The Importance of great listing photos

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

As the old adage goes, you only have one chance of making a great first impression. And if you are anything like us, then you have been frustrated on numerous occasions when looking at real estate listings in Vancouver. Why are we frustrated you ask? Because there are far too many listings that that have underwhelming or subpar images. Simply put, the listings are just not putting their best foot forward.

When viewing real estate listings our biggest pet peeves are as follows:

  • Only a small number of photographs of the listing available to view – if any at all!
  • Horrible lighting
  • Zero composition. A photo consisting of an unmade bed, messy kitchen counter, or filthy bathroom
  • Unnecessary clutter
  • Fisheye or horribly distorted images

As a seller, it is imperative to ensure that your home is looking its’ best. Yes, that means that you need to tidy up a bit. You probably wouldn’t let a friend take a picture of you in sweat pants and messy hair and post it to Facebook so why would you let your home be marketed with horrible photos?

Yes, we have an attention to detail that most don’t understand – but it is the details like this that make your Vancouver Real Estate Agent stand ahead of the competition. Professional marketing material start with professional photos and we feel that it should be insisted from each and every seller. It is for this reason that every seller we represent gets professional photography service – at our cost. To demand top price for your home in the shortest period of time every aspect of marketing your home needs to be handled with attention to the finest details.

Having great pictures for your home will increase the number of views from potential buyers, which in turn can increase the sale price and shorten the days your property is on the market.

This is why at VancouverRealEstate each and every listing is shot by professional photographers.

Here are just some of the steps taken by a professional real estate photographer to ensure top visibility of your home.

Lights, Camera, Action!

A common mistake people make when photographing their home is failing to get proper lighting. Typically the issue is either too much or not enough light. Too much light and the photo looks washed out while not enough light the image will have too much shadow and look too dark. In order to control these common issues a professional photographer will make use of filters, reflectors, infill lighting, and use a bracketing technique in order to incorporate HDR images which create rich photos that are full of colour with great exposures.

HDR is combining multiple different exposures for the purpose of expanding the dynamic range of the camera to achieve superior images for real estate listings.

Do you know when the best time of day is to take pictures? Twilight, and it is often called the golden hour of photography because the light is ample without being too harsh. Twilight shots result in beautiful naturally enhanced photos and photographers often charge extra to shoot at this time.

The money spent on professional photography is well worth the expense and will often pay for itself numerous times over with a higher sale price.


After the initial decluttering by the seller a professional real estate photographer will compose the shot by arranging throw pillows, fluffing and straightening up the couch cushions and clearing the coffee table. Keep in mind a photographer is not a home stager and they can only work with what they see. The aim is to mimic the style of photography one would find in a house and home style magazine as you want the buyer to focus on the room itself and not be distracted by clutter and personal objects in the room. The composition of a photograph is only as good as items in the room, so yes, that 30 year old lime green couch will still look like a 30 year old lime green couch, so if your decor is seriously out of date a quick visit from a professional home stager may be a good first step before engaging in photography.

As a buyer walks through your home they are envisioning themselves living in the space and bright orange feature walls and personal items like family photographs, degrees, kids schedules, bills, and other knick-knacks are best to be removed as these items can be very distractive.

Post Production?

You or your listing agent may possess some basic Photoshop skills but a professional photographer brings out his A-game to ensure that any images taken are looking their best. With a few clicks and some passes through special rendering software the images of your home are going to really stand out. Post production is also used to ensure consistency across all the photos and to create an overall style or mood of the home.

Post production is about creating a set of images specific to the medium. For web use you want fast loading images at the highest quality and at the correct size. For a custom website of your listing or for print media the requirement would be entirely different. And different again for social media sites.

Professional photography is far more than snapping a few pictures with an HD camera.

Videos and Other New Technology

Still images are great but with advances in technology, video home tours have also become a very good marketing tool. It’s a new and worthwhile way to further deepen your potential buyer’s connection towards your home.

At the forefront of technology right now is the ability to showcase a property, view, or neighbourhood by way of a drone. Drones provide a birds-eye view and is a great way to show off the size or uniqueness of a lot and it provides a lot of WOW factor. The more you can show a potential buyer, the more targeted your buyers become.

These are just some tips and tricks that professional photographers use to make your home look as good as possible.

When it’s time to sell your home give us a call at 604 230 1000.

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