drone photograph of a a lake in Newcastle NSW

10 tips for great real estate drone photography

The recent changes to drone regulations mean many businesses are considering offering drone photography services. In this article, we list the 10 most important things that will help your real estate drone photography stand out from the crowd!

  1. Composition matters.

    Drones enable us to see more landscape than ever before. It’s easy to get carried away with the novelty of the technology and take loads of high-level shots. Keep in mind this is commercial photography, and the images are used to sell the attributes of real estate property, not the capabilities of your drone. Drones have a great capacity to put a property in context, to show its location in relation to desirable features like lakes, or shopping facilities. Make sure the photos highlight these features. 

  2. Know what to leave out.

    Choosing what to leave out of a photo is just as important as what to include. Select angles that minimise unsightly stuff, like washing on clotheslines or overflowing garbage bins. A good operator will also give serious consideration to how to maintain the privacy of neighbouring property owners.

  3. Drones go low.

    Add some interesting perspectives of a property. Drones are much more maneuverable and versatile than poles or helicopters. Have some fun!

    drone photograph of the front of a house in Newcastle.

    Real estate drone photograph of a home on an elevated block. DJI Inspire Pro at 4m AGL

  4. Use a real camera.

    Never mind the pixels, it’s the camera’s sensor that determines how much light is used to record the image. Bright, dynamic, clear, and sharp photos stand out! As a guide, the Zenmuse X5 camera sensor, standard on the DJI Inspire Pro, is an astonishing 8 times larger than that of the camera on the DJI Phantom 4.

  5. Take a photography course.

    Advances in camera technology mean that in good light, with good equipment, most people can take a reasonable shot, some even great. It’s the tricky stuff where photographic experience counts. If you intend making a living taking real estate photos with a drone, you can expect many jobs in difficult light conditions.

  6. Pick the time.

    The position of the sun relative to a property can minimise the angles you are able to choose from. When using a tool such as a drone that gives unlimited perspectives, don’t restrict them unnecessarily!

  7. Get certified.

    CASA certification allows operators to fly better cameras (see point 4), fly in more places, and to be covered by public liability insurance. An even better option is to use a dual control drone system operated by a certified business. Let the pilot focus on safety, compliance, swooping birds, and approaching public, while you, as the camera operator, look after the cool stuff; camera settings and photo composition.

  8. Shoot in RAW.

    Most good professional photographers do this. The uncompressed RAW files hold all the information captured by the camera’s sensor and allow you complete control to manipulate the image in photo editing software.

  9. Edit edit edit.

    For real estate drone photos to stand out for the right reasons they need to be professionally edited, particularly if shot in less than ideal weather. Colour correction, sky replacement, the addition of arrows or outlines, cropping, fixing barrel distortion, all play a part in differentiating professional real estate images from amateur photos.

  10. No one buys roof. Enough said!


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