Several months ago, I started hiring Sean Shannon Photography to take high-quality photos of the real estate properties. I was finding that while my camera certainly takes good photos, it couldn’t show the house off quite as well as a professional could. I talked with Sean about my problem, and he immediately showed me what I was missing.
Now, my properties stand out. They pop. And they turn heads. I use Sean’s photos everywhere I run an ad, and everyone comments on how they look. I don’t have a Before and After for you, but look at some of the things that are showing up in our MLS these days:
Now if you’re a seller in a crowded market where price and exposure matter, wouldn’t you want your home to stand out? Wouldn’t you want to take the time to make sure it gets noticed? Every single listing now gets Sean’s special attention to detail, and I can tell you that it shows. The second set of photos are all photos Sean did of my listings – and to try and level the field (if that can be done) – I chose homes that were all listed for less than $160000. The point is, it doesn’t matter what the price point is, a home listed by Jeremy Hart is going to stand out in every way it can.
Want to know how he does it? It’s really pretty easy (for a pro), and doesn’t require any special equipment other than his Nikon and a tripod. The technique is called HDR – High Dynamic Range imaging – and it works REALLY well for real estate. Recently, I talked with Sean about HDR and how he takes such great photos:
JH – Sean, what makes HDR so appropriate for real estate photos?
SS – Taking photos at multiple exposure, like you do with an HDR photo, brings out the contrasts and colors of a room better than a single exposure of any camera, no matter how expensive. The other thing it does is that it keeps the windows and any other bright sources of light from being “blown out”, and prevents dark areas of the room from losing details and being too dark.
JH – So you take multiple exposures, and then what? How does it work?
SS – In a nutshell, you take at least three identical shots, each one at a different exposure level. So if I’m taking five shots of a room I’ll take one normal shot, two darker shots, and two brighter shots, then load them into a piece of software that merges the variations into one beautiful photo.
JH – Are there particular types of shots that HDR really works well for, or, conversely, doesn’t work well for?
SS – HDR really works best when there is a drastic range in dark and light areas in a shot, along with bright and contrasting colors. Most homes aren’t stark white – there are colors on the walls, in the furnishings and accessories, that complement the overall photo – and this allows the multiple exposure technique to really pop. HDR really works well with windows, as well – most of the time, when you take a picture of a room and light is pouring in through the window, the window gets “blown out” in the photo … you can’t see outside them. HDR prevents that. HDR also doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment so it’s pretty easy to do once you learn to tweak the software to maximize the potential of the photo, and it doesn’t require the homeowner to spend all day standing around for equipment to be moved around.
Thanks to Sean for taking the time to explain it a bit more; you can also check out this guide on his website. I guess the point is that when you’re selling your home, we’re gonna do the work necessary to make it stand out. We’ll move stuff around, get rid of things by either putting them in storage or giving them away, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your house ready to sell; it just takes time. But I can promise that if you take the time, even just 30 minutes, you’ll be 30 minutes ahead of a lot of other competition.
It makes a difference.