Real Estate Photography: Creating Your Best Listing Photos

real estate photography

Pictures paint a thousand words. The quality of your listing photos can impress your prospects right off the bat. 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 faster? As a matter of fact, homes that are well-photographed sold 32% faster, according to VHT Studios. That’s why real estate photography has been the buzz in today’s real estate marketing strategy.

Quality photos stand out in the market. Thus, making it halfway there in getting a home deal. Since most buyers hunt for homes online, you need to make a great first impression. So, don’t ever think that you can sell your house immediately with a blurred photo of your front house. If you aren’t interested in hiring a real estate photographer, this real estate photography quick tips and guide provide the nitty-gritty of taking great shots for your listing photos.


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How to Take Good Listing Photos? (Real Estate Photography 101)

Declutter and groom.

Before your photo session, clean the house thoroughly. Tidy up every nook and cranny, especially the corners. Wipe clean the dusty and dirty surfaces in your appliances or furniture. No one wants an unpleasant-looking house.

After staging, vacuum every corner so the camera won’t capture any tiny dust particles. Camera flash can easily pick up dust due to light reflection. So, make sure your home is nice and neat as much as possible. Also, replace burnt-out light bulbs. Wipe clean your light fixtures, lamps, chandeliers, and other sources of light to your property. A well balanced-lighted room can bring out the best shot for your property.

Enhance the visual appeal through staging.

Since the exterior features of your house are the first thing your buyer will see online. Staging your property is an essential process in marketing your home. When a house is properly staged, that’s half the battle won. How? (1) It gives the beauty and special features of the property. (2) Buyers are more entice to check your house in-person when the photos are promising. (3) Your prospects can easily imagine living in the property with great listing photos you’ve posted. (4) Staging adds visual interest.

Examine your property first.

It’s also important to feel the space before you take photos. Find out the rooms that need more improvement or tidying up. Don’t snap a photo yet. Play with the different angles in your head. Or just start visualizing which is the right angle to take the best shots. Preparing mentally can give a good start. Find the special point of the room that stands out easily, use it as your focal point.

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.

real estate photography

Find the best time to shoot.

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 into HDR or high dynamic range to snapshot with sharp details.

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.

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-angles lenses to visually enlarge the room. This helps create a sense of depth and make spaces bigger than they really are. Here are the usual real estate photography camera settings or requirements or specs are 16-35mm (full-frame), and 10-22mm and 12-24mm (cropped sensor cameras). Another thing, you have to shoot in raw so you can edit the photos easily.

Keep a lot of natural light.

When you’re ready to shoot, open all the doors and windows so there’s enough amount of sunlight that could come into your photos. Though artificial light from light fixtures can help, nothing beats a 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 is perfect for shooting. When the sunlight reaches the walls and floors, it makes the room more inviting and cozier.

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 here is to keep your camera angle at about chest height and shoot directly.

Editing can do wonders.

Consider photo editing to finalize the shots. There’s 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 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.

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 retouch.

real estate photography

What to Avoid

  • No local point shots, or uneven and irregular framing.
  • Blurred photos, overexposed, or underexposed images.
  • Unless requested, 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.
  • Never remove the shadow when you edit the photos.
  • 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

  • You’ll get the attention in no time.
  • You’ll gain more interested buyers.
  • You’ll have great offers.
  • You can sell your house quickly.

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. You can also examine these photos why they work and analyze the lighting, staging, and other angles or variables they are taking into consideration.

Bottom line: Most buyers glance photos for a second and then look for another one. Make sure yours will stand out among the rest of the photos. Feature the best shot you have so buyers will immediately want to see in-person of your property.  

Moreover, there are other ways you can bring the wow factor to your buyers. You can do virtual tours to your home—with high-resolution photos and a 3D floor plan that lets your prospect explore the rooms. Nevertheless, we can’t deny that great listing photos can help market your house fast. If you’re in an FSBO or Flat Fee route, learning the tricks and tips of how to take great listing photos can get you ahead of others.


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