5 TIPS for shooting home exteriors
In order to sell a home, what do you need above all else? Photos! Yes, this is the first impression a potential buyer will get when looking to purchase a home. It's extremely important that you make the first impression the right one. We are very visual creatures, do not underestimate that fact. So, I'm here to help. These 5 tips will help you attract buyers with great exterior shots of homes. By the way, these tips go for both photo and video.
TIP 1. SHOOT DURING GOLDEN HOUR
Do you want to get the prettiest pictures of the outside of your home? Shoot during the golden hour!
So what is golden hour? It's that beautiful time of day shortly after sunrise and right before sunset. This is the best time to shoot because you can avoid getting those harsh shadows that come from shooting during the day. The light at these times are simply gorgeous and cast a glowy, golden light on your subjects. Remember, you're trying to sell this home and the best way to do it is make your pictures as pretty as possible. A beautiful sky and no shadows helps to achieve that 100%. The above picture was shot just before sunset and it came out spectacularly, if I do say so myself.
TIP 2. REMOVE CLUTTER
See how nice and clean this picture looks? This is what you want, but it takes a little bit of attention to detail on your part. Sometimes we'll show up to shoots and will have to do a little bit of straightening up before getting started. People will leave trash cans out, hoses strewn across the lawn, and toys left scattered in the back yard. This is not a good look. Take the time to look around and remove anything that's going to clutter your shot. I've also noticed that fairy lights and twinkle lights can take away from photos too, if those pics are taken during the day. Unless you're doing an early evening shot, take those lights down if you can because it will take away from the photo.
Also, if you have a pool, don't forget to put away hoses and maintenance items. Nets stretched across the pool used for water games tend to detract from the beauty of the pool as well, so put those away too. Remember, a pool is a huge selling point so you want it to look as pristine as possible to attract potential buyers.
TIP 3. HAVE THE LAWN/FOLIAGE MANICURED AND DEBRIS SWEPT OFF DRIVEWAY
See how nice this walkway and garden area looks? It's inviting, isn't it? Well, things don't always look this clean cut sometimes. There've been moments where we'll show up to a home and it's obvious that no one thought about cutting the grass, trimming the trees, or raking up the leaves. This doesn't usually happen, but it happens. Don't forget the plant life surrounding your home because it can make or break your images.
As far as the driveways and walkways go, make sure there isn't any dirt, rocks, or leaves covering those areas if you can. Otherwise, you may have to spend extra time in Photoshop cleaning it up and trust me, it's not fun.
TIP 4. AVOID EYESORES
Take a look at the above picture. Do you see that patch of grass down at the bottom that doesn't look so healthy? Yeah, crop that out and if you can avoid it altogether, then do so. Often times we'll have to shoot around something like this and recompose the shot. You just have to get creative sometimes. If it can't be avoided, and sometimes it can't, then you'll have to fix it in Lightroom, Photoshop, or whatever photo editing program you use.
TIP 5. REMOVE CARS
Unless you're going for more of a lifestyle look, ditch the cars. They will definitely be a distraction in your picture or video and in some cases, block people from really seeing the home. This is a shot from a recent video shoot where unfortunately, time was of the essence and I did not have time to search for the owner to remove the car until later in the day. So, I got most shots with the car in the driveway. As you can see, having it in the picture takes away from the image. Still looks good, but it could have been better. Make sure there are no cars in the driveway or parked out in front of the home. This will help make your images look more professional and polished.
Whether you're shooting pictures or doing video, it's super important to make sure your exteriors grab people's attention the right way. Remember, you've only got one shot to make a good impression. High quality photos and video show that you're a true professional and clients will see that and respond positively. Take the time to do it right and watch your sales grow!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aja Vickers is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and visual artist.
Aja has spent over 15 years creating compelling visual content for network television, businesses, non-profits, and artists. She started shooting, editing, writing, and producing back in 2006 when she got her first job as an on-air reporter working for TV 30 News near the San Francisco Bay Area. Aja then moved on to become the Bureau Chief for the NBC affiliate KSNG out in Garden City, Kansas. After that she moved on to Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked for the NBC affiliate KJRH. From politics to crime, sports to tornadoes… you name it, she's shot it!
After experiencing all aspects of broadcast news Aja decided she wanted to start her own production company and began the journey to make that a reality. Aja Vickers Global Media was founded in 2017. She now works with businesses and entrepreneurs to help get their message out through video and digital marketing. She's also produced and directed a couple of award-winning short films. Aja has honed her skills throughout the years by producing countless videos in every type of genre and is now looking forward to sharing her knowledge with those looking to create their own videos.