If you've ever browsed a second-hand marketplace - eBay, Gumtree, Facebook - then you'll likely know what 'bad' listings looks like. Vague titles, misspelled words, poor descriptions - these are all typical features you come to see.
The worst part, though? It's the photos. Or photo, I should say. It'll be blurry, wonky, and probably look like it was taken in the seller's personal kill room.
Which might not be entirely off-putting if you're in the market for a cheap second hand guitar. But when it comes to property hunting, bad photos are a confidence wrecker.
On the flip side, well taken photos can generate interest, and install prospective buyers with enthusiasm from the outset. In truth, photography standards for property tend to be high enough that you aren't going to be presented with grainy pictures of stained carpets, or walls with fist-sized holes in them. Very few landlords or estate agents are that actively looking to sabotage their business in such a way.
But there are details of a property photo - often subtle - that can sway a potential customer one way or the other. Details to which the untrained eye might not be especially obvious.
The job of the photographer is to capture a property in its best light.
Quite literally. Lighting is very influential on viewer perception; an appropriately lit room will feel warm and inviting. A dark room however will seem dull, and an overly bright room will just be overbearing.
And then there's the shot angle. With the right lens and vantage point, a property will appear proportional and realistic, providing a sense of homeliness. Less professional efforts on the other hand are often spatially confusing, and room distorting - a bit like the kind of perspective you'd get from a security camera. Needless to say, a warped room isn't all that pleasing to the first time viewer.
There are several camera "tricks" of this kind that can help capture the most appealing version of a space. In the right hands, a camera can do wonders.
With that said, there are many things that the camera cannot do. It can't add a sense of cosiness to empty hallway, or make a box bedroom feel spacious. It can't landscape a shoddy garden or add an extra wing to a house. Not yet, anyhow.
Which is why a property photographer also has a keen eye for arrangement.
A messy or cluttered room is rarely a photogenic one. To capture a room's best light (that ol' phrase again), it's better to veer on the side of emptiness. In many instances, a property will be empty by default.
But in certain cases, a room might well be better off with some minimalist "stuff". Furniture, plants, framed pictures (but not the 4ft meerkat plush, i'm afraid) - such items can add character to a photo and give perusing buyers a snapshot of a property in real living conditions.
Your property photographer knows what belongs, and where it should go. Of course, it's not within their remit to begin turning a property upside down and begin playing interior designer. But when it comes to arranging an environment for the most appealing photos, they know the score.
So, do you need professional property photos? Not strictly, no. You could always DIY it, and risk having that blown out, CCTV camera-chic vibe. That works for some.
But If you want the most aesthetically pleasing property snaps, shot and edited to perfection (the editing phase is where we put that extra wing on the side of the house) then it might be a good idea.
Convinced you need professional property photos, but not sure where to turn? We know a company that can help. Yeah it's errr...us!
Based in Glasgow and operating throughout the central belt of Scotland, Axiom Pic can offer you high-quality photos, along with a number of other property related services.
Interested? Or perhaps you just want to ask a question or two? Either way, don't hesitate to send us a message in the chat box below