Have your real estate in Paris photographed by a professional photographer!
Place des Vosges Treasure one bedroom, in a historical 400-year-old building, with a modern kitchen, beautiful furnishings, air-conditioning, and even a Jacuzzi whirlpool in its over-sized bathtub.
I have been photographing apartments for “Vacation in Paris”, an agency in New Jersey since 2005, during which time I have shot at least 320 properties. With all the experience and practice I’ve had I make these photos look better and better, above all after “going digital” at the end of 2008. Regardez cette page en français…
Typically I take about thirty pictures in one or two hours, including eight photographs of the main room (typically the living room with perhaps an adjoining kitchen), and three pictures each of the dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, balconies, terraces, dressing room, library, laundry, office, garage, closet, pantry, living room, toilets, vestibule, entrance, etc.
You can write as many dozens of sentences singing the praises of an apartment as you want and generally people’s reaction will be:
“Yeah, right, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
A stylish Marais three-bedroom apartment on rue Quincampoix, just minutes from the Pompidou Center and place du Châtelet on a narrow street spotted with small offbeat galleries.
So you might as well show great pictures right away!
This phenomenon explains why it is so important to display photographs of irreproachable quality up front, which show how nice the place is straight away, what it’s like to stay there and prove that your effusive copywriting rings true.
With a collection of professional pictures of your apartment you will have a much easier time renting your apartment while you are not in Paris. When potential clients see pictures that obviously cost money to commission they receive the subliminal message that your offer is serious, saying to themselves “Okay, someone invested properly in the photos, they must have put proportionally similar funds in to all other aspects of the property”. Evocative photographs showing off your home are essential in building trust and communicating with clients.
I have a Nikon D800 reflex which takes very sharp pictures at 36 megapixels, two wireless electronic flashes, a tripod and a 12–24mm wide angle zoom lens which has a 122-degree horizontal angle of view on my camera’s full-frame sensor.
I retouch the images with Photoshop, to balance out the exposure and light, correcting distortion and removing imperfections, which is to say possible cracks, spots, dirt, dust and reflections on windows, resulting in the equivalent of custom color prints. These images have enough resolution for high-quality printing at 16x20 inches (40x60 cm), and certainly far more than enough resolution for display on web pages.
When I’ve finished the post-treatment on the pictures, I compress them all in to a .Zip file, put this file on a server, and send you the address so you can download the photographs at your leisure.
Reading text on web pages can be tiring, while beautiful images will always be appreciated. The more pictures there are on an advertisement the longer people will stay there looking at the announcement. Whether they are reading or not, the longer a visitor stays on your web announcement, the more likely they are to contact you.
Okay… How long did it take you to read this last paragraph? 10 seconds? In the space of 15 seconds a client can look at 15 pictures of your apartment, “decode” them and be convinced that your place is for them.
Interior lighting, or even the weather, is not important; in my experience I am able to light up even the largest of rooms. In any case I always turn on all the lamps, though this doesn’t help much for the lighting, at least it gives some atmosphere to the images.
The bedroom of an apartment on rue de Villersexel in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. With the lights on you can imagine yourself reading a book between errands, with the lamps off the picture gives you the impression nothing is going on in the room making you want to go elsewhere.
Yes! I’ve had appointments with real estate agents who don’t want the lights on because they want photos “bright without the help of lamps inside.” Yeah, right. I do what I am told, though with the lamps on the pictures are more lively, the apartment appears more welcoming, ready for guests or new owners, and at least it shows that no one has neglected to pay the electric bill. Otherwise the pictures are relatively flat, dull and lifeless, no matter how bright the pictures are. I figure the same concept hold true for television sets, otherwise TVs look like nasty black rectangles when they’re off. If you don’t like TV sets on I can blacken them though naturally, the opposite is impossible.
The pictures I take show entire rooms, without noticeable distortion. I balance out the brightness in the highlights and shadows to keep all areas of the rooms pleasantly visible, including what’s seen outside through the windows, resulting in image quality rivaling the best photographs seen in interior decorating magazines.
With a collection of charming photographs visually explaining your home, you will have an easier time finding a buyer for your property, or rent it when you are not in Paris.
Naturally, the images will be delivered to you free of rights and you’ll be able to print them, distribute them and place them on web pages, as you wish.
I have two levels of services: €100 for about 25 photos, delivered the next day with the modest but effective improvements that can be made in Adobe Lightroom; and €200 for the same number of photos, completely retouched in Photoshop, delivered in five days. The Lightroom service is suitable for short-term use, for selling an apartment for example, while if you are going to display the photos for years for rental to tourists it is better to choose the Photoshop service. If the apartment is truly immense and requires 40 or more photos, I would request more.
If you are interested in photographing your apartment for short-term rental it is important to make it look inviting to guests by setting the dining room table with plates, forks, knives, spoons, napkins, a bottle of wine and glasses. A similar treatment can be done in the kitchen with beverages and snacks arranged on the counter tops and even bathrooms can be made to look all the more welcoming with a pleasant spread of perfumes, soaps, flowers and other accessories.
An example of botched post-processing done on one of my photos by an agency I work for: the walls around the windows are too dark and what you see outside is completely burnt out. And yet, this agency asks me to take pictures in “bracketing” which means one image exposed for the outside, one exposed for the inside and a third much brighter for the darkest areas inside. They’re supposed to merge the three images together to make a compilation of the best of the three photos but they don’t really, I have the impression they don’t really care about the result. Feel free to compare this picture to all the others displayed on this web page.
In a more general way staging also concerns the arrangement and positioning of small furniture like chairs, stools, plants, coffee tables, lamps, ensuring that these items are not bunched up, too tightly close to each other, that there are no spaces needlessly empty throughout the picture and there is something to look at everywhere in the photo. The objective is to construct images that “read” pleasantly left to right, with an agreeable rhythm of furniture.
Agencies represent several or even dozens of photographers and it shows in fact that the image galleries on their web sites are rather mixed and go in all kinds of directions. Looking at the examples of their work one has no idea which photographer in their “team” took which photo. By working with me you are sure to receive pictures of the same quality, taken in the same spirit and with the same ambiance as seen in the images displayed below. There are only pleasant surprises at the end of the shoot, thus saving you time and money… and indeed, I charge far less than the agencies!
As it happens I often work for some of these agencies, they don’t ask me to do any post-processing, I send the image files straight from my SD card, it’s over and that’s all the better for me. On the other hand that’s worse for their clients because when I look at the agencies’ work on my photos I see pictures that are too dark and dull in which the distortion has not been corrected. So this is another reason why it is better to work with a photographer: I do the post-processing far better as compared to the interns slaving away in photo agencies.
I can also put together a web site for your apartment with responsive design, created such that all the pages display well whether viewed on a telephone, a tablet, a computer or a huge television screen, with direct links to web sites such as AirBnB and Booking.com where visitors can reserve, in English, French, or whatever other language you wish.
You can see a site I designed for Palacio de los Sueños, an agency that offers accommodations for visitors and tourists in Málaga and Granada in Spain. I can fill out and overhaul an already-existing site or create a web site from scratch, hosted on your own server.
I would like to highly recommend David Henry, a top real estate photographer in the neighborhood!
Two weeks ago I was looking for a professional on Nextdoor to take pictures, great results at reasonable rates…
Here are the photos of my apartment that I offer for seasonal rental on LeBoncoin and Airbnb:
—Nadine Taranger, May 2021
I contacted apartment photographer David Henry January 29th 2013 for a photography session of my home I wanted to sell in Asnières-sur-Seine, a suburb north of Paris.
We made the appointment for the next day and I allotted one hour for the session because I didn’t need many pictures.
It sufficed to take a few pictures of the living room, kitchen and the bathroom, then one photograph each in the bedrooms.
David delivered the photographs the next day, and a few days after that I put them in the advertisements I posted on the web sites seloger.com, leboncoin.fr and pap.fr.
Literally 24 hours after having posted these announcements I had sold my apartment!
All of which to say, quality photos are so much more evocative than any kind of text one might write for an advertisement…
—Benjamin Slomka, January 2013
This is my concept of how a “virtual visit” of an apartment’s living room should be prepared and displayed on a web page, allowing visitors to navigate clockwise and counter-clockwise in the main room with the left and right arrows on their keyboard, and see how the entire space is organized. I figure this is the best way to provide an interactive experience without creating a presentation that is visually distracting. This set of eight photographs is a classic example of how I photograph the main room of an apartment: I take pictures every 45° clockwise, one straight in to each of the four flat walls, as well as one photo in to each of the four corners; this way I am sure all the angles have been covered.
David Henry photographing an apartment on avenue Junot in Montmartre, with the self-timer, the camera on a tripod and the flash off-camera with a diffusing hood.
Photographs of an apartment on rue Fourcroy in Paris I took for architect David Bitton and assembled in to a video slideshow.
A typically Haussmannian apartment on rue La Boétie, with high ceilings, wood floor, fireplace, close to the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais etc.
Champs-Élysées deluxe two bedroom—Very handsome large two bedroom near l’avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Louvre-Les Halles one bedroom: A very central spacious one bedroom apartment, easy walk to the Louvre, Les Halles, the famed Saint-Eustache Church, and the hip pedestrian-only rue Montorgueil market street.
Île de la Cité luxury: an extremely bright and quiet duplex, located on the third and fourth floors on place Dauphine.
Rue de Buci: a luxury one bedroom apartment accommodating up to four adults in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.
Parc Monceau Extraordinaire luxury two bedroom: Looking out over the green and lush parc Monceau with its private terrace and garden of 120 sq ft, it is only a few steps away from l’Arc de Triomphe.
The Grand Foyer inside the palais Garnier, looking towards the west. Charles Garnier intended the Grand Foyer to resemble the gallery of a classical château. This picture was commissioned by Ian Mulder, a Dutch musician, who had the photograph printed at 37x120 feet as a backdrop on stage for his concerts. See this panorama behind the musicians during one of Mr. Mulder’s concerts.
All images are © 2024, David Henry, all rights reserved. Written permission is required for any use.