The Painful Truths Your Photographer Won’t Tell You

Frankly, I don’t want to make this public, but here we go…

The real estate photography shoot is the most important showing your home will have. Treat it just like you would another showing – be ready and be gone. Your real estate photographer is working for you to benefit of the THOUSANDS of people who will be looking at your home on the web. It’s their job to get as many people searching on-line to take a second look at your home.

Hidden Photographer

Touching up paint can be a real problem if it’s not and absolutely exact paint match; you’ll see every new little paint daube on that wall in the photograph. If you cannot pain the entire wall wait until after photography to touch up for in person showing: I’ll be happy to photoshop out those little holes, nicks and scratches – it’s much faster for me.

Real estate photographers are not stagers, maids or there to help you move things around - ask me about the trampoline incident. When you “stage as you go” it breaks the photographer concentration (disrupting their clam) and limits the compositions. They will have to avoid things you moved into an adjacent room trying to make a shot work. Your home is one contiguous structure, adjacent rooms are visible to one another! Likewise, windows work both ways, we can see you standing outside and the puppy at the door. Realtor, this is why your photographer is always late, they were helping someone – even though they blamed it on traffic...

As a real estate photographer, I expect the home owner’s whole life to be in the garage and stuffed into every closet – don’t worry I won’t shoot it.

If you want me to shoot your closet I will. My advice is to stage it, take almost everything out and pack it up. It will look significantly bigger. If you can’t stage it, then get a floor plan made it will show how wonderful and large it is.

Inventory and check light bulbs. The type, temperature and wattage dramatically impact your results. Grey paint, cherry floors, and warm lights will make your walls look purple. Warm paint and flooring use a warmer blub. Cool toned paint and flooring use a cool temperature blub. And above all please don’t mix and match types and temps.

Open the drapes, clean the windows, and most importantly remove colored sheers. Red sheers turn your whole room pink. I really want to capture a great window, and most photographers spend a considerable time mastering the various techniques to capture of windows. Nothing tickles my fancy more than sparkling clean windows.

Use a stager who understands staging for photography, not staging for living there. Don’t block view from a window with furniture. Don’t stage vertically, a gigantic vase of greenery in the center of your dining room table looks wonderful in person. But you’ve just reduced the size of your room by half, blocking the view to everything behind the vase.

Most homes have furniture that is too large and too many pieces. This makes the room look smaller and darker. Arranging furniture around the perimeter of room has exactly the opposite effect, it makes the room look smaller. Somethings just look better in the garage. A stager who specializes in staging for photography is merchandising the home and will understand how to navigate your floor plan with well-placed furniture.

Don’t ask me about what I think looks better: I like color - bright happy color, my favorite color is all of them. I like light from a sparkling clean window best of all. Matching lamps with the same color blub on either side of a bed is sexy!

Wash the new towels and remove the tags from the pillows you just brought for staging. All most all photographer have price tag OCD. It makes them insane.

Most photographers schedule about 1 hour at your home. It takes time to help you move things. Arrive early, don’t park in front of the home and get it ready. You’ll get a better product and more photographs.

Professional real estate photographers carefully edit your photos while working within the ethical boundaries of not materially misrepresenting the property. Don’t hide major issues like cracked drive ways, standing water, landscaping issues, stained carpet, and foggy windows. Prospective buyers feel duped on arrival at the home. Your Real Estate photographer can minimize and document these defects, without mis-representing the home. A professional will protect you by letting you know when they are making edits that are not in line with local MLS guidelines.

What’s the best thing you can do to manage the client’s photography experience? Plan an outing for every household member including the pets so no one but you and the photographer are present. You will get exactly what you need for your marketing!

Don’t hate me, it’s the truth.