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Tyra Bleek Photography | Vintage, DIY, Rustic, Boston, Spokane & Coeur d'Alene Wedding Photographer bio picture

Real Estate Photography | 5 Easy Ways to prepare your house for Real Estate Photography | Tips to improve home sales

Consumer Reports magazine recently reported that that nine out of 10 home buyers now use the internet at some point during their search to find a home, making web appeal critical when it comes to showing off your home. The internet is a visual medium, which means that the photos that you (or your realtor) use in the online property listing need to look great.

High quality photos really can make a big difference to your bottom line. With that in mind, using an iPhone or a point-and-shoot camera isn’t going to cut it. Like Consumer Reports notes, “an advanced camera is best for real estate photography because its larger sensor takes clear pictures even in low-light homes.” CR goes on to mention that a December 2013 study by Redfin found that “homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million that were shot with DSLR cameras sold for $3,400-$11,200 more than those photographed with basic point-and-shoot cameras.”

Tyra Bleek Photography takes pride in providing truly excellent professional photography to real estate agents in the Tri-Cities area. Our goal is to deliver crisp, high-contrast, and sharp pictures of the properties we photograph. However, taking great photos is also dependent on the preparation that a homeowner or agent devotes to a house before the photographer ever arrives. Here are five ways to prepare your house to guarantee the best shots:

1. Clean it up – Interior. I can certainly understand that selling your house has become a chore (not fun, I know), but the truth is – if your house isn’t clean for your photos then your web appeal will likely go down. Here’s a simple check list to make sure all is set for your photographer:

Thoroughly clean the whole house.

Vacuum carpets before my arrival.

Mop hardwood floors.

Clean countertops.

Clean windows (this is key).

Make all beds.

2. De-junk. Do a walk through and put away or hide: all or most kitchen appliances (coffee maker, toaster ovens, etc.), soap bottles, toothbrushes, hanging jackets, shoes, small rugs on the floor (these make the space look smaller) and etc. Clearing off your countertops makes your space seem bigger and will be more appealing to the eye.

3. Turn ON all lights and lamps. Make sure all bulbs are in working condition and are on. Indoor lighting will warm-up your space. Also, make sure all shades and blinds are open to bring in outside light.

4. Turn OFF all computer screens, TV’s, and fans.

5. Curb appeal – Exterior. Don’t neglect the outside. The front photo is usually the first photo buyers see, so be sure to pay attention to details that make a difference for the exterior as well.

Mow the lawn.

Close the garage.

Remove all cars from driveway and in front of home.

Put away garbage cans and kids’ toys.

Be sure to check out more real estate photography: HERE.

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Snow Family Portrait Session | Coeur d’Alene Family Portrait Session | Five Keys to Snow Portrait Photography

I love getting outside during the winter to do family portrait sessions, especially when the sunshine is out! The trouble with doing a winter portrait sessions is that nobody wants to do them because it’s too cold. But if you are willing to bare the cold and do a quick session outdoors on a sunny day (this is key), then typically the outcome is gorgeous! There are many components to making a good photograph when it comes to shooting family portrait sessions, but most of all it comes down to these few keys.

1.) Shoot during early morning or late afternoon. When the sun is still close to the ground your shadows won’t be as harsh. The problem with shooting in the middle of the day is getting harsh shadows, like the kind where a persons eyes are sooo dark compared to their cheeks that it looks like they have black eyes. To avoid these shadows, shoot during 9-10am or 3-4pm (winter hours). Also, take note of the few tips I use below.

2.) If you are shooting in direct sun, which sometimes you want to, then put your subject at a 45 degree angle. Make it so that the sun is to the left or the right of their face. This allows for your shadows to go diagonal across the face rather than straight down. It also allows your subject to not be looking straight into the sun.

3.) Use a reflector. Although, most of the time when there is actually snow on the ground – you don’t need a reflector but if the sun is so bright and your only option is to shoot in the direct sunlight, then pop some light back into your subject on the shadow side of their faces. Make sure your reflector is at least shoulder height (so that the fill light isn’t coming from below, which can sometimes give your client dragon eyes). I find that if I use a reflector I use the silverside, if it’s from a distance and white side if I’m up close, that I have to do less post processing and my edit time is cut in half. Notice the reflector in the snow blowing photo below, I had my husband pop the sliver reflector into my subjects face to fill in the shadow and give her a pop of light in her eye. That reflection of light in your subjects eye brings life the picture, I am always looking for the perfect reflection in my subjects eyes.

4.) Put your subjects in the shade. Most of the time I like to have the sun to the left or the right at a 45 degree angle. If my surroundings allow for me to have everybody in my shot to be in the same light, then I make it happen. In the family shots below, I had all my subjects stand in the same line of shade. There was a tree to my camera-right that was creating a line of shade through my shot. I took advantage of this shade line and put all of my subjects in a line with their faces in the shadow. I simply take a second to explain to my clients that I want all of their face to be in the exact same light and that I need them to pay attention to where their heads/bodies are to make sure they stay within that zone. This allows for the same light and shadowing on each of my subjects faces. Which in the end helps me for quick edit times and easy post processing.

5.) Try some back lighting. Back lighting can be difficult but beautiful if pulled off correctly. For this shoot, I only tried a few backlight shots because I was unsure if they would turn out right. The reason I ended up liking the backlight shots for this shoot is because the snow in front of the group reflected enough light back into my subjects faces. Most times, if you expose for the subjects face, your background will be over exposed and if you expose for the sky then your subjects will be a under exposed (your subjects will look like a silhouette) – which is sometimes what a photographer might want. In this case, I wanted both to be exposed correctly – which I mostly got lucky because the snow acted as a reflector to increase the lighting on my subjects which made them closer in exposure to the sky which in turn made the entire photograph exposure evenly. For the backlighting of the couple in the street at the bottom, the sun was already setting so I was able to do an even exposure for the entire photograph. I took my subjects to a spot in the road that the sun was peaking through the trees and put that peaking light behind them. The improve this shot, I should have popped a reflector back into their faces. I will note, I think this shot is a little flat because I didn’t pop that light back in.

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Bellingham Ferry Terminal Wedding | Seattle Wedding Photography | Port of Bellingham Wedding Photography

A perfect venue for the perfect couple. Tim & Courtney are the types that think outside the box when it comes to wedding planning. This couple strived to find a unique wedding venue in the area to reflect their personalities. They weren’t looking for the typical wedding venue and knew that once they looked at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal that this was to be their wedding venue. The Bellingham Cruise Terminal is one of the best venues in the Pacific Northwest because of its private party room, The Dome Room. This room is available to rent for weddings and is set right next to the ferries and water front which make for breathtaking views. Selecting a venue with natural beauty is key to keeping your decorating budget low, there isn’t much need to decorate if your view speaks for itself. Tim and Courtney were a no-fuss bride and groom and decided to see each other before hand which allowed ample time to do bride and groom portraits. They turned out to be some of my favorites over the year because of it, aren’t they cute?!!!

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Cave B Estate Winery Wedding | Central Washington Wedding | Columbia River Wedding | Washington Winery Wedding

This was such a beautiful wedding to be a part of. The setting is in central Washington in the fields of a vineyard near the Columbia River called Cave B Estate Winery. Cave B Estate Winery is an award-winning boutique winery that combines dramatic Columbia River Gorge views and the sophistication of a vineyard setting with spa, restaurant, and estate winery. The winery overlooks the Columbia River and has breathtaking views as it sits 900 feet above the river. This wedding was a dream, although it was an April wedding it was perfect weather with a beautiful bride and groom. The great thing about the Cave B Winery is that the venue is so beautiful there is not much need to decorate beyond what you already see.

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Tyra Bleek Photography | Real Estate Photography in the Tri Cities.


I am excited to be moving in the direction of offering real estate photography to agents in the Tri Cities. I have been a full-time photographer for 4+ years. My experience with many different types of photography gives me the ability to deliver dynamic images with confidence. Real Estate Photography is about great lighting, crisp images, and photo composition. Delivering a high-quality product to my real estate clients is priority.

If you would like to see my portfolio for real estate photography, check it out – HERE. I have done over 50+ homes. You can also see a few of my favorite shots below. I assure you, I can produce these types of photos for your properties as well. Please contact me for further information.

My packages are simple.

18 Images – Best for homes up to 1700 sq ft $99
25 Images – Best for homes up to 3000 sq ft $124
36 Images – Best for homes over 3000 sq ft $139

Travel charges may apply depending on the distance traveled. All images are delivered in high-res, fully edited, and within 24 hours. I deliver through an online gallery where you can fully download original files.

For every new client I book in the Tri Cities, I am offering a DISCOUNTED RATE FOR HEAD-SHOTS. Keeping an updated head shot of yourself is (I think) important to introducing yourself as a professional business person. See examples of my head shots (HERE) and read why I think it’s important to update bio/head shots.

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