In advertising, they call the photo that glamorizes a product its ‘hero shot.’ In the case of a real estate listing in Niagara or Erie County, the pictures that accompany the written description can all be hero shots, if enough care is taken.
In one Auburn University study (The Relationship between Property Price, Time-on-Market, and Photo Depictions in a Multiple Listing Service), it was found that adding a single photograph to a listing could lift the final sale price by as much as 3.9%. That’s not surprising, but what is noteworthy is that each additional listing photograph added several hundred dollars to the final selling price. In other words, it’s not just the curbside photo at the top of a Niagara or Erie County listing that should be given great care—it’s all of ‘em!
Aside from the usual advice to de-clutter, use light appealingly, etc., there are some less well known tips that can help maximize the eye-appeal of a listing in places like Lewiston, Amherst, Buffalo, Williamsville, etc.:
The exterior photograph is considered by most professional real estate photographers to be by far the most important shot. I’m not sure I agree. Of course, it sets the stage for everything else, and has to be attractive enough to rate a second look, but those second looks of the interior and garden can differentiate the listing from the crowd. A superior exterior can often be achieved by elevating point of view (IOW, shoot from a stepladder)…or sometimes by scheduling the shot in early morning or late afternoon light (to catch the most dramatic light).
Back Against the Wall!
For the majority of your listing interiors, you’ll want wide angle shots which emphasize spaciousness. Most work better when the photograph is taken from a doorway or corner with the widest lens (that’s the one with the lowest focal length number)—as long as it doesn’t overly distort the image.
Always ensure that your camera is completely horizontal. Correct the ‘barrel effect’ on vertical lines to ensure that all of the walls appear straight. When you’re looking through a viewfinder or small digital screen, it’s all too easy to overlook the sides by concentrating on the center of the picture. That’s an amateur mistake (and slanted walls make a room look like a carnival funhouse!)
Take at least one extra shot using the on-camera flash or strobe. True, often that will result in an unevenly lit alternative that you will discard…but now and then, the on-camera light will boost clarity and color that’s more pleasing than what natural light provides.
Great-looking listing shots in Niagara and Erie County make a significant difference in the degree of response a property draws. We always help our clients with the listing photographs—it’s one of many tools to ensure their listing gets the exposure and results it deserves!