One of my pet peeves is seeing really bad (and I mean really bad) listing photos. You know which ones I’m talking about, we’ve all see them. With the agent’s face in the bathroom mirror. Or the shot that was oh so clearly taken from inside the agent’s car. In fact some of these photos are so bad that they end up being passed around social media sites as viral memes. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words does it take to say, “isn’t their REALTOR® careless?” So here are a few pointers to help you ensure that your listing photos aren’t awful.
- Exercise care. This is simple really. Stopping and thinking about what the final image will look like before you press the button. Park your car and get out of it before you take your photo. If you are photographing a home on trash pick up day, make sure that you shoot the home from an angle where the can at the curb isn’t in every shot. If you are taking photos in a room with a mirror or glass cabinetry, duck to below the level of the glass so we don’t see your face and your flash in the picture.
- Rotate your photos. I know this seems really obvious. But we’ve all seen MLS® photos that are sideways. All it takes is 60 seconds.
- Don’t take photos in the Dark. This one is pretty self-explanatory. In order to function at their best camera’s need light. Unless you’ve staged the outside of a home with professional grade lighting and got a really spectacular exterior shot I would recommend limiting your photography to the day time only.
- Look at the photos you’ve taken before you leaving the property. It’s not like we’re shooting on film any more. In the age of digital photography there really isn’t an excuse not to scroll through the pictures you just taken and make sure that they aren’t blurry, too dark, too light, feature yourself, your client or their kids. If a photo didn’t come out how you expect, retake it.
- Don’t use filters or boarders. What’s socially acceptable on twitter isn’t necessarily acceptable on the MLS®
- Avoid obstacles. If there is a telephone pole or a tree in front of the home, don’t center said tree/pole in your photo. In fact you should be able to stand in such a way that avoids the obstacle completely.
- Adjust your camera settings. Most point and shoot camera’s and smart phones have this option. This may take some practice and a little trial and error to get right. But adjusting the settings to suit the what you are photographing really will improve your photos. Ever take an interior photo where the window is a bright white blur? Play with the settings and you should be able to take care of that problem.
A lot of this really is common sense and for the most part REALTORS® do take good photos, but if there’s a REALTOR® you know who doesn’t take decent photos, then please pass this along. Let the thousand words associated with our photos be about the property and not about us.
Einas Makki, YPN Committee Member and OREA YPN Guest Blogger