January 28, 2020

Top 11 DIY Photography Tips to Rent your Property Quicker

Michael here, I’d like to introduce Nik, the founder of Real property Photography. A little while back he wrote a great blog on Cubbi giving 10 tips on taking great photos of your property when advertising your property for sale. After receiving great feedback I’ve asked him back to write something for you, his top 11 tips on taking photos for your rental ad.

Don’t forget to take some notes because their is plenty of gold dripping from each word which will help you find better tenants and find them quicker.

Take it away Nik...

Every week your property sits unoccupied is another week of lost rental income you are hit with. The importance of having your listing in the right places is huge and is what will separate your property from the hundreds of competitors in your area.

It is crucial to give your property the best possible exposure, which in turn ensures it stands out above all the rest. Every property, no matter the size, deserves a professional photo shoot and whilst it may sound daunting creating your own marketing materials, my ten helpful tips will assist any owner in DIY property photography to get it off the rental market as soon as possible!

1. Be sure to get the property clean

You would be amazed what can show up in a picture. No prospective tenant wants to move into a property that is not clean and well looked after. No matter how skilled you are at taking great photos, if the house is not clean your photos will never jump off the page. Get my presentation checklist and be sure to stick to it. This will ensure your property is given the credit it deserves.

2. Remove personal items

When advertising your property for rent, you are wanting to attract a tenant who will treat your property as their own and who can picture themselves living there. Too many personal items can turn away prospective tenants. So remove all those family photos and clear the bench tops.

3. Use what you have, not what you don’t have

There is no need in today’s age to go out and buy a professional SLR camera for a once off property shoot. Many people will currently own, or can easily access a smart phone, that can capture great photos. Whilst the resolution may not be suitable for the likes of print, they will certainly be of standard for the likes of digital. So if the photos are only going on the internet, your smart phone will do the trick.

4. Use available lighting

Lighting is highly important when it comes to capturing a great photo. A professional real estate photographer, like myself, will typically carry multiple ‘off-camera’ flashes. However, you should be confident in knowing you can use both ambient and artificial lighting to your advantage. The best ambient light usually comes from shooting in the middle of the day. This may avoid harsh lights streaming through the windows. Be sure to turn all the lights on in the property and also lamps and any other light sources you can use to your advantage. A well-lit space can make or break a photo!

Notice how the photo below utilises the natural light from the beautiful window.

Use available lighting, a well lit space can make or break a photo

5. Shoot low, not high

You may be wondering what I mean by this. Well, the secret to getting a well-positioned shot is to shoot from a low perspective. A good rule of thumb is to hold your camera/ smart phone below shoulder height, and adjust until the walls are vertical and straight. See in the example below, the walls are straight up and down with the edge of the photo.

In this example the walls are straight up and down with the edge of the photo

6. Get wide

Often you will come across those professional photography shots that can make a small space appear rather large. Whilst this is mainly attributed to using an Ultra Wide Angle lens, it is also something you can partly achieve yourself. Be sure to take a step back to try and capture a whole space in one. However, there are circumstances where getting wide will not do justice to a property and this is often on a case-by-case basis. For example when there are too many personal items or furniture in the room that may look cluttered and messy.

7. Positioning

Thinking about where you will stand before you take the photo is highly important. The last thing you want to do is take a great photo, upload it to your computer and realise you have captured part of your arm in that bathroom mirror! Stand in a position of a room of which you feel will highlight the angles, and space best, whilst ensuring any part of you, or your shadows are not obtruding into the photo.

8. Hold the Camera still

The worst types of images, are the out of focus, or blurry ones. Ensure you are holding the camera/ smart phone with a steady hand. Take time to focus on a particular place prior to taking the shot. Aim to focus on a particular point that is around half way between you and the furthest point in the photo.

9. Download image-enhancing apps

Once you have got your great shot, you can now enhance it using any one of a range of good smart phone apps. One that I like to use is Snapseed. This is a great application available on both iPhone and Android. It allows you to make multiple adjustments and enhancements to your photos. You can crop, sharpen, increase/ decrease the contrast and more. (There is even a straighten tool – just in case you skipped the above tip!). More on using snapseed.

Check out this before and after shot of the Snapseed process.


Before Snapseed enhancing


After Snapseed enhancing

**The photo above depicts the finished edited image in Snapseed. All I have done is apply a quick straightening to the image to try and get my verticals correct, along with a lighting adjustment to try and bring out the colours in the verandah, and a sharpen adjustment also. All this can take only a few minutes. As you can see the photo now looks more appealing to your prospective tenants.

10. Get your ‘Hero Shot’

Your hero shot is generally the image that you will use to capture the interest of a prospective tenant. This could be a great shot of the front of the home or a beautiful one looking over the pool or the property’s view (if applicable). You want your property to stand out amongst the rest, so find something unique about your property to showcase as a point of difference.

11. Only pick your best shots

There is no need to upload all 40 shots that you have taken. Instead, pick out your top eight to ten photos and showcase these. Too many images can sometimes lead to losing the attention of your prospective tenant resulting in another potential lost lead.

Remember that shooting the pictures for your rental ad can be a lot of fun, so enjoy the process. If you are finding it all too difficult or you do not have access to a recent smartphone or a point and shoot camera, we are offering you a professional real estate photographer to shoot your property for Cubbi’s price of just $100 Inc GST. Visit us here to chat with your local property photographer and and tell them Michael sent you.