Renting Your Cottage: 5 Must-haves for Your Pictures

According to real estate specialists, 95% of people who look up online rental listings spend approximately 20 seconds on the first picture. If it succeeds in attracting enough attention, tenants will continue their research by focusing on the price and descriptive texts. When it comes to renting a cottage, the same data applies. Indeed, holidaymakers looking for a place to have relaxing and fun vacations want to be charmed at first glance; consequently, the visual presentation should be aimed at favouring this first impression.

Far from claiming to be a professional photographer, it is important to know the must-haves of real estate photography. With the tools available to our reach, such as crystal-clear smartphone cameras, it is now possible to create an attractive result without spending a huge amount in professional photography.

Prepare the Chalet

A well-maintained lot with plenty of room for both greenery and flowering is a prerequisite to succeed your main picture: the facade of the chalet in its environment. Don't forget to move the car if it is parked in the driveway. Inside, it is important to remove personal items and declutter the rooms. For example, in the bathroom, remove the bath mat, hair brushes, and cosmetics. In the living room and bedrooms, arrange family portraits and remove all cleaning products in the kitchen. Cleaning products are the last things your guests want to think about. However, items that incite holidays such as a BBQ, patio chairs, a few books, a fruit tray on the patio and so on are always welcome. Also, it would seem that a bouquet placed on the table attracts people's attention!

Maximize Natural Light Intake and Effects

When the morning or late afternoon light reflects in an angle like a spotlight on your subject, plan on capturing the exterior (the courtyard, pool, patio, garden, and of course, the entire cottage). Noon's strong light has the tendency to overexpose the elements; hence, the more diffuse the light is, the softer and smoother your pictures will look. Inside, open the curtains and let the natural light in! Dark photos must be avoided at all time. A large amount of interior light makes the rooms look bigger. However, make sure your light bulbs are of the same colour in your room: warm, cold, or neutral, but not all three at the same time. A tripod does not add light but can make a huge difference in terms of clarity in your pictures.

Frame Your Pictures Properly

It is best to frame horizontally or landscape mode. The human eye is better adapt to this ratio. Web sites are also made for landscape mode. Even if certain rooms are easier to frame vertically, you should stick to horizontal so your pictures have this constant ratio. Wide-angle lenses, with its short focal length, will be your best ally to photograph both your cottage as a whole in a single without putting aside its tight spaces such as the bathroom. Having a short focal length between 10 mm and 35 mm allows you to frame close objects without moving away from your subject; however, a wide-angle lens distorts objects and fisheyes are to be proscribed. In order to avoid distortion, on the one hand, restrict your use between 17 mm to 24 mm. On the other, remove any objects in the foreground. For example, you can remove the coffee table from the living room to allow more space in front of the sofas. If you do not use reflex or digital cameras, a wide-angle smartphone lens can be purchased everywhere, even at the pharmacy!

Retouch Your Pictures

In order to ensure the amplitude of the retouches, those who operate a digital camera should take their photos in the RAW mode. Photoshop, Lightroom or Gimp are powerful retouching softwares. Particularly, Lightroom offers the ability to repair the distortion created by a wide angle and so on, avoiding unwanted curves added to the architectural lines of your cottage. However, these softwares require a minimum of knowledge. Otherwise, with your mobile device, you can retouch your photos, add a filter or calibrate light, tones, clarity, and contrasts easily. Beware of abuses, photos that are too retouched can give the impression that the ad is falsified and repel potential tenants. Prioritize filters that accentuate natural light to those that accentuate contrasts and shadows and. Also, focus on warm colours, except for white surfaces. White surfaces must be as white as snow! If you want to make sure, the trick lies in opening a Word document and comparing the white of your photo to the one of the blank page. Also, desaturating your picture makes it possible to counter the undesirable colours on walls, kitchen cabinets, and other surfaces. Yellow walls, I'll pass. Avoid making a montage of your pictures. It is better to just have nice clean shots than to combine the points of view. You should also refrain from adding pictorial elements or watermarks. They might conflict with the cottage rentals website own watermark.

And for the More Advanced: The HDR Mode

Particularly popular in real estate photography, the HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing mode consists of capturing 3 to 4 photos from the same point of view, but exposed differently to create a single and perfect picture. Even though the majority of recent cameras, tablets, and cell phones offer an automatic HDR mode, they do not amount to the manual method of retouching software. Several online tutorials are available to learn the technique, especially that of Adobe for Photoshop offers good guidelines. However, photos retouched in HDR mode give particularly contrasted pictures. Although they are "fashionable" in the field of real estate, it is recommended to avoid extremes.

Finally, online competition is strong, hence the importance of betting on quality photos to attract attention among many rental offers. Some will go so far as to say that including photos in an advertisement multiplies by 10 the number of consultations of this one. The visual presentation is beyond any doubt a factor of success for renting your cottage. With these few tricks, you increase the chances of getting clicks. Do not forget, you have to recreate the same sparkle you have had when you first visited your own cottage!

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