One good way my clients get a head start from the word “go!” is the amount of attention their St. Cloud listing receives. Since that listing is by far the most prominent display piece their property will be presenting to the world of potential buyers, it has to be first-rate. The details must be presented in clear and unambiguous language, laid out with the information buyers consider important right at the top. Most important of all is how the data is illustrated. If there is ever a place where top-notch photography will pay off, this is it!
That’s why it’s astonishing when you come across St. Cloud listings where the shots appear to have been taken with casual abandon. You seldom see those when a property is represented by a licensed agent—or if you do, it’s probably the result of a client’s sudden need to sell quickly—in which case the offending specimens are usually swiftly replaced by professional substitutes.
What are the most common amateur photography slip-ups that can’t help but harm a property’s impact? Here are five that seem to lead the pack:
1. Flash. Even most smartphone cameras have flash capability for dark scenes. The problems with that kind of flash is that, since the light provided is right next to the lens, everything that’s illuminated looks flat—it erases the depth that shadows provide. Also, things that are closest to the camera are bright, those distant are darker—making for all the appeal of a crime scene photo. As if that weren’t enough, reflective objects like mirrors and glass reflect the glare of the flash. Professionals use multiple “slaved” flashes deflected off walls and ceilings—an entirely different matter!
2. Illumination. Most St. Cloud listings are more inviting when they serve to emphasize a property’s open, spacious qualities. There are exceptions, but most of the time that means bright and light. Rooms look their best when their natural light is only subtly augmented by additional photo lighting. Photo lights introduce unnatural shadows unless they are skillfully placed…but when that’s accomplished, the result is a bright, clean, color-balanced shot.
3. Selection. When a listing photo portrays an area that isn’t obvious—when a shot doesn’t “explain itself”—the result is confusion for the viewer. More than one or two close-ups of architectural details without a clear indication of where they are found don’t help tell the listing’s “story.”
4. Focal length. Most “normal” lenses aren’t well suited for listing photography. Wide angle shots are almost always more appropriate. They provide more information by showing a greater area—which also conveys a more spacious feeling.
5. Clutter. Experienced listing photographers know how the viewer’s eye is attracted to details which are out of place. The personal bric-a-brac that’s part of daily living can be a show-stopper in listing photography. Amateurs leave clutter in; professionals seek to remove it before every shot!
A superb St. Cloud listing is one that features photos that tell a story beautifully and accurately. It’s really the opening act of a presentation which—hopefully—ends with a deed conveyed and front door key presented. I hope you’ll call me when it’s time to get your show on the road!