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!
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. :)