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Behind the Lens

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

To achieve the highest results, home staging and professional photos go hand in hand - getting this right, will increase your chances of selling. At sort style and stage, this is an integral element of our bespoke service and our professional images are complementary.

Important Facts

Let's reminded ourselves of how important professional images are in enabling you to sell your home.

#1 FACT: using professional photos increases click-through rate by an average of 139%

#2 FACT: 69% of on-line buyers judge a home by its photos only

#3 FACT: High end D-SLR photos can add as much as 47% to the asking price

#4 FACT: Using a D-SLR camera, the photos are likely to result in the property being on the market an average of 10 days less

Behind the Scenes

Previously we've shared some interesting facts about how professional photos can increase your chances of selling - click here to read more.

The next step is to view behind the scenes to learn what makes a successful home staging photo shoot. We're doing this through the eyes of a professional property photographer.

We interviewed Miriam Sheridan, a professional property photographer to gain her insight. One of questions we asked was "What techniques a professional property photographer uses to bring a room to life?" Bringing a room to life is dependent on having the room styled and staged appropriately - this makes such a huge difference. Miriam was unequivocal:

"I always recommend hiring a stager/stylist to do this."

Full interview

We asked Miriam, who we call in once we’ve staged a client home or development to take our professional property photos, the following:

1. When you’re given the client brief, how do you decide which specific images to take?

She says:

“I always plan my images before I start shooting.”

There are three things a professional photographer should consider:

a. What practical element should be showcased? For home staging, it’s the layout of the rooms, any interesting features, what lifestyle do we want to highlight as well as the outside views etc

b. How to evoke an emotional response? Ultimately the aim is for the photo to elicit a connection with the viewer - the photo must make the viewer want to live in the home. The trick is good lighting and good composition as well as styling and staging

c. Don’t take two photographs that say the same thing. Each image should make an impression. Quality not quantity is important.

2. What techniques do you apply to bring a room to life?

The first step is to have it styled and staged appropriately. This makes such a huge difference. She says:

"I always recommend hiring a stager/stylist to do this."

Compositional tools such as balance, symmetry, positive space and negative space, as well as the basics such as getting verticals vertical and the right camera height, all help the eye travel and settle where you want it. Then apply lighting skills. Photography means:

‘drawing with light’

so understanding how to control light to get the right mood is crucial. Using off-camera lighting to ensure that the room is evenly lit is a key skill. She says:

“There should be no over-exposed highlights or super-dark shadows unless those elements are part of conveying the mood”.

Professional photographers also sometimes use their lighting to highlight where the viewer’s eye should travel to. The final step is adding ambient shadows to the image for a natural look.

3.How do you use CGI in your photos?

There are several different uses for CGI. For example, a vacant house doesn’t give off the right vibe, no matter how well photographed it is. Additionally, most buyers struggle to visualise furniture in an empty space. CGI is a cost-effective solution.

4. What happens if you arrive on a shoot and the weather is bad and you must showcase the garden?

She says:

"That depends how bad the weather is!"

As we live in the UK, she often replaces the sky to help ‘lift’ the image. She can also stimulate sunshine in Photoshop! Nothing is quite the same as actual sunshine so if the garden is a key selling point, the shoot will be postponed to a day with better weather.

We’d like to thank Miriam for her insight. We look forward to the next time we get to collaborate.

Here’s one image from a developer project we home staged and Miriam photographed – fabulous!

We hope you enjoyed getting behind the scenes about how professional property photographers work. At sort style and stage, we know how the right images showcase our home staging which in turn will help you sell more quickly and for more. We therefore offer a complementary professional photography service as part of our home staging service. This really will help you sell quickly and for more.

Although most of us remain in lockdown, there’s still plenty you can do if you want to sell quickly and for more once the market picks up again. As a first step, let us help you plan out how to add value to your home with our virtual home staging consultation.

Let us know which answers you enjoyed reading -

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