It pays to be prepared, and real estate photography shoots are no exception. Here are Au Courant's tips for getting your property ready for the camera:
This one's obvious enough. You want to show off the beauty of the home, and it's hard to see through the pile of dirty laundry. So if the home is still lived-in, be sure to do a nice deep-clean in every room of the house. This is going to help the photographer out in a big way, since they'll be able to focus on capturing the perfect shot, without having to stop to move items from one room to another or wipe off a dirty mirror. Keep in mind that some photographers will charge a cleaning fee if they have to stop too many times due to a messy home. The garage is a great place to store items temporarily during the shoot, since photographers rarely go in there. Also remember to sweep off any outdoor patios or pool decks you might be showcasing just before the shoot, since leaves will keep falling onto the ground!
#2 Open Up The Space
Rooms look better when furniture and decor is placed with intention. If pieces of furniture don't match or the spacing between them seems tight, it can make for a less-than-attractive photo. Make sure the furniture allows a comfortable walking path through any space, and a minimum of about half as much between pieces. The garage is, as always, a great place to store unwanted items during the shoot. Be sure to straighten up furniture and appliances so they don't sit at odd angles. This can be super important in kitchens, as appliances that don't sit flush to the wall look odd on camera, and they stand out in the bad kind of way. Small furniture and appliances can always be tweaked by your photographer, but make sure you love the layout of your large furniture before the day of the shoot!
#3 Consider The Timing
Scheduling your shoot can be tough if someone is still living in the house, but timing is super important to getting the perfect shoot. Pay attention to things like the weather and when trash day is. Editing magic may be able to remove the neighbors trash cans and replace a dreary sky, but it will always look better to capture it right on the day of. Keep in mind that some real estate photographers charge additional editing fees for things like this, so you can save yourself some hassle by just being prepared!
#4 Use Consistent Lighting
It seems like such a little thing, but you'd be surprised how much it stands out when you have two different colored bulbs in the same chandelier! This can throw off the photos color and composition, and it's no easy task to fix with edits! Inconsistent lighting is just one of those things that stands out in a bad way. If a buyer looks through your listing and sees this, they may be turned away without even knowing why the images look unattractive to their eyes. Whenever possible, use the same color and shape of bulb in every fixture, especially with multi-bulb fixtures! The first thing your real estate photographer or videographer will do when they arrive is turn on all the lights in the home, so be sure the power is on!
#5 Keep Pets In Another Room
Pets aren't usually an issue for real estate photographers, we're always going into peoples' homes, so we're very comfortable around their pets. The cameras are a different story. Photographers often have to take multiple images of the same room from the same spot to capture different exposures, and if things change in the image between shots (like a photobombing chihuahua), that angle may need to be thrown out. We recommend taking your dogs on a nice walk while the photographer is in; it's a treat for them and something for you to do while waiting!
Have some questions or suggestions for getting your home camera-ready? Send us a message!
Adam J. Ferguson
Photo and Video Editor
Au Courant Marketing