Staging for Photos

Not the same as Staging for Showings. . .

Real Estate Photos need to both look great and make sense to the average person.  Most people do not know what 1,000 Square Feet looks like, but most people can understand how big a room with a twin bed is – and that’s because we know the objects and not their sizes.  It’s because of this, that staging a space for maximum Visible Square Footage (VSQFT) can actually be more important than the actual Square Footage – It’s what online shoppers will see first and connect with instantly.  Staging a space for photographs is very much like a game of Hide & Seek.  We hide as much “stuff” as we can to seek as much visible square footage as we can.  

It might seem like a trivial detail, but when staging a room for a photograph, you typically get only one “expansive” point of view which is typically from the doorway of a room.  As you can see in the image to the right, there is a lamp next to the doorway that would make complete sense where it is in a physical showing, but for a photograph, it is blocking a large percentage of VSQFT.  Simply by relocating the bed and the lamp to change the perspective slightly, we removed the blocking effect of the lamp and created a space that made sense to a photo.

In hindsight, we should have also struck the chair from the room to do the same.  Less is more.  Instead, we ended up photoshopping the chair out of the space, forcing us to crop the image slightly to lose part of the 3rd wall rather than having to rebuild the baseboard and closet shown in the image below.


A camera only has one eye, so perspective is everything to a camera.  Placing larger objects and decor further away from the camera will visibly shrink them, adding to the visible size of a space, while moving the smaller decor items closer to the cameras point of view will fill in any empty spaces without causing blockage.  This often applies to “stuff” on dressers, counters, tables and shelving.


Until the COVID19 pandemic is declared a minimal threat, it is wise for everyone to consider how real estate & creative professionals can function and maintain safe and reasonable health practices.


Feel free to share the checklist with your clients and associates!

Real Estate agencies have been receiving advice from state and national bodies addressing their unique issues. Contractors & creative professionals are left to develop our own strategies to meet the needs and safety of our clients.

While this was written for Real Estate Photographers, it pertains to other Real Estate Professionals such as: 

Cleaners | Landscapers | Trades people
Realtors & Brokers | Pest and Building inspectors
Staging Specialists | Photographers | Videographers

The nature of our work is somewhat isolated from the mainstream economy.  Most often our workspace is a vacant building (residential or commercial) with little to no close contact with anyone.  Occasionally our client will arrive on location, sometimes there is a homeowner or a family, or a blend of everyone involved from stagers & contractors to the sellers and their family of animals. Guidelines are different for vacant properties as they naturally present the least amount of close contact.

For a photographer to walk through a prepared and vacant space to take photos, gloves are unnecessary and potentially unhealthy when the proper sanitary precautions are taken into consideration.  Gloves can easily cross-contaminate surfaces and it is far more sanitary to wash & sanitize hands throughout the appointment as needed. Our photographer will use sanitized cleaning gloves at the beginning and end of the appointment as needed, but not during the shooting process.  A face mask will be used during an interior session to prevent any bacteria from contaminating surfaces in the home.

See the full article HERE for information on meeting the needs of today’s health standards.

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