Sharpen Your Cell Phone Photography Skills

Preparing photo submissions for Agent Insight is simple and fun. It’s easy because you can do it all on your cell phone in a matter of seconds:  just shoot the photo, write a good caption, and send it in (if you need a quick refresher on the how-to’s, click here).

It’s fun because you can send photos of virtually anything in your market area that you think would interest prospective clients. As you tour clients through town, what do you show them first? While you drive from one property to another, what highlights of the community do you point out and discuss? Snap the photos of all these subjects and post them on your community pages. Easy!

However, there is also a challenge associated with your cell phone pictures. Although you don’t need to be a professional photographer to point and shoot with your phone, you still want to make each photo as good as possible. Here are a few tips:

Use the “rule of thirds” to get a balanced and appealing composition. Mentally divide your image into thirds with two vertical lines. Center your primary subject on one of these verticals. Your finished shot will be slightly off-center, making a more interesting picture.  See how the gazebo in the photo below is off to the right, even though it is the main focus of the shot. This pretty scene was submitted by Marty Remo, RE/MAX Benchmark Realty Group in Central Valley, NY.

A pretty area in the village of Monroe, NY.

Another good composition tool is using leading lines to bring your viewer into the photo. Direct their eye with vertical, horizontal, or converging lines. The pier railing in the photo below leads you straight up to the top of pavilion. It was taken by Kenneth Nilson, RE/MAX at Barnegat Bay, Ship Bottom, NY.

Pearl St Pavilion at Long Beach Island, NJ! Come on warmer weather!

Another beautiful use of leading lines is this photo from Wendy Chong, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, Oklahoma City, OK. The edges of the buildings soaring up to the sky give a strong feeling of height and drama.

Downtown Oklahoma City offers beautiful buildings, architecture, art, and sculptures

Always look for different perspectives that can depict your subject in interesting ways. The lovely chapel shown below is photogenic from many angles, but this ceiling shot captures a stunning architectural view. The photo was taken by  Brenda Parker, RE/MAX Real Estate Results, Bentonville, AR.

A look up at the spectacular architecture of the Mildred Cooper Chapel

Here’s another excellent perspective photo. Donna Fitts , RE/MAX of Orange Beach, AL, wanted to show off the beauty of a beach front condominium. The landing page for this luxury condo shows its exterior, amenities and interiors, but Donna’s photo shows both the graceful curve of the balconies, as well as the spectacular beach vista below.

View from 3 BR, 3 BA Turquoise Place is fabulous…only thing better would be the corner 4 BR unit

These are all good tips and you can find loads more, including instructional videos, if you google “cell phone photography.” Here are a few quickies that seem logical, but are often overlooked:

  • Clean the dust and grime from the lens on your phone’s camera from time to time.
  • Hold the cell phone steady when you shoot. Best results come when you use two hands and brace your elbows on a flat surface.
  • Don’t shoot through your car’s windows. You will likely get some crazy reflection and possibly a piece of windshield wiper. Take a moment, and step out of the car for the best results.
  • Remember that all Agent Insight photos are horizontal. If you submit a vertical picture, it will likely require substantial cropping.

So get out there, shoot the photos and post  them onto your Agent Insight pages. Fun! Fast! Effective!