Updated: May 26, 2020
Last year, BHS strategically partnered with Meero, the leader in image-processing AI and the world’s first on-demand photography platform. In 2019, Meero produced more than 2 million real estate and property-style photos in over 50,000 shoots in 50 countries around the world.
With impressive numbers like that, you can see why we leave the photography to the professionals, but unprecedented times have called for us to take our iPhone camera into our own hands. Meero's team filled us in on what their professional photographers do in order to get the right shot, and we're here to share the knowledge.
First thing's first - why visuals are so important
Science shows that humans are visual beings, and humans shopping for real estate are no exception. Most of the information transmitted to the human brain, up to 90 percent, is visual, and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than we do text.
Studies have shown that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see. This is because the human brain processes visual cues better rather than the written language. Additionally, general marketing studies show that content with images gets 94% more views than content without, and The WSJ learned that buyers spend 60% of their time looking at listing photos, and only 20% on the listing description.
So let's get to the visuals.
Create a shot list
A shot list maps out exactly what will occur in a photoshoot. It serves as a detailed checklist that gives your shoot a sense of direction and perhaps sets some expectations. Here is the bare-minimum shot list recommended by Meero. Feel free to adjust your shot list how you see fit for your listing.
2 wide shots of the kitchen, living room and every bedroom
1+ photo of each bathroom
1-3 photos of the yard front and back
1-2 shots of the exterior ‘curb appeal’
location shot showing the neighborhood
1 photo each of any unique features
Create the perfect composition
Make sure images of the rooms are balanced and airy, ensuring that photo can breathe. Rearrange furniture or remove excess items to balance out your shot. Experiment with your phone or professional camera to find the sweet spot, which is typically eye-level. Wide-angle rooms are favored in listing photography because they show off the space, but it's important to give buyers both micro and macro views. Close-up shots of intriguing architectural details can make for a beautiful shot. Think fireplaces and grand staircases.
Light is your best friend
Lighting is essential when preparing your home to be photographed, so be sure to fill the rooms with light - the more, the better! Time your photo shoots to maximize natural light. This could be any time throughout the day depending on the location of the property and which direction it faces. Open your blinds and pull your curtains back. Make sure all light fixtures look appealing, and if the lampshades are dated, consider replacing them. Meero highly advises turning on all artificial lights, even in the daytime.
Show off the exteriors
Light plays as much of a factor for exteriors as it does interiors. Be patient and wait for clear blue skies and keep the sun at your back to avoid any backlighting. Shoot in the morning and avoid mid-day when the shadows are the harshest. If you are able to, show off any unique facades, or enticing entryways that will ultimately be a buyer’s first impression upon visiting the property.
Views from the inside looking out
Don’t underestimate the power of an unobstructed view or even natural sunlight coming into an apartment. Include interior details to really communicate how it feels to be in a property. A view such as the one below can be mesmerizing, not to mention memorable.
Bring out the charm with decor
Decor is an essential part of making a home look beautiful and welcoming. Modernize the listing and avoid dated patterns on pillows and curtains, and while it might seem right for the current owner, dramatic decorations should be removed for the shoot. Being that the goal is to have buyers envision themselves living in the property, Meero suggests removing family photos or touches that are too personal. Mustard yellow, navy blue, and charcoal gray are the most attractive colors in real estate decorations right now - if you have the opportunity to incorporate these colors, go for it!
If once you are satisfied with your listing's photography and want to take it one step further with a video, check out our post on Filming With Your iPhone.
Thank you to our partners at Meero for sharing their tips on visuals and helping us to continuously improve our listing!