Having professional photoshoots done in a dedicated studio is always going to produce the best quality pictures, but sometimes it’s nice to be your own photographer and have the photoshoot in the comfort of your own home and sometimes going to a studio just isn’t an option.
Baby photos, holiday cards are both popular at-home projects, but most commonly (and most obvious), procuring pictures to list your home for sale is the most common reason to do a photoshoot in your home.
Like getting a salon quality make-up job and haircut before a portrait session, the quality of your home photos will be greatly improved by putting in the extra effort to ensure everything looks professional quality beforehand.
There are professional companies dedicated to home staging if you don’t want to worry about the process, but doing it yourself will save you money.
Because your home most likely wasn’t constructed with the thought that you’d be doing a photoshoot in it years down the road, there are usually some extra steps and preparations necessary compared to a shoot in a professional studio. While you don’t need thousands of dollars in equipment, it will require a little creativity.
Make Sure Your Home is Clean
This step may seem obvious, but dark or dingy curtains, carpets, or upholstery can really diminish the vibrance of your home, and consequently make it feel less inviting. We recommend having your carpets professionally cleaned before the shoot. Even if you feel that your carpets are already clean, you’ll be surprised how much more life they have after getting a deep clean.
After the carpets, make sure all of the hard surfaces in your home are clean as well. Counters should be wiped down and free of any clutter. If you have kids, make sure you check walls and appliances for hand marks that could show in photos when lit with a flash. If your bathroom walls are grimy, put together a 1:1 mixture of water and distilled vinegar, spray the wall, and wipe the grime away with a cloth.
Let There Be Light
A common misconception is that a photographer is defined by their ability to master a camera, when in reality the characteristic that separates the average photographer from the exceptional one is his or her ability to manipulate light. Lighting is without a doubt the most important element in any photoshoot, so here are some tips on how to use it best for your home staging photos.
- Plan ahead. Take a look at the forecast for the week when you pick a day to have your photoshoot on. Obviously picking a day that with a sunny forecast will provide better lighting than
- Schedule the shoot for early to mid morning, so that you don’t have to rush to beat the sunset.
- If theres too much light in a room, put up a thin white sheet or a curtain to soften the sunlight coming in and prevent the appearance of harsh shadows
- Use lamps that have one end closed, like a desk lamp, that allow you to direct light in a specific direction
Remove any personal touches. This may sound counterintuitive, but potential buyers want to be able to visualize their own families in the home. Having your own family photos everywhere will interfere with that vision.
Maximize space. Remove smaller pieces of furniture like end tables and ottomans. If kitchen space is limited, consider removing the kitchen table to make the kitchen feel more spacious.
No-Pet Zone. We love our pets, home-selling time is not the time to be reminding visitors that you have them. Clean up any toys, put pet beds and litter boxes out of sight, and vacuum any dog hair on the floor.
Follow these steps and you should be well on your way to a great home-staging photo shoot that will help your home sell faster and bump up the selling price.
Let us know if you have any questions specific to your home and we’ll help you out the best we can.