10 Tips for Photographing Your Rental Property

You’ve just finished renovating your property and are ready to get tenants moved in. 

So naturally, that means you’ll need to start marketing your home, and the most effective weapon in your advertising arsenal is having great photographs of your property.

Think about every single time you’ve hopped onto RightMove, SpareRoom or wherever to look at a property. What’s the first thing you look at? 

The photos! 

The photos you look at will make an immediate impression on you and will be one of, if not the biggest, factor in determining whether you decide to view the property or disregard it.

The best and probably the only chance you’ll get to take photographs of your property is when it is freshly renovated and furnished. 

So take advantage of this opportunity before you start letting tenants move in.

Before we begin, a word on photographs vs photographs

Before we dive in, unless you have a basic understanding of shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, then we strongly suggest you consider hiring a professional photographer to take your photos. If you’re confident enough in taking the photos yourself, though, then these tips will surely help.

You might be sitting reading this with the thought of taking the photos yourself. And that’s great if you know what you’re doing, but there are photographs, and then there are photographs

So we’re going to tell you how to get the latter with our top 10 tips for photographing your rental property. 

Tip 1 – Use a Professional Camera

The best place to start is with your equipment. Although smartphone cameras are excellent these days, they aren’t really a substitute for professional cameras (although this could change one day).

For now, it’s still best to use equipment specifically designed for the job at hand. 

Tip 2 – Use Natural Light Wherever You Can

Shoot during the daytime, open any curtains and blinds so that you let as much natural light into the property as you can. 

Where you can, try not to turn on the lights. The shadows created by light bulbs often feel harsh in your photos. You’ll get a much more natural look to your pictures if you let natural light do its thing. 

Sometimes it’s unavoidable if it’s a dark day or the property doesn’t boast a lot of natural light. In that case, you’ll need some extra light. Just be careful to not cast too many harsh shadows. 

Tip 3 – Bracket Your Photos

When I first started shooting interiors, I kept my camera in Manual mode and adjusted for every setting possible to try and make sure my photos didn’t look underexposed or overexposed. Unfortunately, it took a long time, and it usually didn’t yield good results!

I then learned about bracketing/HDR photos. This process involves taking 3 or 5 photos at varying exposure levels and merging them together during the editing process. The results are fantastic and give you photos of rooms that look beautifully exposed and uncompromised. 

Tip 4 – Use a Tripod

Unless you have unnaturally steady hands, use a tripod. 

You’re likely to be working with low shutter speeds when shooting interiors, so you need a tripod to keep your camera beautifully still. 

When you’re mounted on a tripod, you can keep your aperture large (I opt for somewhere in the range of F8-F11) and your ISO as low as you can realistically go, giving your photos a much sharper look.

Tip 5 – Don’t Abuse The Wide-Angle Lens

Many people assume that you should only spend time grabbing wide-angle shots when photographing interiors. And that’s fine if you only want to use your photos to help rent your property. 

However, there’s rarely a need to use the full range of your wide lens. Don’t abuse it. When interior photos have been taken with an exaggerated perspective, they look a little odd and make your properties look much larger than they are. That can result in prospective buyers/renters feeling misled when they come for a viewing. 

Also, by only using a wide lens, you’re missing out on a whole range of other shots that can help you to really show off your property’s interiors and design. 

So spend some time getting some close-up shots. You’ll end up with some lovely images to share on your website or social media pages and a better portfolio of images all-around. 

Tip 6 – Stage

Before you think about taking the shot, it’s vital to spend time staging your photos. 

Get rid of any clutter and cables and make sure everything is tidy and in its proper place. 

You might also want to consider adding a few nice extras such as plants, wall art, and ornaments to help give people a real sense of what it might be like to live in your home. 

You’ll probably find you have given yourself more images to take because your room now has more subjects and points of interest. 

Tip 7 – Create Space

When shooting interiors, you’re probably going to find space quite tight. Rental properties, particularly, can leave you feeling a little claustrophobic! Don’t be afraid to move furniture around if it’s in the way of your shot or needs repositioning. 

Sometimes there isn’t much you can do to create space. For instance, bathrooms can be pretty tight, and you can’t move sinks, toilets or showers out of the way! You’ll have to make do with what you have in those situations. You can do a little trick to make the room feel bigger without exaggerating your shots: take your photos a little lower down (slightly lower than waist height). 

Tip 8 – Follow the Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is fundamental in photography because it’s a handy tool for composing photos. The main benefit is that it helps produce more pleasing images to the eye. 

Start by creating a grid of two vertical and two horizontal lines. You can do this mentally, but most cameras/smartphones will allow you to turn on a grid setting on your screen. 

The grid lines will intersect at four points, and it’s on these points that you should place your point(s) of interest. They don’t have to sit directly on the intersections; they just need to be close by so that the human eye is naturally drawn towards that area. This helps to create balance as well as interest in your photos. 

Tip 9 – Create Depth

Furniture placement is pretty crucial for interior photography. It’s been said before, but don’t be afraid to move furniture or ornaments around if it helps create a better shot. 

In interior photography, using furniture and furnishings are an easy way to add depth to your photos. It can also help you attract attention to an area of a room you want to highlight.

When setting up for your shot, think about any items that attract your eye towards the foreground, middle ground or background. If not, you might want to add an item in such as a vase or any kind of ornament. If something is taking your eye away from what you want people to see, then it’s worth considering whether you can take it away or reposition your shot.

Tip 10 – Consider Hiring a Professional Photographer

We said this at the start of this blog, but it’s worth reiterating the point for our final tip. A professional photographer will have a natural eye for getting the best shots of your property and will probably be much quicker at getting the job done. 

And it’s not just taking the photos well that’s important. Editing them is a time-consuming task that requires professional software and often a lot of time. 

Did you know we have a photographer in-house who can help you? If you have any questions about property photography or want to ask us for a quote, then get in touch.

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