How important is a good exterior photo? It may be the most important photo when listing a home. Great photos are critical when trying to capture a potential buyer’s attention. Here are a few tips getting the best exterior photos:
1. Chose the Best Time of Day
Depending on which direction the house is facing, the time of day may be the most important factor in the quality of your photo. Assuming that you live somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun will rise in the southeast and set in the southwest. If you don’t happen to know which way the house is facing, you can check on Google Maps.
Make sure that the sun will be shining on the front of the house, and not be behind the house, as you will get a silhouette and the house will look dark.
If the house is facing north, the sun will never shine on the front. Best options are to shoot on an overcast day, or at dusk.
2. Wait for a Clear Blue Sky
Try to avoid shooting on a day when the sky looks white. If you must shoot against a bright sky, your camera might underexpose the house, so keep that in mind and compensate if necessary.
3. Shoot at Dusk for Drama
You can get some truly incredible photos by shooting at dusk. Use a tripod, have all of the interior lights on as well as any exterior accent lighting, make sure all window blinds are open and uniform. Start shooting just as the light begins to go down, and continue until it is dark. You can take this to the next level by combining parts of different images (the sky from one, windows from another for instance) in Photoshop.
4. Be Mindful of Landscaping
For the best photos, you may want to do some prep work. Get the lawn mowed, hedges trimmed, front door painted, flowers planted etc.
5. Take Time to Compose the Shot
Find your best angle. Shooting straight on sometimes works, but many times shooting at an angle shows more depth and is more interesting. A tree branch at the top can also frame the photo and add interest.
Try to keep the vertical lines of the house straight by keeping the camera level. These lines can also be straightened afterwards in Photoshop.
Take photos from several angles, and use your imagination!
Check out our others blogs about using a tripod, lighting, and (NOT) taking listing photos with a cell phone.