How to Take Better Real Estate Photos
Real estate photos are one of the most important tools for generating interest in your home. Home sales begin on the web and research has shown that the more pictures that accompany your listing, the more viewings your property will get. Think of it like a job interview: would you show up with uncombed hair, rumpled clothes and nothing interesting to say? No, of course you wouldn't, you'd do your best to show yourself in your best light. Likewise, you shouldn't take a lackadaisical approach to real estate photos. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Below are a few things you can do to ensure that you take the best photos possible when listing your home:
Use a Wide Lens, But Not Too Wide
People are looking at real estate photos because they want to get a feel for what the house is like. They want to be able to imagine themselves living there and a major aspect of being able to do this is understanding the "flow" of the house. Flow describes how one room leads into another, and the only way to translate flow in an image is to capture that spatial relationship as much as possible. How do you do this? By using a wide lens that shows the entire room, including doorways that offer peeks of attached rooms. This way, house hunters will be able to look at a photo and see that the living room has French doors that lead into a formal dining room, or that the staircase descends directly onto a landing that branches into both the family room and the kitchen. Basically, it gives greater context. Being able to showcase flow in this way is a big help for potential buyers because they will immediately be able to tell if the layout is something they can live with. One caveat: don't use too wide a lens, or you'll get that fishbowl effect. That doesn't anyone and viewers find it deceitful and off-putting
Try to Incorporate Landscaping Details in Outdoor Photos
Often, the photos of the exterior of a home are the most important to buyers. People are really drawn by what is known as "curb appeal" or how attractive a house looks from the front. Your best bet is to incorporate landscaping details like trees and gardens in your photos as much as possible. Get as far away from the house as you can without sacrificing detail and it will showcase a beautiful rolling green lawn or capture the charming way a poplar sits nestled beside a window. People really prize their outdoor spaces, so make sure to make it clear that your listing offers a great outdoor lifestyle in addition to the fabulous interior.
Pay Attention to Light/ Make Use of Flash
Nothing is worse than a house that looks dark and dingy. Even if it isn't the case, if viewers perceive your photos to be the least bit gloomy, they'll pass on an in-person viewing. The biggest problem with dark photos is that they make rooms appear dirty, even if they are anything but. Whenever possible, turn on the lights, face a window or use your flash. If you think it might be overkill, just think of it this way: how many times have you heard a homebuyer say "We didn't like the look of the house, it just seemed too bright and sunny!" That's right, never.
Take Photos at "The Magical Hour"
This may be a little known fact outside of the photography community, but there is a best time of the day to take photographs. Ten to 20 minutes before sunset provides a soft, gentle light that gives rooms a gorgeous glow and provides a great backdrop for exterior shots. Photos taken at this time of day will eliminate common photo foibles like glare off glass or dirty-looking windows. Think of it as nature's version of Photoshop: all of the home's blemishes are suddenly reduced as if by magic! Make good use of "the magical hour" and it will pay off.
Now you're ready to start snapping away! Good luck with your photos as well as the sale of your home.