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Virtual Staging Photography Tips

Good virtual staging starts with professional photography.

Blue and gold furnishings

Photography Curtesy of Jarid Scott Johnson Photography, LLC


Photography matters when selling your home. With online listings from real estate agents and websites like Zillow, Redfin and Realtor.com, buyers are now getting what's essentially a "first showing" through the web. This means a seller needs good listing photos to create a positive impression. Bridge City Staging can transform those vacant photos into beautiful, virtually staged homes for a fraction of the price of traditional staging.


If you are going to be virtually staging you’ll want to think about the photography process a bit differently. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re shooting the best possible images for virtual staging:


TIP 1: USE A DSLR CAMERA

It’s best to use a DSLR with an auto exposure bracketing feature. This will let you use flash/ambient blending or "flambient" imaging or high dynamic range (HDR) imaging. Very briefly, the flambient technique combines an ambient shot with a flashed-light shot to create a final photo that has a more natural feel and truer color. With HDR imaging, typically 3-5 exposures are taken without flash and then merged together with photo editing software. This method typically has more inaccurate colors and washed out window views. You can get good results with either technique, it just comes down to personal preference.


TIP 2: DON'T USE A FISH-EYE LENSE

A lens that is at least 18-22 mm is a great place to start. However, do not use fish-eye lenses or ultra-wide angle lenses. That’s because these lenses cause a lot of distortion, making walls, floors, and built in features longer or higher than they are in real life. If the walls and floor are longer or higher than real life that will make the virtual furniture look distorted.


TIP 3: CAPTURE AS MUCH OF THE ROOM AS POSSIBLE

Tined furniture

Photography Curtesy of RE PIXS


Photos should be taken using a tripod positioned at waist level—about 1/2 of the ceiling’s height. Save photos in a high-quality JPG format (at least 2,000 pixels wide). Take your photos slightly off the corner of the room, not totally straight on. Make sure that you also include prominent features of the room such as: fireplaces, shelving, windows, and more


The angle should be such that the entire room and its features can be seen virtually. Showing three walls is ideal, because it enables buyers to have the full picture of the home. Plus, the more of the room you can see in the image, the fewer images you need to virtually stage to tell the story.


TIP 4: MORE ROOM, LESS CEILING

Modern Farmhouse

Photography Curtesy of Jarid Scott Johnson Photography, LLC


There should be twice as much wall and floor area than ceiling area. Make sure your images have enough floor space to properly add furniture to a shot.


TIP 5: VISUALIZE WHERE FURNITURE WILL BE PLACED

Urban/Industrial

Photography Curtesy of Corey Shelton Real Estate Photography


Virtually staged photos look better when the photographer is standing away from where furniture is. Don't stand where furniture would be placed. Standing in the doorway or corner of the room makes for excellent options and allows the viewer to see the room in its entirety.


When shooting a bedroom make sure to capture the full wall where the bed’s headboard would be placed.


TIP 6: SHOOT DURING THE GOLDEN HOUR


The “golden hour” is every photographer’s ideal time to shoot. It typically happens twice per day, once during dawn (between 6-9 am) and once at twilight (around 4-7 pm). This is the time in the day when the sun is not as high in the sky and therefore not as bright. If the room faces east, take photos in the morning; if the room faces west, take photos in the evening.


Bridge City Staging partners with many local real estate photography professionals and is happy to refer a provider for your next project. Professional photography is one of the first steps in effective marketing, hiring Bridge City Staging for your virtual staging needs is the second!


Call 503-810-9527 to schedule your next virtual staging project!

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