I regularly bore people with the virtues of how good photography can make a difference to the sale of your product or service. I believe it is especially true for property, holiday lets and food.
Recently I had the chance to put my money where my mouth was. Marketing my own home. The one big advantage of living on site was that I could choose the best days to photograph the house. For the outside I chose a sunny day with blue sky and clouds behind the house. The house faces east so the front had to be photographed in the morning, when the sun would be shining on to it. This would be the opening shot of any brochure or online posting so the most important photograph. Old School HouseThe front of the house on a sunny day The sun moves behind the house in the afternoon and early evening and shines onto a secluded deck area at the top of the garden so this needed to be photographed in the late afternoon. Not many people will have the chance to do this, but some high end estate agents will book a photographer for the day so they can follow the sun round the property. You could even have the property photographed at twilight to take advantage of the "golden hour" - ask any landscape photographer or artist and they will tell you that this is a lovely soft golden light that enhances colours and makes the pictures look warm and enticing.
Sitting roomSitting room with character oak beams
As my house is a late 17th century country cottage with small windows I knew the interior would always be difficult to photograph. I deliberately chose a slightly over cast day as this would give the soft light that would make the interior look at its best.
As well as making sure the photographs were technically the best they could be I also took the trouble to stage the rooms. I do a lot of work with the hospitality industry, photographing holiday parks, chalets, and holiday lets as well as hotels and restaurants. The savvy marketeers in these businesses know that they have got to sell the lifestyle, - relaxing by an open fire, enjoying a drink in the evening sun in the garden... I am sure you get the picture. Having worked with a number of property staging professionals, I don't pretend to be an expert, but I felt I knew enough to do a half decent job of selling the lifestyle of our home, so I did some basic staging of the rooms. I also know a property stager so if I didn't get a satisfactory result I could always call in a professional at a later date.
We have a multi-fuel burning stove in the sitting room so posing a couple of glasses of red wine in front of the fire was an obvious set-up. Doing some basic things like having fresh flowers in the rooms, a recipe book open in the kitchen, and setting up the garden furniture with a jug and glasses of sangria were easy and quick to arrange.
I was also aware that when the photographs are used they would end up in two formats. They would go on to Right Move and other property portals where the size would be limited to only 1200 pixels. They would also be used in a full colour A4 size brochure. They would only be used in a landscape format. As well as shots of the complete rooms it was important to capture some of the details of the property and its character in close up shots. These needed to look good even if the image size might be limited to a small format.
Wine in front of the fireA glass of red wine before a welcoming fire
Sangria on the deckSangria on the deck area
So when the day came to launch the marketing of the property I was on tenterhooks to see if my belief in quality photographs would be vindicated. Within 2 days of the property going online we had 6 viewings arranged and within 4 days received an offer of the asking price.
Of course good photography is not the whole story behind this success, but without doubt it helped to a get good level of interest. The photos did their job, they got viewers through the door. It is not only property that benefits from well thought out images, food, products or the people in your business need to look their best if you want to get customers through your doors. Having mouthwatering photographs of your food will encourage diners to your restaurant, pictures of friendly welcoming staff will encourage visitors to your business and engaging product photos will help you secure buyers for your produce.
Mackerel starterWarm Cornish mackerel, pickled cucumber, horseradish and dill mayonnaise
You don't have to take my word for it. Marks and Spencer's, probably the best known brand for their food photography, recognised how powerful their images are in influencing shopping trends. They recently decided to stop using images of high fat foods to encourage shoppers to buy healthier products see the full story here
If you think your business or property would benefit from good quality photography and lifestyle staging, please give me a call on 07557 7780336 for an initial chat.