Today we’ll continue our look at real estate photography by exploring another service we can provide our customers. These days its essential to deepen the relationship with the client and expand what we can offer, and video can be an ideal solution for certain upscale and commercial projects.
Some agents or owners might be interested in more than still imagery to properly display a property and it’s setting within the community. Upscale properties may require additional attention via smooth-motion video capture.
For instance, imagine a still shot of a front door. Now imagine a smooth video approach down the sidewalk, past the nice landscaping and right up to the door – even have someone there to open it as you approach, if possible – and through the main part of the home. Or floating around the back side of a home with a pool or view; through stables and unique landscapes. From the property and site itself to lifestyle footage of the surrounding community, video options are endless for interested clients.
One way to achieve this is to use a hand-held stabilizer to minimize the up-and-down walking motion from video footage. These rigs are typically available in several makes, sizes and price points. All we have to do is mount and balance our camera, locate a few good routes and start shooting. As this method can be fatiguing over the long haul, arm braces and harnesses are readily available to help shoulder the load and add even more stability to our footage.
Another nice touch is to use a rail slider to highlight unique features. One good use for a slider would be in the kitchen, or in a small bathroom with attractive decor and water fixtures one good approach is to turn on the faucet and record a slow pan across the fixture at a level angle, using a slightly slower shutter speed to soften the water a bit.
When working with DSLR video, shutter speed is typically double our selected frame rate. If we’re shooting at 30fps, our shutter speed should be around 1/60s ideally. To soften the water, for example, try shooting at 1/30s and make adjustments accordingly for the desired effect. No slider? No worries, you can always rent one or set up a static clip and key-frame any pans and zooms manually in Adobe Premiere Elements or Premiere Pro CC.
Whether shooting with entry to mid-level or high end gear, the majority of DSLR and compact mirrorless cameras on the market today are beyond capable of capturing the quality we need for this work. For those who would like to delve deeper, check out DSLR Video Tips
For those interested in a dedicated video workflow, I would recommend picking up a Freefly Movi M5 or M10 Gimbal from the folks at LensRentals.com and make life easy on yourself. When it comes to the right tool for the right application, this device makes a lot possible. I’m looking forward to using this amazing new piece of gear and putting it through the paces on an upcoming project. If this kind of work appeals to you as well, I can’t recommend enough to start by leasing the gear to practice and get a solid feel before going on-site.
The guys at LensRentals carry all of this gear and make it easy to get a clean jump on the competition, one project at a time. Be sure to check out the new Keepers program allowing the photographer that just can’t let go the option to purchase their leased gear at an excellent rate.
As appealing as video can be, the majority of real estate jobs are stills only. The agents and owners I speak with are generally open to video, but reticent to spend the money unless they absolutely know it will help. Many have had some bad experiences with bad video along the way, and so stills and plans get the job done nicely for most. But for those with video wherewithal and experience, you’re in good position to separate yourself in a mighty way with a quality product provided at the right price.
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