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Property photography: boost curb appeal with the money shot

As a property photographer, there's something we need to tell you.

It's what's on the outside that counts. 

Just as more and more property searches begin online (we're now up to 93% and growing), there's a simultaneous trend to replicate a real-life viewing, with 60% of movers saying they'd be interested in something like a Virtual Reality tour before a physical viewing in future.

As digital reflections of real-life viewings continue on an upwards trend, it's no surprise that so many agents choose to put an external shot first. It's the first thing a viewer would see in real life, so it's the first thing they want to see online. 

In fact, at the time of writing, nine of the first ten homes listed on Rightmove show an external shot as the hero image. 

It's the most important shot of the day, so here are our tips for boosting the home's curb appeal. 

Composition

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Photo courtesy of FocalAgent photographer Stephen Corbett 

With all of that glorious daylight, the exposure almost sorts itself out. The focus, really, is on composition. 

Whether a bungalow or a tower block, viewers need to see the roof and the sky. It helps them get a better idea of the building as a whole.

Be careful with how you set up your tripod, though. Shoot at too much of an angle and your verticals will become distorted. Trust us when we say that agents who care about their property photography do not like distorted lines.

It's ideal to shoot the building straight on, so you often find that standing far back is the best way to achieve this.

In fact, it's better to stand further away than to shoot wider, as this keeps more of the roof in the shot as well as avoiding distortion. 

 

The essential shots

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Photo courtesy of FocalAgent photographer Ant Jackson

Give the whole property the same love and care. Your best clients - the estate agents who care most about the quality of their property photography - will always expect the same shots: 

  • Front: straight on
  • Front: at an angle 
  • Back: straight on
  • Back: at an angle

And our top-rated photographers often include the bonus shot: a close-up of the front door or ground floor. 

 

Staging the shot

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Photo courtesy of FocalAgent photographer Laura Laws 

Home staging: it's the difference between a professional-looking shoot and one of these.

When you're outside, it mainly comes down to two things: bins and cars. Give your vendor or agent a call ahead of time to make sure these are moved out of the way. 

Sometimes, you'll find yourself on a street lined with cars. When that's the case, put your camera on a timer and (carefully) lift the tripod over your head, so the shot goes over the cars. 

 

Dealing with daylight

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Photo courtesy of FocalAgent photographer Peter Hilton

Even the most perfect shot can be ruined by sunlight going right down the lens. We recommend a UV filter and a lens hood to combat this. Never, ever use your hand to block out the shot - you'd be surprised how often we've seen this! 

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