Don’t make this mistake when you photograph your interiors for your website! See the difference between a room photographed with a wide angle lens and without!
This was the house Kelly (my design assistant) and her husband Mike bought a few years ago. Renovating the inside of the house was a much higher priority than painting the exterior so when they sold the house this Spring, it remained this colour combination.
But inside, the house experienced quite a transformation!
Today I want to talk to you about why you shouldn’t use a wide-angle lens when photographing your home and when it’s appropriate to use a wide angle lens – basically if you’re a professional getting professional photos of your work taken (almost never).
The problem with wide-angle photos
A while ago, one of my True Colour Experts posted some “after” photos (on our private Facebook group for TCEs) of a project she had just completed.
She said she was upset by how the professional photos turned out. They didn’t look right and she couldn’t figure out why.
The reason she wasn’t happy with them was because her photographer had used a wide-angle lens, which distorted the rooms and made them look much larger than they actually were.
You’ll notice real estate photographers are notorious for doing this. The other dead giveaway of a real estate photo is every single light is on as well. (Something most of us bloggers and designers who post our work don’t do)
This often distorts the colour so much that a potential buyer is totally turned off simply because the colours are not accurate.
It’s the very reason we ask for photos taken WITHOUT FLASH and in good NATURAL LIGHT when we choose colours for our eDesign clients.
First, let’s begin with a little before and after home tour.
Kelly’s kitchen was white so we didn’t have that problem in these photos, but take a look at the difference between the photos taken by my photographer (Barry Calhoun) vs. the real estate photographer:
After (Cabinet Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue)
Kelly loves blues so she painted this entry cabinet the same colour as the powder room, which is located around the corner from the entry to create flow.
Kelly and Mike installed new hardwood throughout their home and completely updated the staircase. They also replaced the kitchen and the powder room. The other two bathrooms you’ve recently seen, were simply given a fresh coat of paint here and here.
Read more: Are Hardwood Floors Considered a Pattern?
Kelly’s Entryway After (Styled by Maria Killam)
Here I am taking a before pic! 😉
I love this playful wall of animals Kelly arranged in the powder room!
And, this was the soooooo 80s fireplace that just had to come out!
If you’re looking to replace a fireplace, I’ve got a few post you need to read:
Don’t install a new fireplace without reading this first and Read this BEFORE you makeover your stone fireplace
Before (living room fireplace)
After – cozier image, colours are more vibrant. (SW Shoji White)
All the lights are on – REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHER
You saw her living room during the holidays when we were talking about how to freshen up brown furniture here.
After – love the herringbone tile surround!
Photo by Barry Calhoun
Here’s another clue. Real Estate photographers obviously aren’t doing vignettes. Ha!
Kelly and her husband also opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
Since Kelly was on a budget like I was when I first renovated my kitchen 6 years ago, she bought the same IKEA counter stools I used to have in my kitchen. I bought new ones recently when I refreshed my kitchen design here.
Regular photo (Pendants from IKEA)
I thought they could also have been black (since they are available in black) to create some contrast and relate to the black countertops, so Kelly photoshopped them so you could see the difference.
Which colour do you prefer?
And, here’s a photo below from the real estate photographer. Obviously the lights are on – dead giveaway. But, also notice how the kitchen looks HUGE and it even makes the island look too small.
Here’s another look at Kelly’s kitchen before.
After – cozy, pretty photo
But, in this wide angle real estate photo, the kitchen looks too big and NARROW. Do you agree?
My friend Jan Romanuk helped re-design the new layout of the kitchen, Kelly did not like the awkward corner sink and windows so they moved it.
Here’s a look at the family room photo before (the old and dated millwork was removed)
And here it is after. Kelly colour blocked the books here and I love how she arranged the gallery wall in this room. For more tips on styling bookshelves, read this post.
Photo by Barry Calhoun
Again, this real estate photo makes the room look out of proportion.
A note about wide angle real estate photos
In the end when I compared the real estate photos to the regular pics, I understand why they have to be taken with a wide angle lens.
Many times it’s impossible to get the entire room in one photo unless you use that lens. However if you’re a designer reading this, you should know that magazines don’t feature photos using a wide angle lens.
It’s important to avoid using a wide angle lens as much as possible and usually only in a tiny bathroom when it’s the only way you can shoot such a small space.
Photography by Barry Calhoun
And here’s a photo of my fabulous Design Assistant Kelly! They are in the middle of a huge renovation in the new house.
Over to you my lovelies, how do you feel about wide angled, real estate photos?
Have you ever felt duped when you arrive to see a house you’d seen online only to realize that it was much smaller than it looked in the photos?