This is a guest post by Michael Yearout of Breckenridge, Colorado.
I have come to believe property photography (be it architectural, real estate, rental management, interior decorator, builder or designer) could be considered a combination of photojournalism and documentary photography.
The traditional definition of photojournalism is defined as a unique and powerful form of visual storytelling originally created for print magazines and newspapers. But it has now morphed into multimedia and documentary filmmaking. Through the internet, apps and the mobile device explosion, photojournalism can now reach audiences never before imagined with immediate impact.
The traditional definition of documentary photography is defined as a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life.
When we photograph properties we are “documenting” the property, i.e. showing the property in pictures, including the rooms, decorations, style, location and so on. At the same time we are photojournalists and are telling (or should be) the properties story, i.e. what the property looks like, how it feels, its style, its location, its uniqueness.
Keeping those two things in mind when photographing a property will produce images that are compelling and eye-catching. The images will produce emotion. And emotion is what makes people act. The images will be engaging; they will engage the viewer.
This type of thinking will alter the way you compose your photographs. It will alter the way you think about your photographs. It will alter the way you approach property photography in some very meaningful ways.
So, the next time you are taking pictures of a property, take your photojournalism hat along with your documentary hat along with you and really think about each and every shot you take. You might find the images you create much more compelling.