To help you take the best winter real estate photos possible, here are some tips for capturing a home’s best features despite seasonal challenges.

Capturing a property’s excellent features can be a challenge in the winter, especially if there is snow, mud, sleet and other unattractive elements on the ground, rather than deep green grass and pretty flowers. Proper lighting for high-quality photography is also difficult as the winter skies are often gray and overcast.

But these things don’t have to hold you back from capturing appealing photos of the homes you are selling over the winter. To help you take the best winter real estate photos possible, here are some tips for capturing a property’s best features despite these challenges.

1. Prevent snow build-up on the property

Not only can a home that has not been properly winterized become damaged, but also a home with heaps of snow and icy walkways looks unappealing in photos. Keep key areas like the driveway, sidewalks and porch clear of any snow.

If ice has built up, be sure to salt down the areas you have cleared to help remove the reflective ice. Also, rather than have the snow tossed on the lawn, creating unattractive flattened areas, it may be worth your time to keep a wheelbarrow to remove the snow outside of your photos.

Also, keep the gutters free of any icicles. While they may look magical to the natural eye, they often don’t photograph well and can lead to severe damage to the home.

2. Turn up the heat indoors

It might not be necessary to turn up the heat in the home when you are taking exterior shots of a property, but make sure you crank it up when you move the listing photo shoot indoors. Otherwise, you’ll end up with streaky, fogged windows that block out natural light.

If you find your exterior shots also have frosted or fogged windows, you should turn up the heat to eliminate that or you’ll risk making the property look uninviting.

3. Keep an eye on the weather

While there are many grey days during the winter, there are a few spectacularly robin’s egg blue sky days mixed in. Often, you can catch the sky like this right after a snowfall. Also, not only will you have bright, natural light to work with, but the snow will also create a fresh, attractive layer over older snow for a cleaner shot.

Also, photographing indoors will be easier on these days, as you will be able to fill the home with bright natural light.

4. Place a few festive decorating touches

Winter can make everything look dulled down. But you can take advantage of the winter season by brightening things up with some festive decor, like a wreath on the door and lights trimming the roof of the property.

Avoid personalized holiday decorations, as it can be difficult for buyers to imagine themselves in a home that is too full of another person’s tastes. Simple festive touches and garlands will be enough to brighten a room and allow a buyer to envision their decorations along with the small touches you placed for attractive photos.

5. Invite all the natural light possible

Using natural light in your photos rather than depending on the room’s lighting can help make any home seem more luxurious. Be sure to open up any window coverings as wide as possible to invite more light.

Also, if you have other warm lighting features (like a fireplace) to work with, be sure to turn them on. Not only will they add more light, but they’ll create a homey and cozy feeling.

6. Don’t be afraid to edit your photos

You shouldn’t be misleading when you edit your photos and alter what the home looks like in reality. However, an unedited photo can make real estate look incredibly unattractive, turning buyers off from even considering the property.

Instead of posting unedited winter property photos, spend some time on your photos and edit for:

  • Lighting: If you can’t catch a good day, do your best to balance the light in the photos to help brighten things up.
  • Correct distortion: Long lines, like picture windows and archways can become distorted by some camera lens. You can correct these distortions if you take some time to look over your photos.
  • Dusk editing: Capturing a property at dusk can create a stunning visual of the home. But because it is difficult to photograph in lower lighting, you can take a normal daylight photo and edit it to appear as if it was taken at the magical hour of dusk. This can look even more impressive if you have some Christmas lights up to create a little more magic.

Investing in something like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop can really pay off when you take the time to edit your photos.

7. Include photos of the property from greener seasons

To help buyers imagine what the property looks like outside of winter, it is best to include a few exterior shots from other seasons. Be sure to ask your clients if they have any that can be included with the winter ones, which will allow buyers to see the potential beyond winter.

By implementing these tips into your winter real estate photography and adding them to your real estate to-do list, you can be sure to capture your property’s best angles even during the winter season.

Jackson Cooper is a writer and real estate enthusiast at Jensen and Company. Follow Jensen & Company on Twitter or Facebook.

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