Internationally recognized home stager, Debra Gould, aka The Staging Diva®, offers photography tips for home stagers to improve the quality of their portfolios and help them get hired for home staging projects.
The photos you put in your professional home staging portfolio are critical to your success as a real estate stager. Your portfolio is used to show your prospective clients what a talented home stager you are, and whoever is looking at it is expecting dramatic transformations to justify investing in your home staging services.
Even great home stagers can detract from their portfolios (and in turn their own image) by simply not having the basic digital photography skills to make their photos fabulous.
A good portfolio shot should demonstrate your home staging skills. A great photo will compel people to look at it because it says something. Simply cleaning off the bathroom counter for your after shot will not inspire anyone to hire you!
All your photots must be well lit, straight, in focus, interesting and free of distracting details. The following tips should improve the quality of your photos dramatically:
Think before you shoot and get to know your camera.
Take the time to set up some practice shots in your own home and experiment with shooting the same image from slightly different angles, with and without the flash, with the lights on and off, with and without a wide-angle lens, and even try standing on a chair or ladder to see how the shot will turn out. You can also try different resolutions settings.
Before shooting your image, make detailed notes to remind you what you did. When you load the images on your computer and look at your notes you can compare what they look like on screen and when they’re printed. You’ll start to learn how your camera works and what can be accomplished by doing a couple of things differently.
Be mindful of these digital camera basics.
We’re all pressed for time, but when you’re shooting images for your portfolio, slow down for a better result.
Turn off the time and date stamp feature, these don’t belong in portfolio photos.
Pay attention to how you’re holding your camera and be sure that you have it straight and you aren’t covering the lens or flash with your finger.
Don’t move after focusing or while you’re shooting the image – move into position before you shoot and stay still.
Avoid shooting towards a window because everything will come out too dark if you do.
If you can change the resolution setting, put it on the highest or next to highest setting and see what size the image will be.
Usually an image size of 1 MB is sufficient quality for anything you’ll need in a portfolio. (You’ll use more memory at higher resolutions, so buy a larger memory card or even a second one so you won’t be stuck with insufficient memory when you’re on your shoot.)
You will get a crisper more detailed image at higher resolutions, and you can always reduce the resolution later. If an image is shot at a low resolution originally, you can’t make it higher later. This is a problem if you want to make a printed image larger or if you need to supply images to the media.
In part two of this article series, you’ll learn about the importance of your attention to detail and capturing strong staging stories when taking photos for your home staging portfolio.
For help putting your portfolio together, the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide can help you determine what to include in your portfolio and it has an entire chapter devoted to photography for home staging.
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, president of Six Elements Home Staging and creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, developed the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide to help home stagers dazzle homeowners with their professionalism. She also offers a Directory of Home Stagers which acts as an online portfolio for homeowners to view when searching for home staging services in their area. To learn more visit http://www.stagingdiva.com.
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®Staging Diva is a registered trademark, and ™Debra Gould Studio is a trademark, of Six Elements Design Group Inc.
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