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Photography and Postcard Marketing - How To Make The Marriage Work

October 10, 2013

Photography for Postcard Marketing

I have seen a lot of postcards come through our operation that have poor quality or low resolution photos on either the front or the back (or sometimes both!). The quality of your photos can make or break the effectiveness of your postcard marketing. Don’t settle for poor quality photos and images, because it is easy to fix this problem. Let me share with you several resources, tools and techniques I use when helping our customers with photo quality questions.

Basic Resources You Will Need

You’ll find a lot of websites out there explaining what you need and how to get started shooting photos for your postcard marketing and communication materials. For our real estate clients, I like to refer them to http://photographyforrealestate.net because it tells them everything they need to do to take great photos. For example, it covers the basic equipment recommended for creating high resolution images:

  • Wide-angle lens
  • DSLR camera
  • Tripod
  • Small flash
  • Light stand

For a starter kit, you can buy all these things for around $500. I normally head to Amazon to buy these items as their prices seem very competitive.

Lighting Is Everything

A lot of folks use images that are shot with their cell phones for their postcard images. That is ok, but depending on lighting conditions, especially indoors, this can result in overly dark and "noisy" images as the CCD chips in most cell phone cameras are not designed for use in low light. Since they need to visually represent their listings, many of our real estate customers commonly ask “how can I improve the quality of my postcard house photos?”. I recommend these 3 tips:

  • Try shooting the inside of the home during the day with the window blinds open to utilize as much of the available lighting as possible.
  • Turn on all the lights in the house even if you're shooting during the day, especially if the house has nice lighting fixtures. 
  • When shooting outside, try to shoot on a cloudy day. If that’s not possible try shooting with the sun behind you. If you're shooting with the sun in front of you, most of the time your subject will turn out dark.

Make Sure You Properly Frame The Photo

Framing, also known as composition, is a very important part of making your photos appear professional and aesthetically appealing. Professional photographers commonly observe the "rule of thirds" when determining how to shoot everything from property photos, to landscapes, to people. If your camera has interchangeable lenses, a wide-angle lens can make all the difference, especially when shooting in small rooms and tight spaces. To get a reference point on good composition, have a look at your competitors' sites/photos/artwork (this is a little trick I use before planning my own photo shoots). The bottom line is the more photos you look at, the more you educate yourself and practice, the easier it will be to get the results you're after and represent your client's property in the best light possible (pun intended).

Remember, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a properly composed and professional-looking picture will give your audience the emotional tug and appeal to motivate them to take action.