5 Real Estate Photography Tips That Will Pay off in a Big Way

Woman holding a DSLR on her hands

Like it or not, the quality of your real estate photography matters. After all, photos are what create a prospective buyer’s first impression of the home. They’re what convinces the buyer to schedule a showing and, eventually, to submit an offer.

With that in mind, below are five tips for taking better real estate photos.

How to take listing photos that will get prospective buyers in the door

1. Declutter before you shoot

Our first tip for great real estate photos occurs even before you pick up your camera. In this case, it’s absolutely essential to take the time to declutter the home before you start shooting. Doing so will make your photos look cleaner and more professional.

Start your photo session by taking a tour of the home. As you go through each room, take the time to look for any household items that may clutter up your frame. Be sure to tuck away any noticeable wires for electronics and clear off any visible surfaces.

While you’re at it, you should also start thinking about your angles as you tour the home. Make a mental note of where you intend to stand as you shoot so that you’ll be able to move through your shots quicker when it’s time to start shooting.

2. Get the lighting right

Next, it’s time to decide on which type of lighting you intend to use for your photos. In this case, it’s best to choose between having all of the lights on or having them all off when you take photos. Choosing one or the other will help ensure that all of your photos appear uniform.

Truthfully, there are pluses and minuses to taking each route. On the one hand, taking photos with the lights on can help the rooms of the home instantly look warmer and more inviting. However, different light bulbs can create different light temperatures, which can be off-putting.

Similarly, using natural light has its pros and cons. While the light will undoubtedly look more uniform than using light fixtures, natural light has a tendency to make the rooms of the home look a little bit starker than some agents might like.

3. Choose landscape over portrait

While, ideally, if you plan to take your own real estate photos, you’ll have a full set-up of equipment that includes a tripod, a full-frame camera, and a variety of lenses, that’s not always possible. This section covers what you should do if you plan to use your phone to take photos.

First and foremost, you should hold your phone horizontally rather than vertically while you shoot. In this case, choosing a landscape orientation over a portrait one will help you capture more of the room. It’s also the orientation that is accepted by most MLS systems.

In the case of real estate photography, portrait orientation should really not be used at all. This orientation has a tendency to make rooms appear narrow and even cut off. It will not give prospective buyers a true sense of the home or its layout.

4. Consider your angles

Next, it’s time to consider your angles. The cardinal rule of real estate photography is not to stand directly across from the wall that you intend to shoot. Instead, it’s better to stand at an angle. Doing so will help you add more depth to your photos.

To do this, start by taking a photo from the doorway in order to include as much of the room as possible in the shot. Then, walk around the room and try out taking photos at a variety of different angles. Ultimately, the more photos you take, the more options you’ll have to pick from in the end.

If you’re willing to invest some money into your photography, consider purchasing a wide-angle lens attachment for your phone. This will help you show more of the room in your photos, which can be a big plus to prospective buyers.

5. Think about hiring professional help

Finally, if you’re willing to invest money into your photos, but don’t want to bother with buying a ton of equipment, consider hiring a professional to take photos for you. At the end of the day, having professional listing photos can make a huge difference in how your listing appears to buyers.

That said, you could also consider simply paying for someone to edit your photos. Photo editing can be much more affordable than paying for a professional photographer to come out to the home. It can also help solve any issues with the coloration and balance of your photos.

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Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.