York is my home town and I love it with a passion. I have always lived here and am very privileged to do so. I often go in to town to work, and also for pleasure at weekends (obviously before lockdown) and every time I go I find myself acting like a tourist and walking about, looking around me and up high, just taking in the amazing buildings and streets. I have missed my usual trips in to town over the last few weeks, so the other day, I took my daily walk around deserted York. It was humbling and very eerie. Streets were empty of the usual hustle and bustle, no workers, shoppers or tourists. Shops, cafes and tourists spots were all closed, and it was a very emotional feeling walking around. I thought of the past in York, thousands of years ago, hundreds of years ago and decades ago, and what life must have been like then. And I thought of the future, when this will be probably be the biggest part of York's history for many many years to come.
I usually use my trusty Nikon D700 for work, however, I have recently purchased a Panasonic G9. This was going to be my second camera for weddings but I am finding I am using it more and more as my main camera! I love it! It is so lightweight and quiet, and it's ability to shoot in low light, and produce pin sharp images is amazing. So this is what I used for the images in this exhibition, and a wide angle lens.
I have decided to create a Virtual Exhibition of Lockdown York. I have done all the images in black and white, partly because I love black and white and also because I think it captures the mood of this ancient, beautiful and empty city perfectly. I wanted to capture a time in the history of majestic York that will, hopefully, never be repeated again.
Much of my work is property photography. I work for estate agents in York, as well as directly for vendors selling with online agencies. I also do one off jobs for Air B and B's, guest houses and hotels. And I provide detailed floor plans.
My top tips for getting the best photographic images of your property to sell or rent:
- Always have the camera on a tripod or monopod
- Shoot in landscape format
- Show all angles possible of each room from the corners
- Show unique details of each property
- Use a wide angle lens for the overall shots
- Shoot from shoulder height (approx 5 feet)
- Keep the verticals of the walls straight
- Use flash bounced off the ceiling or a wall
- Use an aperture of around f/11 to get a good depth of field
- Use a monopod to get a high up exterior shot
- Where possible, get an exterior shot when the sun is shining on to the property
- Lights on or off? This is a tricky one... different photographers prefer one or the other and there are pros and cons for both. Personally, I prefer lights off, as when they are on it creates burnt out light patches on the ceiling and walls that can be distracting to the eye. If there is good natural light I would always leave lights off. Some would argue lights on give a warmer feel to the images....
And here are my top tips for vendors to get their property ready for photography to sell or rent:
- Declutter as much as possible
- Hide items away in cupboards
- Kitchen surfaces cleared
- Dress the property - fresh flowers are perfect
- Personal photos away
- Cars off the driveway
- Toilet roll, towels and bath stuff away
- Bins out of sight
- Generally have the property looking it's absolute best for the shoot
Much of my work in recent years is property photography. I work for various local estate agents in York, as well as owners of guest houses and b and bs. Professional property photography is so important to showcase each place at it's best. Hopefully each property will be nice and tidy when I arrive (it's not always, but usually!) It's important to declutter as much as possible, and little things like putting away towels, toilet rolls, pet bowls and bins, really do help.
I use a wide angle lens, 10mm - 20mm and a monopod, which I love! I used to use a tripod, but the camera I currently use is brilliant with low light, so I don't need to use a really slow stutter speed, hence a monopod is enough, and it allows me to get in to tight corners, as well as capture high up exterior shots.
In most property shoots, I also provide a fully measured and detailed floor plan. This is recent skill that I have taught myself, and something I really enjoy doing. The biggest floor plan I have ever done was a 20 bedroom hotel, showing all rooms, fixtures, fittings and communal areas - which was a challenge!
I love doing property photography and think it a really important thing for anyone selling, letting or advertising a property.