When marketing your property, you might be considering pulling out your iPhone and taking your own photos – especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
But whether you’re a homeowner hoping to sell, or an estate agent marketing your client’s property, a DIY photography attempt can sometimes do more harm than good for your advert.
With more and more advanced photo editing apps and software coming to the fore, and camera specs improving with every new release, it can be tempting to try saving money by taking your listing photos yourself.
But professional photography is one of the most crucial elements in property marketing. From igniting more buyer interest when it comes to the market, to helping it to stand out online, visually showcasing the property to its full potential is essential.
Professional photography is cost-effective, and definitely an investment worth making. Gone are the days of buyers pounding the streets to hunt for properties in estate agency windows. The increase in online house-hunting now means prospective buyers can search for their dream home from the comfort of their armchair, and quickly click away from unappealing listings.
In fact, at the beginning of 2022 Rightmove recorded its biggest January ever for buyer activity, amassing a whopping 218 million views across its site and apps. On average, the site receives 141 million views a month. The first thing speedy scrollers will see is your photos, so getting them right is pivotal to selling quickly and for the best price.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss four of the most common mistakes we see homeowners and estate agents make while taking their own photos, and offer some tips for improving your images.
Unfortunately, the UK isn’t renowned for its year-round sunny skies. But where possible, try to pick a clear, bright day to shoot your property. Make sure all curtains and blinds are open to make the most of the natural light. Natural light will make your images look more realistic: colours are more vibrant and shadows are added for depth and interest in the frame. If the property has low lighting levels or fewer windows, try to create as much light as possible by turning on interior lights, or by using external lighting equipment.
Never photograph the interior of a property in the dark early morning hours or evening. Although beautiful dusk skies can enhance the exterior of your property, we’d always advise using editing to create this effect so you don’t lose out on natural lighting. Our day to dusk photography service helps your images stand out against the rest on Rightmove.
Blurry images and wonky angles
So you’ve left the property after a shoot, only to realise some of your images are askew, have too much ceiling and not enough floor space, or are missing out key elements of each room. Nightmare!
Stability is key for taking clear images. Always attach your phone or camera to a tripod instead of holding it in your hand, which can result in blurry photos. Room sizes in each home are different, but aim for a tripod height of around 5 feet, and use a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the space as possible. Our professional photography service also incorporates elevated photography with a 10m pole, to ensure every angle of the room is showcased to its full potential.
“Quick, hide the dog’s toys!”
Have you ever had a scroll through the portals and noticed a listing with messy photos?
They stand out like a sore thumb – but not for a good reason. Untidy homes are an instant turn-off for buyers. How can they visualise themselves living in your home if they’re distracted by bin bags lurking in the corner, or an unmade bed?
Always make sure your home is clutter-free before taking photos. Clean work surfaces, tidy away any excess clutter including photo frames and ornaments, straighten up the bookshelf and plump the cushions. That goes for the exterior, too: move the car off the driveway, cut the grass and get rid of the wheelie bins.
We’ve put together a handy checklist guide for getting the best results when presenting your property. You can check that out here.
There’s a fine balance between editing image saturation to make the colours pop, and turning every image into pop-art. We want your property photos to look realistic, not like an animation.
Another potential issue in the editing process is over-sharpening your images. This can make your photos look grainy and messy, risking the impression the home isn’t as clean as it actually is! By over-editing your photos, you run the risk of your photos looking artificial – which isn’t likely to go down well with prospective buyers who may feel they haven’t been presented with a realistic representation of the home.
Editing images effectively takes a lot of time, practice and skill. Have a play around with different features in your editing app to eliminate shadows, brighten the rooms and ensure your images are as clear as possible. If your exterior shots are dull or you’re struggling to balance the lighting levels, it’s worth handing over the editing to a property marketing company.