Property photography


When listing your home, it’s vital to ensure that it looks sharp, and appealing to prospective buyers. Thanks to the availability of real-estate ads and online listings a few good photos of your house can go a long way when it comes to adding curb appeal.

So, how do you shoot some eye-catching photos that show your home in its best light? How do you capture the beauty of your house without taking misleading or blurry photos? To answer these questions, I sat down with a prominent property photographer and shed some light on the situation.

In a matured neighbourhood like Strathcona Park, with large trees and older homes are there any challenges that you encounter when taking photos of a property?

One of the biggest challenges with large mature trees can often be the way the sunlight falls through the branches and onto the front of the house. When featuring the exterior of a home, the front is the focal point. If there is a large tree distorting the light, it can create an uneven level of exposure to work with.

A tool I use to help me determine the best times to shoot a house is a sun calculator. Before I even arrive, I can enter the address into the sun calculator, and it lets me to see how the sun will be hitting a house throughout the day. It’s extremely valuable.

Older neighbourhoods tend to suffer from similar issues with their exteriors. Things like out-of-style colours of siding, outdated textures or materials that may have been in-style when the home was built, but are no longer as visually appealing. It becomes extremely important to accurately capture the home’s image, by using the best of what is available.

Are there any tricks or techniques that allow you to take advantage of the visual environment? Any unique characteristics that help capture the charming aspects of a matured home?

I think one of the most important things to do when shooting the exterior of a property for my clients is to give them options regarding how to portray a particular house.

I capture a home’s image using a variety of techniques and lenses.  I think an architecturally accurate, ultra compressed photo of the front of the house using a telephoto lens is important. This gives the viewer an accurate depiction of what the house looks like and how it’s dimensionally proportionate.

This can often play to the more creative and eclectic nature of some older homes, and tends to reveal a level intrigue that would otherwise go unnoticed.

When it comes to homes that have had the same owners for several decades – what recommendations do you have for homeowners preparing their house for a photoshoot?

Declutter, declutter, declutter!  I can’t stress this enough! A tidier emptier home looks more inviting to a prospective buyer.  The one exception to this rule would be that a professionally “staged” home will almost always look better than a home where the agent simply manipulated the client’s furniture or decor.

At the end of the day, the chances of a potential buyer having the same visual tastes as the seller, are slim to none. The most common thing I hear clients say, after their home has been de-cluttered or professionally staged is “this doesn’t feel like my house anymore!”

In that moment, when you hear that statement, you know they did a good job.

What are your limitations? How do you “walk the line” of making the house look great, while portraying it “honestly”?

When it comes to (accurately) shooting photography one of the most important things is to make sure any and all walls are as perfectly vertical as possible.  All too often I see newer photographers shooting real estate with wide angle lenses and producing photographs with walls on 45 degree angles reaching towards the corners of the image.

This is a natural distortion that wide angle lenses create, and can result in misleading images that make a house appear bigger than it really is. This is a natural distortion that wide-angle lenses create and it is something that needs to be addressed and corrected in post production.

it is paramount to depict a room in it’s “best light” without architecturally skewing things through distortion in photographs to make rooms look “larger”.

What are some common mistakes that homeowners make when having their home photographed? How can they be fixed?

One of the biggest mistakes that any home owner and/or agent makes when preparing a home to be photographed is presuming that “the photographer will tell me where everything should go when he comes.”

Effectively capturing the best photos of a home, is an extremely rigorous tasks that requires 100% focus. If I continuously need to clean up, or remove objects, I can’t possibly make the best use of my time.

The solution to this issue is very easy, whether it means hiring a professional cleaner or stager or thoroughly cleaning and preparing the home yourself. It will greatly benefit you in the end when your photographer can focus on the most important task…and that is to photograph your home in the absolute best light possible.

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