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Sometimes you have to get down on all fours

In thinking about the wonderful photo contest Dick Greenberg has challenged us with I found myself wishing I had that multi million dollar listing to show off. I mean, that is a no brainer, a fantastic home to take wonderful pictures of that will make 'em drool. 

But that is just not how the world works. Many of the homes I sell are modest, and they still deserve the attention that a larger, more expensive home might get. 

Sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board, put my head on straight and come around from a different angle. I took a look at a few homes that were not easy to sell. Main road, not many "fancy" updates, no granite, no stainless. You know, all the things people expect these days. Even first time home buyers are looking for those things in the most inexpensive of homes!

I prefer honesty in my shots. And with some homes, it is brutal honesty. I think buyers do appreciate the full picture.

After the market tanked I took a listing that was on a heavily traveled road. It was a raised ranch, built in the 70's, with no stainless, no granite, a lower level that was dark paneling, old style worn out vinyl floor tiles, complete with a bulky, dark, wooden bar built in. It did have great curb appeal, freshly painted, nice landscaping, the picture I took gave me the feeling of "Americana". The home was well cared for, much work had been done such as mechanicals replaced, roof replaced, windows replaced, it had beautiful hardwood floors upstairs, a great deck and a built in pool! The pool was almost as old as the house and truth be told, not very stylish. But here was the potential for a first time home buyer to not only have a home that was in great shape and affordable, but with a built in pool! A bit of sweat equity in the lower level, living with white appliances and plain ole Corian counters and some lucky person would have a great little house!

And guess what? The buyers bought it because of the pool. And the knowledge that all the big stuff had been done for them. 

I got down on all fours and shot over the top of the pool. I thought if the water was the main focus, that would work best. Not the pool itself, or the area around the pool, just the water. Let them see themselves in the water, having a pool parties, splashing and just having great fun right in their own back yard! (What is unfortunate is that I no longer have this photo on my computer, I had to take this photo from the flyer I did on Realbird. Please excuse the quality, the file size is so small now. But you get the idea.) 


activerain photo contest


I certainly have had listings with fancier pools, but this one taught me to show off the water. Of all the pools I have shot, this is my favorite one. I didn't have the wide angle lens I have now, I used my Pentax with the standard stock lens. Maybe because of the story behind it, I don't know. It just is my favorite pool picture that I have taken for real estate.

So next time you shoot a pool, get down on all fours! Just make sure no one is watching you when it comes time to get up. 

This is my next entry in the ActiveRain 2016 Photography Contest. This is in the real estate section, exterior, grounds, outdoor features or landscapes. 


Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 18 commentsAndrea Swiedler • November 08 2016 07:29PM


Getting down on all fours worked for you. That is a great shot of the pool, Andrea. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) about 4 years ago

It is amazing how a few feet of height can dramatically change perspective to improve photos at times.  Yes, sometimes you have to get down on all fours!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 4 years ago

Yes, we need to do what needs to be done.  If it means to get on all fours, so be it.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 4 years ago

Andrea- I love the story behind your pool were smart to focus on what you wanted your buyers to focus on !  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 4 years ago

The beauty of the shot is not in the actual shot but the creativity that allowed it to be seen by others. 

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 4 years ago

Good morning Andrea Swiedler ,

You have the right idea to show off a pool! The story behind your shot is priceless ... thank you for sharing!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 4 years ago

Good morning Andrea. I love your photo and agree that the water should be the focus. Nice shot.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 4 years ago

Andrea, I do see how making the water so inviting to a buyer makes all the difference with this did well.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 4 years ago

This photo is wonderfully framed, too, Andrea. The light breaking from the left illuminates the shimmering water, and it does make want you to jump in for a swim.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 4 years ago

Andrea, I will bet that you go to the moon and back for your clients! You have such a great quality of honesty/humility and a willingness to absorb both from others and from yourself. I think it's a wonderful shot (and I, too can feel your disppointment not having it anymore on your computer...I've lost shots, or before I knew better, didn't keep originals, but only the downsized ones-- bummer!) and it reminds me of the excitement I felt as a kid traveling from NY state down to Florida for the first time and staying at a hotel somewhere in Kentucky I think, but not sure,  that had a lit pool and we swam at night--it was GLORIOUS! I'd forgotten that memory until this photo resurrected that feeling. And often, that's what photos and real estate need to evoke!!! 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) about 4 years ago

Hi Andrea - I really like the way you thought this through - and you got exactly the response you wanted. Thanks for another entry!

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 4 years ago

Been there, done that.  And it makes a world of difference doesn't it.  And I think a pool photo is a great entry outside photo.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 4 years ago

Great shot, Andrea. Getting up from all fours would be hard at least it would be for me :)

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate about 4 years ago


You want above and beyond to capture the photo.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 4 years ago

It is funny the postions we put ourselves in for that one shot.  This one turned out great.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 4 years ago

For staging I've taken pictures from inside closets and hanging through windows. You do what you have to do to get the shot. LOL

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 4 years ago

Andrea, that really does look like a ghost barn behind the pool!  Cool shot.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Thanks for the pool shot tip Andrea. We are loaded with pools down here in SWFL. No doubt that figuring out the target market and high caliber pictures get homes sold.  

Posted by James (Jim) Lawson, DBA, Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE ( LLC) almost 4 years ago