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How to: Work with a photographer

By Emma Smith

Your property is sparkling clean, you’ve hired a stylist to choose the best furniture and accessories and you’re ready to sell. But what about photography? Without quality photos to grab the attention of prospective buyers, all your hard work may go unnoticed.

Elise Hassey is a professional photographer whose work has appeared in a range of magazines including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Marie Claire, as well working for commercial clients such as architecture and interior design firms. She has photographed many different properties, from city penthouses right through to country cottages.

Hiring a professional instead of trying to snap some pics yourself makes a noticeable difference when selling. “If there’s a high quality of photography, there is an increase in the aesthetic, and ultimately the value, of your home,” says Elise. A professional photographer has the right equipment to produce the quality of images you need and knows how to play to your home’s strengths. It’s important to find a photographer who has experience in property photography, Elise says you also want to choose a photographer with a style you admire.

Before booking in a time for the shoot, Elise recommends observing the property’s natural lighting. “Have a look at the light to see how it’s falling at various times of the day. Work out what would be the best time to showcase your house, and then organise the shoot around that time.”

“The time of day for when the property is to be photographed is important,” she says. “You want to choose a time which aesthetically shows off the house in its best light. A very good time to photograph is just on dusk. You want lots of beautiful natural light rather than photographing at night.”

Also consider the vibe you’re going for and what type of property you’re trying to market. “A lot of shoots done in winter are for places like cosy cabins, which you’d be shooting in darker light,” says Elise. “Whereas if you’re selling a beach house, you want it to look bright and airy.” She says the photographer should understand the intention and aesthetic behind your property.

To make the best use of your photographer, be organised so you don’t waste their time on the day. If you’re working around certain lighting conditions, time is of the essence, and delays will hike up your bill.“When the photographer arrives, the house should be clean and good to go,” says Elise. “I know that sounds like a really simple thing, but often people don’t prep the house and so it ends up costing them a lot more money because I have to wait for them, and it can be quite stressful. Organise a cleaner and have the house looking fantastic before the photographer arrives.”

*This article originally appeared in The Listing Magazine. 

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