Tips on photographing your holiday home

Photography is what sells a holiday home. Good pictures must be truthful but enticing. We always recommend that homeowners use the service of a professional photographer with a set of lights and a high-end digital camera. This is an investment that will deliver good returns. However, if that's not an option, these tips may help.

Setting up photographs

Equipment

You’ll need a good digital camera, a tripod, a directional or external flash (if you want to compensate for light), and a set of lights.

A tripod is very handy, as it will support the camera and allow pictures to be taken at slow speed for better depth of field.

Ideally, one needs either an external flash or a flash that can be directed away from the subject to be photographed.

Photographer's lights are useful too. The stronger the light is, the more it will need to be bounced off a wall, the ceiling, or a reflective umbrella. The larger the area to photographed, the greater number of lights will be needed.

Construction lights are a good alternative. They are inexpensive and easy to find. One can also change the light fixtures in a home to use brighter lights, as long as it doesn't overload the circuit.

Use of light

Avoid high contrast of light and shade. If you include a window in your shot on a bright and sunny day, either the window will be properly lit but the room will be dark, or the room will be properly exposed but the window will be overexposed and washed out. Light the room brightly, or take the shot when it is slightly overcast outside, or early in the morning (or evening) when the exterior light is softer.

Mount the camera on a tripod, and close the aperture as much as possible to give maximum depth of field, which means that both the foreground and the background will be crisp and focused. The camera must be mounted on a tripod for this shot, or else small movements will blur the shot.

If you have an external flash, bounce it off a side wall or the ceiling. Never use the camera's built-in flash unless you have no alternative, or you are using powerful lights as well.