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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Photographing Your Home

In today’s rushed and technical world, a picture tells a story much faster than a beautifully-written paragraph.  That’s why when it comes time for you to photograph your home for the International Vacation Home Exchange, you’ll be ready with these six tips.
Is your property not quite ready for its close up? Then refer to the “Perfect Preparation of Your Home for Guests” to get your home ship-shape.  
Not every homeowner is a professional photographer. So for the rest of us, our everyday photos of the dogs and kids are perfectly suitable to share with loved ones and post to our Facebook page. However, when you are taking photos of your home, there are a few steps and tricks to consider before you begin.
Get your camera ready! Avoid blurry, unfocused, too dark or overly light photos. Take a few test shots and make sure your camera is on the correct setting for interior or exterior shots. Blurry images are frustrating to the viewer. They will want to skip past these images (and your property). If you have a tripod, use it.  Too dark or too light images are also annoying to the viewer. When necessary, turn on all the lights and adjust the windows shades or curtains. Along the same vein, don’t shoot into an overly bright area. Everything in front of the blinding light will be dark or barely visible (see picture below). This is especially noticeable when trying to capture a room that precedes a balcony or terrace.  The sunlight from the outside will overwhelm the interior shot.  And don’t forget to remove the “time stamp” on your camera if you have one.

Don’t accidentally find yourself or your shadow in the photo! You’d be surprised how many photos capture the photographer’s camera, hands, face and even body!  Watch out for the most common reflectors such as mirrors, windows, countertops, sliding glass doors and French doors.  To avoid taking your own image, move a little to the left or right of the reflective surface.  And avoid taking a photo of your shadow in sunny exterior shots.  Be mindful of other not-so-common shiny items such as glass-faced clocks, televisions, computer screens, framed art, metallic lamp bases, and metal objects such as appliances, large and small.  A blurred image of yourself in a stainless steel lamp may look like a ghost online! 
Seeing the flash in photos.  The shiny items in Tip #2 will all reflect a flash. If you are not comfortable using flash photography, then make sure you have plenty of bright natural light.
Remove super-personal stuff from your rooms.  Yes, you’ve already decluttered your rooms, but look again before you start photographing. Items that have your full name on them such as certificates and diplomas should be removed. Valuable items such as displays of coins, stamps, guns, even jewelry should be removed.  Personal items such as large family portraits, trophies and license plates should not be in photographs.
Beware of hidden (or not so hidden) objects that will permanently date your photos. Before photographing any room, remove items that will “date” your photos such as wall calendars, clocks, holiday decorations, sports logos, etc.  You want your photographs to be clear of these items as well as attractive to the home exchange client any time of year.
Not taking a photo of the exterior of your property. The exterior shot consummates the whole story of your property, so remember to include it in your portfolio of pictures.

It just takes a little planning to capture your home exchange property in a picture-perfect setting.  For more tips on taking the right photographs view this blog.    Looking for additional hints and tips on home exchange - get a Free Home Exchange Guide.  


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