A nonprofessional photo taken using natural light. (Design Recipes/TNS)

When it comes to properly presenting your home for sale, next to pricing, solid photography tops the list. Photography serves as your first point of entry to potential buyers, the portal to first impressions. Can you take photos yourself, can your broker, or should you hire a professional? When looking to elevate your property, there are some key tips to keep in mind.

• Pay attention to the sun. Sun can make a difference, especially in a space that may get a lot of daylight. Even lighting conditions and sunny days are best.

• Use natural light as much as possible.

• Consider hiring a professional. Working with a professional photographer doesn’t have to break the bank. Great photography can do wonders for properly showcasing a space.

• Look for interesting angles. Creative angles can help add interest.

• Highlight architectural features. Beyond just wide angles, highlight special or unique features.

• Be careful when shooting toward windows or glass doors. Often light can spill into a room, creating a washed-out effect.

• Avoid cloudy or rainy days. These will require considerable additional light, which may look too artificial.

• Add pops of color to a neutral space to add a sense of contrast.

• Use lighting to create a mood or emotion.

• Use reflective surfaces such as mirrors to help bounce light in a room, which will help extend a feeling of spaciousness.

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service. Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com.