Your iPhone Can Shoot the Best Real Estate Photography
No matter where you land online, the vast majority of real estate photography tips encourage the reader and anyone in the real estate industry to invest in a DSRL camera first, but in 2018, this is outdated advice.
"Back away from the iPhone!" they yell as if the results will still come out grainy with a yellow tint, considering how much iPhones have improved since 2013. The truth is that shooting the best real estate photographs really has nothing to do with parting with a tonne of money to get the job done well.
Nowadays, with the right tools and techniques, your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are powerful enough to rival the most advanced digital camera and DSRL by producing high-quality images of a property, making it even easier than ever to improve your listing photos.
The following tips will get you on the right path to taking the best real estate photographs with your iPhone.
Perhaps "tip" isn't the right word.
These are more like the basic principles of amazing real estate photography, and while you've probably read that “it takes 2-seconds to get a buyer's (or renter's) attention without a photograph and 20-seconds with one”, with these tools and techniques you're guaranteed to make the most of that time.
Just because you're shooting with a phone, doesn't mean you get to neglect one of the essential parts of real estate photography — having a sturdy camera.
This where a tripod comes in. And they don't have to be expensive either. Your iPhone tripod needs to make sure that your camera is secure enough to allow you to manually fiddle with the camera settings as you go from the dining room to the lounge and onwards.
When shooting with a DSLR, professional photographers recommend anything between 10-35mm, however, in the past, it was definitely tougher to get the same range with iPhone lenses.
Enter the TrueLUX® Lens Series from Hitcase.
These lenses are interchangeable, waterproof lenses that allow you to capture images that have never before come from an iPhone.
For instance, imagine being able to get a shot of the property from the pool’s level without fearing water damage to your expensive camera?
With the TrueLUX lenses, that's now a possibility!
When it comes to real estate photography with an iPhone, the best contender has to be the newly released TrueLUX SuperWide lens.
It's an ultra-wide lens that comes with 3 aspherical elements, ensuring flawless detail throughout the entire scene's field of view (FOV), without the annoying vignette action that you'd typically get with ultra-wide lenses.
Unlike with any typical smartphone lens, the TrueLUX SuperWide lens offers you a close minimum focusing distance of 16mm, meaning you can get extremely detailed shots of the property, which was completely impossible in the past!
Most iPhone wide angle lenses on the market do not have a seamless interaction with the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X's OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) systems, with smooth panning, full sensor range and low barrel distortion (fisheye) for extra creativity.
Whenever it's possible, no matter your chosen device, using the camera flash is never a good idea — the images just don't come out right. Sunlight gives your room a warmth that makes surfaces naturally glisten and the room appear cozier (even if it's not furnished). The natural light also creates diffused shadows, giving you the feeling of physically being in the space, so knowing how to take advantage of this light goes a long way to shooting amazing imagery.
Pro-Tip: It's very rare to get a single exposure image that fully demonstrates the contrasts in the space, so you need to be using HDR techniques in order to remove the effect of shadowy room corners and extremely (unnaturally) bright windows.
With a DSRL, you'd have to bracket your images, which would result in a highly uneven white balance, but thanks to technology, by simply selecting the High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting on your phone you can totally avoid that issue. Once you've selected HDR, all you have to do is shoot as many pictures of the same space as possible. Once you have your images, use Photoshop or Lightroom to mask each of the images on top of each other choosing the best image to highlight a particular area.
Every room is different, so there's no particular formula for shooting on site. The main way to know the best composition for your image is to simply walk around and figure out which vantage points are the best for the particular room.
Typically, the best place to set up your tripod is from the corners or from an angle that can best convey the space — a professional would shoot photographs from more than one vantage point, that way when they look at their images in post-processing, the odds are in their favor.
1 - All vertical lines should be vertical
In order to make this happen, your iPhone camera has to be perfectly horizontal. However, when you're shooting a stairwell, or shooting from a landing upstairs, in order to properly capture the lower level, you will need to tilt your iPhone camera. If there are any converging verticals, they can be corrected in post via Photoshop or Lightroom.
2 - Keep your angles dynamic
Many professional photographers have rules like, "always shoot from the best height" or "shoot from your hip height", but the best height varies from room to room and really depends on where the contents of the room are. For instance, if your objects are from floor to ceiling, it might make sense to shoot from chest height, however, where objects are lower, shoot below the hip!
The key is to fill the image with the room's contents, not negative space.
When you simply want to get the best idea of a property, you don't need to hire a professional photographer, however, as time goes by, hiring one will be a good idea. As a professional real estate photographer, you probably understand the little intricacies that ensure that a photograph looks good, and fortunately, those tools are now even more accessible!
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