Thursday, March 26, 2015

Real Estate Editing

One thing that I've been doing for the past couple of years has been editing real estate photos. Ya know, when you go online to search for a house (because you are actually looking for a new place to move to or you want to see what's available in your area or you simply like to look at other people's homes) and the listings have photos that pull you into that home and make you want to know more of what that home has to offer... Yes, those incredibly important photos. They really are what will make or break the listing.

I started this service originally by going out to the actual homes going up for sale and physically taking photos of the outside, the rooms, the layout, and any other images that might promote the property. I love looking at listings myself and know the importance of having beautiful, grabbing images to pull you in.

This became a little tougher to do after I had my daughter as then I had to find someone to watch her, usually at a moment's notice, and then spend an hour (or three) at the property taking photos.

But it wasn't just as simple as going in and snapping a couple pictures. Many times the listing agent and myself had to walk through and mop floors, hide clutter, straighten the towels and close closet doors. This may be above and beyond what many real estate photographers do, but it was important to me to provide appealing images of the property and paying attention to those little details really can dramatically improve how a house looks.

Kinda makes me realize how cluttered and "lived in" my own house looks 99% of the time. Oh the desire to have a pinterest worthy home all of the time. Real life alert - It's not possible! (especially when you have toddlers) But I digress...

Thus my services changed from providing the whole package to simply editing photos that the listing agents take themselves. With the smartphone capabilities nowadays and the fact that these images will be shown online (no huge poster-sized prints where resolution and crisp focus are essential), there really isn't a huge reason to bring out the big equipment - cameras and special lenses and lighting and tripods. The 'photographer' (home owner, seller, listing agent, etc) still needs to have a vision of what type of photos are needed and know what angles are best, but the rest of the process is what I am here for.

I take those images and edit the exposure and colors and tones to get a cohesive look through the house. I remove the orangey color casts from indoor lighting and add true-to-life color back into the floors and cabinets*. I work to remove arms and legs from mirrors or odd connections from when several images are seamed together to create a panoramic of the room or yard. And I brighten the color of the grass and sky and bring out the beauty of nature in the outdoor photos. It's important though to not be fake and edit too drastically that the images appear edited. A little goes a long way and too much can ruin the listing and cause doubt and distrust in the viewer's mind.

 While this is just one small service I provide, it is something that can be extremely powerful for a Real Estate business and getting buyers interested in properties listed for sale. This is also something that I enjoy and that I can do during naptimes or after the kids are in bed. It's a win-win for all! :)

*this is the goal of my editing processes. It isn't always possible in every situation and every photograph. Some challenges do come up when working with other people's photos, but I edit to the best of my ability and time constraints.


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