The irony of a blog title doesn't escape me! I'm not sure if its the fresh spring, newly rained on air or if the last week has just been a kaleidoscope of insanely awesome backyards and living rooms. Or is it that some look like parks, others are just unique and well kept spaces of green and I struggle to keep a cactus alive. Whatever the case, this blog is about two homes I shot in the same day. 2206 Mahony Cres on the Left and 3123 Kanuka Place on the right. Both in Regina, SK:
Then the living spaces. Well thought out colour schemes and furnishings make both places look staged. And quite honestly, this extra effort makes all the difference.
Want your real estate to get noticed? Its not just up to your photographer to make the photos look great. Yes we have a technical role to play - but ultimately, when the home owner is coached and encouraged to go just a little further, the results are always calming and well received. Enjoy the next few images from both homes, and as always, feel free to leave a comment!
Here's a unique thing about me that you may not know...I'm also a Wedding Photographer. Have been for almost 8 years now. (Check this out: LWPhoto). And the thing about it is, my mentor has always teased me that something he can always count on is the fact that I will find a piano and include it in any feature shots. And he's right. I do! There's a reason for it which you can read about on my other blog, but recently I've been finding piano's in my real estate shoots as well.
Which allows me to introduce this absolutely stunning home in Milestone SK. (Yeah you read that right!)
I believe my exact words upon walking in were "oh my goodness!" From the Master Bedroom and its walk-through-walk-in closet and bathroom to the sunny sunroom- gosh what awesome imagination!
Now I bet you're asking "so what was with the piano thing in the beginning of this post, lady?" and I really have no words to explain. So just look for yourself...
Between the awesome white lines and bright natural light to that exquisite baby grand sitting so majestically in the corner. You can say it with me: "Oh my gosh!" It's quite literally my dream living room come to life.
Oh and then there's the kitchen. Do you like it as much as I obviously do? Let me know in the comments!
How can this be in Regina?? I kept asking this question as I moved through this space today. Everything from the layout to the colour palette in staging was just exquisite. Take this living room for example:
There is something about the turqoise and the blue/grey palette that is entirely calming. The homeowner gushed about her friend staging the place, using most of the stuff she already owned! (I need this friend in my life i think!)
The Staircase had me squealing in delight! With its calming hughes and open windows, I could have sworn I was in a Big City space. Did I mention the staircase?? Look at the perfect symmetry and bright lighting! Seriously unique.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
What? Yes! That was a basketball reference. No, I have never played. No, it has nothing to do with today's post. I was being clever. That's all. :)
You know how when you walk into a home that has resident children, it can be tidy and neat and even orderly...but its still full of their "stuff"? I mean stuffies living up to their name being stuffed in every possible place and space. Because kids - are little bundles of "too much stuff".
And this is totally OK. I'm not saying you need to disappear all your kid stuff when you're listing your home. It's quite OK for me to show up and we have to shuffle things from one place to another. Totally OK!
This home, however, was a complete shock!
You see what I mean, right? There was NOTHING in the living space but the very barest of essentials! I even had to ask - "do you guys still live here?" because I could NOT believe it! The place is spotless! There isn't even a cup or dishcloth or...ANYTHING! (I did tell them I was so incredulous that I was going to write this blog-post). But you know what? This family is set right up for a perfect sale situation. A buyer is going to walk in and realize they can do whatever they want with this space! They're also going to know that it is ready to go as soon as they want it!
What do you think? Is this extreme preparation for photos a good thing? As a home seller, are you as amazed as I am at the level of "de-cluttered" this family has stepped up to in preparation? As a home buyer, does this mean more or less to you? Help me de-mystify this process a little bit! Every realtor has a different perspective, but I want to hear your thoughts! Drop those comments below!
In a good way.
I didn't realize I do this until this particular shoot. Apparently, I lay cold judgement on a house before I get in the front door! I park, and assess the home's exterior. Compare it to the neighbors and then I estimate size. Sometimes I'm off, but most times I'm right.
Until I'm not. And my mind is blown.
I rang the doorbell and then I knocked (because based on my assumptions, this home owner is a senior)...and jumped little when it swung open almost immediately. And, let's just say - how do the kids these day put it? - #mindblown.
You can see the full home in the "current tours" section of this website. From the flooring to the appliances and the custom designed (I'm told) built-to-suit stainless steel stair railing, its a home made for a modern family. Lots of room to mingle together and lots of space to be alone as well. It's a perfect flow from room to room. Each with established function and form.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
We talk about you, you know. We message or face-time each other to groan and moan about an abundance of things that are just not quite right. We know you try, and we love that you want us to do this work for and with you. And perhaps its just a mystery as to what it is that we actually want. So, would you like to unravel that mystery? I'm hoping to help!
Here is a short list of things this real estate photographer might love/hate about a listing:
1. The agents sign is already on the front lawn before the shoot is started. How do I get clear front shots without showing it?
2. The family pets (or toddler) follows around in FRONT of the lens, not behind me, and no one notices. A cat I will pick up and remove. But a child? What should I do?
3. Giant windows: Personal and absolute favourite of mine! Natural light is an absolute dream to
photograph in...unless all we can see is the neighbors siding, in which case blinds are handy as if they are left down, but open - we still get texture and light.
4. It doesn't matter how many megapixels a smartphone has, the photos will NOT look the same as those I take because my camera sensor is bigger and I am going to spend good time editing them. Scrolling through the new listings and seeing the agent reflected in a bathroom mirror, or microwave glass makes me squirm...
5. A home-seller insisting on photographs of their floral arrangement or living room knickknacks. These items do add to the overall feel of "home" in a photo, but their detail is not important in the listing photos of said home. A buyer wants to know if their couch will fit, not what one found at the local decor shop. If its about detail, how about we feature the custom granite counters, gorgeous double ovens and expensive under-cabinet lighting and back-splash instead?
6. Water marks on a mirror or faucets. These will show up as dirt. I can't remove all of them in edit, and I won't be washing anyone's bathroom down either. Used and full garbage bins in a bathroom make me nauseous. Add: unmade beds (I will NOT be making it for you!); cluttered and dusty surfaces; sink full of dirty dishes... I mean really). One time -I walked into a show suite where the decorator had fixed a curtain to the curtain rod...with a hanger. That particular situation made its way onto a "real estate photo fails" IG account... but the point here is: Details MATTER..but if you can't be bothered, well then neither can we. We are photographers, not house cleaners. Sure, we will help you move things from one room to another if we need to - but we're not going to spend time cleaning.
7. Seasonal decorations in a home - and being asked to "block it out" or "photograph around it". Sometimes it can be done...but how on earth do I work around a 7ft Santa Claus in the front yard or collection of plastic tombstones and skeletons along the driveway if I'm already anxious about the "for sale" sign?
8. I get excited at matching furnishings or pops of colour. Kitchens are everything - even if its in a small apartment. Pinterest is your salvation...USE it!
9. The backyard. If there is one, it matters. So cleanup any kids toys or animal poop. I hate second guessing whether or not that's a pile of dirt, or tip-toeing around yellow snow. Just yuck.
10. I am thankful, blessed and overjoyed to work with so many wonderful realtors who understand the details that make for a successful listing shoot, and overall polished presentation to their client and potential buyers. My camera captures what is there. So make sure its the best possible version of "there" that it can be :)
What do you think? Drop your comments below!
Regina, SK...I mean, there's small houses, big houses, ginormous houses..and then there's just. Crazy. It took me 2.5 hours to get through this 3,000sq ft mammoth of a home! But the details in its make-up are amazing. Each room is truly unique to its function and form and leaves the options for decor wide - I mean WIDE - open! Here's a few of my favourite contrasts found in the Den, the Office and the Study..?
Anyone who knows me however, knows that lots of light (big windows) and a kitchen make or break the house for me. And this home didn't disappoint! I would absolutely pretend I was a master chef every time I prepared a meal here!
And then there is the master WING. Yes you read right- aint no typos here! Behind the 3 car garage is a space big enough to be considered a second home. There's a bedroom, two walk in closets, a large 4 piece bathroom, a second bedroom with an en-suite (for guests I suppose?), and a fitness room.
Say wha-? And the best bit? I haven't even begun to describe the main part of the house - where the second floor boasts another 4 bedrooms - one of which has its own ensuite. You'd have to see this place in person to believe it exists in the Queen City! There's also a basement, but who needs those details??
...did I mention that the fenced yard is shared with just SEVEN other properties?
Let me know what you think of this crazy big house! I think my siblings and I along with our families could easily live here and still never see each other! Just incredible! You can see the 3D Virtual Tour of this property here.
White City, SK...I wasn't expecting quite this much unique design in a new build. They all seem to look the same sometimes - predictable floorplans and kitchens. I literally lost my breath - and my words- when I walked through these doors! I spend ages looking for more amazing angles on the main floor. I mean LOOK at it!
But I eventually had to go upstairs, where I expected the usual second floor with three bedrooms and a master suite. And there was more squealing but can you blame me? This master suite has everything you can imagine from bookcases that hide walk in closets, to a bathroom AND dressing room with tons of natural light.
What do you think? Post your comments below!
I'm a creative at heart, with a penchant for photography, sunflowers and elephants. I also get excited about decorative details, and perfectly placed cushions. Large windows, wide hallways and exquisite kitchens leave me breathless. Here are a few of my favourite stories and thoughts out loud. If you don't like my flavour, that's ok too - you can move along. :)