The provision of a camera in a mobile phone nowadays has revolutionised how you can effectively take photos of properties. In the old days it was a large camera with film that you needed to take to be developed, and then there were digital cameras which helped speed the image-processing part along although still meant yet another device to carry with you.
These digital cameras are still useful for detailed property inspections, however the camera facility on most mobile phones is often more than adequate in most cases, particularly with the quality of the images getting better and the size of the phones reducing.
So here are ten top tips to make the most of these, the first five being more to do with the actual types of use, and the later five more the ways in which you can improve the usability.
1. You Can Take a Photo of Any Part of the Building
That's right, anything from a long shot of the whole plot to a detailed zoomed-in image of, say, a wall crack. Make sure the camera has time to focus, check whether you need any flash, and just press click.
2. Take a Photo of Any Paperwork as Well
The penny dropped with this use a few years ago for myself, and I remember feeling like a detective when I began doing it. Simply take a photo of any piece of paper, and because the image-quality on phones nowadays is so good it can be just as good as a scanned copy of this document (although legally they may not be admissible).
Just make sure the images size matches the document size, remember to take different shots for each page, and make sure the focus is right to get the details shot.
3. Take Videos of Actions
A good example is an active water leak into a property, where a video clip of the leaks can communicate so much more than just a photo, as it can show the intensity of the water, where it's coming from and to if you move around with the camera, and you could even talk over it and provide a helpful narrative.
4. Use Special Features Like Panorama to Spice Things Up
This is on the iPhone where basically it can take several consecutive shots and blend them together into one extra-wide shot. Okay you tend to loose the time perspective of things a little, but you can cover a much larger area in one image, for example all four walls within a room.
5. Use the Opportunity to Validate People and Time
So if you need to provide almost proof of what you were doing at the property, and with who, and at what time, then include other things in the picture other than the literal property. So take a shot of any body who was with you on the inspection, or even a copy of the day's newspaper to prove the actual day.
Alternatively, you may want to deliberately remove any of these so that you just see the actual property in the picture.
6. Remember the Phone Can Also Be Used as a Good Source of Light
So away from pictures, most phones now can act like a torch for dark spaces, although they do take a lot of battery power.
7. Keep the Camera Nice and Steady
Most will need a little while to focus, and you need to make sure you do not wobble it as you hold it by hand. So keep it steady, give some time to focus, and even get a separate stand or even selfie-stick.
8. Look at Different Options to Transfer the Finished Image
Not only typical download on your computer via a cable, but you can even email a copy of the image from your mobile phone, which is not only instant but ensures a digital record in your email account.
9. Check What Size Image You Need
In most cases the image will actually be larger than what you actually need for usual web and document use, so you may need to take and transfer a much smaller sized copy of the images.
10. Remember the Memory
Both photos and videos can take up a lot of memory on your phone, so make sure you have the capacity and older files are deleted to keep things clear on your phone. There's nothing worse than going to take an important shot to have a message pop up saying you can't because there is not enough memory and storage capacity.
Ten Tips for Now & the Future
So there we have it, ten tips for making the most of cameras on mobile phones, the later tips being more general than the initial five. They're such an important tool nowadays, and they are becoming even more important over time, therefore to use them correctly will certainly pay off dividends in many respects both now and in the future.
Please leave comments below with any thoughts and queries.