Preferred view for real estate – wide or zoomed?

I’ve been having this little philosphical battle with myself – whether to back into a corner and shoot as wide as possible (in my case 12mm) so as to show as much as possible, or to zoom in some and capture more intimate scenes. Here are 2 shots illustrating the extremes…

Real Estate Photography by Propertyshoot, Sunshine Coast

A wide 'establishing' view shot at 15 mm

Real Estate Photography by Propertyshoot, Sunshine Coast

A tighter angle, shot at 20 mm (camera also repositioned closer).

Of course the answer is simple. Provide what the client wants. But there’s no harm in providing both and perhaps gently pointing out the pros & cons of each.
Scott Hargis ably illustrates them here. Briefly, overly wide shots stretch and exaggerate the size of objects near the foreground edges of the frame while reducing the apparent size of things near the centre. They make useful ‘documentary’ shots, recording the relationship and flow between rooms, although they can make a room look much larger than it is (a plus?). ‘Tighter’ zoomed shots are useful when one wants to capture the lifestyle value of a space – the feel of sitting in a couch while gazing out to the garden for instance.

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