So you have a listing and the market is super hot. Houses are not staying on the market more than a few days. It is so tempting to take your point and shoot and run out and shoot 20 shots and upload them to MLS. Eeeek. Stop. Even if you don’t use a pro photographer, there are some things that need to happen for you to make a first impression on MLS or your website.
- Be Punctual
Part of being a Real Estate agent or being a professional Real Estate Photographer is to be on time. Part of being on time is being prepared. It’s a good thing to have a basic idea of photography before you show up and capture an image of someone’s major life investment. Do you have the correct lens? A tripod? A good flash and diffuser? Hopefully all of your camera equipment is in a separate bag and not just thrown in the back of your car or your brief case. Being prepared gives your client the appearance that you are a professional.
- Stage the Room
Take your time and get rid of the clutter in the room to make your shot look like a professional magazine shot. At least that should be your goal. Staging the room would mean getting rid of mail or books on a table. Dirty dishes or pans in the kitchen. All of the “stuff” that resides on a bathroom counter needs to go away for your shot. If your homeowner has not taken the time to do this, you might ask if you can shuffle some things around to get the cleanest, less cluttered shot possible.Your first and foremost shot is the exterior front of the home. It’s the curb appeal shot. Encourage your homeowner to have the yard, trees, shrubs trimmed and looking sharp for the day of your shot. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
- Time of Day
I like to take my shots either early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening. That direct overhead sunlight can be a killer to make your exterior shot look good. You also will get better interior natural light is the sun is at and angle and not overhead. You can’t always predict the weather, but you will want to stay away from stormy, rainy or snowy days. It might be to your advantage to come back and get the exterior shot if the weather does not cooperate.
- Flattering Angles
A professional real estate photographer will usually take their time in observing the most important angle in the room. If the room is small and cramped, you might want to take a wider angle shot to give it the appearance of more space. Shooting directly into a window also has it’s problems. The camera will adjust for the bright light and everything else will be super dark. There are some work arounds, but you have to experiment with camera placement and angle. Do you best to not emphasize imperfections in the home, like scuffed walls, dirty baseboards, dirty windows, etc. Take your time. I been known to shoot at least 4 different angles in a room to get the best and flattering photo.
- Take enough Shots
You may only need 18 shots to go on MLS. If your a pro photographer, you know. To get 18 good shots you will need to shoot between 60 – 80 images. That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t. You may want to bracket your shots (expose 1 stop over and one stop under) on each shot to make sure you get good exposure on your photos. Nothing is more frustrating to have to have to spend more time in Photoshop or Lightroom than the actual travel time and shoot.You may not be a pro photographer, but with some practice you will begin to see improvement and pride in the shots you take. Being a pro photographer and a realtor is really an advantage. I have the necessary equipment and expertise to help my overall online image.