photo: Stopping That Sun Flare - 07/14/08 02:57 AM
Have you ever shot an exterior house photo and you get that lens flair spot? This is from strong light entering the lens at just the correct angle and bouncing till it hits the sensor, making circles, sheets of bright white overlay or covering the entire image and thus lowering the contrast.
There are a couple of ways to remedy this. First, use your lens hood. This is the round piece of plastic that extends past your lens, that comes with most lenses when purchased. Not always the best, for we are using a wide angle lens that tries to capture … (1 comments)

photo: Staging for the Camera – 1. Remove Objects In the Foreground - 07/09/08 06:47 AM
This is another simple trick to making a room shot look better- move objects that are very close to you in the foreground­ out of the shot. A vase, flowers, or lamps, will just dominate the photo and detract from the room; the reason for this is the extreme stretch perspective of the wide angle lens. Just like the back of a spoon, the objects closest are exaggerated and the background objects are far in the distance.  Two problems occur from this. First you make a non significant object the focal point, and 2 you hide the room you want to … (10 comments)

photo: 1910 Mailbox - 06/26/08 05:04 AM
This brass mailbox comes from The Dresden, on Connecticut Avenue, in Washington, DC, considered one of DC's best addresses.  Not that this is a- typical in DC on other historic buildings, this just had detailing that was intresting and still had the original lock. I forgot to ask if it was still in use.
 

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photo: Reshoot The Fall/Winter Listings - 06/23/08 03:56 AM
Summer is here. I have seen a few winter shoots on the web and this is a message for those agents, it is time to update the listing photos from winter to now. Listings are lasting a lot longer on the market from the previous years. You should update the images to reflect the best of the season. Show the flowers, cut the lawn, lose the old listing pictures with snow, gray skies and no leaves on the trees and get new shots of the home and gardens to add new life to your listing.

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photo: 1882 Fireplace - 06/18/08 03:17 AM
A great all Victorian fireplace and mantel from a historic home on Warwick Street, Somerset Maryland from 1882. Cast iron relief panels of 3 cherubs holding veils on back and sides with tile surround. I do not come across many of these, most people today remodel them out to put a gas fire place.

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photo: Put that Dog/Cat in the Shot - 06/16/08 02:41 AM
I have always gotten great feedback when I do a shoot and the owners pets are in the shot. It comes from two sides. First the owner loves seeing their most favorite animal having its picture take and then for the world to see them on the fact sheets and web. The situation reinforces your relationship with the owner by showing affection to a member of their family. This all falls into keeping the seller happy.
Then the other side, are the potential buyers. 39% of U.S. households own at least one dog and 34 % of U.S. households own at … (4 comments)

photo: Clear the Fridge - 06/13/08 03:49 AM
This is one that is simply, easy, doesn't take much time and makes a big difference. Just get the stuff off the fridge. Remove all magnets, stickers, calendars, business cards and yes, the kid's masterpiece. Also remove the debris off the top. This is a good time to get rid of the other agents' cards and calendars they have hanging around. Do get permission first, but this is one that can really make a kitchen look much, much less cluttered and more spacious both for the photos and for walk-throughs.
I shot this one today, and yes I know I am not the … (3 comments)

photo: In a Condo or Co-Op Ask What Amenities the Residents Receive - 06/12/08 03:08 AM
This is an easy one that is often forgotten. Remember to ask the person at the desk what extra amenities the building offers as the client (seller) does not always know or just did not think to mention them. Look for the gym, pool, roof deck, sitting room, laundry room, grocery store or library. Whatever adds value to the property; this also gives you more to take pictures of for fact sheets and web and should draw in a larger number of people to look at the property.


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photo: Old Call Box DC - 06/11/08 07:09 AM
Here is a piece of technology I had not seen before. This is an old call box for the two apartments of this town-house in on Irving Street, Columbia Heights, DC. This came originally with the home per the owner selling the home, built around 1913. This one had two tubes to talk into, running to the apartments for vocal and an electric buzzer to get your attention.

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photo: Flash on Camera vs. Light on Stands - 06/11/08 01:40 AM
This comes down to Time, Quality, Dollars.
Time:    Learn a multi-flash system to use while shooting or           At shoot time -  pull light out, set up and then tear them down just to put them back in storage after you shoot or
           Take 2-3 hours(average home) to get a pro to shoot with light standsQuality: Lights on stands for a home shoot from a pro generally look better
Dollars: Least expensive $150 to $500 upfront to purchase the lights and then classes; or            Pay a pro photographer $250+ depending on time, location and who you hire.
99.9999% of people that shoot real … (6 comments)

photo: Get that Floor Plan In - 06/09/08 04:12 AM
In this market properties need every advantage they can get. Having a floor plan is one of those advantages. It helps enhance the visual emotion of the home, allowing a buyer to fantasize about how their furniture will look and what upgrades they might do to the home. It's just another tool included with the room shots. There are companies like Mouse on House in our area that will go in, measure and give a decent digital floor plan. Or just go back to the old days, buy some graft paper and measure the rooms yourself, putting a disclosure "Do not rely … (9 comments)

photo: Out of the Window Shooting - 06/06/08 04:34 AM
Think outside of the normal angles of shooting. I have found shooting out of windows on the upper floors or roof of a home to be a great asset to seeing large plots of land. The two pics I have enclosed were part of the whole of the yard shots I used on the fact sheet and web. They show a better view of what the land truly is and without being obstructed by trees and other obstacles.

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photo: Get the Ugly Yellow Color Out of Your Interior Photos - 06/05/08 04:51 AM
Have you ever wondered why the photos you take come out yellow?  This yellow comes from the ambient light given off by light bulbs.  There are ways to fix this. First increase your ASA or ISO on your camera to 800-1000. This raises the light sensitivity of the camera allowing for a faster exposure time, letting the flash do its work and not the surrounding lights. (This also allows everything to be in focus) The second way is to go to a camera store and buy a blue gel. Put that over your flash when this yellow problem occurs and shoot … (6 comments)

photo: Close the Toilet, We Do Not Need To See Inside - 06/04/08 07:09 AM
Since I was a child my mother always told me to put the toilet seat down. For good reason, it is not attractive. Even for the cleanest of toilets. This lesson should carry over to our real estate photography and open houses. I also believe that the furry cover and rug should be removed as well. Make the room clean and the room will show much better.
The photos enclosed,  show my point clearly.
 

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photo: Go The Extra Mile Before You Shoot - 06/03/08 08:24 AM
I try to clean rooms of clutter before I shoot.  Here is a shoot I did today.  I took about 8 minutes to go through the room and do what was needed to make a much more appealing shot. Here is some stuff I do to go that extra mile; remove all stuff off the fridge and range, hide all wires, remove hanging things, remove paper towels, soaps, drain stoppers and general little tzchatchkies (odds & ends). Again turn on all lights including under microwaves and stoves.  Leave the room simple, clean and staged. Take the time and the room will … (11 comments)

photo: Interior Photo for The Primary/Cover Image on a Fact Sheet or Web Site - 06/02/08 05:00 AM
I have shot some ugly properties here at my job. What we have seen is that when the front of a condo or home is less then desirable; put the home's best room as your front shot to draw away from unattractiveness of the exterior or simply to highlight the room if it that great. This will get people's attention.  All we are trying to do is get people into the home and get that emotional connection to the property. Then you have hooked them.
I have enclosed two photos, both are good but the windows and the view with the … (6 comments)

photo: Better Lighting With House Lights - 05/30/08 08:02 AM
The homes natural lighting is a great way to add contrast to your shots. Run around and turn them all on.  If they have a dimmer or a multi-function bulb, put them on the lesser bright settings. This will prevent burn outs and be much more likely to show the shade or fixture that you want to see. Also turn on the lights under the microwave or range, look under counters and turn them on as well. This will lessen possible dark spots under shelves and give detail to what the light is shining on. Last, on lights that have duck … (9 comments)

 

Piers Lamb

Friendship Heights, DC

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Evers & Co.

Address: 4400 Jenifer Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20015

Office: (202) 364-1709

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This blog is of my day to day experience as Art Director of Evers & Co. Real Estate located in Washington, DC. The topics are dealing with photography, design & marketing, including insight through my many years in the design field.


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