How to Photograph Your Home For Selling
Selling a home is a tricky business. You need to present the public with information about what you’re selling. And there are few better ways to present that information than with a picture. After all, no-one is going to come and view a home without being able to see it first. And if the pictures you’re using aren’t good ones, then there isn’t going to be much demand for the property – which will see its price fall.
In this article, we’ll examine the different ways in which prospective sellers might enhance the look of their properties.
Get a professional photographer
If you’re going to be selling your home, then an enormous amount of money will be at stake. For this reason, it’s only sensible to invest a little in getting the best possible photograph of the interior. It’s true that professional photographers might charge a premium for their services – and professional photographers who specialise in architecture still more. But if it makes a significant difference to the final price you’re able to charge for your house, then this expense might prove a wise investment.
That said, if you do decide to take a photo yourself, there are a few tips which will allow you to replicate the skills of a professional – and avoid falling into the traps that ensnare so many well-intentioned amateurs.
Use a tripod
Would you want to live in a house whose floors are slanted and whose walls appear to be at crooked angles? If the answer is no, then you’ll appreciate that this isn’t an impression you should project to would-be buyers.
By investing in a tripod, you’ll be able to keep the camera at a fixed angle to the floor. You’ll be able to make precise adjustments to the angle and keep things consistent. After all, precision is extremely valuable when it comes in interior photography of this sort. With the help of a tripod, your photos will have a professional touch that simply can’t be achieved without one.
Match light levels
When it comes to accurate (and flattering) photography, lighting is everything. But you needn’t invest in expensive lighting in order to flatter your interior. By simply taking steps to control for natural light, you’ll be able to do so for free.
Modern cameras come equipped with technology which darkens the photo according to how much light is present. Such devices can be fooled, however, if there are stark differences in lighting levels in different parts of the room you’re photographing. Bright shafts of exterior light can interfere with your lighting, and so should be limited by closing drapes. For much the same reason, you’ll want to ensure that your take your photographs at a time of day where the light outside matches your interior.
In order to keep the lighting in your home uniform, you might want to turn on some of the lights in your home. This will help to avoid dark corners and unwanted shadows. Of course, depending on the makeup of your home, doing this might actually cause more harm than good – so be sure to experiment with a few different lighting setups – you can always discard the results if you don’t like them later.
If you’re taking photographs of your home’s exterior, then you’ll want to ensure that the sun is always behind you, to prevent contrast issues. If possible, take the photograph on a partially-cloudy (or even overcast) day, in order to keep the contrast as soft as possible. This is an excellent remedy for sharp shadows cast by nearby objects, like trees.
By using a wide lens, you can make your interior appear far larger than it actually is. This is a trick employed by every interior photographer – to the extent that failing to do it will actually make your home appear far smaller than the other homes listed. But using a wide lens can cause problems if you take a photograph from too close to an object. This can create distortion effects, and so should be avoided.
Objects in the foreground
That said, you might wish to experiment by placing objects in the foreground – though not so close that they create distortions. This will help to create variety – after all, not every interior shot needs to encompass the entire room.
By shooting your rooms from an acute angle, they’ll look larger than they actually are. Where the optimal angle might be will vary from room to room, but with a little experimentation, you’ll be able to find it and help your interior to look its best.
In order to minimise the amount of ceiling you have on display, you’ll want to set your tripod up at chest level. As a general rule, the more ceiling there is in the shot, the lower it will look – and so taking a photo from lower down will help to create the illusion of space. Needless to say, taking a photo from as far back as possible will help to maximise this illusion – so try placing your camera flush against the wall.
One of the biggest influences on how good your home looks has nothing directly to do with photography and lighting at all – but with making your home look its best. You’ll want to ensure that the floor is cleared and that any discarded cups, clothing and other objects are safely stowed away. If you’re photographing cushions or pillows, then make sure they’re fluffed up in order to remove any imprints of where people have been sitting.
That said, you might want to place a few items into shot to illustrate how a room might look when it’s ‘lived in’. A well-placed bowl of fruit might have this effect, as might a book or two. Try to use objects of different sizes and shapes, and in odd numbers. If you’re shooting a big empty room, then be sure to place an object in there for scale – a chair is a popular choice.