit Carefully
After you’re done taking all the shots you’d like, review your photos carefully. Go ahead and delete any dark/blurry photos, flash reflections in mirrors, clutter, or photographers caught in a mirror. You’ll then be ready to move on to editing!
Using a smartphone makes this a breeze. Photo editing apps can be a lifesaver! Adobe Photoshop Express, Camera+ 2, Darkroom – Photo Editor, and Polarr Photo Editor all provide various tools that can help enhance your shots. Focus mainly on cropping for size and adjusting the brightness.
Lighter photos are more cheerful and easier to see.
After editing, you’ll be prepared to upload. As they make their way onto your property’s site and beyond, ensure that your photos are uploaded upright; rotate, if needed.
12 – Hire a Professional
Need some assistance? Don’t be afraid to call in some help! A professional photographer can do work serious magic on your property and get you the best quality photos. You’ll also save yourself any apprehension you may have regarding the editing process, as they’ve been trained with the know-how to take an ordinary photo to extraordinary.
With these tips in mind, it’s time to set off and take some fancy snapshots of your own! And if you need our help, we’re right here.
Tags: apartment photo shoots, apartment photography, apartment virtual tours, photographers, photography, professional apartment photography, professional photography
This post was written by Megan Finley