It never ceases to amaze me how much a little added elevation can help out a exterior real estate shot. Because the front exterior shot is what buyers doing web searches initially see of homes a little extra effort and expense can be well worth the added cost.
There are a number of ways to get a little higher that street level:
- Stand on a vehicle while shooting… I have a pick-up and regularly stand in the bed or better yet on the cab to get the camera high.
- Use PAP (Pole aerial photography). This means mounting a camera on a long mono-pod or window washer’s pole and use either the 10 sec timer or a remote shutter release. Don’t try this with a big heavy camera!
- Helium balloon or RC helicopter. For example, Tabb Firchau of AerialPan Imaging uses a electric R/C helicopter with a Canon 5D mounted on the undercarriage to capture spectacular low altitude panoramic images.
Paul Deines, real estate photographer in Denver, CO sent me the example above of a PAP (Pole Aerial Photography) that he did recently. Paul says, “it’s really making a difference in my exterior photos. Using this technique, I can shoot over cars parked in front of properties. 9 feet of elevation makes just enough of a difference to change the regular eye level perspective of my exterior shots.” Paul is using a Nikon 8700 on a long mono-pod, a remote shutter release and a Casio monitor to get this kind of shot.
For reasons I don’t understand PAP is used much more extensively in AU and the UK real estate photography than here in the US. For example, it’s hard to find a real estate photographer that does PAP the Puget Sound area but in the UK and AU they are all over the place; almost all do it. For homes that are sited high above the street PAP can be essential to get a good shot of the front of a home. For homes sited at street level like Paul’s example above, an added 10′ of elevation vastly improves the view.