Home Staging Photography Tips

Over the years, the real estate market has become increasingly digitalized. In fact, the National Association of Realtors speculates that 90 percent of potential home buyers rely on the internet as a source of information. That makes home staging photos an important part of the selling process, as good photos make your home stand out from others on the market and allow buyers to envision themselves living in it. Discover a few tricks for taking more appealing photos, from home staging techniques to camera tips.

Simplify Your Home’s Decor

When considering how to stage your home for sale, picture what potential buyers might see when they walk through. Before taking any photos, use a critical eye to simplify your decor. Make sure tables, counters, refrigerators, and cupboards are bare, and remove any visual clutter, including dishes, catch-all trays, paperwork, magazines, and laundry. Simplify walls and bookshelves for a cleaner, less complicated display, and take a tip from professional photographer, David Churchill: If you are in doubt about displaying a particular object, leave it out.

Inviting living room featuring grey couches, yellow rug, wooden coffee table with decoration

Stage Furniture for Better Flow

An excess of furniture and too many accessories can create a cluttered look. In fact, when professional stagers prep a home for sale, they often reduce the furnishings in it by half. This offers better flow and makes homes look more spacious.

To ensure the best flow between rooms, use low-profile furniture and create a clear pathway around it. For instance, a good rule of thumb for beds is to leave 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet of space around them. Shoot for at least 3 feet of space in front of a dresser and 1 foot of space between a couch and coffee table.

Pushing furniture against a wall creates a “waiting room” feel, so opt for floating furniture instead (moving it closer to the center of a room). Floating furniture offers more visual interest and the appearance of a larger space.

Bring Out Your Home’s Best Light

Natural light makes an interior space feel more inviting, so rooms may need to be photographed at different times of the day. For the best home staging bedroom photos, morning might offer the most natural light, while afternoon might be the best time to photograph your kitchen. Professional photographer Michal Venera recommends shooting photos of your home at dusk or dawn. According to Venera, lighting at this time is softer, which can make photos more appealing.

Artificial lighting also helps to entice buyers and ensure better home staging photos. Increase the wattage in your lamps and light fixtures and add enough light sources to ensure about 100 watts of brightness for every 50 square feet. To make home decor warmer and more appealing, make use of ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting throughout your home. To avoid glare when taking photographs, make sure the source of light is to your side or behind you.

A man taking photographs

Shoot Straight On

Unless you know a lot about photo composition, shooting a photo straight on works best for interior shots. Point your camera to a wall, use its grid or composition feature as a guide, and frame the shot so that the wall’s horizontal and vertical features align. To keep the camera straight, use a tripod to move it up and down instead of tipping it with your hands. With this in mind, photographer Matthew Millman suggests shooting from lower to the ground at about the level of a light switch. This allows the viewer of the photograph to see a more intimate view of the room. When it comes to composition, remember that photo editing apps can transform so-so shots into works of art.

Learn About Aperture and F-Stop

Aperture is the opening in the camera lens that light comes through when you’re taking a photograph. As aperture gets bigger or smaller, it alters the brightness of your photo. A larger opening results in a brighter photo, and a smaller opening creates a darker image.

Aperture also affects your depth of field or the amount of sharpness in your photo from front to back. Large aperture results in a shallower depth of field (or photos with more background blur), and smaller aperture results in a photo where everything is sharp and focused.

In addition to large and small, aperture can be expressed in terms of an f-stop or f-number. The confusing thing is that these numbers run counter to aperture size. The smaller the aperture opening, the higher the f-stop and vice versa. Therefore, if you want a photo with maximum sharpness, the aperture (opening) will be smaller, but the f-stop will be higher.

Highlight Architectural Details and other Focal Points

When photographing your home for perspective buyers, don’t forget to highlight architectural details and other focal points. Things that might be of interest include:

  • Crown molding
  • Distinctive tile work
  • Wooden ceiling beams
  • Exposed brick
  • Unique light fixtures
  • Superior kitchen cabinets
  • High-end range hood
  • Big-ticket appliances
  • Cozy fireplace
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Pizza oven
  • Swimming pool or hot tub
  • Special landscaping
  • Amazing views

Close-up of an antique door knocker

When done well, photographs can help sell your home. In addition to showcasing the beauty of a space, a great photograph can capture the imagination of a prospective buyer. If you’re looking for the perfect furniture and accessories for stylish home staging, CORT Furniture Rental can help.