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Beyond The Toilet Bowl: Photography Tips For Advertising Your Property
by Lisa Wells

A recent blog on ActiveRain still makes me laugh every time I think about it!  "Toilet For Sale: House Comes With It" by Rick & Ines Hegedus-Garcia [] painfully depicts, in an incredibly funny way, how NOT to photograph the bathrooms of property you are attempting to sell or rent.  The overall morale of the story is: When Shooting Pictures Of Your Bathrooms, CLOSE THE LID!

After discussing the funnier points of this "blog for dummies" with several friends, I discovered that most people don't have the slightest idea of what defines a great picture, although opinions have varied to a ridiculous degree!

To help improve the quality of your house photography, please enjoy the following list of tips and tricks as well as the links below.  Remember, one great house picture is worth 1000 phone calls from prospective buyers or renters!

House Photography Tips and Tricks

Let's start with the basics. Most people begin their search for a home to buy or rent online, and online listings with pictures are six times more likely to be read than those without. Advertisements that include more pictures of the house interior and property amenities, not just the standard exterior shot of the front door, will garner significantly more attention.

Before taking random pictures of your property, fine-tune its' overall appearance by repairing any exterior maintenance, paint or landscaping issues, and thoroughly cleaning the interior - removing any unnecessary clutter from rooms and hallways.

1. Exterior Photographs

  • Don't leave your '86 Cutlass in the driveway. Remove all of your vehicles from appearing in exterior pictures, unless of course, the car happens to come with the house.
  • Mow the lawn, trim bushes, and spruce up your garden - and don't forget to edge your curbs!  You want the house to stand out in pictures, not unkept shrubs or burned patches of grass.
  • Clear away any obstacles, tree branches or greenery that limits access or the view of the front door or path to door.
  • Don't advertise your pets - shredded doggie bones appearing in pictures of your yard will only make buyers wonder what else is lurking out there in the grass.
  • Put away toys and bikes.
  • Take pictures at a time of day when shade will not fall over the house - and the brighter, the better! Consider using a filter to bring out the blue sky on a beautiful day. Avoid taking pictures on overcast or rainy days if possible.
  • Zoom in on architectural or landscaping features that add character or flair to the house, such as window boxes, pillars, or a stone path through your garden.
  • Emphasize your home's curb appeal by taking some shots of the street.
  • Don't shoot into the sun - you will have a glare in your pictures obscuring your topic.

2. Interior Photographs

  • De-personalize the room as much as possible - you want the prospective buyer or renter to envision his or herself living there, and a picture of your Grandma Enis hanging over the bed won't help them do that.
  • Use color to your advantage - sometimes the best method of making a room look bigger, bright or brand new is to apply a fresh coat of paint, or adding bright accents before taking pictures.
  • Turn on lights and open drapes & blinds before shooting - remember to take pictures at a time of d

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