Shooting a Row Home in Philadelphia

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Real estate photography is a wonderful market to be in.  It’s an opportunity to show off how amazing homes can look for perspective owners.  Real estate agents love having professional photos of their listings for two main reasons.  First it improves the responses they get once their listing is posted and secondly it helps them gain more listings to have a photographer that they know will deliver for them.

Philadelphia is one of the most densely populated cities in the country.  Many of the single family homes you’ll find are row homes.  They can be both challenging to shoot but also fun and creative.  Here are some tips and tricks from my most recent shoot in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood.

Reserve the parking in front of your listing and across the street.  

Find out whoever it is you need to talk to make sure there isn’t going to be someone’s car in front of the home you’re trying to shoot.  This is going to take a little bit of work but save your hours of waiting to trying to find the owner of a car in your way.

Plan a walk through with your agent.

I always suggest to agents that they complete a walk through so we can go over all of the shots that I want to cover and any that they might want to add.  This gives them opportunity to have their voice heard and prevent from having to make a 2nd day to come and shoot the property.

Go wide but not too wide.

A wide angle lens is key for these types of shoots.  You want to make sure you’re giving the perspective buyer as much of the room as you can but still seeming very natural.  I use a Canon 16-35mm lens on a 35mm size sensor and my shots typically live in the 18-24mm range.  You do not want to use a fisheye lens or build panoramas that are going to give a false sense of actual size.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with lighting.

I always carry at least two strobes with me on every shoot.  I use cheap tripods as light stands for the because they have a minimal footprint.  You want to give the room a very natural feel but still be able to highlight certain points.  This is why having multiple strobes is key.

Set expectations.

Your contract should already do this for you but it’s important that your clients understand early and often what it is you’re going to deliver.

Here are some photos from this listing.  If you’re interested in my services please check out my Real Estate Services page.

If your interested in the house here’s the listing.

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