We all know that selling a property is a stressful process. And while I can’t offer much in the way of conveyancing or mortgage advice, I do happen to know a few things about generating large volumes of interest in your Rightmove listing. So sit down, and let me tell you the secret ingredients required for effective professional property photography. Do great property photographs matter when it comes to securing viewings for your property? According to Rightmove, listings with high quality images attract around 93% more leads than those with basic photography.
That’s a convincing statistic, but what constitutes a high-quality image?
Most estate agents these days can quickly take several competent images of a property on their smartphone or entry level camera. However, what they generally can’t do is create an elevated sense of desire, because they’re lacking in one particular skill set.
Simply dressing to impress
The truth is, when it comes to capturing the kind of engaging images that compel someone to book a viewing, a lot of the work is done before the camera even comes out of the case.
I’m talking about setting the scene, and that requires having an eye for interior design and styling.
That’s a skill I developed in a previous career, back when I worked in interior design as a stylist. Nowadays, I use that eye to create visually engaging images because on a psychological level, people don’t want to buy bricks and mortar. Deep down, they want to buy a lifestyle. And when you can draw people in on that level, where they’re imagining themselves hosting dinner parties in the spacious kitchen, reading a book in the secluded summer house, or luxuriating in that opulent bath, they’re already selling the property to themselves.
With this approach, I’ve had clients go from receiving no viewings for their listings to suddenly finding themselves in the midst of a bidding war.
Looking to set the scene for your residential professional property photography? Here are some pro tips:
Tidy up. Cameras are merciless when it comes to capturing things like dust and stains. So before the lens comes off, give the place a seriously deep clean.
Remove clutter. It’s easy to become blind to your own piles of stuff. And it’s often those places where we put our necessary ‘clutter’ like shoes and coats, that can ruin the feel of a photograph. So as you go from room to room, scan for things like waste bins, laundry, and shoe racks, and Simply place them outside the shot until you’ve taken your property photographs.
De-personalise the space. Getting people to visualise themselves in your property involves a certain amount of removing you from it. So collect up all the family photos, postcards on the fridge, and other personal mementoes you have lying around.
Natural light beats artificial light. Using artificial light to illuminate your rooms can give the wrong impression when it comes to property photography. Not only will it draw attention away from the features of the room itself, it can make people feel your house is dark and gloomy. Instead, try and get a feel for when the natural light is at its best, and take your photos then. It’s a great way to breathe light, space and character into an image.
Wrap up wiring. Nothing snags the eye like a wire. So unplug your lamps, tidy up behind the TV, and tack any necessary cables to the walls, or under a carpet out of sight. As I mentioned before with lights, same goes for your TV. Unplug it.
Beware of mirrors. A well-placed mirror can add a sense of depth or space to an image. However, they will also reveal things you don’t want them to, such as your own face, or a cheeky peek into a different room. If you are planning to get a shot of a mirror, think carefully about the angles, and what the mirror reveals, to ensure it doesn’t detract from the picture.
Think about the symmetry of ornaments. Take a pair of bedside tables with lamps, for example. From a compositional point of view, it always looks better if both lamps are centred. Otherwise, the image can look off kilter. A few well placed items can really add flavour to an image, but if you’re not sure what feel you’re going for, don’t be afraid to stick those ornaments in a box with the clutter until you’ve completed your shoot.
Straighten out the sheets. Simply put you want to add character and detail to your property photography, it’s always a good idea to make your bed as fresh and unused looking as you possibly can. I’d even advocate ironing your sheets for that extra smooth look. I’m serious. In the past I’ve had someone hiding out of shot tugging a duvet down so it looks perfectly straight, small things that go into getting that look of investment that you only get with professional property photography.
Looking for inspiration? Check out my residential property photographs for ideas.
Ready to attract serious interest in a property? Get in touch.