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The FIVE things to consider when preparing your home for photography

Post by Daniel Morris | Date: 22-07-2022

The FIVE things to consider when preparing your home for photography

Before you are ready to have your house photographed, have a frank discussion with your realtor.

Preparing your home to go to market can be a stressful and overwhelming task. You want your home to look and show perfectly so  you can maximize your price and sell as quickly as possible. In order to have a successful photoshoot, it is key to communicate with your realtor about your process and property. Our team has listed the five most critical things to discuss with your realtor prior to your photoshoot. Follow our guide and you will already be ahead of the competition. Let’s dive in: 

1. Be Realistic 

Let your realtor know what you can do to prep your home ahead of the shoot. Sometimes we take on more than what we can handle. If your realtor is prepared for how much you can realistically do, then they can advise and assist. They may recommend that you focus on certain areas of the home or even consult with a stager. 

Prepping a home while the photographer is there can lead to unwanted items in your photos and can make what is already a stressful situation even more hectic. The photographer may be on a tight schedule, your agent may not be prepared, and you will become overwhelmed. Working in this environment is not ideal for anyone and can easily be prevented. Your agent and their marketing teams will be fully prepared if you are transparent about how “photo ready” your home will be on the day of the shoot.

2. Direction of sunlight

In our years of photographing homes, direction of sunlight tends to be one of the most overlooked aspects when booking a shoot. Everybody wants a sunny day - or so they think - for photography but the sun can work against you in some situations. Shadows and glares can be very difficult for most photographers to overcome. You may need to pay a premium to have these issues photoshopped out of your images. This can cost you time and money. 

The best time to photograph your home is between 10am and 2pm - when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. This is no secret though.  Most realtors are aiming for that time of day to book your photoshoots. But, since these time frames tend to be in high demand, bookings can be delayed - and you may need to get on the market quickly. 

With that being said, aim for the time of day where the front of your home looks best. Be aware of any harsh shadows from nearby trees and foliage. Also, pay attention to the main areas of your home - living, dining, family rooms, and bedrooms. Are there any harsh glares that come in through the windows? If morning light is harsh, then let your realtor know that the afternoon may be when your home looks its best. 

3. No Sun. No Problem! 

Often, homeowners will request a sunny day for their home to be photographed. But as you can see, the direction of sunlight could negatively affect the photos. This is why overcast days are most preferred by real estate photographers. Why? No shadows and less contrast in lighting. The results will lead to more vibrant photos. 

Glare from the sun can cause issues but everyone wants a blue sky in their exterior photos. Most real estate marketing companies can photoshop in a blue sky. In fact, at VMD, we automatically add blue skies in all exterior photos. As a result, cloudy day photos get the best of both worlds - a nice blue sky with no harsh shadows. 

4. Professionally clean your windows

Aside from staging your home, cleaning your windows may be one of the best ways to enhance your space. Clean windows will make your house pop. Plus, having your windows professionally cleaned will help your house show better in person. 

We offer a high-end photography services called “Luxury Photography”. Our lux photos can make a difference in marketing your home - the photos just look….awesome! Part of our luxury processing on interior photography is to enhance the windows and showcase the perfect exposure on the inside & outside. Clean windows play a major role in this process. In fact, dirty or damaged windows will draw attention - and your photos will not look great. 

Professionally cleaned windows will show better in person and in photographs. Doing this is an affordable improvement to your property that will get you a return on investment.  

5. Don’t photoshop everything

Sometimes we treat photoshop like a magic wand. Wave the wand over the photo and *poof* your problems have disappeared….from the photo that is. Because in reality, the issue is most likely still there. Unless you plan on fixing the cracks in the driveway that you requested to be photoshopped out, you have a liability on your hands. 

The process of purchasing a home is just as stressful as selling a property. Buyers may overlook photoshopped pictures when putting an offer on your home. Then, during inspections, the same buyers will take a look at those photos and demand that you resolve the problem. After all, that’s how they looked in the photos…that is how it was advertised! Now, photoshop is costing you money - not making you money! 

Plus, you really want to avoid disappointing prospective buyers. Putting your home on the market is invasive and uncomfortable. You have to leave while buyers walk through your home. Showings are great and all, but you want people to fall in love with the house - not the photos. Having photos that are photoshopped to the point of deception is just a waste of everyone’s time. 

This doesn’t mean that photoshop can’t help you sell your home. When done right, photoshop is a great crutch to lean on. Decluttering items you have yet to put away, adding blue skies to exterior images, or opening a pool during the offseason are all great ways to utilize photoshop. Just make sure that the pool is fully operable and the water is as blue in reality as it is in the picture. 

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