When it comes to selling your own home, taking quality photographs is top priority. The way you take photos of your property can spell the difference between a successful sale and a home that sadly stays in the market for far too long.
We spoke to a handful of professional home photographers and put together a list of tips for people like you, individuals who are thinking, “How do I sell my house fast?” You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a photography course, nor do you need to shell out money for a pro to take amazing pictures.
The photography tips outlined below are simple yet they can make a big difference in helping you sell a house without an agent or a professional photographer.
1. Best Photography Lighting Techniques for Selling Your Own Home
The natural light from the sun can do wonders for your photographs. When are the best times to shoot? For both interior and exterior shots of your house, the best time is during mornings when you’re taking eastside shots. Westside photos appear the best when taken in the afternoons.
For the north and south sides of your home, take the shots whenever the sun’s rays are bright. Another excellent lighting tip is to limit the extreme spots, those that are too dark or too bright.
If you’re taking pictures of areas that are too dark, you will obviously need to add light. Don’t worry about purchasing expensive lighting equipment. You can pull the drapes to bring in some natural light or wait for the right time of the day when the sun’s rays provide lovely natural lighting. Pull back drapes to get as much natural light in each room. The natural light helps the photos avoid a horrible—and amateurish– yellow tinge.
While you might be tempted to use the flash in your camera, don’t. Trust us when we say photos look much better without the flash on since the flash makes the colors and details look washed out.
There are instances when turning on lights will give your photos more warmth. The kitchen is one good example. By turning on under-cabinet lights, for example, you can give your images a cosy and soft feel. Avoid fluorescent lighting since they can add an unattractive green cast.
Plenty of professional photographers shoot at dusk and dawn because of the soft lighting during these times. Soft shots are very flattering, especially for the exterior portions of your home.
If you have to wait for hours to get the perfect shot, by all means do so. Sunlight has a way of injecting warmth and energy into any room or exterior, adding a touch of elegance no artificial light can accomplish. It will be very much worth it in the long haul.
2. Setting up Each Room like a Pro When You Need to Sell a House Privately
When it comes to taking beautiful images of your home, there’s more to setting up each room than simply picking up dirty socks off the floor and arranging the pillows on a couch.
Even though the human eye can manage plenty of complexity in photographs, clutter is still a no-no. Simplicity is also far less risky. Allow each room to speak for itself without adding too many artificial components. A vase of beautiful flowers may work in some rooms but it can overcomplicate another.
Figure out what story you want each area to tell and ask yourself if adding decorations is necessary to attaining the vibe you’re after. Take photos without adding anything to the room and then take another set with whatever additional decor or component you want to add. Compare the shots and trust your instincts.
Some professional photographers prefer to keep things looking natural and not overly staged. Keep the adage “When in doubt, leave it out” in mind.
And what about having people in your shots? Sometimes this can work, other times it’s better to take the images sans people. It all depends on how natural the outcome looks. The upside to taking home photographs with people in the shot is how this can add dimension to the images. If you do decide to include mom, dad or Junior in your photographs, candid shots typically work better than staged and cheesy poses.
Another good tip professional photographers use is working with a single colour direction. Let one hue pop over the rest. Of course, bear in mind this is just a suggestion and it’s not a rule set in stone. Have fun with colours and see what works for each area you’re shooting.
3. The Ever Important Exposure Settings
The exposure settings will depend on the available light. For interior shots, pros tend to shoot between 1 to 20 seconds. Go to the exposure settings of your camera and adjust accordingly. For areas that get hit with plenty of natural light, try shooting at approximately 1/60th at f16.
Take plenty of test shots while experimenting with various exposure settings in each area you’re shooting. Even professionals do this. Some go as far as lugging an extra camera around just to take test shots. Another pro tip when taking test pictures is to set your camera to a high ISO setting while lowering the resolution.
If the photos aren’t coming out as great as you’d like, try taking them from a different angle. You will often times need to take plenty of pictures until you get a great one. Don’t worry or get frustrated. Remember, even professionals need to take plenty of pictures until they hit the lottery. Don’t settle for a mediocre image if you want to sell a house without an agent.
4. Framing Your Images Beautifully
Framing is all about what to include in each image. For interior shots, tight and wide frames work. For further research, look at magazines and take note of the home photos that catch your eye and then recreate these images.
One great tip to taking good home photos is to keep your shots straight. This means avoid tipping your camera up or down when shooting. Move your camera up or down in a straight line until you get the angle you want.
Try shooting lower to the floor. Aim for the height of your belly button. When you shoot from your standing height, the furniture can look a bit distorted. By shooting from a lower angle, the pictures tend to appear more intimate, making the viewer feel they’re a part of the image.
A common mistake is shooting too far away from the focal object or room. Doing so gives the viewer the feeling they have to walk to get to the destination. What you want to aim for is to bring the viewer right into the space, as if they’re right there in the room.
If you want to take the best photos and end up selling your own home, keep in mind that patience is key. It takes time to figure out which settings work best with each area. The time you invest in taking beautiful home photos is time well spent.