5 Photography Tips for Listings

By
Education & Training with House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

This is a photo of a window in my house.  I am especially proud of my creative way of decorating this problem window but this photo should never be part of a listing.  At a recent Digital Photography course for real estate people (worth a couple of CE credits) and using this photo as an example,  I learned the following:

  1. Never shoot a photo towards the light.  As you can see the cream coloured walls look black.
  2. Use an external flash to fill in the room with enough light.  The built-in flash on the digital camera is not strong enough.  Again, the walls around the window disappeared.
  3. No fancy frames around a photo or soft focus edges.  A house listing is about seeing the rooms not the wonderful options available in Picnik or Photoshop.
  4. People love to see windows in a room.  You will certainly want to include them.  Try taking a minimum of 4 photos in each room, one in each corner.  If there are slate blinds, have the homeowner raise them as the blinds will give a moray pattern on the photo.
  5. Try to get 90% of what you want in the original photo.  Most listing services have standard landscape and portrait sizes to upload.  Anything unusual, like this square cropped photo, will not show well on the 10 or 12 photo spaces available. 

I like to take a few photos of homes that I list but I always hire a professional photographer for the all important MLS® photos and I use every allowable space. 

Don't shoot your listing in the foot with bad photography.

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Tips and Techniques for Better Real Estate Photography
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Ambassador
533,026
Peter Pfann @ 1 Percent Realty Victoria, and Pay-Less For Victoria Real Estate Results!
1 PERCENT REALTY, Victoria BC www.1percentrealtyvictoria.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To Peter 250-213-9490 www.pay-lessrealty.com

HI Valerie,

Great tips, very cool window, and as an architectural feature, I actually like the surroundings washed out (in some cases)

but in most cases your tips are very timely just going out to take some pictures for a potential listing later today..

Thanks for teaching us all.

 

March 07, 2011 11:21 AM #22
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Sussie:  I was pretty happy to get a couple of credits but the course was a disappointment - I wanted to learn more.

Peter and Linda:  You are most welcome.  I am also from the school of take a whole bunch of photos and hope that a few are excellent.  For the window, I took about 15 photos and then decided on this one, 

March 07, 2011 11:32 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,012,581
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It's true, mls photography is different from every day photography.  I love Picnik, but wouldn't use their features to frame or 3D a mls pic.  Those agents who are not very good with a camera should use a stager who offers photos as part of their services or they should hire a prof. photographer.  The pictures are too important!

March 07, 2011 11:37 AM #24
Rainmaker
237,516
Lee Jinks
Greater McAllen Association of REALTORS® - McAllen, TX
March 07, 2011 11:51 AM #25
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Great tips, Valerie.  Keep 'em comin'!

March 07, 2011 12:38 PM #26
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Sharon:  So true.  People select homes to view based upon the photos so they better be attractive!

Lee:  I didn't know about this group.  Will definitely join.  Thanks

Kimberly:  Thank you.  These tips are good for day to day photos as well. 

March 07, 2011 01:07 PM #27
Rainmaker
538,582
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Sonoma County Real Estate Broker

Our local camera shop offers a 3 hour class in photography. Reading your blog has inspired me to check it out more closely. Nice photo!

March 07, 2011 02:41 PM #28
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Cynthia:  Thank you.  There is so much you can do with a digital camera.  The best part is that you can take 100 photos and not pay to print a single shot.  Love it.  Hope you find a course.  There is so much to learn.

March 07, 2011 03:17 PM #29
Rainmaker
552,810
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Burlington Ont. Accredited Staging Professional

Photos are so important when selling. The ones that get me have been taken with the wrong wide angle lens. The lens distorts the room giving the buyer an incorrect expectation.

March 07, 2011 04:39 PM #30
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Janice:  You think you are going to see a huge home with spacious rooms and find a tiny little 50s bungelow.  There is a way to take wide angle photos without too much distortion.  The thing I hate seeing is any photo of a bathroom on the MLS® no matter how nice it is.  Save those photos for another site and certainly keep the seat down!!!

March 07, 2011 04:42 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,366,189
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Thanks for the photog tips Valerie.  It's an area I need to make a concerted effort at getting better on.

March 07, 2011 07:07 PM #32
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Anita:  It does take some practice.  It also helps if you like using a camera.  If not, I highly recommend the services of a professional photographer. 

March 07, 2011 07:38 PM #33
Rainmaker
404,880
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Valerie, and I do believe simplicity is better, so please edit!

March 07, 2011 08:31 PM #34
Rainmaker
391,538
Kristine Ginsberg
Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County, NJ Stager

All great tip on photography Valerie - even I learned a few things and I'm a seasoned photographer! Great blog as usual.

March 07, 2011 10:40 PM #35
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Ellen:  You take wonderful photos.  Simplicity is good.

Kristine:  Thank you.  The course cost $35 but now it seems I came away from the class with something so it was worth it. 

March 08, 2011 07:32 AM #36
Rainmaker
566,690
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Pictures are vitally important and we should always ensure that we are presenting a home in its best light.

March 08, 2011 04:52 PM #37
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

So right Chris.  If it doesn't show well on the internet the number of people who want to visit the home is greatly reduced. 

March 08, 2011 06:31 PM #38
Rainmaker
663,882
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Hi Valerie -- that's a wonderful window!  Photos on the MLS are so critical to the success of the listing that I hope most listing agents hire a professional photographer. 

March 10, 2011 02:09 AM #39
Rainmaker
575,064
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Maureen:  I just saw a listing photo that was taken like mine but the purpose was to show off the shutters on the windows. 

March 11, 2011 04:48 PM #40
Rainmaker
272,392
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

Great tips and reminders. I'll make sure that I remember them. THANK you very much!!

October 04, 2012 04:59 PM #41
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Rainmaker
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