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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Post-Processing Real Estate Photography

Unless you have the kind of relationship with your real estate photographer that we do with many of our clients, post-processing for your listing photos may still be a mystery to you. 

What is it that keeps your gallery files from being zipped and shipped over the morning after your photoshoot.

We know that you know it’s worth it. But we also want you to know why. 

Today’s post offers a behind the scenes glimpse of that magic happening to your images in the time between shoot and upload.

Balancing Light Temperatures

The number of windows in a room, the home’s location, and even time of day can affect lighting throughout a home. Think about using a flash versus none or the difference between the lightbulbs you have in various lamps and fixtures at home.

Unfortunately, for buyers scrolling through your listing photos, stark differences can be quite distracting. So, real estate photographers “balance light temperatures” across the gallery. 

This means they edit lighting in order to bring the entire gallery to a light, bright, and airy middle ground. They do this by reducing ultra bright highlights, lifting shadows, and saturating blacks, among other things. 

Color Correcting in Tandem

In tandem with balancing light temperatures, your editor is adjusting color saturation and playing with hue and tint, too. This is how we enhance the green trees and warm exterior evening lighting, for instance.

Or, while brightening a kitchen shot, you could kick up the contrast and increase saturation on a countertop close-up, to make the natural grey veining through gorgeous white marble really pop.  

Note, however, that it is always our goal (and responsibility) to accurately represent a space. Because eventually, a buyer is going to see the real thing. Best to keep it enhanced - not unreal.

Final Touches on Staging

Often, photographers send a preparation checklist ahead of their appointment to ensure everything is in place. Still, even the best planning won’t escape uncontrollable factors like weather and staging mishaps.

Luckily, we live in an age where we can make these kinds of corrections digitally: 

  • Crop images for best framing

  • Remove distracting objects

  • Add minor details (fire in the fireplace, flowers in a vase) 

  • Replace cloudy skies with a clear day

Vertical correction can straighten the strange curving or odd distortion that sometimes results from an awkward angle taken for “full effect.”   

In the rare case where zero staging has taken place, we can also virtually stage to provide depth and perspective in each room.

Your Gallery’s End User Experience

Once you’ve got the gallery’s overall look and feel where you want it, the last order of business is to ensure visual integrity from photographer’s files to listing upload.

We always resize listing photos to real estate site specs. Any distortion in your gallery images can have you overlooked in a heartbeat. Making sure every photo is uniform and fully viewable to the end user is a must.

To learn more about what DMD does behind the scenes of our post-processing of real estate gallery photos, feel free to call or contact us through the site!


Why Real Estate Photographers Love Staged Homes

Real estate reality shows are amazingly popular. And why not? Everyone imagines buying the home of their own dreams and living their best life in that perfect neighborhood. The shows are a kind of voyeuristic wish fulfillment.

But even with the bombardment of real estate programming, the saturation of real estate apps, and other consumer-friendly interior design software – all tools helping homebuyers dream bigger more easily – we still see couples walking into the next viewing, talking about how they can’t envision anything beyond the terribly outdated wallpaper.

Apparently, it’s just the way we’re programmed.

We need a visual – especially in the digital age of homebuying. In fact, Redfin reported that for homes under a million dollars, listings with high quality photography sell for $3-11k more on average than those that do not. A big part of providing those high-quality listing photos is having something great to capture.

How do you do that?

Setting the Stage.

One of the most important jobs of a real estate photographer is to help create a photographic story for each home. It is far easier to build a good story around a staged room than one that is a completely blank canvas.

Professional stagers use conceptualization techniques in order to help potential buyers walk in and envision the property as their home. Ideally, they can see themselves living and entertaining in the space. Likewise, a staged home provides the perspective and depth that a photographer would otherwise not be able to show in a room with nothing in it.

Editing the Room.

Images should be composed with a central focal point and framed with clean lines and complimentary backdrop elements. Doing this is a lot easier when a professional has come in to clear the clutter.

Just like a good book editor, home stagers are able to “edit out” all those mundane details of everyday life that don’t add anything to the story of the home – details that can sometimes even detract from the overall vision.

Essentially, they highlight key features and minimize the weak points of a home, ultimately lending to the lifestyle the seller is pitching.

More Equals Less.

RISMedia noted last month that more photos equal less time on the market, stating, “a home with one photo spends an average 70 days on the market, but a home with 20 photos spends 32 days on the market.”

When a home has been professionally staged, it is far easier for us as real estate photographers to find more picture-worthy spots and angles.

Passionate People. 

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Like photographers, graphic designers, and really any other kind of artist, professional home stagers do the work because they love it. The best stagers put their passion about creating the story of the homes they work on above everything else.

For instance, About Face Staging not only provides turnkey professional home staging for resale and new construction, but a variety of consultation services. Northern Lights Staging is another one specializing in occupied home staging – scenarios where sellers are retiring and need to be comfortable staying in the home, but the market and location calls for targeting younger first-time home buyers or families with young children.

Both firms offer varying price points based on a client’s resources and budget, and those are just two examples out of many great staging companies out there.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is the fact that professionally staged homes enable us to do our job better – something that’s good for everyone.