Shooting property photographs makes up the majority of work I carry out these days. I work with independent estate agent and chains in the DA postcode area (as well as some areas very close by). I’ve developed some simple techniques for interior or exterior property photographs that these agents like when presenting the pictures to buyers. It has to be admitted that the majority of places I shoot are, well, average.
It’s lovely to be invited in to shoot a well laid out living room and a comfortable conservatory, but the majority of properties, although usually tidy, are crowded with stuff. Clutter, bric-a-brac and whimsies. Stuff. Consequently, rooms feel overcrowded and poky. Dressing tables are awash with nail polish and face creams; hair straighteners and jewelry ‘trees’. Bedside tables piled up with tablets, books and tissues. Coffee tables covered in magazines and electronic remotes in tiny living rooms with giant DFS sofas.
Putting things away can be no better. Wardrobes bursting with clothes so the doors won’t fully close. Chest of drawers where sock and pant stick out from the top – or the drawers won’t shut because bits and bobs have fallen down the back. Kitchen cabinets (grimey in many cases because of the fats and oils used in cooking) with badly aligned doors – or sometimes doors missing altogether. Kitchen worktops awash with cereal boxes, Tupperware containers, soapboxes, and a draining rack full of crockery. Stuff.
Don’t get me wrong! I know this is all stuff people need for their everyday lives. Keeping the cornflakes on a kitchen counter makes it easier for the kids to fix their own breakfast. The TV remote at arms length makes sense – so it’s on the coffee table.
What do good property photographs look like? Here’s a great example of a place where vendors have thought about presenting the place well and hopefully it will have a speedy sale. This house is in Hawley, near Dartford. It’s on the market for a shade under a million because of its size and it has a plot of land (a small holding really) as part of the sale. It’s up with Fox Estate Agents (www.foxestateagents.com)