Creating an effective real estate photography staging plan involves careful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on highlighting the property’s best features. Here’s a comprehensive phasing plan I use that includes using props and emphasizing cleanliness.
1. Preparation before filming
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the property to identify key selling points, such as architectural features, views, natural light and open spaces.
- Thoroughly clean the entire property, including all furniture, surfaces, windows, floors, carpets, rugs and fixtures. Clean property is essential for creating attractive images. If you are only doing photography, make sure the landlord or property owner knows what to do. There’s only so much Photoshop can do, and you want to provide an accurate image of the property
- Repair or have the landlord or owner fix any visible damage or problems, such as cracked walls, leaky faucets, or broken appliances. Consider using a grout cleaner to repair dirty or old grout in bathrooms and kitchens, and use white or colored caulk to blend surfaces attached to walls and around door frames.
- Remove any of the tenant or landlord’s personal items, clutter, and unnecessary furniture that can make the space look cluttered or less inviting.
2. Choose the right props
- Select props that complement the style and design of the property. For example, if the home is modern, choose contemporary props; For a more traditional property, choose classic or antique props.
- Popular props include potted plants, fresh flowers, decorative pillows, blankets, artwork, and elegant table settings. You can also look for fresh pastries or bread for the kitchen and a laptop, book or newspaper for study or office.
- Remember to use props sparingly to enhance the space, not overwhelm it. Avoid clutter or creating an overly artificial staged look. It should look natural so that any potential client can imagine living there.
3. Furniture placement
- Arrange furniture to maximize the sense of space and flow. In the living room, for example, create a conversation area with seating around a central focal point, such as a fireplace or TV.
- In the bedroom, make sure the bed has clean, high-quality linens and add accent pillows for a cozy touch. The covers and pillows should ideally match. Everything should be clean and ironed to avoid wrinkles where possible.
- Dining areas should be set up with a well-stocked table, including placemats, plates and utensils. For example, flowers can decorate an antique table and draw attention to it.
- Make sure all furniture is clean and in good condition, unless of course it is meant to be faulty. Repair or replace any damaged items as necessary. Furniture should ideally have a few matching elements or themes and complement the space rather than stand out unless it is a statement piece.
- Use natural light to your advantage. Open curtains and blinds to control or allow natural light to flood the space.
- Add additional lighting if necessary, such as floor, wall or table lamps to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
- Look at the color of the bulbs you use. For example, tungsten creates a warm, homey feeling, while daylight-balanced bulbs are better for work spaces or home offices.
- Add stylish accessories to enhance the overall look of the property. This may include decorative vases, rugs, and elegant artwork on the walls. Remove anything that looks out of place or doesn’t fit with the decor. Remember, you don’t have to put it in the trash; Just move it out of the camera’s line of sight.
- Make sure to choose accessories carefully to complement the color scheme and style of the space.
- Include forms. This may include using people to take magazine style shots. Be diverse and include children and adults of all ages and backgrounds to match your client brief and target audience.
6. External staging
- Pay attention to the exterior of the property as well. Trim the landscape, mow the lawn, and remove any clutter from the yard. Paint any gutters and walls if they are stained or damaged.
- Use sand to fill holes between paving slabs or bricks. Just clean it and leave it.
- Consider using outdoor furniture or decor on patios or decks to showcase your outdoor living spaces. Look at furniture that complements the space rather than just using cheap plastic chairs.
- Wash any paving slabs and walls that have mold, algae, or weather stains.
7. Photography setup
- Use a high-quality camera with a wide-angle lens to capture a larger area of the room in one shot.
- Adjust your camera settings to improve exposure and white balance.
- Use a tripod to keep shots stable and level at waist height, and avoid camera shake.
- Take multiple photos from different angles to capture the best features of the property.
- Don’t be afraid to specify features like bookshelves, alcoves, and other features.
8. Post-processing stage
- Edit images as needed to improve color, contrast, and sharpness.
- Remove any unwanted distractions or reflections.
- Cleaning the walls but without changing the architecture significantly. Do not remove walls, windows, or other permanent fixtures.
- Maintain a natural look while ensuring that images are clean and visually appealing.
9. Review and improvement
- Review photos to ensure they effectively and accurately highlight the property’s strengths.
- If necessary, make further adjustments and don’t be afraid to retake photos if you make a mistake.
- Upload it to the customer’s online wallet. Something like Zenfolio, Smugmug, or Pic-Time works well.
By following this step plan, you can help create attractive photographs of the property that showcase the space at its best, attract potential renters or buyers and help the property stand out in the real estate market.