Why use Professional Photos in Real Estate

Over 92% of all homebuyers start their search on the Internet, looking at the photos of the homes that interest them.  When the pictures are good, bright and clear, these listings get more clicks, up to 140% more according to a NAR survey.    


As a photographer, not just a person with a fancy camera, I know how to engage the senses and let the photos tell the story of the home.  The house is much more than just a building; it includes the views from the windows, perhaps a light beam shining on the floor, and the way the living room opens into the kitchen.  Every home has beautiful features and I enjoy looking for and displaying them.


Real Estate Agents are busy people, so why not hire a photographer to go to the home, take quality outside and landscape shots, shooting each room with natural light, showcasing the best features of each room, and how one room flows into another. 


Give me a call, and see what I can do for you.  Let your clients know you will market their home with a professional photographer.  Homes with professional shots sell faster and for more money than phone photos. 

I had a new adventure when an agent wanted me to catch the beauty of a house in the evening.  The lights were all on, and the sun was setting, as I stood in the grass of the neighbor's home with my camera.  I snapped picture after picture, when the bugs hit.  I was bit on both legs, on my arms and even my face.  I quickly moved to the street, chose a more close up shot, and once again enjoyed my work.

At one time in my life I dreamed of being a wildlife and nature photographer for those wonderful magazines we all love.  I had images of wading through swamps, battling the weather and insects, patiently finding the perfect image.  I just never thought about battling the wilds while working in Real Estate Photography.  I guess I have now had that experience.  Lesson learned: bring bug spray.

Real Estate & Property Photography!

Photographing a home is an interesting activity.  The home is a quiet subject.  Unlike people I don’t have to make sure it is in a good mood, or has it’s hair and makeup right.  I don’t have to humor it, make it smile and be patient like a photographer has to do with people.  Wildlife scares easy, runs away, or hides in the shadows.  Birds fly into trees, flowers move in the breeze, but the house sits still, happy to oblige.  Even so, homes present challenges as well.  Rooms can be small and dark, or extremely bright as the sun shines in.  Homeowners may not realize how cluttered and messy the kitchen is until the photographer shows up.  TV screens reflect light.  Wood paneled rooms absorb light. 


I enjoy these challenges, and find that taking photographs of homes is interesting.  My favorite photographic subject has always been light.  I love to catch sunbeams shining through a window, or filtered through blinds. I like how light changes the mood of a room, highlighting a cozy reading corner, or reflecting the time of day.   My favorite pictures show both the inside and the views outside at the same time. 


Home photography isn’t as exciting as stalking the grizzly through rivers and across mountains, but it presents both challenges and rewards.  Our homes are our safe places, our family gathering spots and memory making backdrops.  They are warm and cozy, and I enjoy trying to convey that feeling.  I still want to cross Europe or Yellowstone with camera in hand, and often when I shoot a home I find myself taking pictures of the flowers outside as well.  Even so, I look forward to each assignment, wondering how the light will play, and what view I will find in the windows.  Life is good!

Photography rules

I have been reading on general rules for good photography.  I learned today that the most important parts of a good photograph include composition, lighting, and lack of clutter.  It is easy to always put the subject of the picture in the dead center, but this can create a dull picture.

Roan Mountain Hike, TN

 I love to shoot people at the side of a frame, with some great nature view taking up the majority of the image.  My family is so used to this that when I point the camera at them they say, "Am I in the way of that tree, or waterfall, or view?"  They know they are only the interest in the picture, not the main idea.  I like pictures that tell stories, so the person in the shot needs to be enjoying the location, reflecting on the waterfall or thinking about climbing the mountain.  In my reading the author of the blog talked about dividing the image into thirds, and laying the main subject along those lines.  Once I really think about that I get better shots.  Even so, there are times I look through the camera lens and I know, this shot is right.  My worst shots are when I get so excited that something is good and interesting that I forget to actually "see" what I am seeing.

Sunset on trail, SC

Lighting can be troublesome in every way.  Bright sun can make images harsh, highlight lines in faces, and make everything flat.  Low light can create moody images but also can make the picture less clear and interesting.  Back light darkens the subject, front light makes people squint.  With nature shots lighting can create interest, changing the image during the day.  Lighting problems require a little bit of moving around the subject, perhaps using a flash, or changing the exposure a little bit.

Clutter in a scene is my biggest problem right now.  I want to show what is really in the picture, what my eyes are seeing.  When I take that kind of picture I am not happy with it.  First I take the whole shot picture, then I follow up with close ups of some important feature of the whole, something that tells the story without all the parts.  I am almost always happier with the close up.  

With Real Estate Photography the rules are a little different.  My least favorite picture to see on the multiple listing service is a close up of a light, or of a shower head.  In this case, the wide, all included picture is better.  The home shopper gets a chance to see the flow of the home, and all the interesting parts as well.  A close up of the lights found about the bathroom sink don't really tell the viewer anything about the house.

How to Sell a Home in Today's Market

Pictures are important!

The view is an important part of a home


 This image is not in my market, unfortunately, but I can't think of a better view!

This image is not in my market, unfortunately, but I can't think of a better view!

When you are searching for a home, what do you want to see?  Of course price and neighborhood information are important, details like number of bedrooms and bathrooms are usually high on the list.  Many people search for homes on the internet, and can easily set the search parameters to limit homes to the preferred price range, size of home and location.  The most important item that seems to set home listings apart is photographs.  Good photographs are important.  A listing can't have enough photos, images that let the searcher know what the inside of the home looks like, the yard and also the neighborhood.  It never hurts to have pictures of the views from the windows.  The searcher wants to really get a feel for the home before scheduling time to visit the home.  If the agent takes a few shaky shots from her cell phone house hunters won't be impressed.  Listings that don't show the inside of the home worry people, they wonder what could be wrong with that property.