When it comes to marketing a home for sale on the Sunshine Coast, the photography is of utmost importance and can have a significant impact upon the property’s sale price and the time on market. Great imagery is a hallmark of any product marketing campaign, whether selling hamburgers or luxury cars, and since a home is a product for sale just like any other, it should be marketed as such.
However, is it better to book a twilight shoot or a daytime shoot?
Here’s a comparison for you. Now obviously every home will be different, but in this example we have a daytime photo of the exterior of this home:
… and here is a twilight photo of the same property:
I do like aspects of both shots, but the twilight photo, with its strong colors and great lighting, is going to stand out a whole lot more when competing against other homes in the same area.
A daytime shoot can work very well on a bright sunny day, especially for homes with fabulous ocean or hinterland views, or that have strong exterior colors that look great when the sun is hitting them. However cityscape views definitely look terrific in the evening.
Homes that suit a twilight real estate photo shoot will ideally have a lot of windows or sliding doors that not only spill warm inviting light onto the patio or pool, but also allow a glimpse into the interior (which is usually almost black in a daytime exterior photo). Garden or pool lighting will also show well in photos taken at dusk. The glow of the lights inside the home, the absence of shadows from the sun, and either a stunning sunset or cobalt blue evening sky, all combine to create a visually appealing image.
“With the warm interior lights contrasting against the cool blues of the evening sky, a twilight photo embodies hearth and home, and resonates with our primordial need for shelter & protection.”
Twilight shoots can also make a property stand out among the many other properties for sale in their area, especially in places where daytime shoots are the norm. As Kalgoorlie real estate photographer Shane Cullen said:
“For me twilights stand out so much more when buyers are looking for a property. If you are searching through 100’s of listings and see one all lit up and with a beautiful sunset behind it you are more likely to click on it and view the property. For me it is in the top 3 tips for marketing a property.”
“A twilight image of a home can really help viewers take that second look to see more of a home inside as well. If the outside is more appealing then they will have more curiosity to look at the other parts of the home.”
So twilight shoots add to the appeal and beauty of a home, and perhaps that has something to do with them looking a little different. We don’t often see a home all lit up like that just after sunset, and when you add in one of nature’s true wonders – a beautiful sunset – then we find that hard to resist.
Johanna Zolg, a real estate photographer in Warwick, Queensland, said:
“Sunsets are also very appealing to a lot of people, and are one of the subjects most frequently photographed by any genre of photographer. Sunsets have something calm and relaxing about them.”
Are there times when a twilight shoot is not appropriate?
As I mentioned earlier a home with an ocean view may be better off being photographed during the day, and if a home has no front windows then a twilight shot may not be appropriate because you won’t have the glowing lights (unless there are a good number of exterior lights).
But just about any home will look better at twilight than it will during the day, and they will stand out in any marketing campaign, adding that extra level of glamour that can take a home from ordinary to extraordinary!
But do twilight shoots really help to sell a home?
A real estate agency in Sydney decided to test the difference between daytime professional photography and evening professional photography, and here’s what they found:
“This house was tracking at about 1,000 views in one week with about 10 call-ins. Then we changed the photo the next week (nothing else) to a twilight shot. Guess what? Where views normally drop off (because it is considered a stale listing after 1 week), they picked up by approximately 50% to 1,500 views and 15 call-ins in a week when inquiries traditionally drops off.”
So that’s 50% more people who viewed the property, and 50% more people who contacted the selling agent to find out more about it. If you’re not sure, feel free to test this yourself and compare how well a daytime photo shoot compares with the twilight photos, and see if you notice a difference. I would think that, on average, you will see a better result when using twilight photography for most homes.
What about photography prices for a twilight shoot?
A lot of professional real estate photographers will have higher fees for their twilight shoots. Due to obvious time restrictions, a photographer can only deliver one twilight shoot per day. Some people ask their real estate photographer if they have other jobs to attend to after completing an evening shoot, but in most situations that just isn’t possible. Once it gets dark (about 30 minutes after the sun goes down), then that’s about it for the day as it just gets too dark to adequately photograph a property. This restriction on the number of shoots, and their high demand, leads to a premium price being introduced by most experienced photographers.
Frequently asked questions about twilight shoots:
Do twilight shoots help homes that have no curb appeal?
Yes, I think they can work really well in that situation, because they get the most out of what you’ve got. When you add in the glow of the interior lights, some nice exterior lighting, and an amazing sunset full of color and vibrance, well it’s going to work well in most situations.
Why do photographers take the exterior shots so early?
When you are looking at a home with your eyes, they can look better later in the evening, some times very late. However, a camera does not have the same range to adapt to bright and dark areas, and so when photographing a home it is better to do it earlier (often 10 to 20 minutes after sunset) rather than later so that the contrast between the bright lights and the exterior of the home is not too much. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a house when inside looks super bright, like some kind of explosion is going on, and outside is really dark and it’s hard to really see anything, then you know what I mean. The photographer may also composite together parts of photos taken up to an hour apart; an earlier house exterior with a later sky for example.
An experienced real estate photographer will know just the right time to shoot a property, given the sunset time, the direction the property faces, and the amount of lighting inside and outside a home.
(all photos by Propertyshoot Photography)