If you’re not living in a house you own, it’s a better idea to put it on rent rather than simply locking the doors and letting cobwebs take over. Given the growing number of property rental websites, renting out a house is quite easy to do. Once upon a time, if a person was looking to rent a house, he or she had to personally visit each house to see what it looked like. This was painful for both the landlord and the renter. Today, that effort is halved. Online rental posts typically include photographs of the house with the list of house amenities. This means now you have to give fewer house tours to potential renters.
When you include photographs of your house with the rental advertisement, remember that these photographs are the first impression people get of your house. Out of focus pictures or photographs that show messy interiors are a serious no-no. Your photographs must look warm and inviting. The better your photographs look, the higher the rent you can demand. Taking interior photographs involves more than just standing in a corner of your room with a mobile phone to click photographs of what the room looks like from every corner. Styling the house is an important part of interior photography. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Styling a house to photograph it is also known as staging. Browse through interior websites and magazines to find inspiration is a good way to begin. Next, clean the house thoroughly and get rid of clutter. Maintain a balance between a clean look and a lived-in look. Pull furniture away from the walls and group the pieces in a symmetrical arrangement. Carpets are a good way of defining areas and making the room look warm and aesthetically pleasing. Choose a neutral colour palette to give your interiors a sophisticated look. Use lamps and flowers to dress table tops. When photographing a house, style every room to have a unique purpose. In some cases, letting your pet or child be part of the frame can give your house a lived-in appearance. However, in these cases, you need to style not only the interiors but your child as well.
This room has been furnished by Hong Kong-based interior architects Urban Design and Build.
Smartphones have made taking good photographs much easier than it was earlier. However, if you want your photographs to look professional it’s worth replacing your phone camera with a more professional camera. Most interior photographers work with digital SLR cameras. Most interior photographers also suggest keeping a wide angle lens at hand for interior photography. Investing in an SLR camera can be an expensive affair so try borrowing one instead. No matter what camera you choose to work with a tripod is an essential piece of equipment you must have while photographing your interiors. Working with a tripod ensures that your camera has a stable base and helps to avoid fuzzy photographs. Having a few extra light sources at hand can also help improve the quality of your photographs.
Photographs are best taken in natural light. Open your windows and doors to let in as much natural light as possible while photographing interiors. Plan your photo shoots in the early mornings and late afternoons and let the light enter your frame from the sides. Avoid using a flash as this can make photographs look flat. Instead, use lamps to enhance natural lighting. These lamps can also be included within the frame to make space feel real and cozy. Experiment with curtains and mirrors to create an even light effect and avoid very dark shadows. Though you may photograph different rooms at different times, ensure that eventually, they look like they were taken in the same light unless you want to showcase a special light effect in your house.
Along with showcasing your interiors, you must also include photographs of your house exteriors in rental advertisements. Potential renters want to know about the area your house is in as much as they want to know what your home looks like on the inside. As with interiors, lighting plays a key role in photographs of house exteriors. Choose a day when the sun is not very strong and always ensure that the sun is behind the camera. Include as many trees and interesting features as possible in your frame. Opening a few windows to give the glimpse of the interiors is also a good idea.
Shooting mirrors and glossy surfaces can be tricky. Shoot these at an angle to avoid including your reflection in the photograph. When taking a photograph also keep the perspective of the room in mind. Taking a photograph from an angle can make your room look spacious. Take head shots for photographs of swimming pools, dining tables etc. cropping the photograph to not include one end of a swimming pool can make it look like bigger. Lines are very important in interior photography. Have an imaginary grid in mind when taking an interior photograph and ensure that all the horizontal and vertical lines in the frame are aligned to this grid. You could also try taking photographs through open doorways to include more of your room within the frame. Avoid using contrasting light sources, for e.g. Fluorescent lights and tungsten lights to help maintain a white balance.
Photography is an art and needs time to perfect. You might have the perfect camera but knowing how to operate it is a completely different ball game. Along with taking the actual photograph, photographers also spend a lot of effort in editing the picture. If you want to project the best possible image of your house to potential renters, consult an expert photographer to help you out. Ask them what would be the best way to frame your photographs. If hiring a photographer isn’t within your budget, you could also look towards photography students.
Gather more ideas from our ideabook: Ways to photograph your home interior/exterior.