Set the scene right and watch your imagery do the selling for you…
There are few things in life more stressful than moving home.
And the process of selling is often cited as the most stressful part of all!
If you’re an estate agent you’ll want to ensure that the whole process gets off to as best a start as humanly possible for your clients, and of many of you, that means putting together a listing or advertisement that does all the selling for you.
Let your residential property images speak for themselves
As a property photographer with a background in interior design and styling, I’ve seen first-hand what a huge impact the right imagery can make when it comes to finding the perfect buyer.
Getting it wrong not only results in wasted time, frustration and a poor reputation for you as an agent, but can really take its toll on stressed-out sellers keen to move on in their lives and get the best price for their home.
Property photography, particularly when it comes to interiors, is all about ‘setting the scene’.
Similarly to lifestyle photography, the aim is to enable potential buyers to visualise themselves living in that home – entertaining guests, enjoying that morning coffee on the patio, sitting in the garden or enjoying a good night’s sleep in their luxurious boudoir.
When it comes to properties of a certain value too, this is all the more important.
Investing in a new home isn’t just about bricks and motor, it’s about investing in a desired lifestyle.
And professional residential photography that not only captures the true essence of a home but portrays the future possibilities of what it could become in the eyes of a new buyer, is the best way to ensure that your client gets their return on investment in you.
Setting the scene with professional residential property photography
I’m going to let you into a little secret … setting the scene in preparation for a professional residential property shoot is really quite simple.
All it requires is a little fore-thought, common sense and consideration. But when you’re under pressure to publish a property listing as soon as possible, it’s the simple things that get over-looked.
I can bet my bottom dollar however that once your clients see the difference between ‘point and shoot’ style photography of their interiors and garden, and professionally produced imagery that showcases their home at its very best, they’ll encourage you to take all the time you need!
Top tips for setting the scene in a residential property
Over the years I’ve learned many tricks of the trade and am only too happy to share some of this wisdom with my estate agency and property developer colleagues…
You would be surprised at just how many vendors don’t do this – and the camera will not be able to disguise any mess within the final photos.
De-clutter – remove any unnecessary items from the scene.
This is a biggie, and includes removing objects such as wastepaper bins, bags and shoes, towels, kitchen roll and even toiletries. Buyers know that all of these things will be present in a home, but they don’t need to see them.
De-cluttering will enable your potential buyers eye to be drawn to the core features of a home; enabling them to see past the lives of the current owners, and into their future lives as proud owners.
Hide electrical cables
Unsightly or tangled electrical cabling can be really distracting in photographs and is really quite unnecessary. Hide those cables up behind furniture, tack behind chair legs, or unplug and wrap up until the photography session is over – whatever you need to do to get them out of the way, do it.
Position ornaments neatly
Your seller may have those bedside lamps positioned to the left or the right for ease of reading in bed, but in a photograph they will just look out of place. So centre any lamps or position purposefully alongside any other objects. Or if you can’t quite get the positioning right – feel free to remove the object altogether.
Get the iron out
It’s a fact of life that bedding is there to be slept in, but potential buyers do not want to see the remnants of current owners in their sheets, duvets or pillows.
If you checked in to your room at a hotel and were confronted with crumbled bedding, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether Goldilocks had been making herself comfortable before you, so don’t allow potential buyers to wonder the same!
Ensure that any bedding, including throws, are clean, dry and straight – if you need to, enlist the help of a second person to pull sheets tight outside of camera sight.
Remove personal objects
Remember when I said the key to residential photography is enabling buyers to visualise themselves in the home? This is why I also recommend removing any objects that are too personal, such as family photographs or children’s paintings from the fridge.
Keep lights turned off
Often, when rooms are photographed with the lights on, this can draw attention away from the room itself and may even give off the impression that the room is usually dark and gloomy. It can also result in that odd yellow halo effect which doesn’t look good.
Consider use of natural lighting
Consider the angles that give you the best natural lighting within a room. Large windows can be a help or a hindrance depending on the size of the room in question, but need to be considered.
If windows dominate a room, this can sometimes result in ‘white-out’ – where the room looks bright but the windows themselves become just a white blur. In situations like these, you may need a little help from your flash.
Part of the skill of a professional property photographer is knowing all of these little tricks and also how to adapt the lens, camera settings and angles to each situation.
There are plenty more tips I could of course share with you (don’t forget to mow the lawn for example!), however I’m conscious that you probably don’t have all day and will want to get on with practising some of the tips above.
If you do have some time set aside for later however, please feel free to request my Estate Agents Guide to Professional Photography via email, and I will send you the full PDF.
You can view some examples of recent residential property photography I have produced in the gallery below: