You wouldn’t wear sweats for an online dating profile pic, would you? (We didn’t think so!)
So, when it comes to listing your library meeting spaces online, it follows that you’ve got to put them in their very best light. After all, there are plenty of meeting spaces available for your patrons to reserve outside of the library. You’ve got to attract them to compete.
Now, if you’ve ever bought or sold a home, you know that proper staging can make a big difference. In fact, properly staged homes typically fetch more and spend about three-quarters less time on the market, according to the Real Estate Staging Association. And buyers are said to see these properties as better maintained, and they’re less likely to ask for concessions later.
Many of those time-tested real estate staging techniques can be applied when you list and display your meeting spaces online. We’ll show you how. . .
As painfully obvious as this sounds, make sure the room you’re photographing is clean. Other than vacuuming, picking up any loose paper and wiping down any tables, go a little further by making sure all the chairs are aligned, your table isn’t crooked and your A/V equipment isn’t dusty.
Plants can nicely perk up the sleep-inducing color palette found in most rooms. In our meeting space, we added a staghorn fern to the middle of the table and a couple other plants by the window.
Adding artwork is another way to add some color. In the video above, we hung artwork that had some nice reds, as well as some green. It would be great if we had hand-picked the art because of the color contrast, but, well, we didn’t. (Actually, we stole the piece from another room, and it just happened to work out for us.)
People typically have a hard time envisioning what’s possible with a blank slate like a room, so you have to show them what’s possible. Rather that leaving your tables empty and any available A/V equipment turned off, use those spaces as an opportunity to showcase what can be done with the room. In our demo, we put some notepads in front of each chair. But you could put a few laptops or iPads or whatever you’d like at each setting.
When it comes to the TV hanging on the wall, well, which image looks better to you?
The large, black rectangle with the ugly glare? Or the Spaces demo showing on the TV? (Maybe we’re a little biased here…)
If you have a TV, projector, or anything else that displays media, turn it on and use it to show your library’s logo or homepage. If nothing else, it’ll take away from the glare on the screen and add a little something interesting to the image.
Without good lighting, you’re asking your camera to do a lot of work that it doesn’t have to. Make sure that ALL of your blinds or curtains are open. All of them!
If you don’t have windows, make sure you turn on every available light. If you have more than one panel of light switches, you can play with different lighting configurations. First, turn on all of your lights and take a picture. Then turn off a couple of lights and take another picture… You get the point. Take a bunch of different pictures of your lighting options and see what will look best.
A lot of buildings tend to have very “yellow” lighting, so, to combat that, you can just place your image in Canva and shift the colors to the cooler (bluer) side of the spectrum, which will give the image a more “balanced” look.
When you take a picture with a TV on, it can produce really ugly lines, depending on the angle you’re shooting from. To get rid of those lines, all you have to do is shift your focus a little bit.
Blur the camera just enough that the lines go away, but you can still tell there’s a TV on the wall. For a DSLR you just have to mess with the focus ring. For a cellphone camera, have your app focus on something like the table, which will blur out everything else slightly.
6. Add a little polish
Once you’re done shooting and have decided on the right image for your room listing thumbnail, take it over to Canva to enhance it just a little bit. Some of the most common improvements to the image will be brightness and contrast. Adding a little contrast to an image is always helpful to make things “pop.” Depending on the image, adjust the brightness as needed. If your image is a little yellow, use the tint effect to add in some blues and purples to balance things out.
You can get crazy with filters and the other goodies, if you want, but some brightness, contrast, and maybe a color tint are all you really need.
Finally, if you’re a Spaces customer looking to add images to your room listings, simply contact Support.
For a nice, steady shot, grab a tripod. The one we used in this video was $20 from Amazon. And, if you’re using a cellphone, there’s an awesome tool that we used during this shoot that enables you to clamp your phone onto a tripod. This one was $15, also from Amazon.
Hey! You made it all the way to the end of the article, so you deserve a treat! Here are the bloopers from the filming of this video. DISCLAIMER: Susan didn’t actually curse during the video—not once!—but, with some clever editing and beeps, it sure sounds like she did. . . Enjoy!