How To Take Photos of Your Home To Make It More Sellable
Are you putting up your house or condo unit for sale? Presentation is key to closing that deal.
People are inundated daily by images, and thanks to a plethora of home renovation shows, buyers’ standards have skyrocketed to model unit-perfection, when it comes to the homes that grab their attention. When you’re trying to sell your home and you’re working as your own broker, you need to create a portfolio that highlights the best of what your space has to offer and puts everything, quite literally, in a good light. Once you have those good photos, you would be confident in uploading it in official selling and real estate sites, and it will surely get noticed.
Don’t be overwhelmed, and if you can’t afford the services of a professional photographer, here’s how to shoot your own home for selling:
Clean it up and style it.
Before you start snapping, remember that there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s important to style your home as you would want it to appear in your photos—no matter how premium the lens you bought is, your photos aren’t going to make the cut if what you’re shooting isn’t styled well.
Take a cue from the professional stagers on TV when it comes to adding (or subtracting) furniture pieces, accessories and décor. Know that it’s so much easier to smooth down a creased duvet cover than to have to edit a wrinkle out on Photoshop. Have a keen eye for clutter, remove private family photos on display (you probably wouldn’t want these scattered all over the internet), straighten out any crooked frames and lampshades, clean up random toys strewn around, and replace light bulbs that aren’t working.
Once you’ve got your home set up the way you would want it captured, it’s time to get cracking. Photographer Miguel Nacianceno, who has shot many of Real Living’s home features, says that beyond the technical aspects of photography, one should have an appreciation of good design and how the space is used. “In terms of photography, I’ve learned to trust in good light, and respond to it.”
Miguel weighs in on how homeowners can get the best interior shots possible, whether you’re using your camera phone or your SLR.
Know your photo basics.
Shooting interiors requires the same basics as any other kind of photography: choose a good angle, then expose and focus correctly. Be knowledgeable of the capabilities and limitations of your equipment.
Use good lighting.
As much as possible, natural light is best for interior shots. Shoot during daytime, open up the windows, let light in. Put your camera on a tripod if a longer exposure is necessary (if you’re working with a darker room, this is your go-to solution). Turn off your artificial lights—especially fluorescent ones. Sometimes, a room may have a dark spot, so feel free to add a lamp to fill in some light.
If you are in a room where there is no window or source of natural light, try to mix the room’s ambient light (a lamp or minimal overhead lights) with one of your strobes (a device that produces regular flashes of light) that you can bounce off a white ceiling.
Go wide on tight spaces.
Use the widest lens you have that doesn’t distort the image (or fix any distortion that comes up through post-processing). If you need a wide-angle shot of the room, just pick a corner and try to see how much of the room you could get in. Shooting from the doorway is another option, if it presents a good or interesting angle. If you’re using a mobile phone instead of an SLR, you can buy a clip-on wide angle lens for your phone; this is available locally on Lazada.
Hide those pesky electrical cords and paint cracks.
Disguise them by taping them down behind shelves or tables, or even behind the TV itself. If paint cracks or outlets are super-unsightly, have the patience to erase them in post-production.
Find good photo references.
This writer loves the shelter and architectural website DWELL, though on their site, you can tell which photos were provided by readers, and which ones where commissioned by the magazine. The former is more formal, showing architectural perspectives; the latter is more informal and adheres to the philosophy of the homeowner interacting with their own space. (You can also go through Real Living’s home tours to see how spaces are composed.—Ed.)
Make your space look lived in.
The lived-in look for interiors (signs of life like a coffee cup, not-too-straight pillows, casual layout) is more inviting. It also works if the homeowner considers their own lifestyle and their use of space in the design. This makes for a more interesting home to shoot, and a space that reflects the owner/inhabitant. Some homes, though, are more formal and showcase-y. If that’s the situation, then shoot formal photos of it.
Use the right equipment.
These tools will help you get professional quality photos of your space:
- Wide Angle Lens
- Light Stand and Strobe
- Editing Tools (VSCO, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.)
RL TIP: Know that while photography is important, the work of selling your home doesn’t end in getting your shots up on the Internet. Good photos also require a proper listing, great captions, and a complete set of details.
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