MY PHOTOS HAVE DISAPPEARED!!! Will try to get them back soon...
We can't control the weather so don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of it!!!!!
A few years ago, when we got a listing we would take the pictures, put it on the MLS, maybe market the property elsewhere, and that was it. It would close in no time. Those days, unfortunately, are in the past. A year on the market or longer isn't uncommon in our area....yours too, I'm guessing. I put my own house on the market late winter, 2009, here in the mountains of NC. The photos inside were fine, but the exterior photographs included dormant lawn, barren plants and no flowers. That's easy, I just photographed it again in the spring and put those photographs on my listing. I hope you all are doing that. It's important to put new photos up when the property looks better not only because it improves the look of it, but because outdated photos sometimes show how long it's been listed. I think it's also good to change the listing up now and again to keep it fresh.
My problem was that we installed shutters on the house at the end of 2009. I really wanted new photos of the house with the shutters but I was back to dead looking landscaping, and the house looks so pretty with everything green. Now those of you in Northern Michigan and the frozen tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin don't find snow to be especially novel, but here in the mountains of western NC and North GA, snow isn't very common and people who come here really like to see it. We hadn't had more than an inch since 2006 at our house and it generally melts by mid-day. Because of this, we try to get at least one snow shot in our listings. Towards the beginning of January we finally had a good snow coming. I figured this would be the best opportunity I'd have to get good photos of my new shutters until spring. I moved the car out of the way the night before (so not to have ugly tire tracks) and got myself out there at 7:30am. There were 2 reasons I had to go out so early. I wanted to beat the dogs and their paw prints, but also because the main shot I was after (the one on the left) was from the west. I had to get it before the sun came up over the hill across the river and ended up directly in my camera lens or I'd have to wait until late afternoon when the sun was behind me. I knew that by then, the dogs would have ruined the snow and that it would probably be melting. So there I was, no coffee yet, freezing in the 14 degree weather with my gloves sticking to my tripod and my snow packed boots slipping off the aluminum ladder!
You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you like. Was it worth it? Absolutely!!! We had more snow that winter but not nearly as pretty. I also had an added bonus, I turned up the drive to shoot in that direction and saw several deer. They were far away and there wasn't a whole lot of light, but since I had my camera on my tripod....
I kept the spring photos on my listing but was able to add the snow shots which looked nice but most importantly, showed the new shutters!
I have another thing to point out from these photos. If you've been reading my series of Real Estate Photography Tips, in my first post, I talked about the challenge of photographing north facing houses. I explained that you can shoot before the sun comes up or after it goes down. The snow photos are a perfect example of that. The shots on the left show the north facing side of the house, and all of it has the deep shadows under the porch roof when the sun's out. Shooting before the sun came over the mountain opened up all those shadowed areas. You can probably tell I've learned a whole lot more about digital photography since last spring!
Here's one more example of taking advantage of the weather. I had a couple of beautiful view lots listed. They have year round lake and mountain views, and they'll be even more spectacular once the houses are built. The challenge with these lots, photographically, is that they are south facing. Everyone here wants south facing lots, but when you shoot long range views, you're towards the sun and they tend to get a little hazy. The photo on the left is the way I first shot it. It was a beautiful day, but not good enough. I just couldn't Photoshop any more haze out of it!! A couple of months later, it was one of those gorgeous, clear, see for miles and miles days, so of course I thought of these lots and went to reshoot them. You do that too, right??? I have a lot of photos of this property but tried to find at least the same angle on the shots.
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