Real Estate Photography – Photographing Condos & Coop Common Areas…

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When buyers look at a condo or cooperative complex, they are buying more than the unit, they are buying the lifestyle.  How the common areas are presented online and in brochures can really have an impact on overall interest.   Naturally, if your buyer craves a sleek modern look, the ornate detail of an Art Nouveau is going to attract them.  But on the other hand it may win over a buyer who loves pre-war architecture and moldings.  Buyers do tend to purchase a house or condo that feels “right” for them.  Certainly something like the entry, even though it is a common area plays a role in those overall feelings regarding the complex.

The above is an example of an Art Nouveau lobby in an elegant pre-war building that I photographed for an agent a couple of months ago.  I took quite a few photos of the lobby using several techniques before settling on this photo that incorporates HDR (high dynamic range).  HDR blends more than one photo at several different exposures.  When not “overdone” it can be extremely effective on exteriors.  In this case, I used it to emphasize the architectural detail which was amazing.

On interiors, I tend to reserve the use of HDR for older homes where the texture and moldings are an important feature.  HDR helps those to stand out in all their glory.  In a modern home or building, HDR can either be effective or deadly.  Certainly, anything that brings to life texture and moldings can be deadly for smoother surfaces such as drywall.  Its kind of like looking at yourself in your high magnifying makeup mirror.  Even the tiniest flaw jumps out at you with brutal honesty.  Minor dinks and dents don’t need to be magnified when photographing a home, so the use of HDR.  Lately, HDR has gotten a bad name.  That’s not surprising since many people overuse it in the name of artistry.  It can be used to add depth or make the photo look almost surreal and very grainy.  Obviously, when you are trying to sell a home, artsy and grainy are not what the photographer should be going for.


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