Dining Area with Fireplace

Real Estate Photography for Home Staging

Home staging for real estate requires professional photography. Professional photography is an essential step when selling your home. If you do not have professional photos online, no one is going to look or even think about your house as an option to buy. 

Real Estate Professional Photography and Video is a Must!
Real estate photography brings out the grandeur of a staged living room.
Real estate photography brings out the grandeur of a staged living room.

When I talk to anybody, any client, I always tell them that real estate photography is going to be one of the most important things in getting your home sold (along with the other steps that we’ve discussed in previous articles.)

You need help selling your home and you will sell your home with a good property presentation.

The number one thing is that all people nowadays start their shopping online, so they’re going to go to their favorite website, whether that’s Zillow, Redfin, or wherever else they’re looking at houses, and they’re going to start looking at homes that are for sale. 

If your house doesn’t pop and doesn’t look good in pictures online, people are just going to scroll past it and they’re going to keep moving because there’s a lot of inventory out there. There are a lot of homes on the market, and if you don’t capture the buyer’s attention online, they’re probably not even going to come to your open house.

Don’t try to save money on an amateur photographer. It will cost you later.
Bedroom staged by Brilliant Staging
Staging and real estate photography are ways to get houses sold at top dollar.

Getting the home staged, of course, is part of having good photos. But what always blows my mind is when people pay for staging, and then they take photos themselves, or they have a terrible photographer who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s sad because it feels like such a waste of money.

Staging is still going to help for an open house for that face-to-face, emotional connection, but your photos are what’s going to capture your buyers’ attention in the first place. 

Your photographer must be skilled in the use of professional equipment and proper lighting.

You also need to make sure the photographer has the proper equipment. If the home is darker, extra attention should be paid to lighting. This is especially true when selling a home in the Pacific Northwest since it gets dark early in the winter and there is limited lighting throughout the day. The best Seattle photographers usually have multiple homes the day they shoot. By the time they get to your house, it might be getting dark out. Home staging in Seattle requires more light than anywhere else.

If you don’t have good natural lighting in the house, then your photographer should be bringing in extra lights, a good flash, maybe some umbrella lights, and whatever else is needed to make the home look bright. Nobody wants to live in a dark cave. Gorgeous, airy homes are the most attractive. So making sure those photos are beautiful and bright is important. The quality of the photos is also based on the equipment of the photographers. A high-quality camera is going to get really clear, crisp, beautiful photos, as well as making sure that the colors in the photos are very natural and light.

I see a lot of photos that are evidence of inadequate equipment. They try to edit it to make it look better, and the colors are all distorted. You know; the gray is now a pale brown, and the greens are saturated lime. You know nobody’s grass looks like that, and it turns off a buyer because then they start wondering what in this picture is actually real. An overly edited picture is a bad picture. The quality of the photos is just crucial. 

Be sure your photographer has experience in real estate photography.

Choosing a good photographer requires more than the photographer having proper equipment because anybody can go out and buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment and call themselves a photographer. 

Knowing how to photograph a space is hard to learn and takes a lot of talent. Real estate photography is very different than a portrait photographer. Somebody who photographs nature visualizes differently than somebody who photographs people. They’re a completely different art and skill.

Choosing your Photographer

There are some photographers who just kind of want to venture out and experiment, and maybe they photographed people their whole career, and now they want to try shooting houses. And it is very, very different. 

The equipment is different. You have to use different kinds of lighting. You need to know the proper angles to use. All of these things play a significant role in getting a good photo. For example, when shooting a house or any kind of real estate type photography, it’s crucial to a) get a proper angle of the entire room. A high-quality fisheye lens or something like that wide lens where you’re going to be able to capture most of the room in a photo is really important. Good equipment versus a phone or iPhone photo is going to make a difference.

Pictures must be photographed from the right perspective.

It’s tough for a person searching online to envision what that room looks like in their mind’s eye. If they can only see one wall, they have to fill in the other details of other parts of the room. They can’t tell from one wall what is the size of the room and have to imagine what is the flow of that room.  They have to imagine the feel of it and ask questions. How much furniture can you fit in there? It’s hard to tell with a closeup picture.  

Shooting at the level of a person’s focus and point of view is essential. Sometimes people will photograph from the top corner of a room, and they do not realize looking down at a place is an unnatural point of view.

It’s okay for an overall photo. But if you want to stir an emotional connection to the room, which is your goal, then you have to shoot it at a level from how a human views the room. You have to give the photo a virtual feel that takes the viewer into the room.

Take the right photo to sell your home.

Imagine yourself in that room, and you’re walking through it, what would you see? Well-shot photos do turn out extremely beautiful and capture a person’s attention because that’s how we view the world. That’s how we see things. And so that’s how you naturally are going to connect to it versus seeing, a far away, weird stretched out photo. 

Room angles and how the angle is photographed plays a considerable role. Photographing a bathroom or a small room is difficult. People don’t realize how much skill it takes, and there is a reason professional photographers have years of experience. Try to take a picture of a tiny bathroom with your phone. The ability to shoot it from a certain angle with the proper equipment is what a professional photographer can provide for you.

Watch your photography with mirrors.

A lot of people don’t know how to photograph in a room with lots of mirrors where you’re not going to have a flash in one of them. You can’t have equipment reflected in the mirror. That takes a skilled photographer who knows what they’re doing to get a stunning photo where it’s not cheesy.  We’ve all seen pictures where you can see like the legs of the camera, in the mirror. You see those a lot, and they don’t look right. 

A lot of people think, well, why do you need such extravagant professional photos? Because you are selling a house. You really want to sell it quickly and perhaps this isn’t going to a magazine, but it does matter because you are trying to capture somebody’s attention, and you need to treat it as if it IS going in a magazine. 

Use real estate photography techniques to maximize the sales price. You will save money by doing it right.

Selling your home is your biggest investment you’re selling. I always remind people when they’re selling their home, and they don’t want to put money into preparing it for sale. I ask. “Have you sold anything more expensive than your house?” You want to get good money out of it. So put some effort into it. 

I always bring up this example,  let’s say, you are cleaning items for sale at your house. You want to sell an office chair. You clean the chair in detail, and you take a nice picture at it from different perspectives for posting. If you do that amount of work and sell the chair for twenty dollars, then it’s the same idea for selling your house for six-hundred-thousand-dollars.

Professional photos require professional editing.

It’s very apparent when you start flipping through photos which the photographer is good at editing. I’ve worked with a multitude of photographers because a lot of agents want to work with their own. I’m okay with that. However, when I see the photos,  I’m extremely disappointed with the editing. What I look for is over-editing. You don’t want to oversaturate the photos where your orange is now neon, or your blue is not natural.

I will reveal years of industry expertise as a stager working with some of the best photographers in the area. We help real estate agents and homeowners sell homes faster and at the highest price.

I go into even more detail on my podcast on Spotify (Free for three months!) or Anchor.fm. I discussed how to have a proper client consultation and sell your house with Brilliant Staging & Design

Whether you are in the Real Estate profession, interior design, or even decorating, we can help you grow and excel. I have a passion for harnessing the power of forward-thinking and trend-casting in the staging industry that is cutting edge. Designed for the modern time, check out the Brilliant Staging Podcast. (https://anchor.fm/brilliant-staging)

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