Excited to start making 360 tours but not sure where to start? Here’s how!
In our blog article Our 3 recommended 360° tour providers we looked at how 360° tours are creating a huge digital transformation for the industry, and explored the cameras and platforms that are helping make this transformation possible. In this post we’ll show you how to make the most of your 360 camera to create amazing virtual tours your customers won’t forget. So grab your camera and follow these tips to get you up to speed in no time:
Preparation is everything
Before you even start taking pictures, make sure that the space is completely ready. And always prepare the property all at once, rather than room by room. Remember that since the camera will see from one room into the next, it will see the spaces that you haven’t set up yet!
- Clean and declutter
The cleaner the room the better the pictures. So remove any clutter and personal items from the seller, especially their photographs.
- Open all the doors
A closed door is a visual barrier in the tour. Give viewers a natural perception of depth by keeping doors open as well as curtains and blinds, especially if they hide a nice view.
- Lighten up the space
A dark room produces bad pictures. Natural light is the best light source, so take pictures during the day. But be careful, too much light can be harsh, so avoid midday sun on bright summer days.
Pro Tip: Take care of details
Make the space flow through color and fresh flowers. And to connect with buyers subconsciously, match towels to the colors of the bathroom and turn all the taps to the same position for subtle continuity.
Get your camera ready
As with any new device, the more often you use your camera the better you’ll get. Take some time to get familiar with your camera and its basic settings. This will improve the quality of the images you create significantly.
- Keep the ISO setting low
You’ll be using a tripod so there is no reason to increase the ISO. Turn off auto ISO and use the lowest natural ISO setting of your camera – usually ISO 100.
- Set the picture quality high
The higher the picture quality, the more details you’ll get in your pictures. Check your camera settings and use the highest possible jpeg settings to get the maximum from your shots.
- Save enough space
Check that you have enough space in your camera storage prior to shooting. And always store the pictures on your computer – and don’t forget to make a backup!
- Stay sharp
Blurry images aren’t professional and will damage your reputation as an agent. So review pictures as you go, zooming to 100% to double check. Always use a tripod to prevent camera shake.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of HDR
HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a technique that uses different pictures taken with different exposures and blends them together to highly increase the dynamic range of the resulting pictures. If your camera supports HDR, your customers will see the difference!
Shoot for success
With an advanced 360 camera, it will seem like it does nearly everything for you. And while it’s true that they’re easy to use, there are still a few tricks that will make sure you don’t need any reshoots.
- Aim for the middle
Place the camera in the center of the room whenever possible. Since the camera will capture the whole room at once, this will make sure that everything can be seen.
- Keep it level
Align the camera on the tripod and try to keep the height of the tripod the same throughout the whole shoot. This will give viewers a natural viewing experience in the tour.
- Make yourself invisible
Use the self-timer on your camera to make sure you can’t be seen! Most newer camera models let you connect to the camera via Bluetooth so you can easily take the photo from your phone.
Pro Tip: Refresh and review
Even if your results aren’t perfect from the start, you will improve from tour to tour. Review your shots after taking them, then review your tours after uploading them and think about what you could have done better.
Come back to this blog to re-read what you might have missed, and research online for even more insights.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Do’s and don’ts of real estate photography
- Advanced tips for listing photos
- Hilarious examples of what not to do