Shooting a Row Home in Philadelphia

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.

Why Real-Estate Agents NEED to Hire Good Photographers.

It drives me crazy as I’m shopping around for apartments and houses and see the poor quality of photographs that agents and individuals listing their properties with.

As an agent not only do great photographs help you lease apartments and sell houses but they also set you ahead from other agents that you may be competing against.  Philadelphia is a booming housing market and agents are constantly looking for more listings. Quality professional photographs are the way to do that.

Let me show you a top-notch example.  I live in a small studio apartment in Philadelphia, PA. I love it here!  My apartment is small, only 280 Square Feet.  Here are the photos that were on the listing for my apartment.

Not much to look at.  Other than knowing this apartment is only 280 square feet already I wasn’t exactly turned on by these photos.  However, I loved the neighborhood and the price was right so I thought I’d give it a look.

Boy was I glad I did.  I signed the lease within 48 hours and set a date to move in.  Now as a photographer I thought I would take the time to show you how much better the space can look.  I have done zero renovations on property just set up my standard camera and lighting setup and this is what you get.

Which one looks more welcoming to you?

This is a perfect example of why agents and anyone listing properties need to have high quality photographs.  If you’re one of these individuals be sure to check out my rates in getting high quality images for your property.