Highlighting the right aspects of the property, by getting to know it well
I feel it's important not to rush the photo shoot - if possible, I like to explore the property first before taking any pictures. This allows me to get a good feel for the spaces and see what the most important, impressive or characteristic parts of the property are. Each set of images I shoot is unique, and based on the property or subject matter I am capturing. Any special selling points or details need to be shown in photographs, as this will be far more impactful than any description in text. Having photographed thousands of properties, I can find the unusual angles and appealing details that others may not.
Eliminating messy and distracting details in the picture, by looking carefully at everything
Every image should show off space in its prime. So, I take my time on site to ensure everything is looking at its best, right down to details like squaring up chairs and tables and tidying away loose cables and bins. There may be unavoidable elements such as roadworks, material being stored in a corner or light bulbs blown or missing - I will fix these in post-production whenever possible, and do my best to minimise the effect when it's not. Conversely, there may be items that could do with being moved further into shot to complete an appealing composition in the frame. It may seem that these small details would have little effect, but taken as a whole I believe they help to create a far more attractive image.
Ensuring the spaces look open, inviting and realistic, by using the appropriate angles and equipment
The choice of angle to shoot a space from is hugely important for a number of reasons, and can dramatically change the way a room looks. Even with my years of experience assessing properties, I may still photograph a choice of views so that I can inspect the images fully in post production before making a final choice on which is the best. I use full frame SLR cameras with specialist wide angle, low distortion architectural lenses that naturally open a room up in the image, without it looking distorted, misleading or ‘fish-eyed’. Occasionally, the best angle may result in a little unavoidable distortion, which will then be carefully corrected on screen later to ensure all straight walls and columns are realistic in the final image.
Showing an even and realistic sense of light across the image, by using mutiple exposures and knowing my equipment
You may have seen 'blown out' pictures - this is when windows and light fittings appear as a blast of light, with all details lost. Conversely, all the detail in a corner of the room might be lost in darkness. I avoid these issues by shooting a number of images carefully with a wide range of settings using the pro RAW format. These multiple shots are then expertly combined later in post production to produce the perfectly exposed image.
Balancing different light sources, by using expertise and experience to know what's needed
All light sources create a different colour cast on photographs, blue from natural light, yellow from certain electric lights, and so on. By using multiple exposure images to ensure uniformly correct colour across the image, I can ensure that white walls will be white, light thrown from coloured lights will remain correct, and light from fluorescent lighting and windows will look natural.
Keeping the right things in focus, by applying depth of field techniques
Property photographs in particular need to deliver crisp detail right across the image. A blurred background or foreground can be used to artistic effect, or to highlight aspects of the property. Unintentionally blurred images mean the camera has not been used correctly, or is not capable of providing images at the correct resolution. This results in the detail you need not being there, and can give your potential clients a bad impression.
Managing the whole process, by knowing that pressing the shutter button is the easiest part
Most of my time is spent setting up shots and in post production, finessing the images and applying expertise to create the best pictures possible. This can mean that as well as being a professional photographer, I need to be an interior designer, print manager, cleaner, meteorologist, Photoshop expert and even animal handler! Over thousands of photo shoots since 1999, I have overcome all kinds of problems to create the best possible images.