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Taking a sell-worthy snap

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These professional tips will give eye-catching results when you want to sell your house

Good quality photos are crucial when listing a property for sale and, fortunately, with the quality of modern cellphone cameras, sellers do not need to be – or hire – professional photographers.

They do, however, need to know how to take great photos with their devices to help set their listing photos apart from others, advises Re/Max of Southern Africa.

To help sellers up their photography game, the agency offers three technical tips to take professional-looking listing photos without the help of a photographer:

Set up some lighting: The first implement in a photographer’s toolbox is the use of a professional flash.

“You can recreate this by shooting on a sunny day, being sure to open the curtains and to switch on all the lights in the room.

“Photographers also make use of white backdrops to reflect more light into the space.

“You can achieve a similar affect by putting up white curtains or by covering dark furniture with white slip covers.”

Pro tip: Use a photo editing app (built into most smart phones) to lift the brightness levels of the photo after you’ve taken it.

Develop a steady hand: The next tool that enables photographers to take such professional pictures is the use of a tripod, without which most photos end up slightly blurred or out of focus.

“If you are taking a photo with your phone, set it to a timer and place it on a sturdy surface instead of taking it freehand,” the agency says.

Pro tip: If possible, use manual controls in your camera settings to lower the shutter speed to allow more light to filter in.

A lower shutter speed increases the chances of blurriness, so only do this if your camera is resting on a sturdy surface.

Consider the framing: A professional photographer will always consider the layout and composition of the objects within the frame before taking the picture.

“Before you grab your snapshots, take some time to declutter and clean the space, going so far as to temporarily rearrange or remove some furniture, if need be.

“Remember to take landscape and not portrait photographs, as these will display better on most property listing portals.”

Pro tip: Professional photographers often use what is referred to as the rule of thirds, by placing an imaginary grid over an image that breaks it into nine equal parts.

“The four parts where this grid intersects are where you should place the points of interest in your shot. For example, if you’re taking a photo of your lounge, your couch should be positioned in one of these intersections.”

The agency says these small adjustments can make a huge difference to the quality of the images you take.


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