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How to shoot photos of your home like a pro

[File art: Pexels]
[File art: Pexels]

Whether you're showcasing your home for a short-term or long-term rental, a sublet, new roommates or to sell it, great photos are essential to attract attention online.

Alyssa Rosenheck, a photographer, home stylist and author of the forthcoming book "The New Southern," shared the following suggestions for amateur photographers to improve their home photos:

Level up. A classic rookie mistake is expecting superstar results from holding the camera by hand. My tip: Invest in a simple tripod for your DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) or an attachment for your camera phone.

Straight lines are like oxygen for clean imagery. The viewer's eye immediately catches and focuses on any crooked lines. But straight lines — horizontal and vertical — will create a chorus among the composition that sings. Hence, the need to level up and have a tripod.

Think about the lens figuratively and literally. First, set an intention through your own personal and emotional lens. Each room has an energy and story to tell. This is your chance to share the story of the spaces that have supported you and continue to inspire your path.

Second, invest in both a good prime and wide-angle lens. A prime lens means you have a fixed focal length, which really motivates you to move around the space and find the perfect frame for the shot. Wide-angle lenses are important in capturing the scale of a space. Renting lenses is a great way to try out a variety and see which feels most natural to you. And for phone photographers, there is a variety of affordable wide-angle lens accessories for on-the-go.

Let there be light. Natural light, that is. I find this is essential for capturing the most accurate representation of a room as possible. It is camera vs. eye, and not all cameras are created equal, especially in comparison to the vast dynamic range of our eyes.

Be a straight shooter. I am a back-to-basics kind of woman in every area of my life, especially when it comes to angles behind the lens. Let's keep things simple and shoot straight-on. This will yield beautiful, clean lines and communicate the composition of the space.

Layer on. An image is technically flat, but what makes it come to life with great dimension are its "layers." The rooms you are shooting need to communicate to the viewer. So, tangibly, there needs to be an element of visual texture to the space for it to have dimension.

Ways to add layers include decorative tabletop accessories, mirrors, layered artwork leaning against a wall, layered rugs, texture-rich throws and fabrics, and flowers picked from the garden.

Prop with proof of life. When styling for shoots, I add an element of practical fantasy to each space, but it's important to keep it as natural and minimally invasive as possible. I call this "proof of life." Use it as an opportunity to highlight the history of the home or honor the character of the client.

Keep composition simple. I find composition to be much more important than the camera you have in your hand. It enables the space's story to be told through object arrangement and placement. I can communicate a particular object of interest through my focal point or, alternatively, introduce a moment of relief by emphasizing the negative space.

There are numerous theories behind composition, but at a basic level, your goal should always be to achieve straight lines, balanced layers and let the rule of thirds guide your lens. (The rule guides photographers to place the main subject off-center.)