When selling your home, marketing is of the utmost importance. Since a huge percentage of prospective home buyers use the Internet in their search for the perfect residence, you need to make sure that your home is represented by quality photographs. If your photos are not carefully executed, buyers will quickly continue their search without looking at what might actually be an amazing space. By effortlessly supplying us with a multitude of options, the Internet has allowed buyers to be overly critical. A well-lit photo of a clean space is always going to look more appealing than a photo haphazardly snapped by a phone at the wrong time of day. Therefore, a potential sale can be lost by a simple click on the back button.
Here are some tips for achieving professional-quality photos:
- Staging – Staging is important during home showings and open houses, so you might as well get it done before taking marketing photographs of your home. Clean, de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces before pulling out the camera. If your residence is already empty, think about bringing in a piece of furniture for scale. It’s hard to judge an empty room’s size through a photo.
- Lighting – Lighting can make the difference between a worthless photo and a great photo. For exterior shots, always keep the sun behind you. You should take the photos during a clear day, unless your home is heavily shadowed. If it is, shooting the outside of your house on an overcast day might be the better option. Never shoot into the sun, as this will cause your home to be back lit, creating a silhouette effect.
For interior shots, turn on the lights and open the shades. If direct sunlight filters in through the windows, wait for a different time of day, as direct light can be too harsh and distract from the room. Try shooting at twilight. The light filtering in at that time should match the interior lighting. If it’s possible, avoid using a built-in flash. A combination of a tripod and a longer shutter speed is a better way to overcome a lack of ambient light. As a bonus, you minimize any motion blur affect from handholding your camera. If a camera has a 2 sec. shutter delay option, use it as well.
- Framing – Next, think about how you want the room to appear. Find a focal point, such as an impressive window or fireplace. If there isn’t a single feature you want to show off, consider all aspects of the room you want to highlight. Make the center of those items your focal point.
Also, consider the point of view and angles. Shooting from a diagonal opens up more of the room. However, make the opposite corner slightly off-center. If your room has a particularly high ceiling, consider a lower POV to show off the space. Take multiple photos from different areas and heights. You’ll be able to tell what works best for your spaces.
- Post-Processing – Lastly, clean up your photographs with computer software. You can play around with contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc. Photoshop is great, but there are plenty of free photo editors out there, too. Try GIMP or Pixlr.
Don’t be afraid to take a lot of photos. Options are always good, and every space is unique. Happy shooting!
If you know other tricks or have any suggestions that can help in archiving professional-quality photos, let us know! We’d love to hear your thoughts.