How to take good photos for Virtual Staging

According to a NAR 2015 study, staging homes can increase the sales price from 1% up to 5%. So why not consider Virtual Staging. For an investment of a few hundred dollar the potential revenue can be in thousands.

 

So what kind of photos can be virtually staged? Professional real estate photographer will know how to take great photos with a good light, flattering angles and appropriate resolutions. However real estate agents can take good photos yourselves, too. Interior photography has its tricks. We recommend you read through blog posts on how to take indoor photos with the device you are using. Here’s a collection of things we look at when considering a photo for Virtual Staging.

 

Lighting conditions

Some photographers recommend to switch all lights on inside the house when taking photographs. Others suggest to turn them off for maximum daylight. Test with your own camera, take photos with lights on and off. Same applies for using flash. Test your camera so you will know what works best with you.

Draw sheer curtains if there are any, and close blinds to 45 degree angle pointing downwards. Take photos with your back against the largest windows to get maximum daylight into the room. You will also want those large windows to appear in your photos, so take another set of photos facing the windows. This time however focus on darker surfaces so the windows won’t over expose your photo. Change the ISO settings on your camera and do tests for the best outcome.

The best time of day is morning or afternoon when the sun is not at its brightest, however we also don’t want the sun shining directly in through the windows. Look at the photo above, there is plenty of daylight but the sun is not overpowering the room.

 

Angles

A photo taken from slightly off the corner of a room – 1/3 of a wall – will work nicely. Stand with your back against a wall or in a doorway. Try to get as much of empty floor space as possible, and one or two walls without doors or openings. Open doors all the way to near 180 degrees so the open door does not block view like in our example. We would like to see what’s behind that door.

If you are using a tripod make sure you are not capturing more ceiling than floor. Ideally we’d like to see at least two times as much floor as ceiling.

Take lots of photos standing with your back against each of the four walls of the room. It’s easier to take too many photos and erase the ones you don’t need than going back to the house to redo the shoot.

Use a wide lens to capture maximum area of the room, but don’t use a fisheye. We want the walls to be sharp and vertical.

 

Composition

Empty rooms with four walls work best for Virtual Staging. The purpose of Virtual Staging is to bring style and warmth into an empty house so that buyers can experience the place as a home instead of a piece of property. This is why we usually stage the Living Room, Dining Room, and Master Bedroom. If there’s a fireplace in these rooms, take the photo so that the fireplace is at the back of picture and not covering a corner of your photo in the front. Avoid having anything in the front end of the photo.

Shoot all photos in horizontal landscape mode. Vertical portrait photos do not work well with staging.

If there’s an island in the kitchen take the photo from the end of the island as well as from the front. We can place barstools in front of the island but we cannot place anything behind the island. We can place plants and decorative items on the kitchen counters.

Any piece of furniture is digitally imposed on top of the photograph. Consider that when choosing an angle. Books can be placed in a shelf if the shelf is photographed from the front, not from the side.

 

Order guide book

Order our pdf booklet “How to take good photos for Virtual Staging” for more tips and sample photos.

 

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