Monday, January 18, 2016 / by Bill Berning*
If you are prepping your home to be placed on the market, your realtor will be looking for high-quality images – don’t disappoint!
Kitchens are one of the most difficult areas of the home to photograph – and they are also one of the areas of your home that potential buyers will be most interested in. These tips will have you photographing your kitchen like a pro in no time, so that it looks its best in listing photos both online and in print.
Getting a home ready to be shown is a huge undertaking, but it will pay off big time by impressing each potential buyer who tours it. This same prep work should be applied for taking the best real estate photos, which will pull in more interested buyers in the first place. It's a little bit more complicated than just pointing a camera into each room and shooting one or two pictures – the tips below will take you from novice to photo-taking natural in no time.
Either rent or buy a nice quality camera, a wide-angle lens attachment, and a tripod. You will want to have the steadiest shots possible, as well as the best angles. If you’re unfamiliar with using digital cameras, ask the people at the rental shop to give you a crash course. You don’t need to worry about the flash settings since you won’t be using one for you photos.
Check the weather of the day to make sure you’ll have a lot of natural light to work with. Also, know what time of day your kitchen looks best, and schedule your shoot around that window. You don’t want any glaring sunlight coming in, it will reflect off of the appliances and darken your images.
Speaking of natural sunlight, get as much into your kitchen as possible. Then, turn on all your interior lights too. Yes, this does sound like overkill, but since you aren’t using a flash, you’ll need to give your camera as much light as possible to brighten up every inch of your kitchen.
First of all, give your kitchen a deep clean. Scrub ever countertop, cabinet face, and faucet handle. Don’t leave any water spots in the sink. Clear off most of the counters to show as much room as possible. Buyers want to see the full size of the space available. If you do leave out a few appliances, make sure to hide their cords. Don’t have your cutting boards, knife set, or any other cooking tool out either. Think very simply during this step, and clear off 90% of your stuff.
To highlight a key focal point, such as a state-of-the-art oven, place a brightly colored vase full of flowers on top of it to draw a viewer’s eye to it. Your realtor will know exactly which part of your kitchen will be the best selling point, so ask him or her where to place your focal point. If there is more than one key element to the kitchen, take a few shots with the vase on each one. Then afterwards you’ll have a variety of pictures to choose from.
Try to shoot from each corner of the room, as far back as your tripod allows. This will add depth to your photos, making the room look spacious. While this will increase the perceived size of the kitchen, try not to stretch this too much. The last thing you want is to fool potential buyers into thinking you have a huge kitchen when in reality it’s the size of a postage stamp. Take quite a few photos from each corner to give you many choices. Also, make sure you don’t get any walls cutting off your view of the kitchen. This is going to be tricking since kitchens have many obstacles, but do your best to shoot around them.
Know who your target audience is when you take these photos. This is something your real estate agent will know best, so ask him or her to help you out here. If your audience is a young couple with a growing family, highlight the safety features of the stove. Maybe your audience is senior citizens, so show the convenience of counter heights. Take yourself through the kitchen with each set of photos, to show off it’s flow and layout. People will want to imagine themselves cooking here, so take them through each part to give them the best experience. By focusing on these minor details, you’ll attract the right audience to take a tour of your home and appreciate your unique kitchen set up.
When you take each photo, make sure you’re hyper vigilant about keeping straight lines. What this means is that your photos aren’t leaning one way, making your kitchen look like it’s going to fall over. Have the grid lines displayed on your camera’s view screen to get a straight shot. You can even use a bubble level on top of your camera to make sure it’s standing up nice and tall. Whichever method you use, this needs to be checked before taking each photo.
Transfer all your photos onto your computer, then save them to a specific file. Since you took so many photos, you’ll want to move them from the general “camera download” file to a more specific one to stay organized. It would also be a good idea to back up your computer to an external hard drive, just to make sure all your photos are saved.
You don’t have to get any fancy software or have a graphic design background to edit these photos. There are some great (and free) software options available for editing your pictures, search around until you’ve found the one that you’re comfortable using. Then adjust the following things:
You’ll be surprised by how just a few adjustments can make a photo really beautiful!
The Final Product
Once you have all the images you like of your kitchen, give them to your realtor to put on your listing page online. Make sure you’ve highlighted all your key appliances and convenient kitchen layout.
This might feel like quite a lot of step to get a few good photos of your kitchen, but since this room is such a deal breaker for buyers, it’s vital that you capture it correctly. Take each step at a pace you’re comfortable with, and you’ll end up with some amazing photos of your kitchen.
*This article is syndicated and licensed from Realtor.GetWrittn.com.