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Feb 14 / Nick Teel

Photography Tip of the Week

I was always told a key principle in life to adhere to was to K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid!”) That principle holds true to my photo tip of the week, plus,  I am going to use the same acronym with a different meaning.  My tip of the week is K.I.S.S. “Keep it straight, stupid!”

One of the most common themes I see when looking at real estate photography is that of crooked photos.  It’s almost dizzying to continually preview photos that appear off kilter.  You are probably saying to yourself, “Duh, this is a no brainer.”  If that’s the case, why do I feel sea sick after viewing a majority of the DIY photographs I see on real estate search sites.

There are some simple fixes to this off-center issue.  First recommendation, purchase a tripod.  Whether you have a point and shoot or fancy DSLR, tripods can be the fix all for straightening photos.  If you just have a point and shoot like me, doing a simple Google Search populates innumerable tripods to choose from.  Most importantly, they are not that expensive and come in all shapes and sizes.

If you are a DIY’er you can find various sites that show how to create your own Tripod.  I created one for myself using a water bottle (3/4ths full of water to hold the camera weight)  and screwing a nut and 1/4″ bolt in the cap, sticking out of the top.  You can check your camera manual to see what size of bolt to use but 1/4″ seems to be pretty universal for a lot of point and shoots.

Tripods help relieve the stress of trying to hold the camera straight and those annoying camera shakes.  Plus, it gives you an opportunity to play around with staging while keeping the perfect composition.  Along those same lines, if you have followed any of our previous photography tips, you can use the tripod to set up the perfect shot and then employ all of our tips without ever setting the camera down.

For those who do not want to create their own or buy a tripod you can use any level surface that you can set your camera on as a straightening tool.  However, you want to be careful to not allow the surface of whatever you are setting the camera on, to intrude in your shot.   In other words,  set the camera towards the edge of the level surface.  If none of these things are available for you, try to do your best and remember that there is a lot of free software out there (Check out our free editing software reviews) that can help you correct these sort of issues.

This is a simple thing to remember but one that many forget is extremely important.   You don’t want prospective clients to view your photos and think the house your trying to sell  is not structurally sound.  Always keep this tip in the back of your mind and KISS will take on a new acronym,  Keep it Straight, Smarty!