Your Permanent Change of Station orders have arrived, and a move is in the near future. Before you embark on this fun adventure, you may need to place your home for sale or rent. If you’re a military member hoping to save some money and sell or rent your house yourself, it would benefit you to learn how to take great real estate photos with an iPhone.
Beautifully composed images of the house are essential to making any listing stand out above the rest on any real estate website. Whether you’re a professional real estate agent or a military family with a DIY attitude, the photos for your home listing can’t look like you just snapped quick shots with minimal effort.
Interestingly, even seasoned real estate agents nowadays are opting to take their professional house photos with a cellular device. And, with a bit of know-how, you actually also use your iPhone to capture those alluring pics to snag the attention of buyers or renters!
If you’re wondering how to take good real estate photos with an iPhone, check out our tips and recommended tools below. We’ll teach you all about how to capture the best images to attract interested buyers or renters!
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How to Take Real Estate Photos With iPhone
Smartphone technology has evolved tremendously in the past few years, making it possible to take pro-level pictures. Whether you have the newest iPhone or a more “mature” model, there are numerous ways you can snap better real estate pics.
1. Master the iPhone Basics
This probably seems obvious, but having a working knowledge of your iPhone’s camera app will be essential for taking your own high-quality real estate photos. If all you’ve done so far is snapped quick pics of kids or pets, take a moment to slow down and explore all the tools that come with the most recent models.
iPhone Camera Features to Know:
- The Flash (and how to turn it off)
- Zoom In and Out
- Adjust for Low-Light Situations
- Capture Images in HDR Mode (High Dynamic Range)
The HDR Mode mentioned above is an especially handy feature as it allows you to merge multiple images captured in different exposures into one vibrant photo. This way, you can portray all of the best aspects of a scene without having to worry if the lighting is perfect.
In addition to knowing the features listed above, you’ll want to practice holding the phone still while pressing the phone shutter button. Speaking of hands, make sure your finger isn’t covering the front lens! These tips may sound simple, but nothing will separate you from taking professional pictures faster than sloppy work that can easily be fixed.
A portable battery charger could also be a great basic investment to make sure you always have enough power! Missing that “golden hour” shot of your landscaping, because your iPhone ran out of juice, is definitely not a position you want to find yourself in. Power banks, at a wide range of price points, can be found at most major retailers, including Apple, Target, Walmart and even Amazon.
2. Stage Your Home for Real Estate Photos
Now that you’ve tackled the basics of how the iPhone camera works, it’s time to simply shoot the photos, right? Not so fast! You’ll want to first make sure your home is looking its best for picture day.
Because a house becomes a home through living in it, it’s hard not to focus on what makes life in your home special to you. However, the space itself needs to be the main attraction of your real estate photos— not your personal knick-knacks.
You’ll also want to leave out your pets and that scuff on the wall from when your kid tried a backflip in boots. Instead, make sure your images portray a classy vibe with clean lines and clear, open areas.
- Decluttering all surfaces of decor, loose papers, etc.
- Removing smaller pieces of furniture that make the room feel small
- Making the floor seem larger by taking away throw rugs and obstacles
- Letting in more natural light by opening blinds and curtains
- Touching up scuffed paint on the walls or baseboards
- Giving the house a good deep clean
Before taking any pictures, you’ll want to pack away some personal items. You’ll need to do this for your move anyway, so you might as well get a head start! Remember, the iPhone can only do so much with what it has to work with. The rooms you’re shooting don’t have to appear sterile and unlived in, but they need to allow newcomers to imagine their own lives in that home.
While the house doesn’t have to be spotless to take professional images, you don’t want it to appear small, dirty or cluttered. When preparing for your photo shoot, you may as well give your home a deep clean. After all, you’ll need to do that anyway before potential buyers or renters come to view your home!
Are you looking for more tips on how to stage a house for sale? Find plenty of information in our 7 Expert Tips for Incorporating Furniture Rental For Staging.
3. Compose a Sturdy Shot
Every space in a home will need a different approach when it comes to taking the best real estate photos. You’ll want to locate the best vantage point to ensure each room looks as large as possible. This usually means taking your iPhone photos from a corner of a room to get the widest view of an area.
Take Light into Consideration
However, the unique features of a room should be easy to see in relation to the rest of the room. Large windows, long countertops, built-in benches or bookcases, lengthy furnishings and other architectural flourishes should be given their moment to shine within the context of the entire space.
To achieve this, try to use as much natural light as possible to give your images a warmer, cozier hue. Fluorescent lights and the iPhone flash can’t compete with natural sunlight to make a space look bright, airy, and inviting.
Although they make good centerpieces of photos, placing the furnishing at the one-third mark (either side) of a horizontal composition is another classic technique. Be especially mindful of the horizontal lines of these home features, and make sure they’re level in your images too. Don’t give potential buyers the wrong impression by making your ceilings appear shorter or the horizon of the room feel slanted.
Using a Tripod
You don’t have to just take pictures from your line of sight, either! Perhaps the best view of the room is from a bit higher or lower than your eyes. Using a tripod, or even a monopod or adapted selfie stick, can help you get the right angle to show off a room.
Basic tripods for iPhones, which will improve your HDR images even more with a sturdy focus, can be found at retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy. Or, look to your local photography equipment shops to purchase similar gear, where you can also get personalized advice on how to use the products.
Expert Tip: Choose to shoot your images in horizontal or “landscape” mode. Not only will they look more consistent and professional, but they’ll also easily fit within the standard size and templates of real estate sites.
4. Use an App to Help You Edit
No one is expected to take the perfect real estate picture every time they tap their iPhone’s shutter dot. Whether you use software to edit images as you take them or afterward, there’s nothing wrong with “correcting” your photos. In fact, it’s expected that most images have help nowadays.
Real Estate Photo Edit Apps
Apps specifically made to edit real estate images, such as Photomatix Real Estate Camera, Exposio Real Estate Camera and RE/MAX Quebec Camera, will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you with intuitive tools to adjust exposure, warmth, contrast, sharpness and more. Even better, these tools are usually free, with some requiring an in-app purchase.
DIY Photo Edit Apps
Want to try your hand at photo editing? Image-altering apps such as Snapseed, VSCO, and Night Camera can allow you to lighten, darken, straighten, crop or add filters on the fly. You don’t need to get too creative with apps like these, but they could give you the freedom to quickly edit your images and upload them to social media or real estate sites.
We wouldn’t be covering all the angles if we didn’t mention the Photoshop Express Photo Editor and Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor apps! These tools, while powerful, may require some additional training if you are not already familiar with them and want professional results.
You can download more real estate photo apps for your iOS device at the Apple App Store.
5. Consider External Lenses
An external wide-angle attachment could make you feel like you added a second helping of space to the rooms featured in your iPhone images. This type of attachment, which usually clips onto the outside of your phone or case, will give your photos the mark of a professional by giving extra space to the borders of the image without distorting the pictures. You won’t get the usual vignette effect, which is the darker areas at the corners, either!
An 18-millimeter lens should be a good start to get the most realistic results, and these can be found at a variety of price points. For example, there are many solid options that range between the entry-level Xenvo Pro lens kit and the more-expensive-but-highly-rated Moment wide 18 mm lens. Whichever route you choose, you can rely on your real estate images appearing more spacious!
Apply What You’ve Learned
Like with many things in life, practice makes perfect! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself right away to take perfect real estate pictures with an iPhone. Review our tips and tricks as many times as you need, and practice taking images until you find your style and feel confident in your abilities.
Learning how to take real estate pictures with an iPhone is a skill that will always be handy for military personnel or real estate professionals helping them sell or rent their homes. Who knows? With your new skills at your fingertips, you may just find your true calling as an iPhone photographer!