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Whom should you praise for that eye-catching home photography? Maybe it’s the home builder. Maybe it’s the interior designer. Or maybe it’s the photographer.

Let’s talk about online dating apps. You look at the person’s online dating profile, look at pictures and bio, decide whether or not you’re a good match, and meet. People who use dating apps try to look as appealing as possible – some even exaggerate the autobio and tweak pictures with filters. Not that it’s bad but it can be jarring when you meet a person in flesh only to find out that your “expectations” of him are nothing like his “reality.”

Home hunting on residential property listings is no different from those online dating applications. Relatively, the pictures on listings, social media accounts, and magazines are supposed to give you a gist of how the house looks like. Of course, sellers would want their homes to appear as saleable as possible to appeal buyers. These sneaky (or should I say clever) sellers use tricks to make their homes look larger, tidier, flawless, and more vibrant than it actually is.

Has a beautifully photographed home sent you to a tripping only to be disenchanted by the home’s unattractive facade? Maybe the camera tricks and editing are to blame. To avoid feeling disillusioned, here are 7 home photography tricks to check when home hunting.

1. Nothing beats professional cameras

It’s safe to say that the photographs taken from a DSLR are more splendid than ones from an average 2.0-megapixel phone camera. One of the major differences is resolution – higher resolution produces clearer, more detailed, and more vibrant photos that are likely to turn a website visitor into a potential buyer. Next to cameras, home photography equipment such as a tripod, external flash unit, a special set of lens, and lens filter are also included in a real estate photographer’s arsenal.

2. Wide angle lens for larger-looking rooms

Wide angle photography is the bread and butter of interior home photography. The special type of lens, which generally falls in the range of 16-24mm, is able to capture more of the room and is used to help show how one room is linked to another in a property. On top of that, it is notorious for creating an illusion of a bigger square footage.

Wide angle lens can be used to make a particular room wider than it actually is. Photographers often use it for capturing tight spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and cramped hallways.

The good thing is you can spot whether or not wide angle trick was used in the photos. When the objects near the lens seem large while the distant objects appear abnormally small, then there’s a great chance the room you’re looking at is way smaller and narrower in real life.

3. It’s all about perspective

Why do you always emphasize the right side of your face and angle the camera upward whenever you go for a selfie? Does the angle make your face appear slimmer? Are you trying to flaunt your cheekbones and hide a zit on your left cheek? The same principle works in real estate photography where “angle is everything.”

A photographer can kneel down and capture from a lower angle to make the exterior of the house look taller, emphasize an impressive ceiling work, and create the illusion of wider swimming pool. Rule of thumb: high-angle makes space look smaller; low-angle makes space look taller and larger.He can also use that particular angle to hide an unsightly water tower looming behind the building. Angles are used for emphasizing the strongest point of the house and hiding the deal breakers.

4. The art of cropping

Photographers are like painters – they, too, have the power to include and exclude the details they deem fit in order to compose a beautiful picture. So when they think some wall cracks atop the window would disappoint the buyer, photographers will try to exclude it from the frame through cropping.

5. Out of sight, out of mind

Of course, homeowners know that homes should first be reasonably clean and free of clutter and flaw before uploading in residential listings. They hide the clutter to make the room look neat. They also practice staging to make the room look organized and flawless from limiting the furniture shown to covering an eyesore with a wall frame, vase, and another décor.

6. Lighting is key

If you’re drawn to a particular picture, chances are the photo used great lighting techniques. The brighter the better. Pictures shot in the morning make the best shots for nothing beats natural light.

Pictures shot during a dark, cloudy day or night creates very dull and gloomy pictures unless the photographer uses smart artificial lighting techniques to add drama.

7. One last finishing touch: Photo editing

A photo editing software makes it easy for home exterior and interior shots to look more attractive. A little tweaking on the curves and saturation menus can make the landscapes look fuller and greener, and the rooms brighter, more vivid, and more inviting.

There’s nothing misleading about the practice if the photographer is just essentially bringing out the home’s full potential aesthetically. But if photo editing goes beyond minor enhancements, like adding details that aren’t there, changing the paint color with photoshop, or erasing a major flaw, then that would be unscrupulous advertising. That’s one reason why you should see the home in person.

So the next time you drool over vibrant finishes, clever landscaping, spacious, clutter-free rooms, and gorgeous Instagram-worthy homes, check if they might be produced using these home photography tricks. In the same way, you can learn from this list if you’re planning to sell your home.

The author is a writer for Wincrest Home Builders, one of NSW’s most experienced and well-renowned home builders aiming at building and designing modern family Homes in Australia.