Retake your own front shot in 9 easy steps

Firstly, I always advocate professional photography of your property as the best option to sell your house effectively. However, you may have had your photographs taken in October, and now we’re almost in May, they’re looking decidedly out of season. Your agent will be very reluctant to pay for another visit from your photographer, and may offer to take a new front shot himself, to show in-season foliage, but I suggest that with a little coaching from me, you can probably do a better job. Here’s your 9 point action plan to getting a fabulous new front shot of your house:

 1.  Beg borrow or steal a good digital camera, unless you have one already. An SLR is best, though compacts these days can also take great images. Unless you’re confident of the settings, pop it onto automatic, and you’re ready to go.

2.  Wait for a sunny day.  Ideally you want a blue sky, and the sun fairly low, on the front of the house.

3. Ok, the sun is shining, today’s a good day for your photography. Leave your camera inside, grab a stepladder, and go for a recce: walk around the front of the house, looking at its best features, and deciding on angles. Does it look better from directly across the road, or on an angle? Perhaps you can frame the door with your hedge, or garden gate? Try looking at the house from up the stepladder, as it will often look more attractive from height. Plan your angles, then go get your camera.

4.  Now you have your camera in hand, look through the viewfinder, and see how your house looks. Don’t go too wide; it’s important that your house fills the screen as much as possible. Take a couple of test shots to see how it’s looking. Too much in the shot? You don’t want to distract a viewer from your house, so zoom in a little. Take another and check the results.

5.  Make sure you take the photographs in ‘landscape’ – in other words, horizontally, not vertically. This is so it fits in with the adverts on the property portals.

6.  Take all the shots you planned earlier, focusing on keeping the camera straight and very still. If you can rest it on the stepladder, even better. Take each image at three different zoom distances, so you can see what looks better.

7.  Now try being a little creative. See if you can add some foreground interest in the shot with maybe some colourful foliage, or over your garden gate. This way, you’ll end up with a range of ‘safe’ images, and also some that may be more interesting.

8.  Right – let’s see what they look like! Upload the images to your computer, and start going through them, preferably with someone you trust to give you a second opinion. Be ruthless, and discard any that aren’t attractive and interesting. Look carefully at any distracting objects, shadows and lighting.

9.  Once you have your shortlist, pick the absolute best three, and email them to your estate agent for him to pick the final one, and upload it to the property portals.

And there you have you new front shot – well done!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.