Since I started photography full time, I have noticed a shift in my work. I originally took photos for events and business. Whilst I still do that, a bulk of my work, currently, involves taking photos of properties for estate agents.
This wasn’t something that planned or wanted to go into yet the opportunity came and I took it. I had all the gear and know how so why not?
But what makes a property photographer and what do you need?
Obviously equipment is essential. I would not recommend having a kit lens and if you think this would be enough, it isn’t. You could definitely shoot with a kit lens but involves more work, especially doing a small room. On a full frame camera with the kit 24-105mm lens for example, could work. On a crop sensor with an 18-55mm for example, no because it’s too tight for rooms because it is a 29-88mm equivalent.
Let me explain. I go for a certain look when I shoot properties. I like getting the whole room shot first then move into details, so I would need a wider focal length then use whatever focal length for the detailed shots. Hence why I wouldn’t recommend a kit 18-55mm lens for example.
Here are my essentials that I have to bring to each shoot:
Then depending on the house, sometimes I do get big houses, If I know this I would bring:
I use a Canon 5D mk4, which is a full frame camera. I feel this is essential because it handles low light a lot better than crop sensor. This means I can increase the ISO when I don’t use a flash and it will have less noise than crop cameras.. The dynamic range is generally better which is important when shooting dark rooms with sunshine shining through the windows. With the full frame camera and the 16-35mm lens I am getting the full 16mm view. Whereas a 16mm on a crop sensor would be c. 26mm which is far too tight for rooms.
A wide angle lens is a must and I highly recommend investing in one. Purely to show off the room, sometimes I get small houses that 16mm isn’t enough, however, I feel any wider than 16mm the distortion becomes more visible and harder to fix in post processing. It also makes a room look a lot bigger than it is which helps sell the image to clients. Viewers or buyers always look for bigger rooms not smaller. This is why a wide angle lens is essential.
A 35mm isn’t essential but I like to include this in my bag. I use this purely for detailed shots, such as flowers on the table, fireplaces, type of LED lighting or pillows. See below for examples.
So does that mean I can’t shoot properties with a crop sensor camera?
Not at all. Definitely you can. I have shot properties with a crop sensor camera using a wide angle lens such as the 10-18mm.
But doesn’t that mean there will be a lot of noise and image quality isn’t as good? No, with a flash/strobe you can use a low ISO setting and you wouldn’t know the difference.
So..what do you think? Do you think you can be a property photographer?
Don’t forget guys. I have a job section on my website- you can apply or send your interest via pm/dm on my social media accounts. I am always on the look out for help.