Photographing Units/Apartment Buildings

When it comes to photographing apartment buildings, your approach depends on the height of the building. You may need to position yourself quite far back to capture the entire building in the frame. For most real estate photos, it is important that the entire building is in the frame and there is enough space around the building to correct for lens distortion created by the lens being slightly tilted for the shot (especially taller buildings).

Most modern apartment buildings/unit complexes will boast an array of lifestyle facilities such as pool, roof-top terrace, BBQ areas, gymnasium, sauna, residents’ lounge, and media room. The agent will want to show these features in their property marketing campaigns.

  • Some of the challenges associated with shooting these types of building exteriors are having no control over the residents’ balcony clutter, large garbage bins, or cars parked on the street or exposed onsite car parks. It is recommended that you or your editor removes the digits on the car number plates, removes bins and any other residents’ belongings that are visible on their balconies. 
  • If the sun is ‘hidden’ directly behind the building, the front façade of the building will be quite dark, and the sky will be exceptionally bright. In these situations, you are required to capture up to seven or even nine bracketed exposures to cover the greater dynamic range between the building façade and the sky behind the building. You can avoid this problem with careful scheduling so the sun is facing the front of the building at the time of the shoot; however sometimes it can’t be avoided on busy days.

The ‘hero’ image used by an agent in their real estate listing for an apartment building, is usually the front of the building unless the complex has a well-presented swimming pool or lobby.  

The following image shows a breakdown of composition setup for an example apartment building shot. 

For more composition breakdowns, visit the ‘Workshop Wednesday’ tag where a new composition breakdown is published on the platform each week.

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