Many home stagers ask me to recommend the perfect home staging camera. There are many options, but it’s important to remember that there is a lot you can do to fix your home staging photos after the fact.
Here’s an example of the various steps of retouching an existing image, and how you can use the same home staging photo in very different ways.
The original shot was way too dark in the foreground because of the bright window. This problem could have been partially avoided by letting the camera focus using the available light near the dining room table instead. But we can still fix the lighting quite a bit.
This is a much better home staging portfolio photo already. When you’re showing the transformation of a vacant room you may want to show the whole living room/dining room area as shown above.
But we can also play with the way the home staging photo is cropped to draw the eye to more important details (depending on the point we’re trying to make in the photo itself).
Notice, I’m still keeping the final photo at the same width. With the tighter cropping shown above, it’s a more dynamic home staging photo that better showcases the home stager’s talent and eye for detail.
You can also use your same original photo to create very different vignettes, as shown below:
So as we’ve seen, if your original photo is too dark, or doesn’t highlight the most important details, there is a lot you can do to retouch it on your computer.
When I started in marketing and advertising in the 1980s, photo retouching was done on a machine larger than my entire home office. The process could cost thousands of dollars for retouching a single image!
Image editing software has come so far and continues to go down in price. In fact, I’m amazed at how much you can do just with the tools built into an iPhone!
I cover photo retouching steps in more detail in the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio.
In this demo, I created 4 effective home staging photos from a single dark original shot. I used Adobe Photoshop on my laptop, and played with the setting for Shadows/Highlights and used the Crop Tool. I also rotated the photo 3 degrees clockwise. Simple as that!
Special thanks to Staging Diva Grad Kate Perry of Accents and Amenities LLC (PA) for sharing the original home staging photo for this demo.
This is the first step-by-step photo post I’ve done, and I’d really appreciate your feedback. Let me know in the comments section if you’ve found this photo series helpful in re-imagining your own home staging portfolio. Your comments also help me with ideas for future articles.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Voice of Possibility Group Inc.
Home Staging expert Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and has taught over 9000 students how to do the same. She is the author of several guides including the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio.