My first tip, which may have you heading for the “back a page” button is “If you can afford it, hire a professional”. Your photos are your shop front and your best chance to both increase your rental income and to minimise the risk of a void period.
But let’s suppose that right now, it’s not an option for you – what can you do to maximise impact? Follow our tips from a pro photographer:
1. Get the best camera that you can. Beg steal or borrow a DSLR with a wide angled lens and a flash – but if you really can’t a smartphone will do! (note - don’t really steal one!!)
2. Make the most of the surroundings, but don’t create a fake look. There’s no point in rolling out fake furniture (as some do) taking pictures which don’t represent reality – show it in it’s best light, but keep it real.
3. Choose the time of day to take the pictures. Go to the property the day before and scope out what time the sun shines in the windows – you want to capture it at the best time of day when the sun is shining in. Open all the curtains and blinds and even the doors (if it helps!) turn on the lights including the extractor hood in the kitchen and use the flash (as a last resort) if you need to. Photos with natural light are more flattering than flash, unless you know what you are doing with a flash gun (in which case, why are your reading this 📷article!??)
4. Declutter – hide things in cupboards, move things or move the angle from where you take the picture, but keep the pictures clean and simple and clutter free. Take magnets off the fridge, dishes and pots (and even kettle and toaster) off the kitchen worktop and just hang one towel neatly in the bathroom (obviously packing away toiletries and the like).
5. Pick your angle! Walk around the room and see from which angle does it look its best? Try standing right in the corner to get the widest shot possible and see if you can compose a good shot. Try tiptoeing or squatting down to see if the image improves at different heights, but try and keep the angle of the camera straight so that you don’t distort your image.
If you try and try and you can’t get a good shot, don’t just post a half-baked image – it really won’t do you any favours! Employ a professional, or find a good agent (I know one!!) who’ll do the job for you.