Preparing the Property for Photographs

Preparing your home to MAXIMISE Interest

PREPARATION TIPS FOR ALL AREAS OF YOUR HOME

WHERE WE SHOOT FROM 

90% of photographs are shot from the doorway into a room, therefore please ensure the door can open fully without any obstructing furniture or clothes hanging on the back of the door etc., if this is not possible consider removing the door, particularly for small bathrooms whereby the door opens into the bathroom opposite to the wall, therefore restricting how much of the room can be photographed. When doors have been removed, we are able to photograph approximately 85% of the room compared to around 60% with an obstructing door in view.

TIPS ON HIDING ITEMS

Areas we rarely photograph and can be used to hide items are: utility rooms, separate downstairs WC’s, sheds, garages & lofts and don’t forget your car can be a very resourceful storage container when needed. We have even come across clients who have very friendly neighbours that have helped them store items. Additionally, we’ve also had several clients who have hired a large van for a day (can be as little as £30.00) and stored all their items not wanted in any of the photographs. 

If any of the above isn’t available or practical, then the other option is if you have a spare bedroom or any room (usually the least important), then use this room to hide everything away. It’s better to have 90% of rooms photographed perfectly than all rooms, but each or some with detracting items.

WHAT IS OFTEN FORGOTTEN

You may have hidden some items and think they are out of view, however 99% of the time they will be in view. Examples are; items under sofas, chairs & beds, on the back of doors, cleaning products in bathrooms, toilet rolls not rolled up & toilet seats up.

THE PERFECT SHOOTING CONDITIONS

Please consider vacating the property (unless you still need to move some items) and allow us the freedom to work without any distractions. When we are provided with this option we are able to more often than not produce more photographs including various detailed shots as we are able to move around the property a lot quicker. This can be an ideal time to take the dog(s) for a walk, or run an errand etc., we will leave the property secure and ring you to confirm we have finished or agree a time you will return (as long as this doesn't delay us attending our next assignment).

NOT READING THE PRESENTATION TIPS

When we arrived at this property, it was obvious that they had not read our recommendations on presenting their property to be photographed and had actually expected us to clear and dress each room ourselves, now we've heard it all!

Yes this is extreme, but anything out of place will draw the eye to it, unfortunately this room just gives you a headache!

Working in Photoshop

Working in Photoshop

PHOTO EDITING/AIR BRUSHING

We undertake when required small photoshop editing works, such as replacing skies with a more attractive blue sky with clouds. It is not possible to complete comprehensive air brushing unless absolutely necessary and only if any offending items were not able to be moved. Air brushing takes up a great deal of time and each image depending on the complexity can take up to 15-30 minutes to complete, therefore adding hours of work to the assignment that can only be carried out in the evenings and shooting several properties a day makes it impossible. Therefore please help us to help you and your agent to receive the images as quickly as possible by improving any areas and removing any offending distractions that maybe in shot prior to our attendance.

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NOTE REFERENCE PETS ETC

It is important to make arrangements that any animals particularly dogs are either left with a neighbour, taken out for a walk, left with a friend or family member or maybe put in your car or any other safe place. We are unable to work when pets are loose (even the friendly ones) due to our and your pets safety and that of our photography equipment.

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BACK SEAT DRIVERS

We all hate those back seat drivers and the same goes for when we are working, it can be very distracting to have clients looking over our shoulder, consider your boss doing that to you and imagine how uncomfortable it will feel. So please let us do our job without any intervention from you, you will see the photographs once your Agent has packaged the marketing material for your property, or they may have requested that you are sent a collection preview, which is sent at the same time we send the images to them to download.

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DISTRACTION(S)

As professional photographers we require the environment to be suitable for us to carry out our photo shoot without distractions and therefore it is important that when viable the following (not an exhaustive list) are not present (small children, pets, Estate Agent, DEA-Domestic Energy Assessor, friends or visiting family members). Noise can also be a distraction, so loud music, TV’s and barking dogs are just some distractions we would rather work without.

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TREAT IT LIKE ITS YOUR WEDDING DAY

Please take our photo shoot as seriously as you would for a wedding photographer, because although we won’t be photographing you or your family personally, we will be be shooting your treasured home and will be equally looking to capture it at its best. Your Estate Agent has made a big financial investment, by commissioning a professional photo shoot of your property and all they ask is that you help them by presenting your property as if the queen was coming to visit!

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WHEN THE PROPERTY ISN'T READY TO PHOTOGRAPH

As we are often shooting up to 7 properties a day, each appointment, dependant on the size and assignment requirements has an approximate time allocation. When a property isn’t ready to photograph, this often reduces the number of images that can be shot. We may not be able to stay beyond the estimated allocated time as we may have another assignment immediately after completing your photo shoot. However when a property is ready to shoot, we are able to utilise the whole time working out the best ways to truly capture your property, which will enhance and benefit the marketing of your property.

BEFORE WE ARRIVE/THE IMPORTANT PHOTO

If relevant, if you have private off street parking and at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time, please remove any bins, cars or any other obstructions from the frontage, as we will usually carry out the front exterior photography upon our arrival. If your property is in a built up road without parking, when possible and if you own a car or can ask a friendly neighbour to park directly outside, securing the space, so upon our arrival it can then be moved so we can obtain a clear front exterior photograph, without an annoying car or van in the way.

OVERCAST DAYS

You do not need to worry if on the day of the photo shoot it is an overcast day, as I am able to edit in via photoshop blue/cloudy skies to improve the overall presentation of exterior images.

When it is raining heavily I will organise with you at the time of the appointment to revisit to take exterior photos on a dry day, usually asking you to leave the driveway car free and the side gate open so I can access the rear garden.

You can see opposite the difference I can make by editing in a more appealing sky with some clouds.

 

The first impression of how your property will be seen by a buyer

The first impression of how your property will be seen by a buyer

ENTRANCE HALLWAY

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs

  • Turn all TVs OFF

  • Turn all computer screens OFF

  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light

  • Remove personal photographs if not wanted in view

  • Make all beds (also hide/remove items in view under the bed)

  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring

  • Place all shoes/jackets in cupboards

  • DON'T FORGET THE ENTRANCE HALLWAY

Car free is the way to truly show the inviting front exterior

Car free is the way to truly show the inviting front exterior

FRONT EXTERIOR

- Online “curb appeal” - the front exterior photograph is 99% the first image buyers will see -

  • Close garage doors

  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home

  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

  • Remove empty plant pots

  • Remove bins and recycling containers

  • Use a broom to remove leaves/rubbish

  • Clean and wash front door (fresh coat of paint is ideal)

  • Clean windows and frames thoroughly

  • Repair paint any flaking paint

Nothing beats a freshly cut lawn

Nothing beats a freshly cut lawn

THE GARDEN

- The garden should be an oasis to relax -

  • Hose and sweep down patios

  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

  • Clean and tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded

  • Hide kid's toys, balls and bikes, etc

 

Clutter free almost doubles the look of the work surfaces

Clutter free almost doubles the look of the work surfaces

 

KITCHEN

- Sometimes the focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail -

  • Clear worktops completely. No knife blocks, mail, etc.

  • Leave out a couple of small appliances (i.e. toaster)

  • Remove magnets, papers, photos, etc. off the fridge

  • Hide rubbish bins away

  • Remove dishes from sink

  • Remove any pet bowls/beds

  • DON'T forget items on the tops of cupboards

A Dining room should only be presented as is and not a multi use room

A Dining room should only be presented as is and not a multi use room

 

 

DINING ROOM / TABLE

- Allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal -

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top

  • Use decorative place setting if available

  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers

  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly

  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

 

 

The living room should look inviting and comfortable

The living room should look inviting and comfortable

LIVING / FAMILY ROOM

- The space to enjoy conversation and spend time with family -

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, post, etc.

  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

  • Remove kid's toys

 

A cheaper alternative to an extension but equally as important

A cheaper alternative to an extension but equally as important

 

THE CONSERVATORY

- A very useful and often under used living space -

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, post, etc.

  • De-clutter

  • Present it like it is an additional living room

  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

  • Remove kid's toys (unless used a children's playroom)

 

 

Everyone wants a little piece of MY SPACE and this is the room

Everyone wants a little piece of MY SPACE and this is the room

MASTER BEDROOM

- A good nights rest recharges the body and mind -

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/bedding if available

  • Press bed linens and bed skirts

  • Clear bedside cabinets of all personal items

  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables

  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers/wardrobes

  • Remove family photos from walls if not wanted in the photograph

  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

The most difficult room to present time spent here will open up the room

The most difficult room to present time spent here will open up the room

OTHER BEDROOMS

- Don’t forget about the other bedrooms -

  • Remove wall stickers/posters

  • Tidy up toys

  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

 

 

 

Nobody likes to see a well used bathroom, unless its fresh & clean

Nobody likes to see a well used bathroom, unless its fresh & clean

BATHROOMS

- To be spa-like, the bathroom must be clear of all personal items - 

  • Clear tops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.

  • Put toilet seats down & close cupboard doors

  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

  • Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels

  • Remove floor mats

  • Clean showers/screens thoroughly of limescale (will show up)

  • If you have a very small bathroom and the door opens into the room blocking some of the view, then you might consider removing the door off its hinges prior to the photographer arriving. This may seem a little extreme, however it really can make an incredible difference and the door will not be displayed.