Professional Profile: Sebastian Mrugalski, Crib Creative

1. How did you get into property photography?

I was working as a freelance photographer when my friend put me on to an ad for a business that required a Real Estate photographer, that business was Crib Creative. Alana was just starting out and I came on board as her first photographer. Little did I know what an adventure it would become, and six years later the business has grown into a fully-fledged marketing agency that I’m proud of being part of.

2. What skills does a talented property photographer bring to the table?

Being able to find the right angles and compositions within a house. A great photographer should capture the flow of the house while focusing on the details, the features that give the property its character. Personality is also another trait that is important to us, almost more so than technical skill. We make sure all our photographers tackle every shoot with enthusiasm and are as supportive as possible to vendors. We understand that selling a house can be pretty intense for the sellers, and having a photographer that is helpful and vibrant really goes a long way in putting their mind at ease.

3. What goes into making a property photo great?

Lighting a property correctly goes a long way, as does being able to arrange all the items in an image so that it looks appealing. Simplifying the shot and removing clutter is also a big thing. The best properties are the ones where a lot of thought has been put into how the elements are arranged. It makes our job a lot easier and makes the photographs more appealing.

4. How important is light?

Super important! A well-lit property with a lot of natural light is the most ideal situation to shoot in. It allows all the colours to really pop and gives the image an editorial feel. Unfortunately not all houses are lit well. It could be the house is facing the wrong way or all the lights in the house aren’t working. In those circumstances we bring in lighting gear to light the space perfectly and spend more time in post-production to get the images looking mint.

5. How easy is it to negotiate with vendors?

Most of the time it’s easy. We find that vendors acknowledge us as professionals and trust what we do. There are times when they have specific requests or are understandably anxious about everything being captured. When this happens we do our best to appease their fears and take extra care in accommodating their requirements.

6. Is there a difference between what the camera sees and what the eye sees?

There’s a massive difference. As most people know, it’s so easy to take a picture that doesn’t give what you’re seeing with your own eyes any justice. That’s why we spend a lot of time training our photographers to capture the right compositions, light interiors properly and work with vendors to declutter if need be.

7. What do you do if the furniture is dated?

We try our best to work with what’s there by shooting around furniture or framing them out of shot. If need be we work with the vendor or agent to remove elements and pieces of dated furniture.

8. How important is light and space?

Capturing the space and flow of the house is our main priority. We find that the best properties to photograph are the ones that are professionally styled, where a lot of thought has been put into the arrangement of furniture pieces to make the home look spacious yet lived in. There’s nothing worse than shooting a property cluttered with dated ornaments and large bits of furniture.

9. Which is your favourite room to shoot?

Definitely the kitchen. It’s the heart of the home and, in most cases, connected to all the main living areas. It’s an area of the home that’s open to so many great photo opportunities and in my opinion can make or break a home.

10. What’s the one thing you ask vendors to do before you start taking pictures?

The moment we get on site we do a sweep of the whole house and liaise with vendors to get everyone ready. Turning on all the lights, pointing out anything that needs decluttering and tidying is our main priority the moment we arrive to a property.

11. Given all your experience, what do you think is the secret to selling a house quickly?

Price, presentation and marketing. It’s the perfect combination of these three things that count the most.

About the author: FHSA

Furniture Hire and Styling Australia (FHSA) provides a complete service for anyone requiring relocation furniture hire and property styling and staging. All co-ordinated by our Interior Stylists and delivered and installed by our professional transport division. Furniture rental in Perth is made simple with FHSA.
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