In a world where you can pick your spouse-to-be from a directory of online photos at the swipe of a finger, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd.
If seconds count when dressing to impress on dating apps; microseconds count when it comes to wooing a potential buyer on Rightmove.
So, with the clock ticking, how do you ensure your home is the pick of the pics?
Discover our secret formula to fabulous photos below…
1. Professional eye.
When scouring Rightmove for properties, buyers make up their minds in seconds; so, you need your pictures to stand out for the right reasons.
Whether you plan to use a professional photographer, or intend to take the snaps yourself, proficiency is the key to bagging those all-important clicks.
If you plan to be behind the lens, why not book on to a photography course? Often readily available at adult education centres, they range in cost and will ground you in the basics. Investing in a tripod is an essential to ensure crisp, sharp images with no hand-held blur.
Of course, there is no replacement for experience and knowledge.
For total peace of mind, a good professional photographer will be able to capture your home at its very best.
Best of all, accompany them on the shoot. Discuss your thoughts and ideas with the professional. With their skillset and with the intimate knowledge you possess of your home’s best features (and potential flaws), it’s a Batman and Robin recipe for success!
2. Perfect planning.
As the old adage goes, ‘failure to prepare; prepare to fail’.
This is particularly key if you have lived in your home for many years and have accrued a lifetime’s worth of possessions and clutter along the way.
Work out a timescale and stick to it, spring cleaning and de-cluttering in ample time before the big shoot.
Are there any blemishes that need dressing prior to photographs being taken? Make notes of your rooms’ ‘bad sides’ (we all have them) and find ways in which to compensate. Perhaps a light-coloured throw to counter a shady bedroom, or a mirror to make an entrance hall seem wider?
3. Clean ‘til it gleams.
Not so much of a tip as a reminder to focus on the details.
To clean before a photoshoot goes without saying, doesn’t it? However, you may be surprised by how much of your home’s daily detritus passes you by.
Be sure to emphasise light and reflected shine in every shot by polishing surfaces ‘til they sparkle.
Windows are an absolute must; if you are short on time, a professional cleaner should guarantee a gleaming shine.
4. Stay on trend with the season.
You’ve seen it. That one tired house in your area that keeps cropping up on Rightmove searches. The one with the snow-covered hedge and holly tree with its bright red berries in the foreground.
At Christmas it was quaint. By spring it was out of sync with the surrounding shots of daffodil-lined lawns. By summer it was a stark reminder that the home still hadn’t sold and, more concerningly, a bargaining chip for under-asking-price offers.
Make sure your external photographs stay on-trend and up-to-date with the season. This may mean recalling a photographer to take a few choice snaps of your vibrant purple trailing wisteria in late-spring.
Well worth the effort to stay fresh and ahead of the pack.
5. Dress for success.
In an Insta-perfect world, gone are the days of the candid camera. It’s time to primp and style each room so that it’s dressed to impress.
Now for the fun part…
Each room should be de-personalised (remove all your half-empty shower gels and colour-correcting conditioners from the bathroom) and ‘dressed’ in its finest.
Garnish the kitchen worktop with a succulent cheeseboard, refreshing jug of Pimm’s or a homemade carrot cake.
Replace worn and faded bathroom towels with a set of fluffy, colour accent ones. Avoid over-cluttering the shot, instead opt for elements that hint at luxury, comfort and offer a warm welcome.
Pay close attention to creating a cosy bedroom setting. Iron out any creases in the bed linen (plain, not patterned) and dress with symmetrical, colour-coordinated cushions and even a rustic handwoven throw for that ultimate comfort-blanket appeal.
6. Light up the room.
Light infiltrates so many aspects of our lives, affecting the way we function from dawn ‘til dusk. Ever thought much about the phrase ‘it’s like a light went on in my head’?
Light is synonymous with enlightenment; so be sure to illuminate your viewers as to the wonderful features of your home by providing key lighting throughout the shoot.
Lighting equipment should be within the remit of your photographer, but do be sure to point out any furtive dark corners to them. You are, of course, the expert when it comes to your own home.
The early bird catches the worm; but the night-owl photographer captures the sunburst of twilight. Study your home prior to the shoot and analyse how and where the light hits your home at different times of the day.
Dawn light can be a fantastic medium for photographers, whilst twilight shots, with all the lights on indoors and curtains open, weaves its own alluring spell on viewers.
7. Be part of the process.
For estate agents, picking the right photographs for marketing is second nature. They have the added bonus of impartiality; they don’t have the emotional ties to the home that you have after all.
However, your home is your castle. Who knows it and loves it better than you? Ultimately, nobody is better placed to scrutinise and assess the final shots than you, the homeowner.
Take direction from the agent and listen to their valuable advice, but let your heart and instinct lead you. Point out the unique features that captivated you on your first viewing; show them to the gin and tonic terrace where the light hits perfectly at twilight.
Aim for a selection of shots; a mixture of lifestyle, full-width and feature.
Armed with your seven magic ingredients to fabulous photos, your home can’t fail to get snapped up.