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It’s no secret that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes...
In your role as a real estate photographer, it’s your job to highlight those spaces to make the sale of your client’s home more likely.
Of course, capturing the highest-quality photographs of a kitchen requires far more than standing there with your camera and pressing the shutter button.
Instead, there are multiple steps you need to take to ensure your kitchen photos are top notch.
In this quick guide, you’ll learn a few insider tips for getting high-impact photos of kitchens.
Plan and Prepare
As I discussed in this in-depth real estate photography tutorial, the planning and preparation stage is one of the most critical of the entire process.
Without putting forth the time and effort to become familiar with your clients and the rooms in their home, you can’t possibly understand how to best approach photographing each room.
This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours and hours investigating every nook and cranny of your client’s kitchen, but having a working understanding of its best features will only help you create the best images.
For example, ask your clients if there are any specific features in the kitchen that they’d like highlighted. This could be anything from a custom tile backsplash to a farmhouse sink to upgraded cabinetry.
Lighting, countertops, and appliances are other features that might be worthy of a close-up, but don’t neglect wider view images that allow prospective buyers to get the lay of the land and survey the space as a whole.
Quick Tip: In most real estate photography situations, you want the kitchen to be clean and tidy. If you arrive to take photos and the kitchen is a mess, it’s best to have the space cleaned rather than moving forward with photos. A messy kitchen will not sell the home!
Tasteful Staging Goes a Long Way
Though it might not seem like a kitchen needs to be staged, it often helps soften the utilitarian feeling of the space.
Staging can be a simple matter of adding a bowl of fruit to the island or a cutting board with sliced bread on the countertop. Fresh flowers also do wonders for giving the kitchen a little softness and color.
The point of staging is to enhance how the kitchen looks to potential buyers - not to overwhelm them with distractions.
Ultimately, less is more, so stage with restraint to avoid taking away from the features of the kitchen.
Let There Be Light
As with taking any kind of photo, photographing a kitchen requires there to be plentiful light.
If possible, shoot the space during the day, that way you can capitalize on natural light entering the room through the windows. If need be, supplement that natural light by turning on the lights in the kitchen. Just be aware that the kitchen lights might alter the white balance of the images, which is an easy fix in post-processing.
Another issue of which to be aware is that shooting during the daytime means that the kitchen windows will likely be much brighter than the rest of the room.
Even high-end professional cameras can’t overcome that difference in bright to dark, which means you’ll need to take measures to ensure your photos are well-exposed throughout.
The fix for this problem is simple and straightforward: bracket the exposures.
Then, assuming you have the appropriate software, you can blend the bracketed exposures together to get an image that’s well-exposed throughout.
Not only is this a quick fix, but it’s also a budget-friendly one. That is, since you can bracket and blend exposures, there’s no need to purchase expensive lights, stands, softboxes, and other lighting gear.
Quick Tip: Bracketing and blending your exposures is also a time-saving approach to real estate photography. You can work faster without having to set up lighting gear, but you can also create a more natural-looking photo. It’s the best of both worlds!
Move Around the Kitchen to Vary Your Shots
Another critical tip for photographing kitchens is to move around the room to provide potential buyers various points of view. This is especially important for homes that have an open floor plan, so you can showcase the openness of the kitchen to the adjoining rooms.
But this should be more than simply standing in each corner of the kitchen.
Instead, take a low shooting position and use a wide-angle lens to bring out the details of the ceiling and the lighting in the shot.
Also take photos from a higher perspective, such as shooting directly down onto the kitchen island to show off its size, the countertop material, and showcase any staging that’s been added.
Remember that it’s far easier to take too many photos and cull the ones you don’t need than take too few photos and have to go back. Get the shots you need and then some, and you’ll have a much better collection of images of the kitchen to help your clients get the home sold.