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Getting Started In Real Estate Photography Questions from Romania

Published: 06/11/2015
By: larry

Sigma10-20Daniel in Romania asked the following questions:

  1. I recently opened a real estate agency and looking to buy a DSLR kit. I was looking to buy D7200 with the Nikkor 10-24mm, a tripod and a flash.
  2. I'm taking a photo class to learn but we mostly learn how to use the camera for portrait photo and the teacher doesn't know much about real estate photography - lol.
  3. My problem is that most real estate listings websites don't let you post photos bigger than 8 Mb and resolution of 1280x860, if is more then they crop it.
  4. Also I would like to know how wide is too much, because clients don't like to see the rooms looking so big, and when they come see it is smaller. Any suggestion there?

The Nikon D7200 is a good choice for real estate shooting. However, the Sigma 10-20 mm is as good or better lens than the Nikon 10-24 mm for about half the price. See the PFRE lens table on the blog for all the lens alternatives.

For a summary of resources to learn real estate photography here on the PFRE blog see the FAQ page.

Yes, all real estate listing sites restrict photo size. You just have to live with it. The best approach is to provide listing photos exactly the size specified by the listing site in sRGB color space (the color space used on the web).

When shooting real estate a good practice is to keep your lens between about 20 mm and 24 mm effective focal length (that would be 14 mm and 16 mm on a D7200 since the D7200 has a multiplier of 1.5 because of the sensor size). For more insights on wide-angle real estate shooting see this video.

9 comments on “Getting Started In Real Estate Photography Questions from Romania”

  1. @ Larry, The link for the FAQ page goes to the video that you linked to at the end of the post and not the FAQ page.

    @ Daniel, Suggest you click on the yellow box in the right sidebar of this page "8 Steps to Learning Real Estate Photography".

  2. Daniel
    Its great that you as a real estate agent has actually gone and purchased a camera. So many agents dont have a DSLR and thats their downfall. As an agent, if you do rentals, you then have the opportunity to go and photograph all your rentals when the property is vacant, so that when they next come up for rent or for sale (which many of them do) you will have the photos on file for them. You will be way ahead of your competition.
    I am a real estate agent too and I do all my own photography with my Canon 7D. As well I also do video using the same camera. I just set the lens to 10mm or 12mm. I rather photograph the whole room rather than just some of it. I have never had anyone complain about sizes of rooms. In fact most people praise me on my photo skills as most agents in my area use either compact cameras or smartphones which just dont compare.
    My advice is when you take your photos, take them in small camera raw, go when the sky is blue (and not overcast or rainy) and when you take your shots expose the view through the windows. Turn on all the lights in the property. You can do this by viewing the shot on the viewfinder, using manual mode and then setting your flash to max. You may also want to enable high speed sync on your flash. You may also use two flashes as well as getting a quality tripod. I use one flash on camera and hold the other in my hand as I dont want to be in the property too long. You will see many posts on this. Then when you have your shots, post edit them in lightroom. Its so cheap at $10 a month and it comes with photoshop as well. Basically with every shot slide your highlights slider right down. Adjusting the blue and green sliders you will quickly properly expose any view through windows. You will also have to fix you converging verticals. Then when I export from lightroom I convert them to a jpeg and they all convert to between 1000-2000kb, great for uploading to portals. I will also copyright all my photos as most agents in my area, if they dont have photos, will use yours once you upload them.
    David Preston

  3. Hi,

    Thank you for your quick reply, and sorry for my late thanks but i had some problems and didnt had time to reply.

    Bought the camera and lenses as suggested, now looking to buy a tripod and from ur suggestion i was thinking to buy Monfrotto 055... with the head 405 pro and the flashlight sb910 ( waiting for black friday lol )

    Do you think is a good idea or i should get something else?

    Thank you in advance

  4. And if i need anything else please tell me... I know i need a UV filter for protection, hood for the lenses , polorized filter for exterior, for now ill use just the one flash but as i go i will probably buy more once i learn how to use the light properlly( after i read some books that i saw you recommend) and idk what else i need... Maybe a trigger for flash or camera....

    Thank you in advance

  5. Hi Daniel.
    Why not concentrate your efforts on the business of selling real estate and employ the services of a professional property photographer to produce
    your marketing material? After all, you don't get many photographers trying to sell real estate..
    Good luck with your new venture.

  6. Because i dont think is worth paying for that in the Romanian real estate market. Im not a professionist but I am willing to put in the effort and learn to make beautiful photos. I started a class, just now after i learn to use the camera gonna buy some books that Larry recommended here on the website about lighting in real estate, and im sure in no time i should be able to make a bit more then decent real estate photography.

    Plus i see at least 5 new listing a day that need photography ( from residential to comercial real estate ) i dont have the time or the money to pay for so manny photo session a day.

    If is something i can learn if i put in the effort, with the books and videos i saw Larry recommends i think i can be a decent real estate photohgrapher.

    Sorry but hiring a rea estate photographer is not very realistic for 5 listings a day.

  7. @Olly - Since for a long time I was a Realtor that shot my own listings I have to say it's possible to be a technically inclined real estate agent that shoots their own photos and has fun doing it. There are a fairly large number of Realtors that frequent this site that shoot their own listings and some that have won the PFRE still and video contests.

    I see many husband and wife Realtor teams where one spouse focuses on the technical part of real estate (there's a lot these days) and the other spouse focused on the non-technical parts.

  8. I'm a Realtor that is almost at the same point as Daniel. I've got my camera (Nikon D7000) and lens (Sigma 8-16mm) selected, looking at flash, tripod and accessories now, which is why I'm here. I've been an agent for several years, but I feel I'm better suited for RE photography and looking forward to the change.
    Many of the photos I see in MLS are very poor, and I know exactly what the agents in my office are looking for to represent their listings. Since I already help almost all of them with marketing, tech issues, etc, anyway, I anticipate several of the agents will give me an opportunity.

    Daniel, you may decide to save your photos in 2 different sizes - one that is acceptable on the web and in MLS, the other, larger size for print marketing, brochures, etc.
    Also, I used to think wide angle photos were misleading, and there are a few agents out there who still feel this way. However, it has become the norm, at least in this area, and now when I compare shots taken with a "normal" lens, the rooms appear much smaller than they are IMO. The agents in my office always prefer the wide angle shots.

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