Conquer DIY Real Estate Photography: Part 1

Hi! My name is Sarynelli and I am the new Video Production Manager here at W+R Studios. My mission is to provide you with the best photography, video, and editing tips and tricks that you can apply to your real estate business today.

There is a lot to go over, so this post will be split in two parts: photography equipment and photography rules. As a photographer/videographer, I genuinely believe that you cannot get a good result without proper equipment.

Here’s what will be covered in this blog:

  • Cameras
  • Lenses
  • Tripods
  • Lights

After reading this post, you’ll see why using your camera phone simply isn’t enough, and you’ll be on your way to becoming the best real estate photographer in your area!

1: Get a Proper Camera

There are hundreds of cameras on the market. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I’ve narrowed down a few of my personal favorites:

  • Fujifilm X-T20: $899 This camera is a gem. Considering it has Fuji’s best image processing to date, it’s a steal. It’s small and compact, and produces high quality images. Plus, the design is a throwback to old film cameras.

Fujifilm X-T20

  • Nikon D750: $1,796 The D750 has a full frame sensor, which means it will capture a lot more detail in your picture. This is the biggest difference between the Fujifilm and the Nikon, hence the price hike. It is sturdier and more heavy duty than the Fujifilm, which is why I’m including it as a mid-level option.

Nikon D750

  • Sony a7R III: $3,198 Personally, I’m a Sony fangirl. So I had to include a Sony camera here. The a7R III is on the upper price level because, like the Nikon, it is a full frame camera. But apart from that, its compactness and ability to capture great images in low light are what completely justify the price. This is relevant to agents, because taking pictures inside of a house often lends itself to low light situations.

Sony a7R III

2: Use a Wide-Angle Lens

Many consider the lens to be the most important component of the camera. The reason for this, is that the camera can only capture what comes in through the lens — it defines sharpness, clarity, and perspective. It’s a lot like the human eye; if the brain is the camera sensor, the eye is the lens. And if you have bad eyesight, you need glasses or contacts (a better lens). Needless to say, the quality of the image greatly depends on the lens.

For real estate photography, you want to focus on anything at or below 35mm, which is considered a wide-angle or super wide-angle lens. This is because you get a broader angle of view and thus, are able to capture more in the frame. This is perfect for bathrooms, closets, or other small spaces. These types of lenses are great for landscape photography as well, so it’s a win-win!

Below is a personal favorite of mine:

  • Canon EF 35mm f/2: $549.99 I love this lens because it has excellent build quality and image stabilization, it’s compact, and incredibly sharp. Keep in mind, lenses and cameras have different mounts, so not all lenses will be compatible with all cameras. The good news is there are adapters for just about every lens/camera combination you can think of!

Canon EF 35mm f/2

3: Use a Tripod

Tripods add stability to shooting. Plus, they take the pressure off making sure that your shots are not tilted. Most tripods come with a bubble to make sure your shot is level. Additionally, they help you get angles that would otherwise be very difficult to pull off.

Tripods range in all shapes and sizes, pricing, and purpose (photography vs. video, travel vs. studio). While the pros have a lot to choose from, the following tripod will suit any DIY real estate photographer’s needs.

  • Induro CLT203: $375 I, myself, have an Induro tripod so I had to include one in this list. I love this tripod because it’s made of carbon fiber, so it’s really sturdy but surprisingly lightweight, making it great to travel with.

Induro CLT203

4: Bring a Light Stand

Lighting is essential for pulling off a great photo in a dark area that maybe doesn’t get a lot of natural light, like hallways or northern facing bedrooms. LED lights have become the industry standard because they are more economic and less cumbersome than traditional fluorescent lights. Listed below are some popular brands and models of light kits that come with stands and other accessories.

  • Julius Studio 160 LED: $34.50 Talk about bang for your buck! This kit includes two LED lights and two stands that do a perfectly adequate job of lighting up your scene.

Julius Studio 160 LED

  • Neewer 480 Bi-Color LED: $159.99 I like this middle-tier light kit because it’s well-built, the light dimensions are bigger than the Julius Studio lights, and they come with a carrying case.

Neewer 480 Bi-Color LED

  • GVM 520 Bi-Color LED: $597.77  I love these lights because they have temperature and brightness settings, memory settings, a digital display, and superior build quality. Not to mention, you get three!

GVM 520 Bi-Color LED

With this equipment in your arsenal, you’ll soon be finding no need to hire a professional photographer — you’re the pro now! Make sure to check back in next month for part two, where I’ll cover some basic photography rules that will make you unstoppable.

Let us know in the comments below if this post was helpful and if you’d like to see more articles like this in the future!


10 responses to ‘Conquer DIY Real Estate Photography: Part 1

  1. That’s awesome, Shailesh. As you know, I’m a big fan of Sony 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. Very informative and Important details. I am a photographic fan has SONY ALpha 350 SLR and recently brought SONY wide angle lens (Variable aperture I think 12 – 35 mm for about $550). After reading your post, will invest in Lights. Thanks for your valuable informations.

  3. Absolutely love this post! Well-written and lots of good information! Thank you 🙂

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