Real Estate Photography Tips

NYC home staging | home stagerWhat is one of the most important aspects of Home Staging that is rarely mentioned?  It can make the most beautiful installation look cheap and unprofessional.  Yet without it, our work might never be recognized.  The answer? The professional photographs used to market the property. It’s so important that we home stagers pay real attention. As a result, here are some real estate photography tips I’ve picked up.

The Home Stager’s Perspective

Working with NYC real estate, I realize that photographing an apartment that is up for sale is a challenging assignment. Making interiors look amazing is not easy.  Many photographers and real estate agents rely on the Stager to be on-site to shift, re-accessorize and even rearrange room layouts just to capture that million dollar marketing shot.  When you are photographing an empty room, the reader identifies everything that is wrong with the space, which could easily translate into no-shows for open houses.  So what should a photographer do when faced with an empty property?

Do the same thing he should do when faced with a furnished one: don’t use the wide angle lens for every shot.  Zoom in on details, points of interest.  Make vignettes that allow the viewer to step into the picture.  Take shots that bring the outside INTO the room if the view is a selling point, like this photographer did when shooting part of the master bedroom at One57.

Real Estate Photography Tip #1 –  Tell A Story

Real estate photography should tell a story.  Wood beams.  Brick walls.  Exposed ceiling pipes and duct-work.  Intricate moldings.  Kitchens.  Clawfoot tubs.  Glass showers.  The list is endless when the wide angle is replaced. Try creating a collage of photographs that tell a more “personal” story of the materials and architecture. In the photograph below, I suggested that the photographer zoom in on the beamed ceiling (maybe we would see some character in the wood?) or create a juxtaposition of the beams with the ceiling piping (old versus new?). Give the photographs a bit of sensuality; make them look as if they were borrowed from the pages of AD

Real Estate Photography Tip #2 –  Post Processing

The secret about real estate photography that nobody wants to mentions is that, while the shot is important, and yes, the type of camera and the light, etc., it is post-processing that makes or breaks the final product.

When I asked a pro about the key ingredients to shooting vacant property successfully, here were some suggestions:

Starting with the raw file:

1) straighten all vertical lines (and making them parallel).

2) reduce highlights and spreading the light more evenly.

3) reducing the black-balance, and shadows…thus pulling the histogram out of extremes

A big round of applause and huge kudos to the photographers who continue to make my Stagings look so spectacular!  Without your keen eye (and your patience when I stop the shoot to adjust the blanket at the foot of the bed or turn the floral arrangement ever-so-slightly to the left so the fuller side is in the shot), my work would never be noticed.  Thank you!


If you are looking for propping your next photo shoot, consider an accomplished NYC home stager.  Call me! I’m at 917-428-3965.

NYC home staging