by Rachael Biermann
(Editor's intro: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then make them good ones, using Rachael's tips!)
The photography in your advertisements and on your Web site can make a huge difference in how your product or service is perceived by the public. Your photos should mirror what your business offers and should represent you in the best light. Consumers make a direct connection with the photos your company releases and the product or service itself. In most cases, it would be better to have no photos than photos with dates in the bottom right hand corner, improper angles and use of space, and unnecessary objects and clutter in sight. Consider these simple tips when taking home photos:
Keep your photos current
Keeping your home listings updated and appealing to consumers is much easier if you make it a point to avoid a date stamp in your photos. Date stamps make a photo timely. It tells the consumer how long a home has been for sale, and sometimes that may not be information you'd want to reveal at a glance. Another way to keep your listings current is to pay attention to the time of year. If it's summer, don't use a photo of a home covered with snow. During summer months, don't use a photo of a home with holiday decorations.
Clutter in photographs make the home your representing look like it's in poor condition. Clutter can be more than a counter top full of dishes or a child's toys spread across a living room. It's easy to overlook certain types of clutter present in your life daily. One common example is your refrigerator. Remove excess magnets and notes from your refrigerator. A couple of small magnets are acceptable, but bulky magnets holding up papers covering your entire refrigerator will be a huge distraction from your objective—showing the home. Clutter should also be avoided when photographing the exterior of a home. A common distraction in many home photos is having a car in your driveway. Park your car away from the home you're photographing to showcase the entire exterior. Landscaping should be clean and neat, and lawn ornaments should be tasteful.
Use proper angles and lighting
Before taking a photo, position yourself in an area that will capture the entire space you're photographing. Doorways can make a great space to photograph a room in its entirety. For interior shots, your photos shouldn't contain more wall than room. Watch for reflections in mirrors, televisions, windows and other reflective surfaces. Most interior photos should be taken in the daylight. Taking photos on a day with a slight overcast will prove to produce better photos than on exceptionally sunny days. Turning on decorative light fixtures like lamps will create just enough lighting for an excellent photo. Use your best judgment with lighting when taking photos. If you notice an unflattering glare in a photo, adjust the lighting and take another photo. If you're unsure about a good angle, skim through home decorating magazines to see examples of good photography to replicate.