Nikon D610 with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 @ f/8, ISO200, 1/20sec, Flash 1/4 Power Bounced Up/Behind Me

Real-Estate Photography – Discussion on Composition

Yesterday I photographed a property in South West London (SW11 4PG) and it has actually been a while since I have entered a property which wow’d me.

I haven’t posted much with regards to real-estate photography as I have been working in a lot of completely bare properties, or ones occupied by tenants which are not very well presented. The property yesterday was dressed to impress and was definitely showroom ready.

One of the first things I do when I enter a property for the first time is check online for the competitors photos. I do this to see what angles they have so that I could either mimic or improve on. It just helps the workflow as when you have very limited time per property it’s difficult to spot all the best angles immediately.

This property had been photographed by a few other agents and all had slight variances on angles chosen and it got me thinking…

The basic shots that I go for in any property is to photograph as wide angle as possible, whilst stepping back as far back as possible to maximise the space.

Nikon D610 with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 @ f/8, ISO200, 1/20sec, Flash 1/4 Power Bounced Up/Behind Me

Nikon D610 with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 14mm, f/8, ISO200, 1/20sec, Flash 1/4 Power Bounced Up/Behind Me

I was standing in the hallway with my camera in the very corner underneath the door frame and composing the shot which included the far left and far right corner. This captures the room in its entirety, however as with the effect of wide angle lenses it has expanded the room to make it look larger than it actually is and disproportionately make the front cushion look larger than the couch at the back.

This is how I would typically photograph a room as a standard shot to capture everything.

However I noticed other agents were marketing shots where it was shot from this corner, but slightly zoomed in.

Nikon D610 with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 @ f/8, ISO200, 1/20sec, Flash 1/4 Power Bounced Up/Behind Me

Nikon D610 with Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 17mm, f/8, ISO200, 1/20sec, Flash 1/4 Power Bounced Up/Behind Me

I recomposed the shot and photographed another with the same exposure settings.

Now the perspective issues still remain with the pillow looking larger than the couch etc. but the issues are less exaggerated.

However, you do not get a sense for where the room ends on the left hand side.

Both photographs above are mine, however I did compose the second shot to mimic another photographers work and I am not sure if this composition was intentional or whether they reach the limits of width on their wide angle lenses as they could have been using a Canon 17-40mm, which is a very common lens choice for this field of work.

However, I personally feel it is important to show the room in its entirety where possible and in some cases when I have time, I do supply a variation for the offices to make subtle adjustments to their listings as they do sometimes use both images but rotate weekly/daily to boost their CTR.

I would however like to know your opinion and what you feel is the better shot?

Let me know if you feel the wider shot is best or whether the slightly zoomed in/cropped image is more suitable for marketing.

Please do leave your comments below.


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7 Responses

  1. I’d prefer the wide angle shot as it gives me as much detail about the room as possible. It feels like I am spanning the room horizontally, from right to left ..whereas the zoomed in shot feels like I am standing still in the room just looking at one spot.

    • Leo Hoang says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      Agreed. It gives you more to see. It is unfortunate that lens perspective does give the room a larger feel than it actually is in reality, but that’s what floor plans are for 😉

  2. Rahsaan Jas says:

    Hmmmm, I’m torn. I’m looking at this like a customer and I like both as both would make me wish to visit the property.
    The zoomed in shot makes you wonder is there anymore to this room? Does it continue around. Whereas the wider shot just gives you an answer to the rooms design and shape. So I guess it depends on the viewer/customer and what they are looking for and how inquisitive they are.

    • Leo Hoang says:

      Very true. It’s a personal choice as I’m sure there will be people preferring one over the other. It’s a battle I have within myself at times trying to decide what I prefer as a photographer and as a viewer/consumer… If you had a min, check out the sales section on RightMove and postcode SW11 4PG to check out the other agents listings. It was only marketed from this week so I’m sure it’s still online. 😉

  3. Shane says:

    I’m a real estate photographer and would run the wide angle over the 17mm every day!

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