Property Marketing in Nottingham: 9 things your property photographer needs to know?
Recently, Inman.com posted an article called “9 things your professional property photographer better know“, and I thought I’d go through the list, include a short quote from the Inman article, and give my own take on things.
1. Think forward.
“If the sun rises behind the house, the photographer will not want to take an early morning, front, outside shot. The bright sun above the house will shadow the façade and ruin the photograph.”
I agree that this is a big issue that a lot of Estate Agents in east midlands, and property photographers, don’t give enough consideration to.
Having said that, my experience with estate agents in Nottingham, and I’ve heard this from a lot of photographers as well, is that it’s usually the agents who aren’t interested in making themselves or the homeowner available for a photo shoot at the time that best suits the property.
In general, I think estate agents expect the photographer to do some magic and create wonderful images in any situation, and they don’t understand the important role light plays in shooting a home. A truly professional photographer will do their best whatever happens, but they can’t really replicate what the great big light in the sky can accomplish.
Is that making a difference? A bright, well – lit front exterior shot can have a more welcoming atmosphere for some home, which can help attract more buyers to a home.
Here’s an example of an apartment complex that was deliberately photographed early in the afternoon as it was facing west on that side wall, and you can see the difference the sun makes in such a shot:
2. Elevated photography for the exterior shots.
“In most cases, there is a limit to how far you want your property photographer to go. You rarely need a top – down view of the roof. A good rule of thumb is to go no higher than the upper windows.”
That’s a wonderful point! First of all, high shots can work really well. Second, getting too high, like with a drone, is often going to make things worse, not better. The reason why very high outdoor shots often don’t work is because they’re going to show the roof (rarely the best feature of a home) and the yards of surrounding homes, and that’s a look that’s often not very attractive, especially if it makes the home for sale seem closer to neighbors than it really is.
Here’s an example where a little elevation’s benefits are clear. Without this, the camera would be too low and would see in the foreground only the rocks and trees, with the top level of the house above:
3. Plan exterior lighting.
“We usually get the best light shortly after dawn and before sunset.”
I totally agree that during a twilight shoot, a home often looks its best. What is important here, though, is the photographer’s choice. A property photographer with little or no experience shooting twilights will not necessarily create an amazing picture.
A twilight shooting of a property is something that requires a lot of work as the timing is so limited. If the light is just perfect, the photographer may have 10 to 15 minutes, and they will need to get enough exposures in that time, and often multiple angles. This requires planning, and knowing what lighting is needed. To do this with a high degree of skill, only the best property photographers should be trusted.
Here’s a beautiful example of a twilight shot by Nottingham Property Photographer:
4. Say no to candy colored skies.
“The perfect sky is attractive but not dramatic for your pictures.”
When an inexperienced property photographer learns how to replace the sky, they can get a little too excited. That’s when they go crazy and bring the ludicrousest, most dramatic skies they can find.
What they forget is that the eastate agent does not sell the sky, but the home. Then the attention has to be on the property, not what’s happening above.
Here’s an example of a sky replacement that is pleasant, but it doesn’t draw attention away from the home:
6. Light the inside.
“Photography is an art of light, and your property photographer should show a lot of lights in the cart. They should have a flash, at least two portable lights and light stands.”
Your nottingham property photographer doesn’t need a lot of lights at all times. A single powerful flash, when used by a master photographer, is enough with the power available in some of the portable flashes these days.
So it all comes down to the lights being used, and multiple lights are very helpful in a lot of situations. Having said that some property photographers in East Midlands can create beautiful images using purely natural light, but even then it may be a good idea for them to carry a few lights with them to prepare them for any situation. There are times when the situation will only be fixed by an extra flash pop.
This image was taken by Nottingham Property Photographer, and shows the difference great lighting makes inside a home:
7. Use a wide-angle lens.
Any experienced property photographer in their kit bag will have a wide angle lens. The issue we need to discuss is the estate agent or owner who feels that every photo needs to fit in the whole room, no matter how wide it may be.
For two reasons, this is a big problem:
First, it will make the room appear larger than what it really is by showing an excessively wide room. That’s all right, until the agent receives complaints from buyers who arrive expecting to find a vast living room, instead facing a comfortable two – room space.
Such a thing can be very damaging to the reputation of an estate agent. In fact, I had quite a few conversations with buyers and sellers who expressed their frustration with agents and photographers who shot far too wide.
Second, because a wide shot isn’t necessarily the best shot to sell a home. For example, a beautifully composed photograph that looks like something from a styled magazine photo shoot can do much more to attract buyer inquiries than a wide, soulless shot. After all, the goal is a sale, so it is necessary to focus the images on that goal.
As we can see in the photo by Nottingham Property Photographer, sometimes a tighter composition works better than an ultra wide angle shot:
8. Estate agents in Nottingham : Watch out for blinds .”Ask your photographer to pull the blinds down or close the curtains whenever needed. Try to do so in a manner that still leaves the light, but blocks the bad views.”
No! I always tell my customers that closed blinds or curtains make it clear to the potential buyer that something is being hidden by the selling agent. If most of the blinds are open in a home, but one or two or tightly closed, the buyer will of course assume the worst.
A professional property photographer in Nottingham can adjust the brightness of the view from the window, and usually a blurred (or bright) view can hide anything we don’t want to see outside. That approach works far better, and looks more inviting (most interior design images in home magazines feature views with blown out windows), than a window with the blinds pulled down.
9. Have a contract.
Estate agents in East Midlands : “A contract will save your photographer trouble, but more importantly for you. Make sure that it is clear in advance what exactly is expected, how long it should take, and if cleaning and staging are involved.”
I fully agree that the property photographer must be fully clear about what they will deliver to their customer.
How many pictures are supplied?
How long will the photographer be onsite, and are there time limits?
What will incur extra fees?
Will the photographer style the home or will they shoot it just as the owner presents it?
How long will it take for completed images to be delivered?
All of these are important questions, but I don’t know you need a signed contract. Most property photographers I know will include these details in their price list (so the agent knows these things before making a reservation) or will communicate these issues to the agent in an email before the shoot.
Then it is the responsibility of the estate agent in Nottingham to know what service they are buying and not to attempt to over – sell the service to the homeowner (such as telling the owner not to do anything to prepare the home before the photo shoot, if the photographer does not make any adjustments).
Also be aware that a property photographer tries to run a viable business and as such they need to charge extra for doing additional work on site that takes longer. An estate agent will be better placed to engage with their sellers to ensure a successful photo shooting and marketing campaign if they respect their photographer as a professional and are willing to pay extra when more is demanded from them.