ReZamp Real Estate: 6 Easy Steps to Great Listing Photos!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

6 Easy Steps to Great Listing Photos!

This is a guest post by Marc Freislinger.  

Marc is an upcoming real estate photographer.  His tips will help you sell your homes faster and for more money.  More people are using the internet to find homes, and great photos are key!  

1.  Stage The Property
To stage a property is to make it appealing to as many people as possible. This is usually done by de-cluttering and maximizing the use of space. When a buyer tours a home that’s too full of personal effects, they don’t see the years of memories that accompany those things. Buyers just see a home that feels a bit too small. In a similar way, vacant homes can feel cold and uninviting. Some sellers will rent a full homes worth of furniture to negate this effect, but even small items such as wall art, place settings, and silk plants can make a home feel lived in. Because photos are even more impersonal than a walking tour, they can amplify these effects if you’re not careful in your staging and shooting.

2.  Shoot HDR
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a great way to show off property interiors. Because homes are lit from multiple sources such as ceiling lights, floor lights, and exterior windows, it can be a challenge to take a good photo that doesn't burn out the windows or hide the interior in shadows. HDR photos are created by merging a series of photographs into one image that contains more detail than any single shot can. The photo series is taken on a tripod, using equally spaced exposures.

This allows for the full range of tones to be shown in the final product. The series can be merged using specialty programs such as Photomatix or Luminance HDR, or by hand in photo editing software like Photoshop. In the two shots below, you can see the difference between the camera’s “auto” setting, and a finished HDR photo.

3.  Shoot From The Hip
When most people take photos, they walk through the home and shoot while looking through the camera view finder at eye level. While this may easy for the photographer, they are missing out on one of the easiest ways to make a home feel larger on the inside. Set your tripod a little lower. While hip level may be a bit too low, shooting from chest level will help get more of the room in the picture and thereby make the home feel larger.

4.  a2 + b2 = c2
The widest point of any square or rectangle is across the diagonal. Another easy way to capture more of a room and improve the open feel of a home is to shoot photos across the widest part of a room. Shooting on the diagonal will also usually allow you to show only two walls of a room rather than three. This can be useful for keeping cluttered shelving or other unwanted items from view.

5.  Watch Your Verticals
When houses are being built, contractors use carpenter squares, lasers, and plumb bobs for one very important reason. They use them to keep the house square. Walls are vertical, ceiling and floor joists are horizontal. While looking at photographs, our imagination puts us in the space. Lines in pictures such as baseboards, door frames, and even wall corners should be horizontal and vertical just as they would be in life. Anyone who as ever visited a fun house knows how uneasy a person can feel when these items are built off kilter. When these things are off in a photo, some people experience that same feeling of vertigo.

6.  Hire A Pro

Taking and processing photographs is time consuming. Realtors make their money dealing with clients, networking, and marketing. Investors make money locating deals, analyzing properties, and running their businesses.  Is your time best spent learning and perfecting this craft? Or is your time better spent doing those things that make you money? I hope that something above will help you get your homes sold, but the best way to ensure professional looking photographs is to hire someone who has the eye, the software, and the experience to make your listing look its best. If you’re in the Phoenix area, I hope that you will consider Marc Freislinger Photography.


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