Showcasing the best features of your home with the right angle and lighting makes all the difference. Did you know that breathtaking real estate listing photos can sell your house fast? In fact, homes that are well-photographed sold 32% faster. That’s why real estate photography has been the buzz in today’s real estate marketing strategy.
A blurred photo of your front house is not going to stand out. This guide on the best real estate photography in California will help you understand the nitty-gritty of taking great shots for your listing photos.
What is Real Estate Photography?
Real estate photography is taking professional pictures of a property to sell and market it better. It is most commonly used for listing a property for sale online.
Why is Real Estate Photography Important?
Well-photographed photos grab the attention of a potential buyer and are 32% more likely to get sold faster.
Homes listed with Professional Photos vs Amateur Photos
Homes with professional photos get 61% more views than amateur photos. A real estate photographer will know the correct angle, lighting, time of the day, and elements to focus on when taking photos of your house.
Real Estate Photography Tips
📷 Real Estate Photography Tips
- Examine the property
- Declutter and groom
- Enhance the visual appeal through staging
- Turn on all the home lights
- Use a tripod
- Shoot with wide lens
- Keep a lot of natural light
- Shoot with different angles
- Editing can do wonders
Step1: Examine your property
It’s also important to feel the space before you take photos. Find out the rooms that need more improvement or tidying up. Play with the different angles in your head. Or just start visualizing which is the right angle to take the best shots. Find the special point of the room that stands out easily, and use it as your focal point.
Step 2: Declutter and groom
Before your photo session, clean the house thoroughly. Tidy up every nook and cranny, especially the corners. Camera flash can easily pick up dust due to light reflection. So, make sure your home is nice and neat.
Step 3: Enhance the visual appeal through staging
The exterior features of your house are the first thing your buyer will see online, thus staging your property is an essential process in marketing your home. When a home staging is done correctly, that’s half the battle won.
Why Home Staging is Important?
- Staging enhances the beauty and special features of the property.
- Buyers are more enticed to check your house in person when the photos are promising.
- Your prospects can easily imagine living in the property with the great listing photos you’ve posted.
- Staging adds visual interest.
To Learn More Read: Home Staging Tips
Step 4: Turn on all the home lights
Home lights are an essential source of brightness that helps showcase the best features of your property. Replace burnt-out light bulbs. Make sure all your home lights work so you’ll have a good impression on your buyers. However, you can also use flashes to improve room lighting and highlight some details.
Best Time of Day for Real Estate Photography
When’s the right time to do your listing shots? Although this is debatable, most professionals agree to do it 1+hours after sunrise or 1+hours before sunset. That’s probably 7:00 am afterward and from 4:00 to 7:00 pm (the golden hour).
The first rule of thumb is to pick a sunny day or partly sunny day to make the photo bright and warm. If you only have a smartphone (although we highly recommend a quality digital camera), set the settings to HDR or high dynamic range to snapshot with sharp details. Depending on the time of the day, there are a few types of lighting for real estate photography you can go for.
Twilight Real Estate Photography: Property photographs are taken during the evening. This type of photography is best suited for properties that have a lot of outdoor areas like a large back and front yard, pool, and garden.
They give the property an alluring appeal. Make sure the indoor lights are on at full capacity to provide contrast. Dusk real estate photography stands out from other ones since the majority of the property pictures listed online are taken in during the day.
Step 5: Use a tripod
Ask any professional photographers, and they’ll always give you this tip. A tripod is an absolute must. It simplifies the shooting process. For places with low light, a solid tripod can be helpful to avoid the blurry effect. You can also get sharp-quality photos when you want to do a late-night photo session.
Interior shots mustn’t be done handheld. It is necessary to use proper stability to capture the features of your property. It maintains the perspective of all your shots. Consistency is the key when it comes to real estate listing photos.
» Best Month To Sell A House in California: Know the best time to sell a house in California to sell it quickly and at a higher price.
Step 6: Shoot with a wide lens
If you have enough budget, choose a wide-angle lens to improve your listing shots. In real estate photography, most pro-level real estate professionals use wide-angle lenses to visually enlarge the room. This helps create a sense of depth and makes spaces bigger than they really are. Here are the usual real estate photography camera settings or requirements or specs 16-35mm (full-frame), 10-22mm, and 12-24mm (cropped sensor cameras). Another thing, is you have to shoot in raw so you can edit the photos easily.
Step 7: Keep a lot of natural light
When you’re ready to shoot, open all the doors and windows so there’s enough sunlight to come into your photos. Though artificial light from light fixtures can help, nothing beats natural light that gives off a natural look. Also, LED panels and reflectors can help enhance the natural light
Rooms that are filled with direct sunlight are perfect for shooting. When the sunlight reaches the walls and floors, it makes the room more inviting and cozier.
Step 8: Shoot with different angles
Find creative ways to make your photos look interesting. Pay attention to details. Avoid odd and trivial angles when you shoot. Homes come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Seek the best perspective in the main rooms, especially in the dining area, living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. The key is to keep your camera angle at about chest height and shoot directly.
Step 9: Editing can do wonders
Consider photo editing to finalize the shots. There are a bunch of applications or tools to adjust hue and saturation, or increase brightness. You can use Adobe Lightroom to edit the photos in one go with the same modifications. There are available presets that you can choose from that can add depth and contrast to your photos in just a few clicks. In this way, you don’t have to waste your time editing your photos one by one. Crop sections that are not part of the photo. Adjust the white balance settings and make some vertical corrections.
Editing Techniques Used in Real Estate Photography
There are also a number of techniques that one can use to enhance property photos:
- Flambient Real Estate Photography: The “flambient” method for real estate photography combines both flash and ambient light in your shots. Pictures are taken using a flash and without a flash. This is done to eliminate shadows or overexposure and to give a balanced image in the end.
- Blue Sky Real Estate Photography: Exterior background of the property can make or break the picture. A blue sky in the background enhances the picture vs a cloudy or gray sky dulls the picture. Blue sky real estate photography technique replaces the dull sky with sky blue sky and makes the property photo appear cleaner and crisp.
- Bracketing Real Estate Photography: Bracketing is a photography technique where a picture of the same shot is taken from different camera settings. This is done to avoid overexposure or shadows in a picture.
- 3D Real Estate Photography: 3D photography includes photos, videos, and a 360-degree view of the property to give a virtual tour of a property. It is mostly used when a property is under construction, for potential buyers
Note that over-editing can sway away buyers to check your home. Make sure your photos don’t look too unnatural and edited parts are visible. In real estate photography, don’t overdo your retouching.
Types of Real Estate Photography
Real estate photography can be classified per the property type, technology used, etc. We have mentioned the most common type of real estate photography in the housing market in California.
1. Residential Real Estate Photography
Residential real estate photography includes photography of residential condos, single-family houses, apartments, and luxury properties. It also includes photographing the interior and exterior of the property. This type of photography is also used in home staging.
» Home Staging California: Staged homes see $400 above the listing price. To help you maximize your profits we have compiled a list of the best home staging companies in California.
2. Commercial Real Estate Photography
Commercial real estate photography includes commercial spaces like restaurants and business centers. They require more advanced equipment because they can be used for print magazines, commercial ads, news, and other media outlets.
3. Architectural Photography
Architectural photography is usually preferred by architects, contractors, and civil engineering firms.
4. 3D Real Estate Photography
3D photography includes photos, videos, and a 360-degree view of the property to give a virtual tour. Matterport technology is used which is a 3D camera that enables anyone to take a virtual walk through a property.
5. Real Estate Aerial Photography
Real estate aerial photography is commonly known as real estate drone photography. A drone or aerial view of the property gives the buyer an idea about the surrounding area, amenities, and landscape near it. Drone photography is especially important if it is a large property and has a lake, scenic backyard, or a front yard.
6. Luxury Real Estate Photography
Luxury real estate photography is done using advanced HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques that produce the most true-to-life picture of the property. A luxury real estate photographer will take an over-exposed photo and an under-exposed photo along with a standard exposure. The three pictures are then merged together to give a well-lighted image of each part of the room. HDR photography is the best way for the camera to show what the human eye naturally sees.
Real Estate Photography Pricing in California
Real estate photography pricing is determined based on time, per square feet area of the property, type of photography needed and the number of photos to be required. Based on these factors, a photographer or photography company will charge you for their real estate photography services.
Real estate photography pricing in California ranges from $150 – $700. Pricing for drone photography, 3D photography, or luxury real estate photography will be significantly higher than standard photography.
What to Avoid
- No local point shots, or uneven and irregular framing.
- Blurred photos, overexposed, or underexposed images.
- Don’t include cars, people, or pets in the photos.
- Don’t take a shot of your room’s interior from the corner.
- Place away kitchen devices, toasters, blenders, etc.
- Remove personal items like photographs, clothing, boxes, and souvenirs from the house
- Don’t show your sponges, soaps, towels, toiletries, or other personal items.
- Make sure you put toilet seats and lids down.
Benefits of Good Listing Photos
- Your property stands out.
- You’ll gain more interested buyers.
- You’ll have great offers.
- You can sell your house quickly.
Why Do You Need a Real Estate Photographer?
A professional California real estate photographer knows how to capture your property and make it more appealing once listed online. It could be an MLS, flyer, or a picture for the yard sign, getting a real estate photographer is a must. Your property will sell quickly and at a higher price if make a listing with professionally photographed pictures.
» Sell My House Fast California: Read our blog to know more about selling a house fast in California.
But would you hire a professional to take your listing photos?
If you don’t have enough time to research and do all the mentioned above tips, you need to hire a real estate photographer. These are experts in real estate photography and can manage to take great shots with the expected stellar outcome.
Most buyers glance at photos for a second and then look for another. Make sure yours will stand out among the rest of the photos. Feature the best shot so buyers will immediately want to see in-person of your property.
Most buyers glance at photos for a second and then look for another. Make sure yours will stand out among the rest of the photos. With our guide on the best real estate photography in California you can now feature the best shots, so buyers will immediately want to see your property.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some tips for real estate photography?
Tips for real estate photography:
1. Examine the property
2. Declutter and groom
3. Enhance the visual appeal through staging
4. Turn on all the home lights
5. Use a tripod
6. Shoot with wide lens
7. Keep a lot of natural light
8. Shoot with different angles
9. Editing can do wonders
2. Do real estate agents pay for photography?
Yes. If you have hired a top real estate agents or Realtor, they most often pay for the photographer.
However, it is not a set rule. If you are selling your home via "For Sale By Owner" route, where there is no agent involved, you should find a photography company or photography and pay.
3. What equipment do I need for real estate photography?
The basic equipment required for real estate photography:
1. DSLR camera
2. Wide-angle lens
4. Remote trigger
5. Flash and Flash trigger
6. Light Modifiers
7. Light Stands
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