Wednesday, September 12, 2018

First Impression: Real Estate Photography

It's no secret that in the age of websites and apps and YouTube videos, potential buyers will be previewing homes on the Internet before they ever set foot in a home.   Their First Impression is going to be shaped by the photographs...and so hiring a talented, professional real estate photographer can make all the difference in your bottom line: the money in your pocket and time on your side.

Pineview Lodge, photograph by Kirk Bergman Photography
Last month my extended family gathered for a reunion in beautiful Hamilton, Montana.  This is where I grew up, and I think it's one of the most beautiful places on Earth!  Some of us gathered at Pineview Lodge for the second time, and we also spilled over into some of our families' local homes.
Pineview Lodge, photograph by Kirk Bergman Photography

My nephew, who IS a talented, professional real estate photographer (Kirk Bergman Photography, based out of Utah) took the marketing photos for Pineview Lodge (above) a couple of years ago.  This year he had a commission to photograph another vacation rental property not too far away.  He invited me to come along to see what goes in to capturing the beauty and emotion of a home that makes a potential buyer want that one over all others.   

This property is Preacher's Cabin in Florence, Montana.
Preacher's Cabin, photograph by Kirk Bergman Photography

Screened porch.  My photo!
It's interesting to see the difference between a photo shot on my iPhone 6s compared to one professionally staged, composed, and edited to show off the best features of a home!

Which room would you rather take your hot chocolate to in the morning?
Screened porch.  Photo by Kirk Bergman Photography

 Getting ready to take the shot.  I must say the finished photo looks much more cozy and inviting.
Bedroom.  Photo by Kirk Bergman Photography.

 It was fun to see how Kirk tried different angles and checked lighting.  But mostly I appreciated how he looked for distracting elements and had me, his temporary go-fer, move things out of sight.  He didn't ignore crooked drapes, remote controls, too many tchotchkes, or dim spaces, but made changes that enhanced the feel of the room. 

 What a beautiful space!  Can't you imagine yourself enjoying the view, or relaxing by the fire on a chilly evening?
Preacher's Cabin, photograph by Kirk Bergman Photography

The outdoor sitting area, photographed at eye level rather than from a downward-looking angle, captures the peaceful feeling of the outdoor space. 

Preacher's Cabin, photo by Kirk Bergman Photography

If you look inside that red circle very closely, you might be able to see the drone in the sky.  Another feature of professional photographers is that they have the fun tools needed to get the great shots!  Kirk brought his drone to capture some outstanding aerials that gave an idea of the grand scenery that is there to enjoy.

Preacher's Cabin, photo by Kirk Bergman Photography

Preacher's Cabin, photo by Kirk Bergman Photography

It really does look like the perfect spot to enjoy a Montana cabin vacation!


I really do have a strong belief in the value of good real estate photography.  Back in 2012, our family lived in Utah.  I was running a side business of refurbishing furniture, and our two-car garage wasn't handling the extra demands very well!  We put our house on the market and looked for something a little bigger.  We hired an agent to market our home, and he sent over a photographer.  I remember looking at the published photos and being horrified....the photographer had taken a picture of the bathroom with an open toilet seat!  That was the worst of the photography faux pas, but the rest of the photographs were pretty uninspiring as well.  I was disappointed in the photographer and our agent.  Is it any wonder that after two months and one low-ball offer, we decided to take our house off the market??

Fast forward about eight husband accepted a new job in Seattle, and this time we had to sell our house.  We hired a different real estate agent, and this time the photographer did an outstanding job of capturing the colors and emotion of our pretty house!  It sold after six days on the market.

So...I'm a believer!

When selling the most expensive thing you own (your home!), your goal is to make sure everyone who sees it knows just how special it is!  A good agent...and a good photographer...are key to making that goal a reality.


My thanks to Kirk Bergman Photography for allowing me to tag along on this photo shoot. 

1 comment:

pitts03 said...

Very compelling essay on the value of great RE photography!