HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS THAT WILL SELL YOUR CATAMARAN
When you start advertising your boat for sale, the first sight a potential buyer have is the photographs in your listing. It will be these, more than anything else which will either appeal to your buyer enough make him look further at your catamaran’s details, or put him off completely.
Think of it in the same way as selling your house. You have one chance to interest the viewers, so you need to make your home as appealing as you possibly can, as well as showing its style and condition. Here are some tips to help you take those all important photographs.
If you don’t feel comfortable taking your own photos, consider hiring someone to take photos for you. That way you can document yourself enjoying the boat, which will do an even better job of bringing back those great summer memories.
- Clean your boat really well, getting rid of all those marks on the hull and polishing it to bring out the shine. Clean the windows and get rid of all the streaks. Stainless hardware should be polished too and any rusty or missing screws replaced. Carpets should be vacuumed or cleaned and soft furnishings like cushion covers and curtains should be washed and dressed tidily. So many boat curtains have missing hooks so that they hang badly, or are too short to be drawn properly. Mildew stains should be removed and all loose dirt swept up.
- Dress your boat as if it were a house. Artistically arranged cushions, a bowl of tempting fruits on a table, a bottle of wine and a glass – never mind if you would never sail in the boat looking like this, they make it look attractive.
- Photography is about light, and boat photography is no exception. Now that your boat is probably tidier and cleaner than it has been for years, maybe since you bought it, the time has come to take some quality photographs. Think about the natural light and wait for good conditions. A grey, dull sky will not show off your boat to the best advantage, so choose a sunny, early morning or a late afternoon, – when the sun angle is low, to reduce flare. Early mornings are always the best time to photograph boats as the sun is behind me, the water is blue and the strong sea breeze is not chopping up the water. Always choose a sunny day so use a weather app such as Weatherzone and your SunriseSunset app to work out the best time. Start with the exteriors as the light will be better. Shooting the interiors is not such an issue with the light as the boat can be repositioned to suit the orientation of the room you are shooting. Beware of reflections in shiny objects and glare caused by sunlight catching them.
- Snap the boat in action. Potential buyers will be more inclined to follow up on a boat that they know runs and is ready for the water. If possible, have someone drive the boat while you photograph it from another boat. These “action shots” will set your boat listing apart from the others sitting at the dock.
- Devil’s in the Details. Take photos of anything you plan to highlight in the description. Make sure to highlight some of details that are unique to your boat listing. Does it have custom teak accents installed? Maybe the engine has been recently overhauled? New bottom paint? These detail photos will be crucial in making your boat listing the top-of-mind for prospective buyers.
- Take lots of photos — 50 or more is not unreasonable as some won’t turn out well. 30 or more in the actual listing is not unusual. But those should not be of the same items, just from a different angle. Use close ups of all electronics. Avoid the temptation to use professional photos from the manufacturer — people want to see the actual boat being sold.
- Check it again! Look at each photograph carefully to make sure they’re sharp. It is easy to miss the fact that you’ve forgotten to remove a tea-towel, hung up to dry, or haven’t closed the lid of the loo, or even that your picture is not quite level. Nothing looks quite as amateurish as a tilting photograph.