Real Estate Photography Tips for Professionals

Real Estate Photography Tips for Professionals

The importance of visual images when selling real estate cannot be overstated. Any professional in the real estate business should be aware of how to get the best shots when planning to market a new property.

The average time to sell a house can vary quite substantially. According to an article at Review 42, houses sell on average in just 8 days in Columbus, Ohio. However, someone looking to sell a home in McAllen, Texas, could need about two months before the property was taken off the market.

While the location has a big effect on how long a sale can take, so too can the marketing. High-quality photographs of a home’s interior and exterior, showing the best features, and in the best light, can speed up a sale dramatically.

For anyone trying to market their own home, or for real estate professionals who take photos of properties, here are some thoughts surrounding this marketing tool, and some handy tips.  

Why is photography important when marketing a home?

It should be noted that the figures above regarding house sales only refer to the actual days on the market. The sometimes stressful sales procedure involving inspections and solicitors still has to follow.

However, it is probably fair to say that anyone who only has their home on the market for eight days would be pretty happy. Achieving this takes a good realtor who is willing to work hard to market the property.

An essential part of the marketing process is displaying the home in the best possible way, and this includes using multiple images. PR Newswire has reported that professional photography can help sell a home up to 32% faster than houses that don’t use it. 

Does this mean that only professional photography will do?

While it can be very desirable to use a professional photographer, it isn’t always possible, or necessary. A good realtor may already possess quality equipment and the skills to take good photos.

One key to producing a good marketing plan for selling a house isn’t just to use good photographs but also to use a lot of them.

The National Association of Realtors found that a property that only had 1 photo was likely to spend an average of 70 days on the market. When it came to properties with multiple photos, things were a little different. A home with around 20 different images took an average of just over 30 days to sell.

As long as the person taking the photographs has the right equipment, and understands about taking quality shots, there may not be the need for a professional to get involved.

How can you, or a real estate agent, ensure that they get the best images to help sell a home?

Here are ten tips to help in this regard. 

1. Choose the right time

One of the best tips for selling a home quickly is to use great photographs, but if you take them at the wrong time, then the work can be wasted.

Ideally, homes should always be shot in the daytime and when there is a clear sky. If it is overcast, then schedule another time. A few hours or a day lost is better than trying to market a home with dreary photographs.

For dramatic shots, you could try a few at sunset with the sun behind the house to create a stunning image. 

2. Take a walk through the home

Before you start to shoot, take a walk through the home and consider the best angles for your shots.

Taking this time will also let you see any extra pieces of furniture or clutter that need to be moved. While any areas that need tidying are being tended to, you can start shooting other areas. 

3. Declutter the home

This basic tip doesn’t just refer to taking the best photographs, it should also be done to help with viewings.

Decluttering has many benefits, not only does it give you a chance for the homeowner to remove anything that they no longer need, but it makes rooms look bigger and more spacious.

Creating a sense of space will help speed up a sale by impressing viewers, and it will help to create much better photographs. 

4. Use natural light

Natural lighting is always the best option, and letting the sun into a home can bring about warm, cozy-looking photographs.

Before shooting, pull back the curtains, and raise the blinds in all the windows to let in as much natural light as you can. The benefit of natural light is that potential buyers are more likely to be drawn to the realistic look that it will give to your photos.

5. Use a wide-angle lens

A wide-angle lens will enhance the space of a room and provide maximum coverage.

You will be able to capture tight spaces easier with a wide-angle lens too. You can compare lenses to use while taking images of real estate here. While wide-angle lenses are the go-to choice for most real estate photography, you may want to consider a tilt-shift lens too.

6. Be consistent with your lighting

Many people like to turn all the lights on in a property when taking real estate photos, while others prefer the lights to be off. Whatever your preference is, make sure you stay consistent throughout the house.

If you do choose to have the lights on, then remember you may need to adjust your images in post-processing if you have varying light temperatures. For those who may not have the time or expertise to handle post-processing, it’s possible to outsource real estate photo editing to professionals specialized in this area. This can be an effective solution for ensuring that your property is presented in the best possible light, without having to delve into the complexities of photo editing software yourself.

7. Check your equipment the day before

This is a very simple tip, but one that can save a lot of time. Make sure memory cards have enough space on them, and that the batteries are charged. 

8. Use filters

In particular, use a circular polarizing filter to remove glare and reflections when taking outside shots. This is especially useful if you are shooting on a very bright day.

9. Make a shot list for the property

Consider what you want to photograph before you get there, and tick the list off as you progress. There is nothing worse than finishing up a photoshoot and realizing in post-processing that you forgot to take any shots of the backyard, for instance. 

10. Use some creative props

Just as you earlier went through the home removing clutter, it is now time to introduce some new objects. Using flowers, books, and fruit bowls, can add life to an image and create a sense of homeliness. 

Are there any times when real estate photography is not important?

If you are not selling through a realtor then you might be able to save your time and avoid photography completely.

There are many reasons to sell to a cash buyer, including making a very fast sale without the need for marketing. So, if you are in a real hurry and are lousy at photography, this might be your best option! 


Creating the right images for real estate photography can be tricky, and these are just a few suggestions you can use. Using the right lenses is vital to cover the most space and show off tight areas. Decluttering the home is very important, and using props can help too. Perhaps the most important part of shooting a home is to choose the best time of day and get the most out of the natural light available. With a little post-processing, you should have photographs that will help speed up a house sale immensely.


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