Every once in a while someone will ask me what image do we deem to be the most important image when dealing with Real Estate Photography? The answer is always the same - the first one!
This is typically the front elevation shot of a home or commercial property. It’s that one important image that will either make or break the entire thing. People choose to look at the listing, or not based on that first image.
That being said, We want that image to be the best it can be because we work on the premise that the imagery will drive traffic and the more traffic that a listing receives, the greater chance of the home selling quickly. While we are not Realtors®, our client's success is our success.
The biggest obstacle to getting great exterior images is the weather and the sun. We encourage our clients that while they are booking their appointment to check the weather to see if it’s going to be a nice day, while most of them do, we still get the occasional booking on a rain day or worse, a snowstorm. If that’s the case, we usually reach out to the clients and ask them if they still want to shoot it that day, often times they will be agreeable to rescheduling. Take a look at the above image, we were actually scheduled to shoot that home with the fog. Needless to say, we convinced the Realtor® that we need a better day.
Believe it or not, the sun can be problematic too, depending on the time of day the shoot is scheduled, particularly with East / West facing homes. Shooting into the sun is never a good thing and it usually results in blown out skies. Often - times you will have one side of the home that has great looking skies and the other side of the home with white blown out skies. We use an app called Sun Surveyor (Click here to visit the Sun Surveyor website). They have an app for both Android and IOS to assist us in locating the best time to shoot exteriors and we share this with our clients. Usually, we want the sun to be off to the side of the home or high enough in the sky that it is not a problem for us.
When the sun is low and directly in front of our camera, it not only blows out the sky but can cause sun flare issues. Not only that, in the fall, winter, and early spring, it can cast some horrible tree shadows on a home. Not a good thing.
We are purists at heart. We would much rather get it right in camera than to deal with an issue in post-production. While we replace skies as needed, it’s not something we like to do because in our mind it just looks fake. We can usually tell when it’s done. Trees and foliage make it very difficult to do well. I will do it but most clients don’t like paying for such a service.
The other day we were commissioned to shoot a 6,000 square foot, million dollar home in Glastonbury, Connecticut. A gorgeous home but as luck would have it when we arrived the weather was just downright uncooperative and it was supposed to be like that all day. So with a big sigh, we started to take the exteriors of the home and then worked our way to the interiors.
About half-way through photographing the interiors we noticed the sun peeking in through the window and it was bright too. Apparently, there was a break in the cloud cover and the sun was able to make an appearance. We immediately stopped what we were doing inside and made our way back outdoors and shot the exteriors again. What a HUGE difference that made. It added an additional half an hour to the job, but we would have easily spent that in post-production and this is natural “real” light that we just fell in love with.
Which one do you prefer?
I know what you're saying, Bruce, those images are not that bad, and you know what? You are right, but if it was your home, which one would you prefer to market your home? If it was mine, you can bet I am going for the best possible image that I could get when all factors are considered and it really doesn't take much to get them, just a little planning and watching the weather! How easy is that?
For weather purposes we are great! We want the images to be right and we know people can't help the weather so we really work hard at trying to be accommodating.
If you need to have your listings stand out from the rest of the pack, contact BrucePeter & Associates today to find out how we can help! Give us a call at 860-759-8400 or send us an email using our online form.