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Do’s and Don’ts in Real Estate Photography

January 6, 2020 at 7:16 am Julia E. Miller 5 Tips & Tricks

You’re ready to go, with the camera in one hand and today’s schedule in the other. The mission: take outstanding listing photos for your clients. What should you do next? How can you draw attention to the house? According to recent studies, real estate photography is the trigger for many online buyers. And, while some say that the selling price is what matters most, we beg to differ. Read on to find out why.

The benefits of good photos

What is the essential role of real estate photography? Emphasizing a property’s best features. The higher the quality of the images, the greater the chances the house will sell quickly. If you are looking for a more natural way to draw attention, then the best one is to use professional photos. The chances of people taking a look at that particular house instead of another rise with more than 45%. Here are the main advantages of having good quality photos:

1. The property receives more offers

Houses that grab attention and impress their viewers are likely going to receive more substantial offers. The key is to make buyers notice the property; after that, the photos will do the hard work for you. As one may say – they speak for themselves and are a 24/24 h active seller.

2. The property stays less on the market

Real estate photos will convince possible buyers to come and visit the house in person. As the number of listings available in today’s market increases from one day to another, you certainly need that wow factor to ooze your audience. Professional photos will do that for you! Also, if the number of interested buyers spikes, then a deal might be on the horizon.

real estate photography

3. Photos increase the chances of closing the deal

Making an excellent first-time impression is a must! Your house must be presentable and highly appealing to a buyer to come and visit it. So, understanding the importance of photography in real estate is the first step, then comes the challenge of selecting the right photos for the right buyers. Keep in mind that the images will be the first things a buyer will want to see, as the property will fight against other hundreds of similar ones.

Listing photos Do’s and Don’ts

So, let us take it step by step and discover some of the most important do’s and don’ts in real estate photography. No matter if you are a homeowner, real estate agent, or photographer, your goal is to have beautiful photos. Here is what you need to do or what you should advise your clients to do before the photographer gets to the setting! I bet you didn’t know them all.

Owner: Arrange every room!

Every room deserves your attention. Therefore, the first thing you need to do before booking a professional photographer is to make sure your house is in tip-top shape. Stage every room, make it look clean and fresh. Hide the clothes, bring in a bowl of fresh food and some flowers. With a little bit of attention to details, the property will look amazing!

real estate photography

Photographer: Emphasize the property’s best features

Every property, no matter its price, has at least some strong points and you need to focus your efforts on discovering them. Get them in front of buyers and show them off!

Owner: Make it look homey

You need to make prospecting buyers say, ‘This is where I want to live. I like what I see!’ If you manage to accomplish that, then you’ve certainly attained yur goal. Why? It is common knowledge that viewers make their decision in the first 5 seconds when they see a property. If the property’s photos are not appealing enough, then be sure that the buyer will never come back.

Owner: Create a welcoming ambiance

From another point of view, you need to focus on the entrance and on the first things buyers will see when they arrive at the property. If you create the impression of an inviting foyer, if you let your door open, for instance, and have a photo capturing this, then you’ll convey that welcoming message every buyer is looking for. Try it and see if it goes for you.

real estate photography

Photographer: Make the view stand out

Does the house have a breathtaking view? Don’t lose your chance to show it off! Get those exact details that matter in front of your audience. You need to know how to sell the property and make prospective buyers picture themselves living there.

Owner: Give the impression of open space

You might have to rearrange the furniture so that it’ll look amazing in the pictures. Listen to your photographer’s advice and, if something doesn’t seem to be in the right place, move it or take it out completely. A house full of furniture has the potential for a disaster.

Owner: Pay attention to the finishing touches

These details will be the exact details that will persuade the buyer actually to come and see how amazing the property really is. Add extra details to make it look even more appealing, like small personal touches, and get it all on film.

real estate photography


You need to sell this experience, and the best way for you to achieve this, as an owner, is by hiring a team of professionals: a skilled photographer and an efficient realtor!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 25, 2014, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Julia E. Miller

Julia is passionate about bringing big ideas to life and crafting storylines that connect people on a profound level. She has a strong conceptual and strategic thinking, integrating different disciplines across real estate photography, advertising, technology and experiential marketing. In the last seven years, she worked full-time and freelance for a variety of award-winning weekly and monthly publications.

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5 comments on “Do’s and Don’ts in Real Estate Photography”

  1. Carlos Diaz says:

    Remember a good tripod.

  2. Tim says:

    You make some good points, especially about making the house look spacious. I shoot real estate photography for listing agents and have several clients who have called me in, usually for the first time, after they’ve tried taking their own photos with their cell phone. One of my pet peeves is when agents take pictures of objects in the room instead of the room. That’s a direct result of using a phone or cheap camera to do the work of professional grade equipment.

    A new problem I’ve run into is one agent likes to have all his photos “more vibrant”, which I can understand. But what he actually wants is his photos overly saturated. After I give him the natural image, he puts them into a program on his cell phone which makes them all look fake. They look horrible, but he insists this is what his buyers want, even though many of them have commented otherwise. But, if that’s what he wants, that’s what I’ll do, I just don’t want my name associated with them.

    1. Lisa Ross Lisa Ross says:

      Thanks, Tim. I understand your problem completely and unfortunately I believe many run into it; it is a common one. I agree: ‘if that’s what he wants, that’s what I’ll do’. Have a great day!

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