With smartphone camera technology rapidly catching up with digital cameras of the same price, it’s easy to see why so many real estate agents and homeowners are forgoing their point-and-shoot setups for the equipment they already have in their pockets.
Making the Most of What You Have
Convenience comes at the price of a steep learning curve. Taking a good smartphone photo is still hard work and real estate photography requires a careful touch. Make the most of your smartphone photography skills with the following five tips:
1. Check to see if your camera is good enough
Interestingly enough, if you purchased your cellphone more recently than you purchased your camera, your cellphone might actually take better quality pictures. Modern cellphones often push the 8-megapixel mark, a good amount of quality for something you can fit into your pocket. Don’t let the display screen fool you: once you get those pictures onto a computer, you just might be surprised how great they look.
2. Invest in the right accessories
What should you do if your cellphone camera doesn’t quite meet your expectations? There are accessories for that! The first accessory to hunt down is the classic tripod – motion blur is the number one cause of ruined cellphone snapshots. If the flash on your camera isn’t quite powerful enough to cut through dim interiors, check out external synchronized flash bulbs.
If you have a popular model of cellphone, you might even be able to find third-party lenses. Some lenses attach by magnet but others come with cases with threaded attachments so you can screw the lenses right on. Look for wide-angle lenses for landscape shots and macro lenses for close-ups of stunning home details.
3. Learn to work around limitations
A cellphone camera will never take a professional-level photograph, but photographers can still take steps to work around the limitations inherent in such small devices. Dark conditions are often the biggest downfall of cellphone cameras – so if you can’t afford one of those cool flashbulbs mentioned in the last section, you might want to schedule your shots for a bright day. Open the windows and let nature do its work.
Take about ten times more photos than necessary. A small, low-resolution display means that you won’t be able to see the details in each of your photos. Get extra shots and move around to play with different perspectives. Go through the photos later to discard the ones that just won’t work. You’ll be glad you have extras.
4. Learn the basics of good composition
Good composition can make a world of difference when it comes to cellphone photography and real estate photography in general. Get reacquainted with the Rule of Thirds and the Fibonacci Spiral to make sure the viewer’s eye is going to the part of the home you want to emphasize. Use the grid feature on your favorite phone app to make sure everything lines up perfectly.
There are plenty of great photography books out there. You don’t even have to learn from a digital photography book; the basics of good composition have remained the same for generations, and there is no shortage of good advice available for the taking. Never stop practicing and learning. Good composition makes any photo look good!
5. Post-process like a pro
What happens if the photos turn out too dim or grungy? Make good use of the photo editing tools on your phone or computer. Take some time to check out this awesome app – tools like these make it easy to resize, adjust brightness, ramp up the color, and remove imperfections. Save the originals to ensure you can revert your changes easily, especially helpful if you want to publish the photos in different formats.
Seizing the Day
Don’t be intimidated by those high-budget real estate agents with their professional photography crews. A good home (at the right price) will sell itself: the photographer’s job is just to capture it as accurately and invitingly as possible.
Cellphone photography has a bad reputation for being amateurish but that has nothing to do with the real capabilities of the available technology. If you approach the situation like a professional, you’ll get professional results every time. The capabilities are there for those who are bold enough to utilize them.