How NOT to take property photos
Wed, Jul 31, 2019
Read our guest blog from Elements Property
A guide on how NOT to take property photos, along with top tips on how to deal with common issues that arise when photographing houses.
"We all love a good fail. Fail Army’s Fails of the Week is one of the best things about Facebook and something I personally enjoy probably more than I should. Anyway, here is a fabulous collection of estate agent photo fails along with my best efforts at constructive criticism to help you avoid ending up in a fail blog post."
Alex Stretton, Founder at Elements Property
A UK company with a drive to help estate and letting agents market their property better, faster and with more wow factor!
The unwritten rule of photographing houses — remove any horses from the hallway!
Excellent use of a wide-angle lens here, sadly the same cannot be said for the lack of use of Adobe Photoshop to clean up the mysterious floor markings. Anyone seen Fluffy?
Great job of remembering to turn on the light, but if you look carefully, the agents reflection can be seen in the corner of the shot.
Lazy work by the agent here for not removing the bathroom products. Always declutter if possible, or use Adobe Photoshop afterwards!
A wonderful Van Gough-esque blue and yellow colour scheme. It’s a crying shame the impact of the colours are lost, the whole room looks a bit dark to me. A shadow and colour boost wouldn’t go a miss to bring this indoor patio shot to life.
It’s not always possible to remove cars when at the property, but they can be afterwards. Maybe the agent was pressed for time after fumbling with all those keys trying to get in one of the 4 front doors!
This agent has commando-crawled through this doorway and look how wonky the shot is. I recommend crouching down to take the shot from waist height, it’s easier to support the camera and it helps to avoid leaning walls in your shots. It’s also advisable to remove objects like spare toilets out of shot.
Camera and lens
This shot was clearly taken with a basic ‘point and shoot camera’. A good portion of the room has been missed out of the frame due to the limitations of the camera. Had the agent been using a digital SLR with wide-angle lens, they would not have this problem — what a clown.
Never ever take the shot facing a wall! Always shoot into the corner of a room if you can. And another thing, always fully unwrap the clingfilm off of any wardrobes, it just looks bad if you don’t.
The viewpoint of this "fitness room" is all wrong. I like that the agent has switched on the light and opened up the slats on this internal window to maximise the flow of light, but nothing else about the shot is good. They should have ventured inside the room, crouched in the corner near the door, and shot into the corner of the room, making sure to get a window in the frame, if there is one.
‘Tidy’ can be a subjective term. It’s not the job of the agent or photographer to engage in a full scale clean up, so sometimes a messy photo is inevitable. The team at Elements Property are skilled in removing objects, clutter and hung over girls from photos.
A great angled shot into the corner of the room here, but whoever took this forgot to enlist the vendors help in escorting this friendly pooch to the garden. The clarity of the room is terrible as the focus is on Coco’s face. Whilst it is possible to sharpen clarity in Adobe Lightroom, this shot is beyond saving.
Leaving TVs on is both lazy and unprofessional, turn them off. The flash reflection is also ruining this image. The only good thing about this photo is that the doors are open to show the flow of the property. However, the live demonstration of the en-suite functionality is less than ideal.
This is one we get asked to do all the time — remove clutter from bathrooms. Things like stacks of toilet roll, shampoo bottles, bleach bottles, and guns. If you need any small firearms removing from your shots, just let Elements Property know.
The other benefit of shooting into the corner of the room is that you don’t capture your reflection in a mirror. This could easily happen to vendors in the comfort of their own home, snapping the shots to list their property with an online estate agent — don’t get caught with your trousers down!
Credit to theguardian.com, express.com, telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, terriblerealestatephotos.com, and thehouseshop.com for the images. And thanks to the agents who took these shots, without them this post would not be possible!