Unless you have a passion for and the know-how to create amazing photography for your home listing, it’s a safe bet you consider that part of the job a big pain in the backside. Your phone camera isn’t going to cut it, and you might be worried about the cost of having professional photos done. Well, here’s the truth of the matter: Making the investment in professional photography is a far wiser choice than throwing it together yourself. Photographer Tim Seibert of Flatirons Pro Media explains why.
At Home: If someone selling their home or renting out an Airbnb or Vrbo can take decent photos on their point ‘n shoot, why isn’t that enough?
Tim Seibert: Do you want decent photos representing your home or outstanding ones? Not everyone has the photographic eye. Finding a good composition, avoiding clutter, converging lines and proper exposure are all considerations in every photograph. Professional photography equipment also improves the image quality.
AH: What’s a common misconception about photography as it pertains to real estate?
TS: “The photographs made the rooms look much bigger.” This is not the intent of the photographer, agent or seller. It is just a fact that in order to capture at least 50 percent of a room, a wide angle lens must be used. Much like looking through binoculars, everything looks closer. Turn the binoculars around and you are miles away from your subject. A vacant home is most vulnerable to this side effect. Furniture gives the viewer perspective where they can imagine their furniture in the rooms.
AH: As a pro, what are you looking for in every shot?
TS: Creative compositions and accurate exposure and colors. Ensuring the windows are not overexposed. It is important to not only capture the different rooms, but to keep the viewer’s interest by leading them into the next room. Like pieces of a puzzle, including a piece of the next room in each photo. If the composition is of the dining room, include a piece of the kitchen and how they connect. This gives the viewer a better perspective of the floor plan.
Well-staged homes always make better photographs.
AH: How do you capture emotion in photos of a home?
TS: It is all about the light, allowing the natural light to fill the room and exposing so that the highlights and shadows look natural. As good as cameras are today, they still do not have the dynamic range of light that our eyesight has. In a camera, the highlights go bright and the shadows go dark. To me some rooms just scream to have a more intimate, low composition near a fireplace or a beautiful view out the window, giving the viewer a seat in the room.
AH: What’s unique to Airbnb and Vrbo rentals as far as photography goes?
TS: The photographs are creating a brand. What are the photos telling the viewer? Are dark photos with bright white windows trying to hide something from the viewer? Often times these homes are in beautiful locations, exposing those views through the window is crucial. The expense of professional photography is offset by the return one gets in their marketing efforts.
AH: How does pro photography add value to a sales/rental listing?
TS: The photographs are one of the most important tools used to market a home. The best photographs create more interest, more offers and typically a better price.
AH: What’s the best compliment you could get from a client?
TS: “The sellers are very happy with the photography. We had tons of showings and are under contract over asking price”.
By Darren Thornberry, At Home. Photos by Tim Seibert