I recently came across a few issues that should have been discussed prior to the photoshoot but were not, and I wanted to share them in case someone else may be in the same situation.
First of all, if you've never worked with a professional real estate photographer, please be sure to mention that so all the details of the photoshoot can be clarified before the photoshoot. It is important to remember that we are not mind readers, and if you have not hired a professional photographer before, please be up front about it so we have the opportunity to explain how this goes.
I created this list so that homeowners can better prepare for their photoshoot.
Second of all, if you are NOT planning to address certain issues with your home, please do not ask the photographer to digitally enhance the problem space.
Real Estate Photography is not about our personal photographic creativity, it is about your home, and its potential buyers. We are there to showcase your home in the best light possible, so that a buyer can see the space as it is. We cannot digitally enhance the space or use creative angles or filters because that would be deceiving to your buyers. Use empathy and imagine what a disappointment it would be to drive 40 minutes to see a home only to find out it looks nothing like it did in the photos you saw online.
Also, know that we are not supposed to re-arrange your furniture, move things around like trash cans and other items, or open up closed bathroom curtains. If your bathroom curtain is not open, to us that means you don't want to showcase that tub/shower combo. If you want to showcase it, please open up the curtain. It is the homeowners job to decide which areas of a home will be showcased on MLS and elsewhere online. In my experience thus far when a shower curtain is not open, it means two things: 1. The tub is used to store stuff, and 2. It's not visually appealing, hence why the homeowner kept the shower curtain closed.
If you are looking to visually enhance a space but have no intention of fixing whatever that is, please use empathy and imagine a buyer walking in and seeing the actual mess. I have a visual example of that for you here. This is a 3 car garage where the homeowner asked me to clean up the floors and water damage from the wood wall in post production.
The way it really looks: 👇
And the way he asked me to retouch it in post production: 👇
I don't have a problem retouching spaces that will be addressed in real life too. Meaning, if you plan on actually repainting the garage floor and replace the wooden wall with the water damage, then great, I'll retouch it to show it as it will look like after it was remodeled, but if you don't plan on actually addressing these issues in real life too, then I would prefer not to retouch such items because it is deceiving to a potential buyer.
This applies to outlets, roofs, broken bathroom tiles, scratched wood floors, and anything else that's not perfect. We don't have an issue retouching as it is part of our jobs, but we have to stay within the limits of common sense and ethics, because these photos are not for us, they are for the sellers to attract buyers with, and false advertising will only lead to homes staying longer on the market.
I hope this helps those looking to list their homes for sale.