The moment I walked into the house, I felt a chill on my back, probably because I am a little wimp but it was an uneasy feeling none the less.
If I felt this way, I bet many people who walks through this house alone would too.
It's dated, paints flaking, there are old dolls scattered in various corners of the house and the wall paper looked as though it's been there since the 50s (highly likely). Not a great first impression.
So sure it was an old, dark and a little eery, but this makes it a great challenge for me as a visual storyteller. Here's how it was photographed to make it feel inviting.
As always, here's what I would deliver to real estate agents:
Shows off the room as an entirety but it's boring and to viewers, it will just be another picture of an old room.
Before I got started, I turned off all the lights (real estate agent's nightmare!), why? Because it's one less distraction in the photo. Now remember, the whole point is to create a connection with the viewers. What I then did was come in closer and by coming in closer, it will make viewers feel connected to the image and in this case the space.
It's very dark now, but in my head I can already see a story unfolding just by looking at this dark picture.
If it was a nice sunny afternoon, there would be light coming through the window, but it was a dull, gloomy rainy day (ironic), so I created my own sunset light.
Ahhh can you feel the image now? It already looks 100x better and more inviting but it's still very dark.
To solve this, I placed a flash to one side of the living room and just gave a little hint of light and voila! Not so eery any more huh? Except the fill light has taken a lot of the warm feeling away and created this unatural artificial feel.
So I toned down the flash and brought back some natural light.
Here's the final image:
They key to a photo that works in your marketing is to create an emotional connection with your viewers. The best way to do this is by creating a story and the story of this image is about warmth and relaxation. If budget and time allowed, I would have used a golden retriever to lay down on the right rug to further enhance the story of a friendly cozy living room.