When’s the Best Time to Photograph a Property?

We all know Photoshop is pretty awesome, but the truth is it can only do so much.

For great results, it’s important to get the best possible photos of the properties you’re selling in the first place.

And one of the key elements that will make or break your real estate photos is the time of day you take them.

Make or Break

The time of day your real estate photographer shoots the property you’re selling will have a greater influence than almost anything else on the photos you’ll get at the end of the process.

As such, choosing the best time to photograph a property is vital.

While your photographer can obviously advise you on this, here are 4 tips for ensuring you choose the best possible shooting time for each individual property you’re about to list.

Identify Your Property’s Aspect

Knowing a property’s aspect (its orientation in relation to the four compass points) will help you identify the best time for photographing the exterior, as different orientations dictate different ideal shooting times.

For east-facing properties, morning is the best time to shoot.

For west-facing properties, afternoon is great.

If your property faces north, any time between 10:00 and 14:00 is ideal.

And if it faces south, you’ll want your photos taken first thing in the morning, or last thing in the day.

The reason properties with different aspects should be photographed at different times is that you want the sun to be behind you when you’re looking at the home. That way the photos will be bright and saturated with colour – something you cannot achieve when photographing in shadows.

Of course, not every property is oriented to be exactly south-facing, north-facing, or otherwise aligned with the points on a compass. So you may want to use the iOS and Android app LightTrac or the SunCalc website to see where the sun will be positioned at a certain time of day in relation to each property you’re selling.

Best time to photograph real estate

Consider Interior Lighting

When it comes to determining the best time to photograph the interior of a property, the biggest consideration is whether it’s a dark house.

Some properties are very dark internally. This may be due to the décor and furnishings, including dark walls, floors, and furniture, or because it’s situated in a lot of shade.

For dark properties, schedule your shoot first thing in the morning, or last thing in the afternoon (not dusk – more on that in a moment…). This will ensure that the artificial lighting inside the property will be balanced with the light outside.

For best results, all the light bulbs should match and be the brightest wattage available. Ideally, there should also be plenty of lamps as well as “built in” lighting. (To learn more about lighting the inside of a property for real estate photos, check out our blog on preparing your property for real estate photography.)

Be Realistic About Dusk Shoots

We all love a gorgeous dusk property shot, right?

While dusk real estate photography can be stunning, not every home is cut out for it. Properties that are good candidates for dusk photography must have lots of external lighting and plenty of bright lighting (e.g. millions of downlights) inside.

On the other hand, houses that are low set, dark internally, or dark externally (e.g. dark brick) don’t look nearly so good when shot at dusk. These homes are better shot during the day at a time that’s appropriate for their individual aspect.

Think About Your “Hero Shots”

Your “hero shot” is the key photo you’ll feature on a signboard, or first up on an online listing.

It’s important to remember that your hero shot may not be a photo of the front of your property. After all, if the home you’re selling has a pool and manicured backyard, you may want a shot looking over the pool towards the house as your hero shot.

If your hero shot won’t be of the front of the house, then you need to consider your hero shot’s aspect when choosing the right time to photograph a property. After all, if the house with a pool is an east facing property, with the pool on the west side, you’ll want to book a shoot for the afternoon, rather than the morning. That way, you’ll minimise shadows and maximise the bright, fresh, appealing feel of photos taken at an appropriate time of day.

A General Rule of Thumb

If you’re still not sure when to book a property in for a shoot, then book it in for the morning.

Morning light is a lot “cleaner” than afternoon light, as morning light is more of a blue/white light, while afternoon light has an orange glow to it. The orange glow can help create a great moody look, but unless that’s the look you’re going for, morning is your safest bet.

Get Expert Assistance

If you’d like help choosing the best time to photograph a property, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 3311 6422. We’d love to help ensure you get the best results from your investment in real estate photos.

Your Say

Do you have any other tips for choosing the right time to photograph a property? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below.

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