Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a lesson in house photos.

Yesterday's post included my home photo shoot.  I actually took the photos, as Husband and I went room-to-room, cleaning absolutely everything.  I have a great camera, the rooms were the cleanest they were ever going to be, so why couldn't I just get the pictures done myself?  Well, in meeting with the realtors today, I mostly did a good job.  But with some tips and tweaks and great suggestions, I was able to get my photos looking the bomb.  I thought I'd share what I learned...

Let's start with the kitchen.  Too much clutter, they said.  Clear the microwave, get the toaster out of there and roll that dishwasher right on out of there.  Clutter-free countertops look more spacious.  And above all {get this} get rid of that towel.  Oh, and all those photos on the side of the fridge?  Ba-bye.

 so much better.

And this next photo can not be used.  It does nothing but call attention to that eyesore dishwasher.

Way too much going on in this next photo.  Yucky towel, coffee maker, that yucky towel, the step ladder, the teapot, the dancing frogs peeking over the shelf.  Too much....

oh boy.  i can breathe again.  the stress of clutter is gone.

Extra chairs take up space.  Get those things out of the picture.

less is more.

In the next photo, I was off to the right start.  I moved the large living room chair out of the way, to snap the photo.  But oops!  I left the lamp and small table off to the side.  Pointless.  And then of course, those extra dining room chairs are taking up space.

wow.  i wish my dining room was really as big as it looks here.

Next up, the ugly backside of paper flowers and clutter on the kitchen counter.  It's the small things that count.  

that's better.

Clutter can be hard to see through the camera lens.  I thought I had cleaned everything up, but what is that junk in the kitchen?

this actually cracks me up.  after all the work in cleaning and retaking this photo, the clutter on the kitchen floor was replaced by my black cat.  

Anyway, if you have an eye for detail and organization, taking your own listing photos can be really helpful, as I found.  It was wonderful, especially for the bedrooms, as I was able to empty posters and decor and toys out into the hallway while I took the photos and then put it all back when I was done.  Here are a few extra tips I learned in the process:
  • Take the photos on a sunny afternoon, when the most natural light comes in through the windows.  
  • Turn on all of the lights.  
  • Sometimes floor lamps create a glare that can be too jarring.  Turn off the lamp if it creates too much of a glow.
  • Use the flash.  I hate the flash, but in this case it was beneficial.  Light creates space.
  • Bend your knees and look through the lens.  Don't aim the camera up or down, just keep it even like you're naturally looking across the room.
  • Keep an eye out for clutter.  Keep decor uniform and simple.  Lock up the cats.  :)
  • Get the kitchen towel out of the photo.  I still don't understand the drastic importance, but the realtor was adamant about this.  And I have to admit, I see the difference.
So, now that the photos are done and out of the way... this week I'll be working on traffic patterns.  Our house is small so we want to create the illusion of space.  I'll be removing and arranging a few furniture pieces in the living room to create a natural walking flow.  Did you know there was so much to consider when selling a home?  

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