Owning a property, or even renting/leasing one, brings great delight to all parties involved. The seller/landlord gets their desired money while the buyer/renter gets their dream real estate. And it’s the photos of the property that act as the bridge between these two ends of property deals. They bring forward the charm of the property to the buyer/renter that works on their desire to acquire or rent it.
However, photos don’t always come out in their best avatar. Most real estate companies either edit property photos in-house or take assistance from real estate photo enhancement services. And even though evolving photo editing practices have made it easier than ever to produce such images, the process still requires being careful.
Here are a few common photo editing mistakes that can be fixed if you know them.
Top 5 Real Estate Photo Editing Mistakes
- Retaining Unwanted Objects
Any excess item in the photography area creates clutter, obstructing the intended view. If the property is occupied, you may have images containing unsaleable items. The view can also be obstructed by power wires, trash bins, or a car parked at the entry. Additionally, a weak background detracts attention from the photo’s main subject.
Utilizing a clipping path, the real estate photo editing company working on the image can eliminate extraneous items from a room’s picture, so it seems tidy, roomy, and inviting. This method gives a crowded, inhabited space a vacant and polished appearance. Note that you should decide what is and isn’t unwanted.
Some staged properties could have many items appear in the photograph but may be aesthetically pleasing, adding to the sheen and value of the image. Such a setup enhances the property value, and removing items will decrease that value. The editor at the real estate photo editing company should consult with the property owner before proceeding with the clipping and background removal.
Things get tricky with objects in motion that make their way into photos. Removing such unwanted objects can be difficult due to the motion blur effect. This situation is especially true when long-exposure photography is used, primarily in an outdoor setting. Once these are removed, the portion of the image with the missing object needs to be filled with content relevant to the image. Editors may sometimes forget this, leaving either the object intact or the unfilled portion.
- Unrealistic Color Reproduction and Enhancements
People pursued color photography for a reason despite being able to generate great Black and White images: they add realism to the images as the world is full of colors. And a colorful image is what you need to push your property up the ladder of market value. However, achieving the right color reproduction in photographs is difficult for many reasons. The lighting could be poor; there could be reflections causing one color to overlap another; the walls may be painted in colors that don’t go together; the color reproduction on a viewing screen may be off.
Achieving authentic color reproduction with the right hue and tone then becomes the task of the photo editor. They may even be asked to introduce colors that aren’t even there just to correct the color mistakes. Due to miscommunication between the concerned parties, lack of experience, wrong equipment, or other reasons, errors may seep into the color management process and go unnoticed.
The result could cause a lot of coloration problems. The common one is oversaturation, where the color enhancement is so much that they look unrealistic and “painted on.” Such high levels of color vibrancy diminish the feel of the property in question, thereby bringing down interest in it.
Undersaturation is the opposite of oversaturation, where the image’s colors get dulled to the extent that they lose their impact altogether. This commonly occurs for outdoor real estate photography when there is a brightly lit wall, and another isn’t. Trying to reduce the color enhancement due to the lighting on the brighter wall to bring it on par with the dimly lit one could lead to a cycle of reduction where the entire set of walls look pale and washed out.
Color replacement is another tricky business that could ruin the look if not done with caution. While different colors may appeal to different people, it’s best to choose a combination that works with the subject. You may use a bright, flashy combination for the kid’s room while keeping things mellow in the living room. Recoloration of walls should also complement any wall, floor, or roof tiles present. Selecting the wrong colors will make the property unsavory.
- Wrong Amount of Sharpening
Blurry images are not uncommon, especially when shot in a hurry. These need to be sharpened if they are to reflect the true version of the property. However, this process is a double-edged sword as sharpening removes the jaggedness of the edges of objects but also introduces noise. The entire image may start looking grainy, taking the clarity away from the originally expected level.
Oversharpening causes pixels to distort, making the subject seem unrealistic and fake. Excess sharpening always adds unwanted halos. The noise affects the target subject in the image and the background, producing an unprofessional image.
An experienced real estate photo editing services provider will have faced this issue many times; they will avoid this by adding sharpening effects only to a limited extent. You can use a similar approach. You can also improve old images with excess sharpening by reducing them so that the original look and feel of the property are restored. Note that sharpening only works if the image is soft and has reasonable clarity. It cannot set right completely blurry and distorted images.
- Using Outdated Software/ Software Versions
Technology plays a significant role in photography today as most of the process is digital. Thus, editing professionals should have their photo editing software kit decked with the latest tools and versions to deliver the best results. However, this isn’t always the case. You may still be using software no longer in vogue or even supported by its creators. Or, you may use the right software tools for the job but not their latest versions. This is as good as not using the software since regular updates are sent out to add new features to the software.
Thus, ensure that you (or the photo retouching service provider you have chosen) work on the right set of software and tools. Otherwise, you risk falling behind your competition or not getting the desired effects for your property photos.
- Keeping Shadows and Reflections
It is a common misconception that reflections can only be found on reflective surfaces in a photograph, like mirrors and metallic objects. Even walls with light shades can add to unwanted reflections. This is certainly the case when a flash is used to brighten a portion of the image of a room.
While the portion may come out well, there could be excessive exposure elsewhere due to the reflection. And, of course, there are always the notorious culprits-water and glass. Air can also create mirages on a hot day that distort images of property exteriors.
On the flip side, you can get shadows in places you don’t want them. Revisiting the example of using a flash to highlight a poorly lit part of a room, if there is an unwanted object there that can’t be moved, it will create a shadow upon being exposed to the flash. There could even be shadows from unexpected objects like clouds.
Both reflections and shadows may make it through the editing process, leaving a bad look on the property. The solution is to create high contrast between the two lighting extremes. The use of multiple images with varying contrast levels will allow the correction of reflections and shadows to the right extent since the focus will be on those aspects of the image.
Real estate photography is a unique niche. There is not just the property to think about but also the various objects placed in it, the objects around it, and the emotions the seller wants to evoke in the viewer. It is also the primary asset in a volatile market that is increasingly moving online. With the awareness of some common editing errors, you can easily build a reputation and increase conversions on your listings. If you still face difficulties, you can hire a real estate photo editing service provider.