Going Beyond the Basics with Twilight Photography

Selling a home can be a tricky business. Even if you’re a rockstar realtor, a fresh renovation can only go so far in helping your property stand out from the competition. You need every advantage you can get, which is why it pays to invest in a professional photographer for your listing.

Sometimes you need to go beyond the basic in order to capture the attention of the right buyer. A traditional daytime photo shoot can offer buyers an honest view of your property. But a twilight photo shoot can instantly elevate your listing.

Why choose twilight photography?

For starters, twilight images capture a certain sense of magic. Daytime photos may show off the reality of your property, but twilight photos capture its possibility. Not only will buyers be thinking about how they might spruce up that front deck -- they’ll be dreaming about the evenings they’ll spend, watching as dusk falls over the yard.

While providing a backdrop to homebuyers’ daydreams, twilight photography also offers a practical advantage. Natural lighting may be king when it comes to daytime shoots, but twilight images allow your home’s lighting scheme to really shine. By creatively showing off the property’s internal and external lighting, you can showcase a unique perspective on your property that other listings lack.

Interested in learning more? Visit our photography services page. To see more examples of our work, check out our twilight images gallery here.

Property Staging: How to Prepare for Your Photo Shoot (Part 3)

In previous posts, we have discussed a few tips on how to stage a home for a photo shoot. If you’ve cleaned up, downsized, and strategically placed some furniture and decor, you may be wondering what comes next. What can be done to really make your property pop in those photos? Well, wonder no more, as we dive into a handful of final tips on making sure your listing is ready for its close-up!

There are a few areas where it pays to invest in your staging efforts. A few small upgrades can really make a difference when it comes to dazzling your potential buyers. For instance, it’s easy to revamp the kitchen by replacing old drawer knobs and giving cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Refinish or repurpose distinct pieces of furniture that may have fallen out of use and give them a fresh breath of life.

Speaking of freshness, try to place something “green” in every room to liven things up. Here, you can the opportunity to save a little cash by using clippings from the yard and displaying them in a decorative way. Placing some flowers in the kitchen or a standing plant in the study can bring a breath of fresh air to any home.

The goal in any well-staged property is to use little things to help buyers imagine the bigger picture. Small touches, like accessories coordinated to match the wall hangings, can move even the stiffest of viewers to aesthetic reverie. Pairing glass tables with light-colored walls can help small, dark rooms feel bigger and brighter. A few expertly rolled towels placed in the guest bathroom can bring about thoughts of a luxurious spa. It might take a bit of effort, but it can make a big difference in the offers your clients receive.

Of course, staging a property requires time, and not all brokers or homeowners can handle the task of staging by themselves. The good news is that there are alternatives for those who can’t spare the time but can spare the cash. Professional home stagers can be found in just about every major city, and their sense of style and expertise is often well worth the price. However, the longer a home is on the market, the more expensive this option becomes as professional stagers typically use rented furniture in their designs.

For those looking to save a little more, you can also have your home staged virtually. Virtual stagers will photograph your property while empty and then digitally “fill” it with furniture, accessories, and art. While a practical option for those pressed for both time and money, a traditionally staged and photographed home has a more authentic feel.

However you choose to approach staging your next property, you can now take it on with confidence! By following these simple steps, you’ll be sure to capture the attention of potential buyers. And you’ll definitely reap the benefits when it comes to their offers.

Property Staging: How to Prepare for Your Photo Shoot (Part 2)

In our last article, we looked at a few quick tips on how to prepare your property for a photo shoot. After properly cleaning and decluttering, slapping some paint on the walls, minimizing the furniture and maximizing your curb appeal, you’re probably thinking that the house is looking pretty nice. But, potential buyers don’t fall in love with merely nice houses. Read on to learn some more ways to primp and prep a home for its photo shoot!

There are many creative ways to revive the look of your listing. The most important is not to be afraid of rearranging. Homeowners have a tendency to put more furniture in a room than is necessary, and cramped rooms don’t make for great visuals. Take the liberty of moving that extra chair up to the spare bedroom and transform it into a craft room. (Remember: Every room should have a purpose! If you don’t know what to do with that space, neither will potential buyers.)

Now is the time for those handpicked accessories to shine! Make sure the pieces you have chosen provide character and add a pop of color to the room. The options are as endless as your creativity. Store family photos and statuettes on bookshelves for an elegant touch. On tables and countertops, place items in groups of 3 or 5 and arrange from smallest to largest. This adds a bit of visual diversity and will inspire buyers to imagine their own creative takes on the space!

But, no one will be loving your staging work if they can’t see it. So, make sure that each room is properly lit. Aside from overhead lighting, it is recommended to have task lighting, such as a reading lamp, or accent lighting on the tables or walls. Aim for consistency and balance by keeping similar light fixtures on the same level. (There’s no room for mismatched standing lamps here.) Of course, natural light is always ideal.  Don’t forget to pull back the curtains and let the sunshine in!

These tips are all easy enough to perform, and none are too hard on the wallet. The first rule of property staging is that less is more, so be sure to make the best use of what you have! Next month, we’ll take a look at how a few small additions can add life to any listing. With a little work and a lot of imagination, you can have a photo-ready home in no time!

Property Staging: How to Prepare for Your Photo Shoot (Part 1)

First impressions are everything. Nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to selling a home. Roughly 90% of homebuyers begin their searches online, where they spend plenty of time viewing property images. One of the best ways to help your listing’s images stand out is proper staging. Here are four savvy tips for utilizing staging techniques to create noticeable and engaging photos.

Start with the basics: First, the home needs to be properly cleaned and decluttered. This requires more than just your typical spring cleaning. In addition a good sweeping and mopping, everything from the gutters to the attic should receive a bit of TLC. Pre-packing is also a crucial part of this step: Be sure that all knick-knacks have been put into storage, to remove any items that reveal the current owner’s personal taste. Leave out just a few handpicked accessories that help define (and not distract from) the space.

Next, minimize the amount of furniture in each room. Exposed floorspace and open walkways give a room the impression of having more space. This also helps create a sense of flow, so potential buyers can move naturally from one room into the next.

Give your walls a makeover. For main living areas, like family rooms and dining rooms, paint in light colors. Avoid bland white and off-whites, and choose soft blues or greens instead. These lighter shades will reflect more light and make the room feel much bigger. 

Don’t forget about curb appeal! Clear the yard of any unsightly debris or tree limbs. Make sure the lawn and hedges are trimmed, and move any plants out from in front of the windows. If necessary, give the front door a fresh coat of paint and be sure to remove any clutter from the porch that may distract from a picturesque entryway.

Smartphone Sorrows (Or, Why Do-it-Yourself Photography is a Big Don’t)

Picture this: You’ve just acquired a brand new property listing. The house is gorgeous, with plenty of square footage, green space, and excellent curb appeal. You’ve seen it for yourself and you just know that a place like this should sell high and fast. But, before you can start shopping out this little piece of heaven, you need a few shots of the property. No big deal, you might think, I’ll just shoot them on my own. This house could practically sell itself!

I hate to tell you this, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

With the advent of the smartphone, everyone now has the ability to be an amateur photographer. While this is a leap forward for the world of creatives, your trusty pocket assistant isn’t the best option for real estate professionals. The camera on your average phone is great for making memories with your friends or remembering where you parked your car. However, when it comes to your listings, your smartphone may be holding you back.

While your phone is capable of taking pictures, and the cameras are getting better all the time, a smartphone simply isn’t made with professional photography in mind, particularly when it comes to real estate. While you can control things like white balance, flash, and even throw on an attractive filter, there is only so much you can accomplish with a phone camera. And getting the widest angles, and best possible photos matter - a lot.

According to a 2017 trend report from the National Association of Realtors, 99% of Millennials and 89% of Baby Boomers in the market for a home search online. In this digital age, first impressions are everything. Of those polled, 85% of homebuyers said that they found photos very useful to their search, and you want to grab a potential buyer’s interest immediately. Studies back that quality photography helps a property sell up to 50% faster than a home with lackluster visuals.

Now, don’t let that fool you into going out and buying a new DSLR camera of your own. Aside from the steep technical learning curve, you probably don’t have the time and patience to shoot and edit your client’s photos. Not only will a professional bring his or her best equipment to your shoot, but they also bring a compendium of knowledge and skill, and take the extra work off your plate.

Sure, there is something to be said for saving money by DIYing it. But, when it comes to your business, why should you phone it in? A professional real estate photographer’s skills, techniques, technologies, and experience become a worthy investment once you - and your prospective homebuyers - see the finished product.