Join Scott Hargis for an in-depth discussion in this video Photographing a great room in 1 minute, part of Learn Real Estate Photography: The Basics.
- So now we come to the fun stuff, which in this house is right here, this big, dining, living, family room space that when we did the walk-through I was a little confused by. It's a slightly awkward layout. The living room stuff is all kind of set up against this wall over here, and I already have that shot, kind of connecting the dining room table with that. But now we want to shoot all of this, which is definitely the best photo in the house. There's this big bank of windows looking out onto this great deck.
I can't wait to get out there. This arch is the best part of the entire house, in my opinion. We come in here, we have this family room, fireplace, so we have to get this picture that connects these two spaces, and it'll be interesting. It'll be fun. We're going to be exposing for windows which are must brighter outside, and then trying to light two rooms, two pretty big rooms to match that and try to make it look good. Now, there's a lot of different ways to go about this, and you can do a job that will get you by, you can do a good job, or you can do a great job.
And it's really going to come down to, once you know what that looks like, it's a matter of time on site to set things up and make it right. When I shoot real estate, an hour and a half to two hours in a house like this is about right, and that's going to generate 20, maybe 25 pictures. And so I can just do the math, divide that out, and figure out how much time I have per photo. Now I blew through those bedrooms pretty fast, which means that I put a lot of time in the bank for when I got to this one, I have a few minutes to think about it. But there are people who spend 30 minutes in a house, and I mean from the moment they walk in the front door to the minute they walk out the back door, 30 minutes.
That's no time at all. There's no walk-through. You have about a minute to make each photo, tops, which is blazing fast. So I'm going to do something kind of fun here. I'm going to show what I would do if I had one minute, start to finish, to make this picture. Then we'll rewind, pull everything back, and I'll do one if I had five minutes to make this picture. Five minutes is a reasonable amount of time in the real estate world to do this photograph, and then we'll pull back, we'll start the clock over, and I'm going to spend 15 minutes.
And we'll try to take a look at what can be done differently in these different amount of times to make the picture better and better and better. We actually have a clock, a buzzer will go off. I don't know how this is going to go, but we're going to try it out. Now I did do a walk-through, OK, so I know that the shot is going to be from over here. If you're in a house, say, for 30 minutes, tops, you're not doing walk-throughs. Honestly, composition is going out the window. You are probably just plunking the camera down in the corner, going wide, and firing from the hip.
I do have the luxury of knowing pretty much where I want the camera to be, so I'm going to take that advantage. I've already set my gear up, so things are ready for me to shoot, and I'm going to just time from beginning to end of setting the camera exactly in place, all the way through to a finished one-minute photo. Now we noticed earlier that we had this piece of exercise equipment, where the homeowner does their work-out, probably every morning, but it's really out of place in terms of trying to present this room in a beautiful fashion, but again, if I am a one-minute kind of a shooter, that's just how it is.
There's just no way I have time to mess with stuff like that. If they didn't want it there, they should have moved it. So I'm going to shoot it right there where it is. That's one of the first compromises that happens when you work that fast. So, with that said, let's start the clock. I'm going to get the camera leveled. And I'm feeling the pressure already.
Take a look, that's pretty good, pan over, zoom in. That's a little bright on the windows. That's pretty good on the windows. The interior is really dark, I'm going to bring in a strobe. Turn that on, I've got the strobe right here. Now we could do a basic bedroom, right, and just bang that up into the corner over the camera, because we don't have time to do anything too nuanced here.
But this is not a basic bedroom, it's a pretty big room. My shot starts right here, I'm pretty sure this is not going to spill too badly. I need to get some light into this area. I've got that set at about a half. There it is. It's not that great of a picture, but it's going to get me out of here in a minute. I've got something I can deliver.
In this course, architectural photographer Scott Hargis introduces the why and how behind real estate photography. Get tips for photographing the inside and outside of a home or commercial building, shooting bathrooms and kitchens, and getting great photos within strict time limits: 15 minutes, 5 minutes, or less than 60 seconds.
- Touring the inside and outside of a home
- Bringing the right gear
- Photographing bathrooms and kitchens
- Photographing rooms quickly
- Photographing exteriors
- Post-processing real estate photos