The Importance of Good Listing Photos

Of course, as a photographer, I'm going to be leading the parade for good photos. You need the best photos possible, end of story. Here's why: upwards of 40% of all potential buyers are online looking at houses even BEFORE contacting an agent. Good photos of impecable quality sets your property apart at the point where it matters most. 

What is a "good" photo? Let's start with what is a bad photo. . .in fact, lets just show a few really bad examples. 

Here's one. . ..what's wrong with this picture? See Mr. Agent in the mirror? This is bad. Rule #1, the agent/photographer should not be in the listing photo. You'd be surprised how many times I see photos like this. 

This photo is bad for other reasons too. It just doesn't present the vanity area of the bathroom in a complementary fashion. . .it's just. ..blah. 

But let's find an even better example of ugly bad. Most "bad" photos are created by an agent with their camera phone or a basic "point & shoot." Here's one. . .what's wrong with this picture?

First of all. . .the "blowed out" window syndrome. It's an exposure problem or what we photographers call a "dynamic range" problem.. When the room is darker than the outside light, the typical point & shoot camera will tend to attempt to brighten the exposure so that the objects in the room are visible. However, this causes the bright windows to "blow out" . . to be over-exposed and very unappealing. Another serious problem is the chair placed in the foreground which blocks so much of the vital floor space that would have given the photo a better appearance and present the room as having a more open space. 

Let's look at a "good" photo and, for copyright reasons only I will use one of my own from a recent listing photo shoot. . 

What do you notice about this photo? Notice that the windows are not blown out? The floor space is open and you have a open view from the camera through the doorway to the deck. It looks open and spacious. .and most importantly. . inviting. Another important quality is that we can see the beautiful texture of outside and inside light and shadow. That's what good photography accentuates.. . the subtle interplay of inside and outside light and shadow. 

I am often asked about whether I provide some of the latest fads in listing photography.  . .i.e. the "360 degree" vertigo-inducing camera views or the vitual walk-through ala google-earth style. My answer? A resounding, unequivical NO. Don't do it. . .it is overkill. You never, never want to make the viewing of a home to become about your bells and whistles. Look at the above photo. . .the photographer and his skills are invisibly imputed to the property. . you don't say. . "hey, what a great photo and photographer. . I wonder what kind of gear he was using?". . .no, you say, "what a beautiful room.". . and then the next most important statement. ."honey, look at this. . .let's go see this one."