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How Do You Know? Real Estate Photography & You.

How Do You Know? Real Estate Photography & You.
Guest article by Diego Henriquez

“How do you know when you’re ready?” this question has been asked for generations – marriage, children, college, etc…
The answer always seems to be the same, “you just know.”

Unfortunately, this particular answer cannot be said of prepping your house for real-estate photography, as much as I’d like it too. So, how do you know? What is the fine balance between what feels like the destruction of your whole world and routine and to making sure your home is beautiful within and without? Is there a model or form you can follow? HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Before I divulge unto you information that will change the name of your game I think we need to establish the rules. Here, in the world of photography real estate and real estate in general, we like to think of ourselves as helpers.

What do you mean helpers?

Well, we aren’t here to make your house look ugly, or to highlight parts of the house that might be unbecoming to viewers, nor are we around to make sure your house doesn’t sell. Our number one focus, primary focus, the very fundamental part of our job is to ensure your house is sold in a way that respects you, for YOU.

So the ONLY rule, yes, I repeat, the ONLY rule there is, is to remember:
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU make your house look its best, for you.

Some think we are invaders trying to occupy their livelihood and home, but we aren’t. We are guests. As such, wouldn’t you want your house to look its best?

Some think we don’t care about how the house looks or is maintained, but we do. In fact, we care a ridiculous amount, so much so, we consider you a part of our team and vice versa. #teamCBHarper.

As a team, we (on-staff professional Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® photographers) are going to do our utmost to ensure your house gets the best photos, the realtor will do their utmost to ensure the sale of your house, and you, as team leader, needs to, to the utmost of your ability ensure your house is ready – ready for the world to see how beautiful your home is, has been, and will continue to be.
(As soon as they buy it, am I right).

Okay, okay….enough with the chatter you say, tell me how do I know when I am ready.
Here, at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, we’ve made it simple for you with our expert team of professional photographers, our undying canny marketing team, and our 24/7 on-the-clock IT department. We’ve made it so simple, that it boils down to a list. THE LIST. The list of all lists that will answer, “when am I ready.”
You can find this list by asking your Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTOR® or download it here.

You feel that power at your fingertips? I do.
However, if you’d like read on…it gets better. I promise.

After the list is done, then what? What’s your next move? Remember how I said it gets better? Here it comes….brace yourself…..Once you finish the list, you are done. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?! No way! How? Well, let’s use the analogy of an all American great sport, football.

When the quarterback throws the ball, is he done for that moment with his job? Why yes, for the moment, not the whole game. Okay now, who’s next in play? Well, whoever is receiving the ball, which in this particular case would be the photographer. Now it is His turn to do what is expected of him. And, well, you get my drift… I want to highlight something important. As the seller, the team leader, you have to continue to maintain the house, just as a quarterback would the play his best the whole game because this helps the realtor do their part. In this way, when we all work together, as exhausting as it may seem – and trust me I know it is exhausting – we can guarantee success, for you!


So, here’s the deal: let’s pinky promise each other that we will do what is required of us to make sure we make your home look its best for you, for me, for them and for those to be. After all, we are a team. The best team. Because we have you and you can now say confidently, I AM READY.

Your Photographer.



Guest article by Diego Henriquez.

Home Staging Benefits

sabor1138924fIt’s easy to understand why a beautiful home sells. Seeing perfectly placed pillows set in against a lovely corresponding color themed sofa conjures images of coming home. Reaching families by appealing to the possibilities they have in front of them is potentially the quickest way to sell a home. More than just a sell, is the satisfaction of helping others find the next place for them to build memories and a future.

Certainly it would be ideal for sellers to listen to every bit of advice – or even better, they already have a home gleaming with organization and comfort. This is rarely the case, despite the statistics that point in favor of home staging. Fortunately the staff at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® have access to a Marketing Department complete with professional photographers. A truly unique program called PowerHouse Marketing is comprised of individuals help each home to help it look its best by empowering the Sales Associates with the information and tools they need to succeed.

Most buyers form their opinions about a home within the first 5-7 seconds of arriving. Some of them focus on specific features, such as a beautiful entryway or front door. As the digital world moves ever forward, about 90% of home seekers are looking online first. Of course this is just one of the reasons that making an impression through the professional photography of a staged home is the cornerstone of marketing. Additionally, it is imperative to impress upon sellers that it is beneficial to take advantage of home staging. A Coldwell Banker survey of 2,800 properties revealed staged homes sell in half the time of non-staged homes.

sabor1138924cBy following these steps BEFORE photographers arrive you can ensure your home is ready to look its best!

• Clean and Declutter – Think simplicity. Organize first, then buy any additional decorative items second. Also, complete each room completely. Trying to take an entire day to organize everything in the home leads to feeling overwhelmed. Take it room by room.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 4.53.26 PM• Landscape & Entryway – Remove shoes, tidy up hoses and other items. Have the lawn cut. Ensure cars have been removed from driveway and NOT parked directly in front of the home.

• Brighten Rooms – Straighten window treatments, tie back drapes if possible and allow the light in. If curtains are dated, removing them altogether might be a better option.

• Update Kitchen – Remove appliances, dishes in the sink, telephones and letter boxes from sight. Adding a couple vases of flowers or a bowl of fruit is a nice touch.

• Clean & Updated Bath Areas – Try using a staging tray with neatly folded hand towels, a mirror or an unlit candle. Everything else should be hidden, bath toys, cosmetics and other personal items.

Before & After- Paint• Fresh Coat of Paint – When possible this is ideal to cover up unsightly colors or wall blemishes. Also be aware that it is much more beneficial to paint an entire wall. Trying to patch with paint ends up looking sloppy and more evident of nicks.


Some finally tips come from a study done by Duke University based on factors in a home that has been staged. The participants rated various items (related to staging) by level of importance and below are the top 6 reported in this study:

1.) Removal of personal items (Toothbrushes, bars of soap and bottles of shampoo, etc.).

2.) Use rooms for their intended purpose (Dining room should contain dining furniture and not be used as an office or gym).

3.) Remove evidence of pets (Litter boxes, food bowls and toys, etc.).

4.) Turn on every light in the house during showings/photos (Incites positive emotions and creates a more spacious feel).

5.) Furnish a home rather than have it empty of furniture or any decorative items.

6.) Remove personal photographs that might be displayed.

CBDHR Real Estate Photography

In this new Experience CBDHR series CBDHR Real Estate Photography we are going to take a look through the lens of our field photographers. Our on-staff professional photographers work in a variety of fun and interesting conditions. They collectively visit over 75 houses each week (or more) during the height of real estate’s busy season.


As professionals in their craft our photographers have honed their skills and work closely with a staff of marketing professionals. Each day this team processes anywhere from 500-700 raw photo images. They are then delivered to our team of Sales Associates and uploaded into the MLS system for internet syndication and additional marketing. As a bonus, listings receive an HDR treatment. HDR, or High Dynamic Range is a style of photography that captures greater tonal depth by layering various exposures of the same photo.


No see meAlthough we have guidelines some of our photography staff still run into some interesting situations. This is a rare behind the scenes look at some of those instances – all captured on camera.




Dog in Laundry Room

Dog in Laundry Room

Unexpected Selfie

Unexpected selfie – child takes hold of our photographers camera.


Cats are by far the most amusing and love to photobomb or pose at every chance. Real photo from the field – might be this kitty’s favorite spot.

Ultimate Photo Bomb

Typical cat at the ready to ninja photobomb.

Where is Waldo

Where is Waldo moment. Almost didn’t see this lil’ cutie.

Guinea Pig Hotel

Guinea Pig Hotel – The cutest part of a photographers job

Cleaning House

Cleaning is important… However, less is clearly more.

Photos can be the key in helping to sell your home or potentially to deter interested buyers . Our professional photographers respect personal possessions and do not move or alter belongings around the home in anyway.

If you are selling your home here’s some helpful tips to ensure the best photos possible:

• Remove Clutter In Areas That Will Be Photographed

Magazines, newspapers, toys, food bowls, etc… Less is more.

• Clear Countertops As Much As Possible

• Have Beds Neatly Made

• Remove Magnets & Pictures From Fridge

• Turn On As Many Lights As Possible

• Remove Or Hide Trash Cans

• Move Cars From Driveways

• Have Furniture Displayed In An Inviting Manner

• Always Consult With Your REALTOR®

For more helpful hints follow us on social media and subscribe to our blog.