Lifestyle 2 – A picture paints a thousand words
I have been working with some amazing photographers recently and we have been talking on how to best photograph homes. It’s not good enough for estate agents to take poor quality photos when selling a home. The vast majority of pictures I see on Rightmove are terrible, there has been no love or thought given to them. Photography is an art form and one that can be used to great effect when selling the dream of a new home. Shooting a house in a good light from the right angle can attract buyers and increase the value of it.
The photography for One Cornwall Terrace, a Grade I listed mansion overlooking Regent’s Park that went on to sell for £120 million to Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the mother of the present Emir of Qatar, cost £20,000. I doubt The Sheikha would have been impressed if the property brochure included some badly photoshopped and wide lensed snaps like the ones we usually see from high street agents. The photographer was Ed Hill, who, along with Tony Murray, is the closest the property photography industry has to Mario Testino. These photographers are perfectionists who are paid a lot of money and flown around the world to take photographs of the mansions, penthouses and private islands of the super-rich.
I take a leaf out of Messrs Hill’s and Murray’s book. Great photography is a must for every home we sell. It is rare in the estate agent industry that professional interior photographers are used and because the standard of photography is so low, photographers are able to produce poor quality images and no one complains.
Even more worrying are the photographs that people have had to take themselves when selling their home through an online agent. We would all love to be David Bailey but using a little digital camera or your Iphone to take pictures to sell your most valuable asset seems a shame.
Here is what we do at Mr & Mrs Clarke to make sure your home is shown off in the best light:
1 Interior styling so it looks like a Living Etc shoot. This means selling a lifestyle: nice bed linen in the bedroom; flowers in the lounge; candles in the bathrooms along with new towels (we hide the old ones in a cupboard); ensure curtains hang properly and are tied back; throw some cushions from the inside of your home on to the garden furniture to brighten things up.
2 Only use the best interior photographers. They know what they are doing, they have the best kit and their reputation is on the line. They are patient so if the light is not right, they will have to wait until it is.
3 Highlight the best bits of the home. Our photographers might take pictures in the kitchen of the Aga and hand-crafted wooden cabinetry instead of a wide-angle picture of the whole kitchen. We take lots of photos to showcase the home, not just five of the main rooms.
4 Shoot the outside of the property from an angle. It may sound too simplistic but it works. A front on photo of the home doesn’t always work and it doesn’t do the exterior justice.
5 We don’t use dirty tricks. A photographer should be able to take sharp and beautiful pictures that tell the truth. It is a bit dishonest to widen, lighten and re-colour a photo. We like to look at beautiful models in magazines that haven’t been airbrushed to witihin an inch of their life.