Why does my home look like a teepee?

I'm sure you have seen photos of listed homes where the sides are falling inwards and looking like the beginnings of a teepee.  Houses have vertically straight up walls so why are they falling in as seen in the photo A ?

Photo A

This is usually caused by photographing the house at street level and tilting the camera and/or leaning back to capture the entire house thus causing the sides to lean inwards.  This home in particular sat about 10 feet higher than the street. The exterior shot is your most important photo, the 'money shot' and it needs to look its most attractive to get those initial clicks and stand out. 
The e-curb appeal. Remember, over 90% of buyers begin their home shopping on-line and have expressed that photos are the most important tool when looking for their potential home. In photo A the sides would have been leaning in much more but it's reflexive for me to use a ladder when I am photographing an exterior (more on this later).

How do you correct your verticals so your exterior shots look their magnificent best?

Photo B

There are many different methods to correcting verticals and I've only listed just a few that I've used or experimented with.


1. Shoot from a ladder to give yourself the height and perspective that's needed but be careful and make sure the ladder is on level ground. I use a 4 foot ladder because it's light enough for me to carry with one arm and I feel safe at that height. The 6 foot was heavier and I was just too uncomfortable balancing and trying to hold a camera.

2. Use the PAP method - Pole Aerial Photography.  Special equipment will need to be purchased and it will take some practice on use. Your camera is connected to an extension pole and you can shoot as high as 15 feet up. I'll be writing  a blog about this method in later posts so stay tuned.

3. Straighten the verticals in your post production work.  Specialized software can be purchased or if you're adept with Photoshop, verticals can be corrected there.  Make sure you have enough room around your photo to work with because when you do all your vertical straightening in post, sometimes quite a bit of the photograph is cropped out.

 ...  and my favorite

4. Hire a Real Estate Photographer. They have invested in tools, training and software to get the job done. 

What did I do for photo B?  I used a hybrid method from the solutions listed above.  As mentioned earlier, I immediately pulled out my ladder for the shot so no photos were taken from street level. I would have liked to use a pole but bad weather was threatening and I needed to shoot before the rain hit.

I use a 4-foot ladder. It's light in weight and it gives me the extra height I need in almost all exterior shots. I got three extra feet from the ladder so now my camera is about eight feet from ground level.  I was still  two feet short and I do want to fix or correct as much as possible in the field.  Like most photographers I would rather be shooting your beautiful listings than sitting in front of computer editing photos ... but I still needed a couple more feet.  I raised the camera above my head making sure to keep it level, set my camera in live view, centered the house, and hit the shutter release and ended up with photo B.  I then performed some minor edits and voila, photo B. I did have to straighten the verticals slightly in the post work but nothing compared to if I had not used my hybrid method. 

Want to see a virtual tour of this beautiful home, click here?

Feel free to call or email with any questions you may have about your photos.

Liz Lopez- lizlopezphoto@medotcom

Selling a Home in 3 days

Selling a home in 3 days!  ... And for a $105,000 over ask. ... And it was the Broker's home.

What real estate agent wouldn't love to have a listing perform like that?  I photographed Ben Hirsh's home of Hirsh Real Estate and as he says in his blog, he was determined to follow the advice he gives to his sellers. Ben wrote 4 Ways to Sell Your Home in 3 Days and it includes some very savvy marketing rules. Of course, I love rule number 3 - 'use a pro photographer who specializes in real estate'.  Thank you Ben!    

Still not convinced?  Here's a couple more articles written in national newspapers about the importance of Professional Real Estate Photography and what it can do to get your listings viewed and sold.   

Get a Picture Perfect-Home Sale 

"Photography is at the center of all your marketing," says Brian Balduf, chairman of VHT, a provider of photography services to agents and brokers in the Chicago area. "It's not just documenting that there is a house for sale. You want people to say, 'What a house,' " and be motivated enough to take action, he says."

Quality Photos Make All the Difference in Marketing Your Home   



Liz Lopez Photography