Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography Tips

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Written By Nate Torres

In today’s real estate market, making a strong first impression is more important, than ever before.

When potential buyers browse through property listings — captivating images have the ability to catch their attention sparking their imagination and enticing them to explore.

Real estate photography plays a role in presenting properties in the best possible light, ultimately influencing buying decisions.

Whether you are a real estate agent, a budding property photographer or even a homeowner looking to sell, it is vital to grasp the principles of real estate photography.

This article serves as a guide revealing fifteen tips that will help you capture visually stunning images capable of captivating prospective buyers and giving your listings an edge over the competition.

From harnessing the enchantment of light to composing shots that highlight a property’s features, we delve into the intricacies of real estate photography.

By equipping yourself with these techniques and knowledge, you’ll be able to create a lasting impression that entices buyers to take the next step.

So grab your camera set your focus and let’s embark on this journey together to master the art of real estate photography.

What is Real Estate Photography?

Real estate photography is a niche of photography that focuses on capturing images of properties, including residential and commercial properties with the main purpose of showcasing their unique features and aesthetics to potential buyers, renters, or investors.

Real estate photography plays a major role in the real estate industry as most real estate listings rely heavily on having high-quality imagery to sell their properties.

Being a skilled real estate photographer requires you to have an understanding of not only fundamental photography concepts such as lighting, composition, and editing, but to also be adept in finding and capturing the best aspects of a property.

If you don’t know how to do that yet, well I’ve got you covered.

15 Real Estate Photography Tips

Here are 15 tips to improve your real estate photography:

1. Use a Wide-Angle Lens

The first real estate photography tip is to use a wide-angle lens.

Using a wide-angle lens allows you to view the world from a broader perspective, which is great for real estate photography.

For example, with a wide-angle lens, you’ll be able to capture the whole room with a single shot.

Wide-angle lenses do a great job of creating a perspective that feels more spacious and inviting, which is also a great thing to showcase in a real estate photo.

Wide-angle lenses are also able to add a sense of depth and openness to an image which is also perfect for capturing the entire space in a property, from the front to the back.

One thing to note with wide-angle lenses is that there are different types of wide-angle lenses, so you’ll want to choose one that doesn’t give too much distortion, or else it will make the property look like a funhouse.

I recommend avoiding wide-angle lenses that fall into the fisheye lens range, so anything under 16mm might be getting a little risky.

I recommend a lens within the 16mm – 35mm range as that will allow you to capture everything in the scene without it looking too distorted.

real estate photography wide angle lens
real estate photography wide-angle lens

2. Declutter the Space

The second tip for real estate photography is to declutter the space.

Have you ever walked into a room that is a tidy and clean space? If so, did you feel a sense of breathability and clear thinking?

That’s what decluttering the space will do for viewers of your images!

When you declutter a room, you’ll want to remove any family photos or knick-knacks in the room.

By removing these “unnecessary items” you’ll let the room’s natural features take center stage.

Remember, the goal is to create and capture a clean slate for potential buyers, this way they can picture themselves living in the property!

3. Use Natural Light

The third tip for real estate photography is to use natural light.

Natural light should be your go-to light source for real estate photography. Natural light will make everything look brighter and more inviting, which should be the goal of any real estate photo.

While you can use artificial lighting, nothing beats the warmth and charm of natural, ambient light.

If you want to go above and beyond, be sure to capture some images during golden hour, when the sun emits a golden hue. During this time, the lighting is soft, dreamy, and magical.

Just make sure you prepare and check the weather forecast in advance to ensure there is a bit of sunlight during the day and it’s not a cloudy day.

real estate photography natural light
real estate photography natural light

4. Avoid Harsh Shadows

The fourth tip for real estate photography is to avoid harsh shadows.

We want our real estate photos to look smoother and flattering, not like they got into a brawl with the sun.

The only caveat with shooting with natural light (as mentioned in the previous tip) is that the sun can sometimes cause harsh shadows, especially if you are photographing midday.

To avoid this, first, I recommend avoiding shooting midday when the sun is directly overhead and produces the harshest light.

If you have no choice but to shoot midday and you can’t avoid harsh shadows, then I recommend you bring a diffuser or reflector with you.

Diffusers are like magic wands that will help soften the light, spreading it out nice and evenly.

Reflectors are great at bouncing light into a room, filling every nook and cranny with brightness.

So next time you’re battling the sun and shadows, be sure to experiment with diffusers or reflectors.

Remember, it’s all about finding that perfect balance of light.

5. Staging Matters

The fifth tip for real estate photography is regarding staging.

Staging is the art of making a property look like a dream come true.

This is the secret sauce if you want your real estate photos to stand out from the crowd.

Staging is like setting the stage for a blockbuster movie — you want everything to look picture-perfect.

Now, you don’t want to just throw some furniture around and call it a day; you’ll want to tell a story that draws people in and makes them feel like they belong in the space!

But here’s the real magic – imagine yourself as the star of a romance movie in your own home.

Dress it up with a few well-placed decor pieces that scream, “You’re gonna love livin’ here!”

Think beautiful vases with fresh flowers, fluffy pillows on the couch, and a warm, inviting rug on the floor.

When people can picture themselves in a room, then you’re one step closer to selling that property.

6. Shoot From the Corners

The sixth tip for real estate photography is to shoot from the corners.

When it comes to real estate photography, shooting from the corners is that secret angle that will make your photos pop!

When you position yourself in the corners, it’s like getting a VIP pass to the best view in the house. You’ll be able to capture the whole room!

The wide-open space, the sparkling decor, and all the little details that make the room special will be in your frame.

Shooting from the corners also adds some serious depth to your photos; you’ll be letting the room unfold right before the viewer’s eyes.

But here’s the real deal: shooting from the corners will give you an edge in showing off the size of the room.

It will be like you’re stretching the walls and making the space feel even bigger and more inviting.

When buyers see your real estate photos, they’ll be saying, “Wow, this room is huuge!” — and you’ll say, “Yeah, that’s my corner shooting magic at work!”… Okay, maybe not, but you get the gist.

real estate photography corner of room
real estate photography corner of the room

7. Straighten Vertical Lines

The seventh tip for real estate photography is to straighten vertical lines.

On your real estate photography journey, you may come across those sneaky distorted lines — they can really throw off the whole vibe of your photos!

But don’t worry because I’ve got the ultimate fix for that: straighten those vertical lines like a pro!

When you make sure to straighten your lines, it’s like giving your photos a makeover that’s going to make them look crisp and polished.

We don’t want bendy walls or wonky door frames; we want everything to look nice and straight!

Having straight lines isn’t just for pure aesthetics; it will also make the room feel more stable and balanced.

If you’re wondering how to achieve straight lines, then you can try to capture them in-camera, but they will most likely not be perfectly straight, so you can head over to your favorite editing software and straighten them in there!

8. Highlight Unique Features

The eighth tip for real estate photography is to highlight the unique features of the property.

Every property has its own charm and unique touch, and it’s your job as the real estate photographer to showcase them like the rock stars they are!

For example, does the property have a cozy fireplace? Or maybe it has some sleek, modern kitchen appliances? Or how about the architectural elements in the living room?

When you focus on the selling points, you’re telling a story about the property’s personality and what sets it apart from the rest.

So, get up close and personal with those unique features. Picture yourself as a potential homebuyer. What do you notice about the property that you like? Ask others.

Then capture those elements on camera!

But remember, it’s also about balancing things out.

Don’t let those features steal the whole show. You’ll still want the whole property to shine like a diamond.

The analogy I like to give is like creating a perfect symphony, where each instrument plays its part beautifully.

real estate photography highlight features
real estate photography highlight features

9. Use a Tripod

The ninth tip for real estate photography is to use a tripod.

The tripod is the unsung hero of real estate photography. It’s the steady hand that will keep your photos looking sharp and crystal clear.

When you use a tripod, you’ll be taking your photography game to the next level. Say goodbye to shaky hands or wobbly shots — you’ll want to have sharp pictures looking like a pro took them!

Also, if you know your exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed, ISO), then with a tripod, you’ll also be able to use slower shutter speeds for exposure reasons without getting motion blur.

Don’t underestimate the power of a tripod.

It’s like a rock-solid support system for your camera, giving you the freedom to get creative and take amazing shots.

Keep it steady, snap away, and get ready to dazzle the world with your sharp, perfectly framed photos!

10. Showcase the Exterior

The tenth tip is to showcase the exterior.

I’ve discussed the interior, but it’s also important to remember to step outside and embrace the beauty of the exterior!

When you showcase the exterior, you’ll be painting a full picture of what the property’s all about.

You’ll want to capture all the appealing outdoor areas — from the lush gardens bursting with colorful blooms to the serene backyard that’s perfect for relaxing and unwinding.

Remember that the exterior is all about showing off the potential of the property’s lifestyle.

You’ll want to capture those moments that make people go, “This could be my oasis!” or “I can definitely see myself hosting barbecues and parties here!”

real estate photography exterior
real estate photography exterior

11. Use Post-Processing Sparingly

The eleventh real estate photography tip is to use post-processing sparingly.

Post-processing is like adding a sprinkle of magic dust to your photos. You can fine-tune the colors, tweak the brightness, and make those images sing like a melody. But here’s the key – don’t go overboard!

Less is more when it comes to enhancing images in post-processing.

You’ll want to keep things looking real and accurate to the property’s natural beauty.

So, resist the urge to go crazy with filters and heavy edits.

We want to stay true to what the buyers will see when they step foot in that property. No disappointments, just pleasant surprises!

Post-processing should be like polishin’ a diamond – you want to make it shine, but you don’t want to change its core brilliance.

Keep things natural and classy, and your photos will be a win-win!

12. Mind the Angles

The twelfth real estate photography tip is to mind your angles.

Angles, angles, angles – they’re like the secret sauce to making your real estate photos truly pop!

Get ready to play with perspectives and uncover the best angles that’ll make each room shine like a star.

Think of yourself as a photography detective, searching for that perfect angle that’ll show off every nook and cranny in the room.

It’s like solving a puzzle – you gotta move around, up, down, and all around until you find that magic spot.

Each room has its own personality, and angles help you capture its unique vibe.

Maybe that cozy bedroom looks amazing from a low angle, showing off the soft, dreamy bedspread. Or that spacious living room comes alive from a high angle, letting folks appreciate the grandeur of the space.

But here’s the beauty of it all – there’s no right or wrong when it comes to angles.

It’s all about experimenting and letting your creative juices flow.

Don’t be afraid to try out different positions – standin’, kneelin’, even layin’ down on the floor! Get creative and see what magic you can uncover.

13. Pay Attention to Composition

The thirteenth real estate photography tip is to pay attention to your composition.

Composition in photography is what will really allow you to feel like an artist painting a picture with your photos.

Some of the most common compositional techniques I like to use include leading lines, symmetry and framing.

Leading lines are like little arrows pointing the way to the heart of the photo.

They guide the viewer’s eye and lead them deeper into the scene. Whether it’s a walkway drawing folks into a beautiful garden or a staircase invitin’ them to explore the upper floors, leading lines add a touch of intrigue and adventure to your photos.

real estate photography leading lines
real estate photography leading lines

Symmetry is like finding that perfect balance that brings harmony to the shot. It’s like a mirror image that’s oh-so-satisfying to the eye. When you spot symmetry, you know you’ve found a winning formula that adds a touch of elegance and order to your photos.

Framing is like giving your photo a nice big hug. When you use elements in the foreground – like a beautiful archway or lush branches – you’re creating a sense of depth and drawing the viewer right into the heart of the photo. It’s like opening the door to a whole new world!

real estate photography framing of door
real estate photography framing of door

Remember, while there are compositional “rules,” you’ll want to make sure you still express your creativity and let your style shine through.

14. Keep the Camera Level

The fourteenth real estate photography tip is to keep the camera level.

You’ll want to avoid any camera tilts that make the world look like it’s titled on its axis — that’s a big no!

When you keep the camera level, which can be easily achieved by placing your camera on a leveled surface or using a tripod, you’re going to keep things balanced and accurate to life.

Tilting the camera up or down can create an unwanted “funhouse effect” where everything will look wonky and out of place.

So next time you’re taking real estate photos, make sure you keep an eye on that horizon line. Make sure it’s nice and level!

15. Prioritize Image Quality

The fifteenth and final real estate photography tip is to make sure you are prioritizing image quality.

I recommend you shoot in RAW.

Shooting in RAW format is like unleashing the full potential of your camera.

It’s like capturing all the nitty-gritty details and colors in their purest form.

With RAW, you’ve got all the data at your fingertips, and that means greater editing flexibility and higher image quality.

Shooting in RAW is like a blank canvas for a painter — you’ll have endless possibilities to fine-tune your photos just the way you want.

With RAW, you can easily adjust the exposure, tweak the white balance, and bring out the hidden charm of the property like a true artist.

And here’s the real magic — when you edit a RAW file, you won’t be compromising on the quality.

Each adjustment will be like a gentle touch that enhances your photo without sacrificing sharpness or clarity.

Also, when you shoot in RAW, you’ll be future-proofing your images.

If you ever need to print them in large formats, you’ll have all the high-quality data right there, ready to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of photography is real estate?

Real estate photography is a specialized genre focused on capturing visually appealing and accurate images of properties for the purpose of marketing and selling real estate listings.

What is the best height for real estate photography?

The best height for real estate photography is typically at eye level or slightly above, allowing for a balanced and natural perspective that showcases the property’s features effectively.

Should I shoot raw for real estate photography?

Yes, shooting in RAW format for real estate photography is recommended as it allows for greater flexibility in post-processing, ensuring you can achieve the best possible results with more control over exposure, white balance, and other aspects.