I wanted to hit a few additional points on why to hire a professional photographer. As I stated in my last blog, selling faster, for more money, and most of all, for you to provide the best service possible to your clients. End result, you get more listings. More money in your pocket, so that you can have a family vacation or give to your favorite charity.
I also want to demonstrate some of the differences in various levels of photography. I set up a pretty common shot, although in a somewhat difficult lighting condition. The home is an open concept with a kitchen and dining room behind and to the right of camera. So I chose this camera angle.
I will look at three levels of skill and equipment.
- Using a cell phone
- Using a consumer DSLR and with flash
- Using a high quality DSLR with a quality lens with flash and advanced Lightroom and Photoshop techniques
Of course there are almost infinite levels between these.
Here is a picture that I took with my iPhone 6s, using the HDR feature. The windows are blown out and a lot of bloom, loss of details near the windows. It doesn’t give the warm and fuzzy to make a person look at the home.
In this picture I am using my Full Frame camera which is better than a consumer DSLR cameras, but by a small amount. I am using the standard kit lens that came with the camera. I should point out that I used Lightroom to edit this shot and the iPhone shot to get as much detail and proper exposure that is possible. The bloom and colors are better, also more detail. But, with the blown out windows, it is still not very inviting.
I also did an HDR image with the DSLR camera, I was able to get a better picture, because of better outside exposure. But, it was also poorer in some aspects. I might add, that my HDR work could be improved, but from what I can see, the results aren’t better, and the labor can be higher.
Consumer DSLR and using direct flash
I have seen this technique used in many local area listings. The problem with direct flash is that it leaves a very flat image. Flash will increase detail and reduce or eliminate the blown out windows. But, will leave a cold flat photo. I did a small amount of Lightroom work to reduce the ‘flashy’ look of the photo, but it is difficult to impossible to make much improvement. Also notice the shadows of the fan blades. The unnatural shadows and flatness of the image leaves a less than wow impression. I also had trouble getting the wall the correct color, which usually doesn’t happen in a direct flash… but it can. I worked pretty hard to get it close.
DSLR, Pro Lens, Flash, and advanced Lightroom and Photoshop techniques.
Let’s first look at what a high quality lens can do. The lens takes a wider angle which will tend to make the house look bigger, but it also renders the picture better. Especially around the windows, less bloom (that haze around the windows). The first picture is with a high quality lens from a single shot. It was adjusted in Lightroom to taste. This picture is considerably better from a detail and exposure stand point that the kit lens example in Pict 2 above. But, it lacks detail, the colors are pretty good, but the windows are distracting.
Last of all, I will show you a picture of the same scene using a flash and 2 pictures blended together using Lightroom and Photoshop. You can think of it like this, if you go to a photography studio, they will use large lights and modifiers in the studio. If you take a picture outside with this same photographer, it is likely, he will bring along some of the same lights to make the natural light, even better. Conceptually, I am doing the same thing here. This picture draws you in more with the natural shadows and highlights which provide that 3D and WOW effect, but with the detail and better color of a flash. End result, yes, I want to look at this house!!
I hope that you enjoyed this blog. While the equipment does make a difference, a Professional is thinking every day about what makes a good photo and how to improve his/her work. Your job as a Realtor is to help your clients sell their home. Just as there are good reasons for me to hire a realtor, the reasons for you to hire a photographer are just as great. Check out this gallery for more examples click here.