A Picture is Worth a Thousand.. Well, You Know.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words. 

I recognize the value of photography in my business, and I know that if I didn’t have photos of my work, my credit as a designer would just be hearsay.
I try to post pictures of my work often.. to Facebook, to Houzz, to Pinterest, and so on. 
It’s how I market myself, and show the jobs that I’ve done.

A poorly photographed room looks horrible.

When I post pictures to Houzz, which is known for it’s professional status, I have to make sure they meet these guidelines:

Photos of residential spaces
Large Photos (1000 pixels wide or more)
JPEG, GIF, PNG, or 1-Page TIFF file formats
Good Quality Photos

Just in case you thought I could skirt one or two of those guidelines, they add one more statement:

Photos that do not meet these guidelines will be removed.

What they’re saying, I believe, is that it’s not just the picture that’s valuable. It’s the quality of the picture. 
If you are going to post a poor-quality photograph, you’re doing a disservice to yourself AND your work.

My dining room before taking pictures for a Fall blog post. 

When it comes to selling a house, the same holds true.

It’s common knowledge that, in today’s market, pictures are more important for real estate than ever. 
I look at houses online all the time. I’m not necessarily in the market for a home, but I want to know what’s available. 
When I see a poor quality photo, or a cluttered room, I want to know WHY.

  •    Does that messy office mean that you just didn’t care enough about selling your house to organize your paperwork and get things off the floor?
  • If you expect to get $400,000 for your home, don’t you think you could trim those bushes outside?

Assuming that your rooms are presentable, clean, and de-cluttered; What else is important when taking pictures of your home to sell?

My sister’s living room – House for Sale
by Stone Arch Real Estate in Lewistown, PA

No one is expecting you to have professional photographs, but using a cell phone camera just doesn’t cut it. Images need to be large enough, and clear enough, for anyone to be able to see what’s in the picture.

If you have a picture of a beautiful entryway, and the railing on the staircase is out of focus or just plain blurry, I honestly believe that you should skip that picture. If the entry is a key selling feature, then take another picture. Show that you care!

I didn’t need to edit this picture at all.
The daylight streaming into the room provided the setting for a perfect picture.


How do you take a great picture?

Is the situation hopeless unless you have an expensive, DSLR camera?
The good news is, you can get better pictures with just a few simple tricks.

1.) Use a tripod.
If you’re like me and have an unsteady hand, your cheap digital camera is never going to produce great pictures. A tripod will ensure that your camera remains steady, and your images are in focus.

2.) Take advantage of daylight.
It does wonders for a room! Take your pictures during the brightest part of the day, when you can make use of natural light. Your room will look larger, colors will show up accurately, and people will be drawn to your space.
(Don’t wait too long! By late afternoon, the light is more golden and colors may not look right in your pictures.)

Fun fact:
This picture WAS taken with a cell phone by a client of mine.
The amount of daylight coming into the window and the crisp, well-presented bed still show off the room beautifully.
(Imagine what a better camera would do for it!)

3.) Edit your pictures.
I don’t have Photoshop, but I still edit most of my pictures. Sometimes, all I need to do is crop out part of the picture that’s unnecessary. Other times, I need to adjust the exposure because the picture is too dark. Just don’t leave out this important step!

So, what do you think? Have you ever been shopping for homes online and been turned off by bad pictures?
If you’re planning to sell your home, make sure it’s presented well! 

If you aren’t satisfied with the pictures of your home and the way it’s showing, do something about it. Grab a camera and don’t stop clicking until you have a set of images worth sharing!

Happy Designing! -Cherie

Published by CDH Designs

I am a Mom and self-employed Interior Designer. I own a small design studio & home decor shop in downtown Emporium, PA. It’s a small town in the PA Wilds of north-central Pennsylvania. We have some of the most beautiful scenery, and Fall (my favorite season) is breathtaking. I blog for fun to keep my friends and clients informed of what's going on in the design and decorating world, to share my designs, and to show what we're working on in our own home.

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