Photography is crucial in selling your home. Every shot should express a unique story about the home. It’s not good enough anymore just to take a photo of a room with your point and shoot camera or phone camera. The photos must depict exactly what it would feel like to live in each particular home. This is exactly what buyers need, and from a seller’s perspective that will have a direct impact on market stimulation and their bottom line. We found this especially important when working with Scottsdale real estate.
The best results happen when looking at a scene and being able visualize what the finished product will look like is crucial. If you can’t see what you are after in your mind’s eye, it will be difficult to formulate an approach to get you there. Thankfully technology does a lot of the heavy lifting so a good Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, Wide Angle lens, Tripod and external flash will go a long way for creating a good result. If the upper tiers of photography are going to be attained, one must be prepared to spend a lot of time and money, as the investment in equipment in not cheap.
The composition is a main concern when shooting interiors, so in a manner of speaking where you (or your tripod) stand in the room is paramount. If you don’t get that right, you really have to work overtime to introduce enough redeeming qualities into the image to make up for a poor composition. All the rooms are important but the rooms that get the most attention in the home are the kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, and family rooms. It’s not unusual for us to shoot multiple angles of these spaces. So what determines my angle, it can be any number of things actually, every scene is different.
Generally speaking I start with the camera at about the eye level of a person sitting in the room, which is about 4ft. I usually go for a straight-on, one point perspective or shoot at a 90 degree angle toward a corner of the room. Wide Angle lenses often introduce a kind of distortion that stretches the corners of the frame. Composing around one of these two perspectives helps to minimize the impact of that. Ultimately, the angle is determined by what I feel is most aesthetically pleasing through the viewfinder of the camera after considering what I mentioned above.
Sometimes the room needs a bit of staging. We always encourage our clients to have their home cleaned and staged for the photo shoot. When using Wide Angle lenses it can see the scene differently than the human eye. I will often slide furniture to the side or remove large decor pieces that distract from the image. These things can look great in the room when physically standing there, but wide angle focal lengths produce a different result than what you see in person. I also like working with a Stager on the homes I shoot. Issues like de-cluttering, furniture arrangement and decor are usually handled by the stager. Of course if there is something that is obviously ruining an otherwise good shot I will take the time to remove or rearrange it.
One of the biggest challenges with photographing interiors is the dynamic range, or the range form the darkest area of the scene to the brightest. This is especially true for scenes that have windows in them. With this in mind, you want to shoot the room at a time when the light outside is close to the light inside. This usually means dusk, or dawn, or an overcast day. My personal approach is to use multiple off camera lights, or strobes. This way I can bring up the interior luminosity to more closely match that of the exterior. More than once we have had to make an extra trip at a different time of day just to get the right lighting for the effect we’re looking for in that room.
We’re sometimes asked when is the best time of day to shoot the home. This really depends on the direction the home faces so there is no single answer, but as a general rule of thumb we try to find a time where the sun is at our back and shining on the front of the home. This usually means mid morning or late afternoon. If you have a north facing home to photograph, we suggest trying to do a twilight shot where you photograph the house immediately after sunset. This can give a very pleasing effect of the home glowing from within and you get a nice gradient in the sky from one side to another.
Whether you are buying or selling Scottsdale real estate, the Luxury Valley Homes team is here to assist you. Email or call us at 480-595-6412 and we will be happy to help you find a house you can call home.
The photos used in this article were taken by Iran Watson who is a professional photographer, member REPAI, the April 2012 Real Estate Photographer of the Month, and the 2012 PFRE Real Estate Photographer of the Year Award he’s also a highly accredited Real Estate Agent in Atlanta. Iran’s Atlanta Real Estate Photography site. We attempt to emulate the best of the best and in our opinion Iran is a good photography role model.