When we moved to our current home a few years ago, we looked through a ton of listings. A ton. I started browsing listings before we were ready to find a realtor. (and if you are looking, may I suggest Heidi Weaver?) Once we signed on with Heidi, she sent us many listings to go through, and we eliminated almost half of them based on the photos alone.
Photographs sell. Poorly done photographs reflect poorly upon your house, which means lower walkthroughs and lower bids. You have to really entice buyers to come to your home in today’s busy world. Why should they come to your house when they can visit this comparable one with an amazing looking living room?
I’ve met plenty of homeowners and realtors who tell me iPhone cameras have come a long way and they do a great job for your photographs. I decided to put that to the test- do you really think an iPhone camera can compare to a professional?
Here are a few iPhone photos I took at a house I photographed recently. Please note these are completely unedited, except for a simple resize.
iPhones are vertical, so it’s much easier to take a vertical photo. But if you look through listings, horizontal photos display better.
iPhones struggle with areas of light and dark in the same image. If you get the darks to look good, the bright areas are “blown out” – this means it’s a pure white blob with no detail. If the bright areas look good, the rest of the image is too dark.
As you can see, while an iPhone is perfect for snaps of your kids, it’s not really selling this house. The pictures aren’t crisp. The color isn’t true (the white columns look blue-ish). See how the lights blend into the window behind it? And the zoom isn’t reliable so you don’t get a sense of the whole room.
Ok, you may think, that makes perfect sense. An iPhone isn’t meant to sell a house. But I have a fancy camera. Why can’t I take my own photographs for my listing?
I took my camera off manual mode and put it in auto for a few photographs. These images below were all taken with my professional grade camera, but shot on auto and with a “regular” walkabout lens.
The images are certainly more crisp here. But the lighting here confuses the camera. The windows are blown out and the room itself is too dark. Sure- I could use a flash here. But then we’d get ugly shadows from the pillars and furniture, and the room is too big for a flash to fill. Only parts of the room would be lit with an on-camera flash.
This kitchen photo is so-so. It’s somewhat dark, and you don’t get a sense of the size.
Because the camera was pointed at the dark kitchen, it got confused and made this photo way too bright.
And lastly, the entryway. I suppose this is an acceptable photo, if you didn’t know any better. But let me show you what a professional can do.
Check this out- the same view and angle as the photograph in auto. But what a difference! Which photo would entice you more?
Scroll up to see the living room shot again, and compare it to the one below.
A professional can keep the details in both the shadows and in the bright window. There is no loss of detail, and everything is crisp, welcoming and beautiful.
The kitchen is bright and welcoming, and you can get a better sense of all it has to offer with a professional photographer’s eye guiding the photograph.
Again, see the details in the shadows, and you can still see out the window. You get a better sense of the size of the house with this gorgeous open floor plan. Some of these photographs benefitted from an ultra-wide lens designed for architecture and landscape work. And speaking of landscapes… we can have a lot of fun with the exterior photos.
You can make your listing really stand out with some twilight exterior photos. A listing that stands out will get more views, more walkthroughs and more bids.
So what do you think, now that you’ve seen the evidence. Is “good enough” what you want for your listing? Will “good enough” sell your house quickly? A professional photographer is well worth the investment.