We photographed this totally cute mid-cetury modern farmhouse in Plymouth, Michigan last week. The property is backed to a wooded area that provides privacy to the yard. The interior had plenty of updates including a shiplap accent wall, a sliding barn door, and double sliding glass patio doors that lead to the back patio.
Your house or condo is up for sale and your Realtor suggested you have nice, professional photos taken to entice buyers to check it out. After all, in this day and age people seem to do more research online than anywhere else. Now what? It’s important to attract people with quality photos, but first, your house needs to be made camera-ready. It’s all about the first impression and making it count. Houses that are empty are obviously easier to get ready, but there are some easy ways to make furnished houses shoot-ready. Keep in mind that the photographer and camera are there to capture things as is – we are NOT interior decorators. Here are six simple ways to get your house camera-ready:
Say goodbye to the piles of “stuff” around your house. Everything has a place and it needs to be there. The camera will catch even a minimal amount of clutter. That stack of old newspapers needs to be recycled. The empty cans on the kitchen counter need to be thrown away. Let’s not forget about the pile of shoes by the front door. In simple terms: anything that is sitting out, put it away.
This should go without saying, but…here we are. Run a vacuum on the carpets, wash the wood or tile floors, do some dusting. To make your house presentable, you must first make it clean. The camera catches every wrinkle and rumple.
This part can be tough. All of the aspects of your house that make it “yours” need to be taken down and put away for the shoot. Family photos, achievements, awards. A photo of your three children in matching Christmas pajamas is cute, but not for a real estate shoot. We want the buyer to picture themselves in the house and imagine the life they can create there. If your personal photos are visible, it will make it hard for the potential buyer to picture themselves in this house.
4. Yard work
Take a look at your house from the outside. Does your grass need to be cut? Is your roof missing shingles? Are there weeds growing up the side of your house? Whatever needs to be done to make the exterior attractive, add it to your to-do list. If people don’t like the outside, they likely won’t make it inside. This can be tough come winter time when snow is covering your yard and the trees are merely standing sticks. It’s important to keep the weather in mind when scheduling your shoot.
We recommend a construction-free house for shoots. Sometimes homeowners like to have renovations completed before they move in order to add value to the house, but wait to schedule your shoot until after it’s finished. The tarps, equipment, and the overall messy “under construction” vibe doesn’t look great on camera.
6. Stage It
Some people choose to stage their houses to make them look homier, bigger, or brighter. You don’t need to hire someone to do this. Some simple online research can give you tons of ideas on what to add to make your house a home. For example, a vase full of flowers is never a bad idea.
We stopped by a beautiful walk-out ranch in Whitmore Lake, MI that was For Sale By Owner (FSBO). This brick home has three bedrooms, three baths and sits on just over 11 wooded acres in addition to being 4,700 square feet. The main floor of the home has an open concept feel with an encompassing kitchen, living, dining, and family rooms. There are two fireplaces, a spacious finished basement, a 4.5 car garage, and a jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. From the main floor, you have access to the deck that overlooks the wooded property, and from the basement, you can walk-out onto a Trex patio. There is also a fire pit in the backyard, which can be used any time of year in Michigan! If you’re selling your house and want professional photography done, don’t be hesitant to reach out!
We had the pleasure of shooting a classic colonial home for sale on Kernway in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The house has four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a finished basement. The rest of the house has hardwood floors, and most of the walls are painted an array of grays that gives off a home-y, comfortable feel. The white borders and accents around the house are a stark contrast from the gray but gives the home a classic vibe. If you walk through the sliding glass door to the backyard, you will find a brick patio and extra privacy thanks to the surrounding trees. This house is ready to be a home, all it needs is you!
We did a shoot for a home on Etowah Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan. It was a beautiful home with wood floors on the main floor, a carpeted second floor, and spacious basement. The master bedroom not only had a gorgeous bathroom (jetted tub, glass shower, granite vanity) but a good size walk-out balcony, as well. We love the aesthetics of this home – very warm tones, stone accents, and white trimming. We hope you enjoy checking out the photos from the shoot as much as we enjoyed shooting!
Here’s a video that I partnered with my friend and fellow drone pilot, Todd Sedlak, to create for a homeowner looking to sell their home.
Here’s how we got the shot. Todd flew the drone toward the front of the house, and I caught it outside the front door. He killed the propellers when I caught the drone, and I walked it into the house and out the back door. Once I got out on the deck, Todd turned the propellers on again, and I released the drone into the air. And Todd flew the drone out over the lake. Pretty sweet shot.
We’re pretty excited to be featured on the Animoto Blog! Author, Megan O’Neill, interviewed Jennifer and wrote the article to provide tips for shooting interiors. Check it out here:
Tuesday morning, racing to beat the eventual rain, we started off bright and early in Farmington Hills.
Listed by Earl Newman, this Fieldstone home is right off of the intersection of Twelve Mile and Middlebelt. A 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with a detached 2-car garage, it also features a front space on the main floor which can be used as an office, sitting room, or library. The patio in the backyard is surrounded by tall trees, creating an air of privacy from neighboring houses and the main road that runs behind the home, which also provide nice scenery and add to the landscaping.
The master bedroom has an attached walk-in closet for extra storage, vanity and powder area, and bathroom complete with a bathtub, glass door shower, and double sink. The bedroom itself has a double window that looks out onto the street, and is very vibrant and warm.
The remaining two bedrooms share a large bathroom in the hallway, and are plenty spacious and bright for children, guests, offices, and more.
Many of the house’s features are very modern, including kitchen and bathroom sinks, and lighting. The granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and lightly stained cabinets and floor give the kitchen a bright and new look. The kitchen and small dining area also have an island in the center that has a power outlet perfect for an on-the-go morning, and sliding glass door that leads into the backyard.
The home also has a larger dining room for hosting company, just off the kitchen and connected to the sitting room.
There is also a larger living room with a peaked ceiling and fireplace, overlooking the backyard, perfect for lounging around on rainy or snowy days all year round. Especially since the weather this summer has been anything but predictable.
On June 24, we went out to Novi again for another real estate shoot. The home, a high-ceiling, 2,264 sq. foot home listed by Joy Montgomery of Montgomery Hill Realty, is for sale at $275,000.
With high ceilings that culminate in a point just above the garage on the left side of the house, the home was architecturally beautiful and fun to photograph, providing for some interesting vertical shots in places you would least expect, like the foyer or the bathrooms.
The home is very open, and is much larger than it appears on the outside due to the floor plan. The natural lighting provides for a nice glow throughout the home, regardless of the time of day, especially in the master bedroom, which is large and L-shaped, with two large windows overlooking the street.
The main level is perfect for entertaining company, with plenty of space to host in either sitting room, the dining area, or the larger living room. The backyard is bordered by trees on the back side and has a patio area just off the main living room, with sliding glass doors to get in and out.
All in all, nothing felt cramped, and moving around the house (even with a bunch of photo equipment in your hands) was easy and manageable. The house is painted in very light, neutral and calming colors, giving the place an easy and home-y feel.
Just north of Chelsea, Michigan, this 1998 luxury home at the end of a private drive has been listed for $939,000 by Jeff Klink of Reinhart Realtors.
With 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms to complete the two-story home, the property is the definition of privacy in its secluded location, allowing for large windows that let in natural lighting in every room of the house, including the master bathroom which features a private veranda. The property sits on just over 11 acres of land, and has a beautiful view of a small pond and natural skyline just off the back deck.
The kitchen is one of the biggest bonuses of the house. With granite counter tops, hickory flooring, and Amish-made Graybal cabinets, the chef’s kitchen features a stove-top island, snack bar, pantry, and a very open floor plan: leading right into a breakfast nook and family room.
The home also features an office space, with built in book shelves, and full laundry room on the main floor. The master bedroom and bath are also on the main floor, featuring a spa bathtub, tile shower, two vanity sinks, and dual walk-in closets. The main-floor living area also has a fireplace in the sitting area just off of the kitchen.
The lower-level is also fully finished with a kitchen, fireplace, and bathroom, walking out onto the back patio and in-ground pool. The pool itself comes with a slide, and is surrounded by an iron fence for safety. In case of rain, the deck overhangs across the patio, providing a dry space to listen to the rain or host a few friends.
With very few close-by neighbors, the home offers a bit of an escape from the suburban lifestyle of southeastern Michigan. Take a tour of the home here!