If you had to choose an art form to call your own, would you rather pick up your camera than a paint brush?  

If so, you have solved the problem of how to decorate the walls of your home on the market.

Photographs are a smart choice for home staging.

They're more economical than other art forms, and you can easily produce your own images that will rival stuff you bring home from the store or order online.

Staging success with photos depends on the quality of the photo and of the framing. Write that down.

A frame has the power to elevate a photo from a simple print or snapshot to a work or art. Framing a photo usually includes matting the photo first. A mat makes all the difference!

The quality of the photo can be enhanced in the privacy of your own home, because today’s cameras and smart phones make it a snap to turn almost anything that captures your eye into an image worth sharing. Where the camera leaves off, the computer picks up.  

Improve your photos

No matter how good a photographer you are, chances are editing will improve your pictures. If you are an experienced professional photographer, or a purist when it comes to camerawork, or someone who is making the effort to improve your raw photographing skills, then stop reading here.

Otherwise, find a photo editing program that works for you and stick with it. I've used Picasa exclusively for years and have never had problems. It's not as sophisticated as Photoshop, but it's free and serves my needs.

The basic tweaks for making pictures look better are
  • Straighten
  • Crop
  • Increase or decrease the contrast
  • Increase or decrease the color saturation
  • Lighten or darken or add highlights

Beyond these tools, the sky is the limit for how dramatic and stylized you want your photos to be.

Here's a photo I took of a bike rack. I liked the colors and the
repetition of lines, but there was clutter in the frame.
I cropped it to fit in a square frame. It's okay, but nothing special.

Same dimensions, but I really saturated the colors for an op art look. 

The bikes were almost unrecognizable when I converted the picture to a duotone.
Black and white is always a classic. And so are sepia tones, for a vintage look.

You don't have to do anything dramatic to your pictures to make them stage-worthy. If the photo has any merit at all, usually just smart cropping and bumping up the contrast will give you something you can mat, frame and hang.

I take lots of photos to get one good one. This is a shot I took that was nothing special. 
I decided to edit it to see if I could save something.

Same picture. I rotated the image, cropped close to a square format, made the colors
downright gaudy, and she's ready for her mat and frame.
No matter what age or style your home is, there’s a photographic approach that’s perfect for it. So, however you take your photos, I urge you to play with some of them to turn them into art pieces for staging.