Tips For Capturing Real Estate Photos With Your Smartphone

Smartphone technology has come a very long way in recent years, making them a more-than-viable option for real estate professionals and real estate photographers to use for both interior and exterior shots.

Consult this quick guide for some critical tips that will allow you to take the best possible photos with your smartphone.

Hold Your Phone Correctly

You’ll get sharper photos if you bring your elbows inward and plant them in your chest or kneel down and rest your elbows on your knees. Doing so helps stabilize your forearms and wrists, which gives your smartphone camera a more stable base for photo-taking.

Additionally, rather than using the screen-based shutter button to trigger the shutter, it’s often a better choice to hold your phone with both hands and utilize the volume button to trigger the shutter. This allows you to keep a firm grip on the phone with both hands and further the camera’s ability to get a sharp image.

Never, ever use a smartphone’s zoom to photograph real estate. The digital zoom on a smartphone really isn’t a zoom – it just crops the photo to make the subject bigger. The problem with this is that it also makes the photo very grainy and pixelated. Instead, to get better real estate photos, simply move closer to the subject without using your phone’s zoom.

Shoot Horizontally

Though the natural inclination when shooting photos with a smartphone might be to hold it upright, you’ll get much better photos if you hold the phone sideways for a landscape-oriented view.

This is true not just of exterior shots – where most properties are wider than they are tall – but it is also true of interior shots where it is preferable to show as much of the room and its details as possible in one frame.

There are some situations, of course, in which vertical photos are preferable – photographing a staircase, for example – but by and large, horizontally-oriented photos are a much better way to give potential buyers the clearest, most detailed view of a property.

There’s an App for That

One of the biggest advantages of using a smartphone for this type of photography is that you can process your images immediately on your phone.

Using an app like Snapseed (iOS and Android) or VSCO is ideal when images need to be processed quickly to post on social media. These apps give you the power to lighten or darken images, manipulate color and contrast, manage highlights and shadows, and other tools to help you enhance your images. That includes much more powerful camera apps than what many native smartphone cameras offer.

Find the Corners

One of the primary obstacles of using a smartphone for interior real estate photos is that the lens offers a rather narrow angle of view. This means that less of the room is captured in a single image.

One way to get around this problem is to position yourself (or your tripod-mounted phone) in the corner of the room. Doing so increases the distance from the camera to the furthest corner of the room and allows you to convey a greater sense of the space.

Of course, you can also use your smartphone’s panoramic photo setting to create a wide-format image of the room or purchase a wide-angle lens for your smartphone. There are many lenses on the market today that increase the field of view by as many as 2x.

Either method certainly allows for interior real estate images that include more of the room in a single shot, though it is important to be aware of the distortion that can result from using the panoramic setting or a wide-angle lens. Straight lines the corner of walls or where ceilings and walls meet can appear bowed without applying lens corrections in post-processing.

Following these quick and easy smartphone tips for real estate photography will put you in a much better position to get the high-quality photos you seek!