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Post Info TOPIC: Polished Photos. How necessary is it?

Veteran Member

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Posts: 79
Polished Photos. How necessary is it?

Hi Terry,

I never move furniture, except when necessary to get a better photo of an item that is behind it. If I have to move something, I ask the owner to either move it, or assist me in moving it. Remember the old saying, "If you break it, you pay for it."

I take a close-up of the item and then zoom out  to show several items on either side of it and if necessary an overall view of the room showing everything around it which proves it is there. If you placed a drop cloth behind it to make the large item such as a table stand out and that is the only photo of it, you could cost them the replacement value as nothing shows it is in the house, plus you are wasting valuable time. On smaller items of value like collectibles and jewelry, I take several photos showing them in the room (as stated above), then place them in a photo cube for a more detailed photo if necessary.

It is very important to not only have a photo of each item, but to also show it is in the house with other items in the inventory that are close to it. As long as the photo shows detail don't worry about the, "Polished" or amateur look. It can't be helped and all depends on the direction of the light source. There are times the sun comes in the window behind the item you are photographing. Try closing the drapes to reduce it, or continue with the inventory and come back to that item later when the sun has moved. On items that reflect the flash, move slightly to either side to prevent the flash from coming straight back to the camera. You may still have a small flash spot on the item that is impossible to avoid, just keep adjusting your position to make it as small as possible while getting the best photo of the item you can.

Don't worry about stains on the rug. A proper inventory shows the flooring, walls and fixtures, no matter what condition. You can move the mop out the background if you desire, but it is not something that needs to be worried about as it will be in the inventory. Having it in the back ground simply shows it is in the house.

When I import photos into the software, I will place the close up view, wider angle view and an over all view into each item. This gives visual evidence at a glance that the item was indeed in the home.

Also remember, the items you photograph and the amount of detail in the inventory is up to your client. There are places you will go for a inventory that are cluttered and the beds are unmade. Just do the best job you can. DON'T move the clutter or make the bed, it is not in your job description.

I hope this helps.

-- Edited by JD on Monday 11th of May 2009 10:16:49 AM


JD Weiss

Manager and Co-owner Rebel Ranch, Corp

Rebel Ranch


Status: Offline
Posts: 248

Hi Terry,
Most service professionals don't move anything big or heavy and just do the best they can.  Don't worry, your clients will understand.

For smaller items like collectibles and jewelry, try a photo cube which creates a setting for high quality images.  Check out the 'Photography' forum here for more info.

Also, keep in mind that there is a high value in you (a third party) conducting the inventory vs. the homeowner since it is more credible in the eyes of the insurance company.

Fred Knapp
Innovative Software, LLC
Business Development & Software Solutions


Status: Offline
Posts: 20

I started doing an inventory in my home. I went out and bought a Canon EOS 50D SLR camera for big bucks! (I want to look polished!) But when I took a photo of my dining room table, it didn't look as polished as it could look if I moved the table to an area with better light, placed it in front of a proper back drop and set up proper lighting.

Does that matter? The pic is clear, you can see the detail of the table, but it definately is not a "studio" photo.

My concern is that when I am done with a clients inventory, they will have a bunch of photos, that they could have taken themselves.

When my clients get the final product from me I want them to be blown away by the quality of the packaging and photos.

At this point, they will get a picture of the table in the room along with the stains on the rug and the mop in the background.

How much moving of furniture are people doing in order to get a non cluttered pro shot?



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