How to take good photos of your house using a mobile phone

Since mobile phones became smart, we quickly got used to having a piece of technology in our pocket that would seem like magic to someone from the Middle Ages!

These days we take for granted the number of tasks a smartphone can achieve.

But what about helping to sell your house? I hear you ask. Compared to professional photography (and its cost), can a smartphone really compete when it comes to taking great real estate pictures that will make buyers interested?

Well, you’re in luck. Reading this article will give you twelve sure fire tips to unlocking the power of that familiar piece of technology, the smartphone camera, in order to shoot stunning, bold and inviting real estate photography.

Tip #1: Go wide.

Wide angles are to real estate photography what coffee is to mornings: an essential. Shooting interiors in wide angles is an industry standard. You too can make the wide angle shot work for your own real estate photography using a smartphone. A wide angle interior shot will add more depth of field to your photographs.

Today, most smartphones offer wide angle settings, to try it just pinch on the screen and you will see the difference straight away!

However, if you really want to geek out consider picking yourself up a wide angle lens that attaches to your smartphone. Doing so will enable you to capture 2x more picture!

Tip #2: Use natural light

What becomes soft in the early morning and again in the afternoon? Sunlight, of course! Soft, natural lighting is perfect for real estate photography. Why? You may ask.

Photographing interiors requires bringing in as much favourable light to your rooms as possible. This helps create a pleasant atmosphere to your shots. Also, all that natural lighting is going to illuminate every part of the room, evening it out and adding consistency.

To take full advantage of natural lighting, take photos of different rooms at different times of the day! You may have to get up a bit early for this but the results will speak for themselves.

Tip #3: Set the scene

Great real estate photography helps the viewer imagine themselves living in your property. It goes without saying, if your real estate photography is showing more clutter than property, potential buyers are not going to be able to visualise how they might use your house to suit their lifestyle.

It’s important that your home presents as much like a blank canvas as possible. Therefore, you need to clear away any personal items before you take photographs (no one wants to see your dirty underwear!). In the kitchen, store away all of your kitchen gadgets, leaving your bench tops clear.

Check out our guide to getting your home ready for a sale for more in-depth tips!

Tip #4: Props

Putting a bunch of flowers in a vase and placing out a bowl of fruit will add style without breaking the bank.

Tip #5: Show your best angle

In order to take a photo that best captures the entirety of a space it is important to shoot from the corner of a room. Right? Maybe!

Use your initiative and take lots of pictures in each room to find the best perspective to showcase it.

Some rooms are best photographed from the entrance. If you can do this in all rooms it will create a nice and steady flow for your viewers! the whole room.

Tip #6: Keep the lights on

When shooting the outside of your property, draw back any window coverings and turn on all inside and outside lights to create a stunning look for your house. Best do this in the early hours of the evening.

When shooting indoors, it’s important to ensure all of the lighting is as bright and consistent as possible. A simple, cost-effective hack here is to replace all of your light bulbs with fresh ones so as to ensure your home’s virtues sparkle in your photographs.

Tip #7: Stop flashing

Using the inbuilt flash on your smartphone camera might be a good way of instantly brightening up darkened shots. However, because you have already used natural light and consistent interior lighting (see Tips #2 and #6) this is not really a cause for concern.

The flash on your smartphone camera is simply not up to the job of an external flash, so just don’t go there – smartphone flashes tend to throw more shadows then they’re worth.

Tip #8: Get focused

Most people know that tapping the screen on a smartphone tells the camera where to focus. However, if you want to ensure the whole of a room is in focus point the lens at something in the foreground and then tap the screen at the part of the room that is furthest away. Now you have a lovely photograph that is completely in focus. Simple.

Tip #9: Go deep

Creating a sense of depth makes a photograph more interesting to look at. An easy way to do this is to take photographs from a slightly raised angle to help create a more striking picture.

Tip #10: Get technical

These days, smartphone cameras are so advanced that they have nearly replaced digital cameras altogether. Almost. What the old school cameras have that smartphones don’t is manual control.However, this traditional shortfall of smartphone cameras can now be overcome if you know where to look.Indeed, a smartphone camera’s intuitive focus and exposure settings can be overridden if you use the manual controls within your smartphone camera app.

For iPhone users, after you have tapped the screen to lock the focus of the lens, you can also adjust exposure. Swiping up and down on your screen will shift the exposure: upwards will lighten the image whereas downwards darkens it.

For Samsung users, it’s a whole different ballgame. Just google or search on youtube for your phone brand and model and add camera tips like this: Samsung A50 camera tips.

Tip #11: Shoot horizontally

When taking a picture using a mobile phone you have two options: portrait or landscape.

It is better to photograph in landscape as it gives you a wider photo and enables you to show more features in one picture. Also most websites are optimised to show landscape images and you should definitely consider this as a key factor.

mobile held incorrectly for real estate photography

Tip #12: Take lots of pictures

It is really hard to get it right the first time. Even professional photographers take multiple pictures of the same room from different angles and select the best ones later.


Conclusion

Putting these tips to work for you means you will be able to shoot some really smart real estate photography using your smartphone.

Still require some inspiration? Take a look at our property listings from all over Europe to see how your fellow house sellers do it!

All that is left to say now is: lights, camera, action!