How To Take Great
Home Staging Photos
Home Staging is all about first impressions; the prolonged online view, the first gaze at the end of a driveway, and the immediate, emotional response during the first few seconds within a home’s entrance.
Using skills, education, and experience, USC™ Home Stagers create this imprint by maximizing the positives and minimizing the negatives of any home. First impressions establish a connection, one that creates an invisible tether, in this case, drawing the visitors towards their new home.
The entire industry is in fact, built on first impressions, and this includes crucial marketing strategies. With such a visual product, Home Stagers rely on their own home staging photos to make an immediate connection with clients. A connection that will propel a Home Staging company towards success. So how to take great home staging photos?
Making a Great First Impression
To generate business, home staging photos, decorating photos and professional organizing photos whether on a website, social media or in a portfolio, need to make a great first impression. These photos tell your story; they showcase your talent; and they communicate your skills, both as a Home Stager, a Decorator & ReDesigner, a Professional Organizer and as a photographer.
These industries are built on appearances; in home staging it is how a home looks and how it makes potential buyers feel. Home Staging photos are no different; by maximizing the positives and minimizing the negatives, USC™ Home Stagers can enhance the look and feel of them. These enhancements can be done even before the photos are taken.
Before the Photo is Taken
Each one of your staging, decorating or organizing photos offers an opportunity to present your work to potential clients. It is imperative that they showcase how you use colours, patterns, textures, and furniture arrangement, to create a warm, welcoming home. Each photo requires careful planning regarding shooting position, composition, lighting, and depth.
- Where and how you position your body while shooting a photo, will have an impact on the viewer’s perspective. Most people assume the standing position will lend the best result, as this will create a photo at the eye level of the viewer. However, this often creates an image that feels too high and one that does not look or feel natural.
- The better position is to kneel or squat during shooting. Try both positions while taking photos, to determine which feels more comfortable for you, and which results in the more realistic, eye-level perspective for the viewer.
- Composition “is how the elements of a photo are arranged”. Each detail within a single frame is a visual clue that when taken together, tells a story. Before taking the shot, consider what tale you wish to tell. What do you want the room to say to the viewer? Take a walk around the space to determine what needs to be the focal point. What can you include in the shot that will showcase your skills as a Home Stager?
- A key point to consider when composing home staging photos, is that these are for your marketing purposes. These photos are not real estate listing photos, but rather, home staging portfolio photos.
- As they may be featured on your website, they are to sell your services as a Home Stager, not as a realtor. Why the emphasis on this? Because real estate listing photographs often try to include as much of a room’s interior as possible. Home staging photos on the other hand, focus on showcasing your talent for creating a feeling of home.
- One method of creating eye-catching photos is to implement The Rule of Thirds. Dividing a frame into nine squares allows you to identify the important sectors of a photo, in which to present your focal point. Not only does this create a more balanced photo, but it will enable a viewer to interact with the photo more naturally.
- Why? People’s eyes go naturally to one of the intersection points (seen here in red), rather than to the center of the shot. Placing your focal point on at least one of the intersections or along the lines of the grid, will create compelling photos.
- This grid-pattern can be implemented on a camera’s screen, including on an iPhone. In the Settings section of your phone, find the Camera setting. Scroll down until you see the heading, Composition. Slid the button to On, beside the word Grid. Now whenever you pull up your camera, the frame will be automatically divided into nine squares.
- Good lighting is like a clean home: no one will notice when it is good, but people will definitely notice when it is bad. Lighting will depend on the time of day and the angle of your shot. Try a variety of positions and lighting options, before determining which works best for your photos. Although shadows can create depth, they should be avoided to prevent dark or hidden spots in the frame.
- Once again, lighting issues can be circumvented on a camera or even an iPhone. In the Camera Setting on your iPhone, scroll down until you see Smart HDR. Slide the button to On. This will help you to balance out the exposures between your subject and your background.
- Have you ever wondered why your photos do not accurately convey what you see in your camera? Your eyes see everything in 3-D; photographs, however, are only two-dimensional. What is often lost in translation, is depth. There are, however, strategies you can implement into your photos, that will trick the eye into seeing another dimension.
- Begin by viewing your composition in layers. Three-dimensional photos require there to be something in the foreground, the middle ground, and the background. Furthermore, “look for ways of connecting the three, that pulls the eye through the photo”.
In this photo, the rocks and mud comprise the foreground, the water ripples in the middle ground, and the mountains stand majestically in the background. The three layers of the photo capture the depth of the landscape, and as they are connected, they pull the viewer’s eye through the photo.
In this photo, the table is presented in the foreground, the stove rests in the middle ground, and the family room is observed in the background. Including the three layers creates depth and pulls the viewer’s eye through the photo.
Visual cues in each frame, detail the home’s characteristics. Without captions, the viewer can sense the warmth of the home, assess the amount of natural light, and evaluate its layout. With one photo, you have begun to tell the story of this sunlight-filled home.
Perspective can also create depth in a photo. Lines that disappear towards the horizon once again, draw the viewer’s eye through the photo. The lines also act as a directional feature; they point the way to the primary subject.
This photo captures two types of directional features. The line down the middle of the road points the viewer’s eye toward the primary subject. The two converging lines on the outside of the road creates depth.
Taking the picture from this perspective in the kitchen, utilizes the lines on the floor. As they converge in the distance, they create depth. They also point the viewer’s eye towards the primary subject: the window and the incredible view it offers to the homeowners. The visual cues presented in this photo tell the story of a large, spacious home, complete with rustic features and a magnificent view.
USC™ Home Stagers, UDRC™ Decorators and UCPO™ Professional Organizers rely on showcasing their work through photos to generate business and build their brand. Like the first impression of a home-for-sale, these photos must create an instant connection with potential clients.
Learning how to take advantage of shooting position, composition, lighting, and depth, will help you to produce visually compelling photos. With practice and experience, your photos can tell the story of you and your successful company.