For both the stager and realtor, GOOD quality photography taken of a property that is a necessity. For the listing agent, the photos you take of your client’s property show the “product” you are marketing and trying to sell. For the home stager, photos of your work capture and depict your staging talent.
Therefore it is to the advantage of BOTH the realtor and stager to take and display the ABSOLUTE BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES you can. This is especially important NOW as more and more people use the internet as a means to prescreen a home or a stager they are interested in.
Knowing this… the other night I went online and looked at listings on Realtor.com for properties currently for sale in the metro-Chicago market area. While there are those realtors that are doing a good job, I have to admit much of the photography I that agents use to market a listing concerns me.
Below are a few common mistakes I saw occurring repeatedly. (Please note, while I did the best I could to repair the photos of properties on Realtor.com, I did NOT have access to the original digital image file. So "clean-ups" are of the images are NOT as good as they could be. All "original" images are shown to the left.)
BIG SKY: When taking interior photos, be aware of how much ceiling you "capture". Unless the ceiling has an interesting architectural feature or finish... there is no need to place so much emphasis on it? In the right hand picture I cropped the image and warmed its tones up. TOTAL edit time: 3 MINUTES!
TWIST & SLIP: Kitchens have many "clean" vertical & horizontal lines, so when they are photographed, especially when using wide angle lenses, they tend to look all-skewed-up. Note how crooked the refrigerator and stove look in the picture on the left... which were straightened up in the picture on the right. TOTAL edit time: 2 MINUTES!
BRIGHT LIGHTS: Sometimes when taking pictures towards the sun, the resulting pictures can have a "hot spot" that blinds the viewer. One way to clean up the image is simply crop the picture. Notice how when I did this I ended up with a BETTER view of what the property being featured. I also punched up the contrast. TOTAL edit time: 2 MINUTES!
ICY COLD: I saw this particular "problem" occurring on both INTERIOR and EXTERIOR photos of homes. An easy edit that only required I add more red and yellow to the picture to help warm it up. TOTAL edit time: 2 MINUTES!
DATE STAMPED: This goof REALLY surprised me! WHY would a realtor want to let potential buyers know how long a property has been on the market? The stamp will NSTANTLY create doubt with shopper if the property been on the market long for a long period of time. In my edited picture the date stamp was removed. Then... I cropped it and fixed it by straightening it out creating TRUE vertical lines. TOTAL edit time: 4 MINUTES!
DAY NIGHT: This is one of the easiest photo edits one can make. Just by punching up the brightness, I took a "dusky" dark home into what now looks like daylight. Ultimately, more of the house was revealed. TOTAL edit time: 1 MINUTE!
GREASY SLIDER: Here again I fixed up the "slide" and punched up the brightness just a bit! I corrected all vertical lines so they are truly straight up and down takes a bit more time... but once understood it's easy! TOTAL edit time: 4 MINUTES!
BLEACHED OUT: Simply by increasing the contrast and decreasing the brightness... LOOK at how easy it is to add LIFE to a washed out photo. I cropped the image tighter to show MORE of the house and less of the sidewalk. TOTAL edit time: 3 MINUTES!
TOWER GIANT: THIS is one of the most common problems I see with exterior photos of large condos. Look how odd the building looks on the left... kind of like a pyramid. TIP: Vertical lines MUST always be STRAIGHT up and down... many CAMERAS skew these lines all up. Correcting back to reality is easy. TOTAL edit time: 2 MINUTES!