Making a Great Impression with your Exterior Property Photos

October 26th, 2016

Richard Gill

The exterior shot of your home or business is often the first one that prospective buyers or customers will see. So how do you make sure it is a good one?  Follow these tips below to get the best photograph you can.

  1. Preparation: Make sure that everything is looking clean and tidy.  Move unsightly objects like wheelie bins out of the way.  Clean up  fallen leaves, mow the lawn and move parked cars out of sight.  Imagine you are expecting royalty to visit and make sure your premises look like they are ready to accept special visitors.  Close all doors and windows.
  2. Timing: Buildings always look best with the sun shining on them so choose the time of day when this happens.

    Sun shining onto front

    If you are using a professional photographer then make sure you let them know them when the sun will be on the front of the building.  Check the weather forecast. The ideal conditions are sunny days with some clouds in the sky, but not low level cloud on the horizon.  If it is one of those rare days in the UK when the sky is clear blue then the photos can look a bit contrived  if you can afford to  you might be better waiting for  day when there is some cloud cover. There are online tools like the Photographers Ephemeris that can show you the position of the sun at different times of day at your location.  If you are on site all day you have the advantage of being able to take photos as the sun moves round the building, for example taking the photos of the front in the morning and the pictures of the back in the afternoon when the sun has moved round to shine onto the rear of the property.  If you have a lot of windows in the building, shots taken at twilight can look very effective.  Turn all the lights on inside and leave the curtains open so that you get a glow of light coming from each window which will contrast nicely with the deep blue evening sky.

    Lights on for a twilight photo

    Lights on for a twilight shot

  3. Position: Shoot from high up if possible.  Buildings look best when they are photographed from above.  This doesn’t mean you have to have a drone, climbing up on a pair of steps or jumping onto the garden wall will do the trick.  If you can’t  get higher up then at least try to get at the same level.  The shot that always looks weird is one taken from low down as this can distort the shape of the building.

    Shot taken from low down makes building look distorted

    There are a few things you can do to try and minimise this effect.  If your camera has an LCD screen which you use to frame the photo you can hold the camera above your head and use this to set up the shot. On some cameras you can flip this screen and turn it to face down towards you making it easier to see what shot you are taking. If you have a wifi enabled camera you may be able to control the camera using an app on a smart phone or tablet.  And if  your camera is light you can attach it to a pole and extend this above your head to get the camera level with the property

    House on edge of steep slope

    The ground slopes away steeply in front of the house so difficult to get a head on photo

    house photo taken on elevated pole

    This was taken with the camera on an extending pole to get the camera level with the house

  4. Views: – shots to take: Take a shot head on with the building in the centre.  Take this close up with the whole building visible.  Take another shot from further back so you can see the building in its setting.  If there are trees or other obstacles blocking the front then move to the side to take the picture from an angle so that you still get to see the whole building.



    Mid distance shot


    Distance shot taken at an angle to show context

  5.  Composition:  Look for features that will enhance your photo.  Water can give reflections, walls, hedges and roadways or drives will provide leading lines to draw you into the picture.  Follow the normal rules of composition, in particular the rule of thirds works well for exterior photos.

    Reflections and leading lines make a good composition

    Reflections and leading lines make a good composition

If you can’t be bothered or don’t have the time to do all this then please give us  a call on 07557 780336 and you can book us to take the photos for you.