Taking Photographs

Taking Photographs

Top tips for photographing your property

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Probably a bit more. One really good picture of your home can sell it on an immediate, emotional level, and then a buyer will forgive any negatives that may follow. It’s like love at first sight – you can’t explain it, you just know when it’s happened.

And yet…we keep seeing pictures on the web that simply aren’t doing their job. Pictures only a cave-dweller would find appealing. So these are the golden rules of photographing your home – follow them and you simply can’t go wrong.

You MUST take photos on a sunny day, no ifs or buts: unless bad weather is one of your selling points, don’t let potential buyers think they’ll have anything but perfect weather. If you can’t get there yourself, get a friend, or relative to take at least one exterior photo when the sun’s shining.

The best time of day for photos is during the ‘golden light’ of early morning or early evening, especially for exterior shots.

People or no people? There are two schools of thought on having people in your pictures. On the one hand, a pleasant, smiling face makes a property more personal and that may make someone hit the enquiry button. On the other hand – do the people in the picture make you want to be there? Or do they put you off your dinner? Make sure they are in tune with the spirit of your home and ‘adding to the dream’.

Think about focal points in pictures: fireplaces, comfortable furniture, beautiful windows with views are all good focal points. TVs and fridges are usually bad focal points. And please, please, please do not put cars in your pictures!

If the best thing about your home is its location, for instance because it is two minutes from the park or the town centre – why not use one of your pictures to show that? Give people something to dream on.

Don’t just show interiors of your home, no matter how beautiful it is. If you don’t show outside photos, it looks like you are hiding something. If the exterior of your home is nothing special, what about the view? Psychologically, an ad or site with only interior pictures is claustrophobic and unappealing.

Don’t use flash (unless you really know what you are doing). Get as much natural light into a room as possible.

Small rooms – use a fisheye lens on your camera to get everything in the picture. If you haven’t got one, stand on a chair in a corner, so you’re looking down at the room.

Don’t take photos in winter if it means no leaves on the trees – bare trees look cold and unwelcoming.