Retouching Real Estate Images During Covid-19 Lockdown
2020 has been a strange year indeed. Covid-19 became an unexpected turn of the decade which we all thought was a year of new beginnings. It is a time when we all saw the world stopping on its tracks, our favorite establishments closing down, and seeing ourselves stay at home for our own good. However, if there is a silver lining to all of this it is reconnecting with the people and things we love. This has also provided an opportunity to reinvent ourselves in the world of real estate photography. The length of time we need to spend during lockdown can be used wisely to jump in front of our computer and make the most of the downtime. Image retouching in real estate can be re-explore, re-imagined, and re-shaped. Learning to blend new techniques and putting together a new style of retouching real estate images might just be your next edge in the competitive world of real estate photography once lockdown has been lifted.
What Does Photo Retouching Mean?
Photo retouching is the process that happens after editing has been done. Consider it as the detailing of the photo to get rid of the little things that large-scale editing might have missed. For real estate photo retouching, it means that imperfections such as stains, dark spots, crevices, or any blemishes that would otherwise ruin the pristine nature of the image should be edited out. Note that this does not equate to hiding the flaws, it is simply presenting the property in its basic conditions. These imperfections can always be fixed at a later time but are things the photo shoot cannot wait for.
There are two levels of retouching common to most photo editors which are basic retouching, and professional retouching. Each has its own degree of difficulty where we recommend knowing the basics first before attempting professional techniques. Needless to say, of course, that if you are keen to learn both simultaneously or the professional before the basic then that is also admirable.
Image retouching in real estate on basic levels deal with brightening dark areas, or conversely darkening areas that are too bright to make it look natural. It also includes removing the unwanted pieces of furniture from the house that ruin the overall look and feel of the picture.
Retouching real estate images professionally takes on larger scale objects. Sometimes it deals with removing a person from the picture taken at the exterior of the property or other times it requires altering the sky to fit a preferred time of the day, changing how clouds look, and the likes.
How can you take advantage of the lockdown?
Now, the amount of time the lockdown brings gives us an opportunity to further enhance how we do image retouching in real estate. That is, if we use the time wisely. Here is a list of things we believe can take you through a process of learning to come out even better and more competitive post COVID-19 lockdown.
- Play around with new mixes of techniques. Oftentimes we use our signature styles because it works with our real estate partners. The mixes of light and dark tones coupled with layers of exposure might be right on the money in listings because it brings the buyers in. There is also a factor which pressure brings when we try to meet deadlines, hence we stick to the old formula to bring the results we want in time. Overall, think about how the pressure-free environment can bring out the creativity to finally use that dodge and burn tool you have ignored for quite some time and allow it to give a fresh new look to your photos.
- Catch up or reconnect with people in the industry. The lockdown brought people together virtually, even allowing some to realize that the communication tools at our disposal were not being used to their full potential to contact people we haven’t heard from in a long while. One of the beauties that the lockdown and the communication tools we have brings is exchanging ideas with colleagues. While real estate photo retouching is a competitive industry where unique styles set people apart, an exchange of ideas will bring new perspectives allowing people to further their potentials because of constructive exchanges. Who knows, the next person you talk to might just become your new mentor moving forward.
- Update your portfolio to showcase your latest images. Thinking that you have everything under control is well and good, but getting your work communicated across also requires some creativity. The lockdown can provide time for you to update your offerings on your personal site. It may have had the same look and content due to your busy schedule but taking time out to update your portfolio can show that you are continuing to learn and adapt to the new trends in the industry. Retouching real estate images may seem like a basic task where nothing new can be churned out. But the more time that you spend tinkering around with the little bits, you will realize just how vast the variations of photos you can produce and showcase.
- Reach out to new clients in the real estate market. It may sound counter intuitive to attract clients at a time where most business are struggling, however, the opportunity to make yourself known might just land you another contract. The real estate market, just like the photography industry, is price competitive. That is, the best price for the best photos. Looking around won’t hurt and the returns will be definitely higher than any risk involved.
In this regard, real estate photo retouching has found its way into a new competitive light. While the lockdown seems like a chore to comply with, the chance to reconnect with the art we love is staring us right in the face. It is an opportunity for all photographers to get back into the drawing board, look at what has been done and attempt to foresee what the next trends will be. With this, the craft of retouching real estate images has become more competitive as every photographer is just waiting to showcase what they have discovered and learned during the lockdown.