The exterior of the home or building is where the curb appeal shows most. How the outside of a home looks gives buyers an indication of whether the house is well cared for, the type of neighborhood the house is in and the condition of the interior. In ideal conditions, the house will be clean with a freshly manicured lawn in a neighborhood that is well kept. In the real world, most homes have some flaws that need to be minimized and any distractions in neighbor's yards avoided in the final image.
Take a moment to walk around the house and look at the different angles. Find the side of the home best emphasizes the positive architectural aspects of the home. Look for any landscaping flaws in the house and nearby yards. The angle of the image will need to avoid these aspects of the landscape.
Ideally, the sun should be shinning directly on the front of the home. This gives the best color saturation in the image. All the elements of the exterior of the building will be clearly visible and definable. It also gives a bright and cheery look to the outside of the home.
Time of Day
If the light not good, choose a different time of day to take the picture. The best light is usually between 10 to 11 am and 3 to 5 pm, depending on the area and direction that the home is facing.
Use a large depth of field to show detail of the landscape and the front of the home. Use f/16 or f/11 for the aperture setting and adjust the time exposure to the necessary setting. The ISO setting should be between 100 ISO and 250 ISO for fine grain. In a pinch 320 ISO can be used, but the larger the ISO, the more grain in the image. A tripod should be used.
Angle is very important. The angle of the picture can highlight interesting architectural features or show building flaws. Look at the home through the viewfinder at different angles to find the most flattering. Another item to watch out for is making the home look shorter or longer than the actual size. A camera angle can foreshorten a side of a building or make it look stretched. Be sure to analyze the image and choose the most balanced angle for taking the picture.
A 35mm digital SLR is the best choice for real estate photography. It can provide a large enough image for printing and produces a quality image. Other digital cameras can be used, but be sure to check the file size setting to ensure a large enough image for multiple uses.
A wide-angle lens is necessary for most real estate pictures primarily because many situations do not allow the photographer to get enough distance from the home for a 50 mm lens.