Posts Tagged north carolina

If you think every home I walk into is ready for pictures, you are wroooooong. Of course, by the time I have worked my magic (by magic, I mean hard work and carefully crafted skills and talent) they all look photo ready.

But if you want your home to have more visits, your pictures need to be amazing. The photos you post of your home online are the first piece of marketing. The photos will either catch the eye of a potential buyer or they will keep on scrolling.

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images

Now what should you do to prep your home for amazing pictures?


  • The kitchen counter tops should be nearly bare. Stuff things in the pantry. No knife blocks. No toasters. No dish drying racks. A fruit bowl is okay. No coffee maker. No salt and pepper. Bare.
  • Take three-quarters of the decor on your shelves, and put it in a box. Take down all personal photos.
  • Hang pictures over terrible wall blemishes (like the spot on the wall your toddler tested out some new markers). Strategically positioning furniture and decor to cover blemishes for the photos is perfectly acceptable.
  • If your closet is a mess, organize some of it, then stuff the rest in boxes and put in the garage. People love to see photos of closets, but a closet of chaos is a turn off. If you can’t keep it tidy, how is ALL their stuff supposed to fit? So thinks a potential buyer anyway.
  • Leave nothing but the lamp and a decorative item on your bedside tables.
  • Remove small pieces of furniture that are there for convenience but not for decorative reasons (like the comfy ottoman that you love to put your feet on, but it’s seen better days or the over-the-sofa end table where you put your hot tea and computer).
  • Hide dog bowls, kitty litter boxes, and other traces of animals. Someone with an animal allergy could write off your entire home, sight unseen, just because they saw a litter box.
  • Tuck away cords and extra electronics.
  • Remove trashcans. Because nobody wants to see a picture with your trash can.

Real Estate Photography Kitchen Rachel Carter Images


  • Do you have nice cupboards with pullout shelving? Stage it with just a few bowls or pans so potential buyers can see how spacious it is.
  • Are your closets spacious? Pack up the junk. Pull out extra clothes so the racks are spaced evenly.
  • Do NOT showcase the inside of your toilet. Put all the toilet seats down.
  • Open your shower curtains. Buyers want to see the bathtub.
  • Razors, loofahs, soaps, etc. should all be removed from the shower. Stash them under the sink and leave only shampoo and conditioner, unless the bottles are obnoxious (huge or brightly colored).

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


  • Channel your inner HGTV star. Small bouquets of flowers throughout the home (dining table, kitchen island, bathroom counters) go a long way for setting the tone.
  • Make your bed. Make it fluffy and cozy looking with lots of pillows. Put a tray on it with a stack of books and a vase with a flower. Practical? Absolutely not. But buyers will look at those photos and imagine they too were spending their mornings waking in such a cozy, romantic, luxurious space.
  • Pull furniture away from walls. Arrange it in a conversational manner, even if that means you can’t view the TV from any of the angles.

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


  • Fabrics (blankets, pillows, drapes) create an ambiance of luxury and beauty.
  • Colors help the pictures to pop. Try to stick with solids or bold patterns. Pin stripes and small patterns can photograph weird.

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


  • You don’t want bare walls, but you also don’t want your face on the wall. Large pieces of simple art make great statements. Canvas prints from Rachel Carter Images are the perfect way to spruce up your walls and showcase the beautiful area.

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


  • See what I did there? Green grass… green money… haha 😉
  • If you don’t have a perfectly manicured lawn, there are still ways to add greenery. Potted plants on the stairs, porch, and deck create a feeling of care.
  • Put out chairs on the porch, put pillows in the chairs

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


  • Thoroughly clean everything, duh.
  • Open all blinds and curtains.
  • Replace all light bulbs.
  • Make all beds.
  • Remove all small rugs.
  • Turn off TVs and computer monitors.
  • Clean all magnets off the fridge, all notes off the peg boards, all words off the chalkboard (unless you want to write your address and your broker’s name)
  • Hang up clean towels, neatly.
  • No dishes in the sink.

Real Estate Photography Rachel Carter Images


Basically, you want your house to look like a staged home, void of your personality and mark. It should be neutral and generic in decor so the photographs highlight the tall ceilings, hard wood floors, and beautiful chandeliers. Not the espresso machine in the kitchen or the goofy family photo on the fridge.

The little preparations can go a long way. Some people think I can just fix their house blemishes with Photoshop, but that’s not how it works. I can’t create photos that don’t represent the reality of the house. It’s unethical.

I’m happy to change out the sky to give the outside a cheerful appearance. You can’t control the weather after all. But if your banister is broken, I’m not photo shopping it fixed. So before I arrive, go through this list. It takes a little time but I promise you, the photos will be worth it.

Are you getting ready to sell your home or know someone who is? Email me today to schedule real estate photos for your property.

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On the edge of Smith Creek Park you will find Hidden Pointe On The Lake, a gated community in North Wilmington.

front gate Hidden Pointe On The Lake Wilmington NC Rachel Carter Real Estate Photography

Hidden Pointe On The Lake – Front Gate

smith creek park Hidden Pointe On The Lake Wilmington NC Rachel Carter Real Estate Photography

Smith Creek Park – Wilmington, NC


front gate Hidden Pointe On The Lake Wilmington NC Rachel Carter Real Estate Photography

Hidden Pointe On The Lake – Front Gate

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No Furniture? No Problem With Virtual Home Staging!

By: Kelly Presbrey

Virtual Staging Rachel Carter Images Topsail Island Real Estate Photographer

When preparing to sell your house, home staging is a must! If furniture is out of the question, consider virtual home staging.

Your photos are the first thing home shoppers will see. Furniture and decor will be digitally and realistically placed into photos of vacant or furnished properties. Give buyers a reason to love your photos and you’ll be on your way to selling or renting faster and for top dollar.

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Written by: Elizabeth Giles

If you were to open a storybook that detailed the American dream, it would include a photograph of 113 Pagoda Court (located within the Dogwood Lakes neighborhood in Hampstead, North Carolina).

Dogwood Lakes Entrance Hampstead Rachel Carter Images Topsail Island Real Estate Photographer

Dogwood Lakes Hampstead Rachel Carter Images Topsail Island Real Estate Photographer

One of the Lakes at the heart of Dogwood Lakes

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Pecan Grove: 102 South Sea Lily Ct

Written by: Elizabeth Giles

A picturesque home in the waterfront community of Pecan Grove, this beauty was made for elegant entertaining.

102 S Sea Lily Ct Pecan Grove Hampstead, NC

With exquisite finishes including Swiss Alps Granite from Brazil, the tremendous chef’s kitchen beckons you to host a small family gathering or a huge celebration with all your friends.

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Scandinavian House  |  NC Modernist Houses  |  B+O Design

Written By: Scott Ogden

“Architects live and die by the images taken of their work; as these images alone are what people see.  For every one person who visits a private house, there may be ten thousand who only view it as a photo.”

-Julius Shulman, father of modern architectural photography in LA throughout the 40’s to the 80’s.

This sentiment couldn’t be more true with Pinterest, Houzz, and design blogs and plan websites as the prime way many people ‘shop’ for home ideas, be they full residential designs, spatial ideas, new materials/colors, or objects such as furniture, appliances or lighting.

Many of Shulman’s images are the reason that architects like Charles & Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, Pierre Koenig and others became household names after WWII.  There’s a great documentary about him; (Visual Acoustics; The Modernism of Julius Shulman– which is available on AmazonPrime and sometimes shows on PBS and Sundance Channel)
julius shulman black white modern architecture photographer

B+O Design Studio

In eleven or so years here in Wilmington, our office, B + O design studio, has developed a specialty of designing custom, contemporary, ‘green’ houses and buildings.   As an architect and landscape architecture firm on the coast, we get to work on some wonderful, unique sites and neighborhoods in North Carolina.  These are one-off, special residential buildings that need some planning and thoughtfulness in terms of capturing those photos that take it from the owner’s day-to-day, intimate use and understanding to sharing as spaces that communicate & encourage others to think ‘outside the box’- even if it is in actuality still a rectangular volume.

It’s also fun to document the process.  Working with an architect is much different from that of a design/build/development or buying stock home plans; the process creates the product and each result is as different as the specific site and the arrangement of rooms & spaces of the program.  This image is a GIF of an early rough perspective rendering of the house, bled into the house as finished.

scandinavian house rendering


Scandinavian House West Exterior facing channel

West Exterior- facing channel

Shulman had the luxury of LA’s mountains & Palm Springs deserts for the contrast of houses with clean lines to jagged mountains, exotic landscapes & sandy vistas.  We’re in a flat relatively urbanized coastal plain with less distinctive natural topography, but when the subject, a simple grey & white box (that’s been nicknamed the ‘Scandinavian House’) is juxtaposed to the surroundings, the uniqueness of the architecture can stand out.  Given that Wrightsville Beach is known for simple salt-box & mid-Atlantic vernacular forms, having the two adjacent houses in this shot shows contrast and difference at all levels.  Windows (black vs. white), (big vs. single), trim (none vs picture framing), siding (lines/texture vs. flatness), accent color (grey vs white), Roof (flat vs. pitched), etcetera.

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