Your photos are staid because you do not obey the peekaboo law

By and large, real estate photos are staid and boring. They don’t solve a problem and they don’t follow the “peekaboo law,” which states:

Evolution has seen to it that the very act of searching for the hidden object is enjoyable

i.e. they try to put it all out there. The first photo is usually the front of the house (that’s probably fine) and then we proceed to get a full view shot of each room. That’s not seductive! Usually the photographer (agent?) uses the same lens in each room and does nothing to focus the eye or the mind on what makes the property attractive or problem solving. Specifically: why show the kitchen, including the 6 burner stove from a distance? Why not take a very wide angle lens and show the rest of the kitchen from the perspective of the stove? Or show the view from from sitting at the counter?

One of my favorite real estate photos, which does none of the above, was found by BoingBoing a couple of years ago:accidental real estate pornography (safe for work).

(I’ve looked at a lot of real estate photos over the past couple of months preparing for the launch of We’re coming down the final stretch – get your name on the list now if you want to hear about it when we launch!)

10 thoughts on “Your photos are staid because you do not obey the peekaboo law

  1. Pingback: Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide » Photos that tell you something

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  3. I’m an agent. When the digital cameras practically take the photos themselves under all kinds of lighting conditions- I can’t understand why there are so many bad photos on the MLS and internet. There is no excuse for submitting blurred, dark, or out of level photos. Nobody want see your seller’s junk mail on the kitchen counter or an unmade bed! My buyers always seem concerned with curb appeal so I always start with an exterior shot unless the house has a killer view. Inside I like to vary the point of view wide and close to give some details. And I think long shots from one room to another are very appealing. If the photos aren’t perfect take a few minutes to clean them up on Picasa. It’s simple and very necessary- some buyers will not even look at listings without additional photos.

  4. I work with my wife, and we made a simple pledge when we started a few years ago: we only use professional photography. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think (usually $350 or so, we’ve worked very hard to find someone who was good and affordable) and it makes a real difference. It is also a great tool in listing presentations.

    We don’t have any rules other than, “it has to be a great shot.” If it’s the outside, great. One listing we have right now features the 30X31 living room. We work hard with our photographer to find great shots from anywhere we can in the house, and will use as many as we think really help – but usually less than 10.

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