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4 tips for photographing a home yourself

Some realtors don't want to hire a professional to take real estate photos, either because the commission is already so small, the apartment isn't so visually appealing or you simply are a DIY type. You won't be able to get the same quality as a real estate photographer without spending a fortune on equipment, but there are some tips are tricks I can share to help make even iPhone pictures look good enough.

1. Shoot with enough sunlight: While this may sound obvious, I still see photos as a browse through listings of apartments shot either close to or at night. Very few homes or apartments have sufficient ceiling lighting and lamps to fill all the shadows, plus dark windows simply don't look very appealing. Too much sun can be a problem too. If a room is getting direct sunlight It'll be so bright that your camera won't be able to show detail for both the brightest spots and the darkest, leaving you with images that look muddy. Shoot your photos either when direct sunlight is obscured slightly by clouds or when the sun is on the other side of the house.

2. Turn on all the lights inside: The sunlight coming in through the windows will definitely make a difference but turning on all of the indoor lights will help boost the brightness a little more.

3. Use a tripod: If you don't have a tripod, you can get them for very cheap, and get an attachment to mount an iPhone too. This will help keep your phone steady while it takes the image which will reduce blurring, leading to a much sharper image. Some phones have a built in level, which is good to use to make sure the final photo isn't crooked.

4. Use your phones camera settings: iPhones, as well as others, have a brightness adjustment as well as an HDR setting, an acronym for high dynamic range. By holding your finger down on the iPhone in photo mode, the brightness slider will appear. If you move the slider back and forth while looking at the image, pick an exposure where the most detail is present. HDR can be easily turned on at the top of the screen. This means the phone is taking multiple images, each of which has a different exposure. It then automatically uses the darkest image for the brightest parts of the photo, and the lightest image for the darkest parts, leaving you with a better overall exposure.

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