“I’m not quite ready - can you use my photos? I took them with my new camera!”
When I say no, and let them know I photography package is offered at no cost to the seller, I inevitability get the next question: “Why isn’t my camera good enough to shoot photos of my own home?”
It might be. But not likely. Lots of people got fancy cameras for birthdays or holidays, but a DSLR camera does not a photographer make.
My goal is to sell your house in a reasonable amount of time at a price acceptable by you, and to do that, I need to showcase it in its best light across many platforms. I do that through the use of professional photography.
We‘ve all seen these amateur photos (a fine collection is available over at https://badmlsphotos.com).
A house is a tricky technical thing to photograph – even though it’s not moving, there are many angles and lighting situations to be captured and edited.
So, why shouldn’t you photograph your own property? First, you have to have the appropriate lenses to fully feature the property. An 18-55, fixed 50 or telephoto are not usually going to give you the angles you want with the lighting you need. And those are the lenses most commonly sold as parts of DSLR kits.
You need a few specialized lenses with highly rated shutter speeds and auto focus properties to be able to capture the scene.
You should also have a tripod – this is it hard to get, but you should also have a hot shoe to indicate level photographs to avoid converging verticals.
Do you have a light meter? Do you have a remote control for your camera to avoid being in the picture?
Again, all of that equipment is available, but between lenses and accessories, you are looking at about $2000 additional (minimum!) to be able to properly photograph your own property.
After you have all the equipment, you have to learn how to use it – there are many different modes and programs you must use on the camera itself to capture the property. Toss in a few more hours.
After you capture your property, it’s common to go into production mode in a complicated software like Adobe Lightroom or adobe Photoshop to even out the lighting and sharpen the photos.
So you have probably spent $3500 by now, and who knows how long in Photoshop and Lightroom. Can it be a fun learning adventure? Sure. But usually, it is not worth the time and effort when ALL of my listings include photography services.
I hear from homeowners who want to feature photographs from additional seasons, or even photographs of their decorating style or things they love best about their home. Not usually a great idea.
Your home is going with you, what is left is your house. And by your house, I mean someone else’s house – they are going to buy it and make their home within the space. Don’t present ideas that may turn off a buyer who doesn’t share your aesthetic.
I bet you take beautiful pictures, but please leave the house photography to your agent and their professional. Remember, at #SmartMove professional photography is included at no cost to you.
Ally is a real estate broker and research enthusiast living in the greater Kansas City/Overland Park/Johnson County metro area.