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5 Tips to Take Great Real Estate Photos With Your Drone

Jun 19, 2021 | 0 comments

Note: Keep safety and responsibility in mind when flying. If you’ve never flown before, it’s never too late to learn. Find a hands-on Training near you.

 In order to legally operate a drone business, you will need a Part 107 License. If you want to pass the test on your first try, take a Prep Course.

As a professional photographer, you will want to know how to take great real estate photos with your drone. With drones, real estate agents can use aerial images to sell homes because they can provide buyers with a better view of their future home purchases. With a drone, it’s easy to take high-resolution photos with even smaller, less expensive models, such as the DJI Mini 2. For operators to take photos that make a home stand out, they must carefully manage their drone and utilize high-resolution cameras. Next, let’s go over these five tips that will help you take great real estate photos with your Drone.

1. Set up the Landscape for Real Estate Photography

In any photograph of a property, there will always be potential clutter scattered around the property that is distracting. A home’s driveway may be cluttered with children’s toys, vehicles, or construction equipment while it is still under construction.

It is important to prepare the landscape before taking photographs to make the house the focal point, not the car driven by the current owner. Before getting your drone in the air, it’s very important to do this prep work. During the alignment of the photos, look for distracting elements and correct them before editing.

2. Make sure your drone’s settings are correct

A DJI drone has a multitude of settings that control the flight and camera operation. The DJI Go 4 app allows you to make adjustments to the photo settings before a shoot; here are some quick tips.

When you sit down to edit the photos, RAW files will be so much more flexible. RAW files are larger, but they offer you more flexibility. To take pictures at the highest resolution, change the aspect ratio of your drone’s camera to 3:2. Otherwise, 4:3 is sufficient. The final suggestion is to use autofocus. If you manually focus a drone, you can end up with soft images that are not focused, which is one more thing to worry about when flying a complicated drone.

3. Make use of your drone’s intelligent flight modes

Most drones come with some type of autopilot feature that alters the aircraft’s behavior. As an example, try using different intuitive flight modes and try out different settings. The flight mode I use most frequently on DJI drones is tripod mode. The drone’s top speed will be significantly slowed, which will greatly aid in lining up shots. You don’t need to rush around a property all the time.

4. Be smart about altitude

Drone photographers who shoot real estate often make the mistake of shooting from too high altitudes. There are times when photos of homes are taken from high altitudes, but the frame is mostly filled with the roof rather than the house itself. While displaying a photo like this above the property can help show home buyers what they can expect, the rest of the photos should all be taken at ground level.

It is very common to want to take pictures from high above to our landscapes but for real estate, we must always focus on the buyer’s experience. A high-altitude photo might look very good but it has little to no impact on the experience. You could use one high-altitude photograph of the property to give a perspective of the area and neighborhood, but the core of your shoot should be focused on the house itself, not the roof. 

Only by flying your drone 20 or 25 feet above the ground will you be able to achieve much better results. By staying relatively low, it allows you to get a full picture of a property from a centered perspective, which is better than DSLR photographs. Your goal is not to show off the roof of the house, but the house as a whole. 

5. Always take your Shots with Post Processing in Mind

While photography does require constant practice to master, a big part of the job is also involved in image editing. To be able to get the most out of each image, make sure you’re shooting your images in RAW format. A dull image can be transformed into something amazing by shooting in RAW. We recommend using either Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop in your workflow. Both programs are essentially the same. Even after the photo has been taken, you can change the white balance and reduce harsh shadows using photo editing software.

If you are a real estate photographer, and you plan on using a drone, follow these 5 tips to ensure you take great shots every time. Every photographer has their way of doing things, which adds to the beauty of the art. 

Common Questions on Real Estate Photography with Your Drone

Is it difficult to fly a drone?

The truth is, drones are not difficult to fly, even though many people believe that they are. If you know how to use your Android or iPhone device, you are more than capable of flying a drone. Modern drones come equipped with many safety features to make them easy to fly and capture photos simultaneously. The Drone will hover in place while you’re not using the controller and will move as directed only when directed. Keep safe-flying a common practice and you will never have anything to worry about. 

Please be advised, however, flying commercially is a topic on its own. You will need to get a Part 107 license if you wish to sell your drone photography as a service.

What drones are used for real estate photography?

Any drone that can shoot in RAW is great for real estate photography. The all-time favorite is the Mavic 2 Zoom since you can take high-quality images and the Zoom function is really good for storytelling the future home owner’s experience. A more budget-friendly option would be to consider the latest Air 2S or the inexpensive Mini 2 – both modern DJI drones. Although the Air 2S is less expensive than the Mavic 2 Zoom, it stands its high ground being the newest drone developed by DJI, considering that the Mavic 2 Zoom was released in 2018.

Where can I learn to pilot a drone?

We recommend scheduling a class with an instructor from UAV Coach.

 You will meet with an expert instructor in a convenient outdoor location, like a park or athletic field. They’ll teach you about a popular DJI drone model provided by the instructor. You’ll get 45-60 minutes of hands-on flying time to master orientation, basic flight maneuvers, and some more advanced flight skills. 

Where can I learn about the Part 107 License?

Drone Pilot Ground School, is on the top of the industry of online test prep and training course to pass your FAA drone exam on your first try. With over 20,000 trained pilots already, they even have a money-back guarantee that you’ll pass on your first try.

How much should you charge for Real Estate photos with your drone?

Drone photographers have various ways to monetize their craft. Some can do an hourly fee of around $150 to $200 per hour while others will have a fixed fee for the day. It will greatly depend on the experience of the photographer and the type of work you are requiring. Expect to charge anything between $400 or $750 for a shoot.

Please bear in mind that there is an entry level to the craft and some beginners can charge as low as $25 per hour as well.

Please feel free to add some of your tips for taking drone real estate photos to the comments below!

Fly safe and stay profitable!

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