Put your home in an al­bum to trea­sure for­ever

Home is the where the heart is, so why not put it in the fam­ily al­bum for pos­ter­ity? Sharon Dale re­ports on a new style of prop­erty pho­tog­ra­phy.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

SOME of the hap­pi­est times of our lives can be re­lived through pho­to­graphs, which is why hol­i­days, wed­dings and an­niver­saries are all cap­tured by cam­era.

But when it comes to homes we have lived in, loved and lost, all most of us have are some hazy, un­re­li­able mem­o­ries and per­haps an es­tate agent’s brochure aimed at sell­ing the place rather than re­flect­ing what we re­ally loved about it.

A long shot of the sit­ting room to show its gen­er­ous size isn’t the same as a vi­gnette of your favourite chair by the win­dow or a close up of the built-in book­shelves your fa­ther made for you.

Har­ro­gate-based pho­tog­ra­pher Jude Palmer re­alised the dif­fer­ence be­tween pic­tures that might help sell a prop­erty and those that could spark mean­ing­ful rem­i­nis­cence when she was asked to pho­to­graph her friend, Bev­er­ley What­more’s home.

“She was sell­ing the house and al­though I’m not a prop­erty pho­tog­ra­pher, she knew she would get a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive from me,” says Jude, whose work in­cludes projects doc­u­ment­ing home­less­ness and dementia.

“We started by sit­ting down and talk­ing about what the house meant to her and then we walked round it to­gether and it be­came clear what needed record­ing.”

Bev­er­ley says: “I asked Jude to pho­to­graph the house but not in the usual es­tate agent way. I wanted her to make it more per­sonal. She per­fectly cap­tured our life in our beau­ti­ful home, en­abling us to al­ways trea­sure the happy mem­o­ries that we have made there.”

Among the gen­eral ex­te­rior and in­te­rior shots, taken in a com­bi­na­tion of colour and black and white, is a bal­le­rina sculp­ture Bev­er­ley had made for the gar­den.

“The statue was of her daugh­ter and so I took it look­ing back to the house and I over-ex­posed it de­lib­er­ately to make it more evoca­tive. The statue meant a lot to her but she was hav­ing to leave it be­hind, so cap­tur­ing it in the right way and con­vey­ing some emo­tion was im­por­tant. I also took pic­tures of some beau­ti­ful beads hang­ing from a win­dow, her lit­tle dog curled up in a slip­per in its favourite place in the kitchen and the pho­to­graphs on the pi­ano in the hall­way,” says Jude

The house sold and all the pic­tures were printed and placed in an al­bum for pos­ter­ity.

The suc­cess­ful com­mis­sion gave Jude the idea for a new style of prop­erty pho­tog­ra­phy that blends im­ages suit­able for sales brochures and por­tals along with pic­tures that prompt nos­tal­gia.

“The idea is that the es­tate agent can use some of the pho­to­graphs for the brochure while the owner also gets a more com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of what the home meant to them,” says Jude, whose prices start from £495 for 15 of her “Liv­ing Im­ages”.

“My main mo­ti­va­tion is to col­lect mem­o­ries via the cam­era, so that when peo­ple leave or sell or ren­o­vate they have them there for­ever. It’s the emo­tional parts like the chil­dren’s height chart on the door frame or the an­tique rose planted for an an­niver­sary.

“We make so many mem­o­ries in our homes, some good and some bad, but to have them cap­tured in an al­bum to show fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of your fam­ily is price­less.”

She also hopes that some of the more homely shots will help sell the prop­erty to would-be buy­ers who hanker af­ter a sim­i­lar life­style.

“I think the sort of pic­tures I take will make buy­ers see a house as a home. They’ll help them imag­ine a life there. If there’s a desk with a beau­ti­ful view or some food be­ing cooked on the Aga then why not put those in the brochure? They are much more provoca­tive than a straight room shot.”

She adds: “I think it helped with Bev­er­ley’s house, which was mod­ern and quite min­i­mal. It looked clin­i­cal on some pho­to­graphs and so it was im­por­tant to get across that it was a lovely, lived-in fam­ily home.

“Prop­erty pho­tog­ra­phy need not be the usual for­mat­ted pack­age of front and back el­e­va­tions, in­te­ri­ors and floor plans; there is more life in a home than that and what I do shows that.”

For more de­tails visit www. jude­me­di­aa­gency.com Brochure Pho­tog­ra­phy Tips Pic­tures sell prop­er­ties and so it’s well worth­while pay­ing a pro­fes­sional to take pho­to­graphs. Agents who sell top-end prop­er­ties al­ways of­fer this ser­vice.

Make sure your home is pho­to­genic. That means styling each room to make sure it is clear of clut­ter.

Have fun brows­ing prop­erty por­tals like Right­move to find ex­am­ples of how not to do it. You will find pic­tures of bath­rooms with loo rolls piled on top of the toi­let, bot­tles of Vosene by the bath and nu­mer­ous toi­letries crowd­ing the win­dowsill. It doesn’t take much ef­fort to move them. Ditto, wash­ing up left in the kitchen sink, clothes dumped on the bed­room chair and un­made beds.

If you’re on Twit­ter then check out one of our favourite tweet­ers @bad­prop­er­typ­ics.

Sharon Dale is on Twit­[email protected] Prop­er­ty­words.

BEST OF ALL WORLDS: Mill House is a char­ac­ter­ful coun­try home that is per­fect for fam­i­lies and is also close to the A1. It is si­t­u­ated on the edge of a vi­brant vil­lage, Top­cliffe near Thirsk in North York­shire. The vil­lage has lots of fa­cil­i­ties...

PER­SONAL HIS­TORY: The bal­le­rina statue that Bev­er­ley was sad to leave be­hind when she sold her house, as it was based on her daugh­ter.

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