The Do’s and Don’ts of Shooting the Exterior of a Property

Do you need the exterior of your property photographed? Is it commercial or residential? What kind of lighting do you have access to and how much control over that lighting do you have? How much time will you have to shoot the exterior and how many days can you take off work to do this? The exterior of a property can be fun, challenging, and as rewarding as any interior shoot when done right. But it can also be frustrating, boring, and unforgiving if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Ensure that the property is ready

You want to make sure that the property is in tip-top shape before you start shooting. This means power washing any dirt or grime off of the exterior. Sweeping walkways and driveways, and making sure that any debris is removed. You also want to make sure that any outdoor furniture is neatly arranged and that any flower beds are free of weeds.

Once you’ve done all of this, you’re ready to start shooting! Make sure to take photos from every angle, including close-ups. Make it your goal to showcase everything there is about the property – including the inside of any buildings on site – so potential buyers can get a good idea of what they’re buying.

Consider the sun’s position when you shoot

If you’re shooting during the day, you’ll want to make sure that the sun is not in your shot. The sun can create glare and wash out colors, so it’s best to avoid it if possible. Shoot early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky. If you must shoot during midday, try to position yourself so that the sun is behind you. You may also need to use a lens hood to shield your lens from direct sunlight.

While shooting at night, take care not to overexpose any elements by overexposing them with too much light.

Pay attention to how much space is around the property you are photographing. One tip for capturing an exterior property well is making sure there is enough space around it. The amount of background will have an effect on what kind of mood the viewer feels when looking at your photo.

Make sure there is something interesting going on in the background. Whether it be nature (trees, flowers) or man-made items (cars). Remember that you don’t always need to show everything. Sometimes the detail isn’t as important as just showing the place itself.

Take shots in the early evening or dusk

One of the best times to take shots of the exterior of a property is in the early evening or dusk. The natural light at this time of day can create some stunning effects, especially when it hits glass or metal surfaces. Just be sure to use a tripod to avoid camera shake. If you don’t have one handy, find a surface (like the hood of your car) that you can set your camera on so that it’s steady.

Start by getting all of the basic shots: Make sure you get an overall shot of your subject (this will help with compositing later). Get close-ups of any architectural details, like doors and windows. Stand back from the building and photograph it from various angles; try zooming in for a bird’s eye view if you have a telephoto lens. And finally, snap a photo of the building as seen through its gate or fence—make sure to stand far enough away so that there are no signs of distortion on the other side.

To make sure your photos are free of unwanted glare, either remove any reflective surfaces with tape before shooting or shoot during overcast conditions. You can also experiment with different shutter speeds to capture motion blur. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds: 1/60th means the shutter stays open for one sixty-sixth of a second, which causes movement to look blurry; 1/30th means it stays open for half as long, which captures movement more crisply. Try both settings to see what looks best for your shots. Finally, consider cropping out extraneous objects in postproduction.

Experiment with other angles

While you may be tempted to just shoot from the front of the property, experiment with other angles as well. Try shooting from the side or back for a different perspective. And don’t forget about aerial shots! A drone can give you a totally unique view of the property that will really wow potential buyers. You’ll want to use a photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom to edit your photos before posting them online.

Consider turning your photos into black and white or adding an artistic filter in order to stand out on social media. Keep these tips in mind when photographing the exterior of a property so that it sells faster!

1) When shooting from the front of the property, always make sure there is nothing blocking the entrance.

2) When taking shots from a higher angle (such as a balcony), make sure not to photograph people going in and out of their home.

3) Experiment with different angles – get creative!

4) Remember to turn your photos into black and white or add an artistic filter before posting them online. By keeping these simple tips in mind, you should have no problem snapping great photos of properties for sale.

Always use a tripod and the camera’s timer

One of the most important pieces of equipment for shooting exteriors is a tripod. A tripod will help keep your camera steady and level. Which is especially important when shooting at night or in low light. Plus, using the timer on your camera will help prevent any blurriness from camera shake.

The type of lens you use also matters: When it comes to lenses, wide-angle lenses are great for capturing the entire exterior. While telephoto lenses can capture detail shots that might not be possible with a wide-angle lens.

Make sure to check what focal length you need before starting to shoot so you can select the right lens! If you don’t have the perfect lens for the shot, try changing your perspective by either moving closer or further away from the subject.

You should also make sure to set up multiple shots before finishing. This way you have plenty of variety to choose from later on in post-processing. Finally, remember that if someone is walking through the shot during exposure time. Consider panning along with them instead of waiting until they walk out of frame.

Keep the camera horizon level and straight

One of the most important things to do when shooting the exterior of a property is to keep the camera horizon level and straight. This will ensure that the lines of the property are not distorted and that the final image is correctly proportioned.

Additionally, keeping the camera level will help prevent converging verticals, which can make a building look as though it’s leaning backwards or forwards. To accomplish this, place your camera on the ground or on an elevated surface before taking photos in order to create an even plane for the horizon line. You can also use software programs like Photoshop after you have taken your photos in order to correct any levels that might be off due to perspective distortion.

Keep foliage out of the frame: Foliage often provides interest to an exterior photo and can lend additional depth and scale, but don’t include too much greenery in your shot. It may block views of other parts of the house or distract from key architectural features.

Use wide angle lenses

Using wide angle lenses will help capture large areas with less effort by allowing you to zoom into a small area without moving closer. Wide-angle lenses also tend to provide more clarity than telephoto lenses because they take in more information at once. If you’re photographing buildings, landscapes, and streetscapes then a wide-angle lens is essential for capturing all the details of your surroundings.

Avoid cropping buildings close to their corners: Cropping buildings close to their corners creates an unbalanced feel and can diminish important elements of the façade such as windows or doors. Instead, shoot in a way that maintains the integrity of each side of the building.

Place one side of the building in the foreground, bring it back until it becomes a midground element, and fill up the background with sky. Sometimes I find it helpful to sketch out where I want my subject and my foreground to go before I start taking pictures.

It’s very important to consider how the environment will impact the final photograph. When photographing architecture, for example, consideration should be given to what types of surfaces surround the subject; a tall office building surrounded by flat surfaces might benefit from shooting downward while lower rooftops should be photographed looking upward. When considering what type of lenses you need, think about how far away your subject is.

Don’t forget to focus on the details

While you may be tempted to focus on the big picture when shooting the exterior of a property, don’t forget about the details. These can often make or break a photo. For example, one crucial detail is the window coverings. If they’re too dirty or old-looking, it will show in your photos.

You might want to shoot a few quick photos of just them if they’re really important for showing off that aspect of the house. The same goes for anything else that could detract from your images like an overgrown lawn or peeling paint.

They might not seem like much at first glance, but after taking a few more steps back to take in the whole scene, they’ll jump out at you. Be sure to capture all of these things before moving onto another angle so that you have all your bases covered.

Consider using a drone for overhead shots

If you’re thinking about using a drone to get an overhead shot of a property, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, make sure you’re familiar with the drone laws in your area.

Second, always be aware of your surroundings and be careful not to fly too close to people or buildings.

Third, make sure the property owner is okay with you flying a drone on their property.

And fourth, when in doubt, hire a professional drone pilot to help you get the shots you need. Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of shooting the exterior of a property, go out and get some amazing shots!

Retouch and review

Before you start shooting, take a walk around the property to scope out the best angles and compositions. Once you’ve got your shots, be sure to review them carefully. If you’re not happy with a shot, don’t hesitate to retake it.

And finally, when you’re editing your photos, be sure to retouch them to perfection! You can use software like Photoshop or Lightroom for this step. But there are also some great apps that can help you with touch-ups. There are a lot of filters available on these apps as well that make post-processing so much easier.

The Bottom Line

Shooting the exterior of a property can be tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be sure to get great shots every time.

First, do your research and scout out the location beforehand. This way, you’ll know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

Second, be aware of the lighting conditions on the day of the shoot.

Third, use a tripod to stabilize your camera and avoid blurry shots.

Fourth, take multiple shots from different angles to capture the property in its entirety.

Fifth, don’t forget to zoom in close enough for details when photographing things like street signs or flowers near the house.

Finally, clean up any clutter before taking pictures; this will make it easier for viewers to focus on the features that matter most about the property.

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