Real Estate Photography Tip: How To Take Pictures That Sell

photographer taking picture of a building
Real estate photography is one of the most important tools a realtor can use to sell a home. The internet has changed the way people shop for homes, which means that someone who wants to buy a home might only want their realtor to show them a list of homes they’ve found online rather than homes that their real estate agent chose to show them based on their criteria.
The internet is a game-changer in many industries, but it allows potential buyers to have more access to homes for sale. It has also made selling a home more difficult for buyers as so many people have access to their home 24/7 thanks to the internet. All it takes is one bad photo of your home or the home of a client to make buyers turn around.

In the past, buyers relied solely on their agents to find homes for sale, or they drove through neighborhoods they loved and wrote down addresses of homes for sale. It was all about curb appeal in those days. A house had to look pristine from the exterior if sellers wanted to get buyers through the door.  

While the concept is still the same, sellers now must make sure every corner of every room looks pristine for photos or else buyers may not give them the time of day. This is why real estate photography is more important than ever, and every seller must have a Pinterest or Instagram-worthy set of home photos to entice buyers.

What Is Real Estate Photography?

If you find yourself asking what real estate photography is, you’re not alone. It’s the photography a realtor uses to show off a house that’s for sale. The internet is now filled with websites you can use to check out homes for sale, which means you must have pristine photos to show off a home and the appeal it has. Real estate photography uses special lighting, effects, staging, and other details to capture the perfect photo.

For example, a real estate photo might not show the true appearance of a home because the realtor came in and removed clutter or personal effects prior to the photographer snapping photos. Special lighting is designed to make rooms appear larger, to make rooms appear cleaner, and to show off the potential. By the time a buyer sees the house in person, they’ve already looked at the photos a dozen times and fallen in love with the space. The reality is less obvious, which can sell homes quickly.

Getting Started In Real Estate Photography

camera focuses on a house

Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels

Getting a start in real estate photography involves buying the proper camera and equipment. You don’t need a lot of fancy material though. A nice camera, a tripod for steady photos, and a lens that takes great photos make it easy for you to start your own real estate photography business.

Your lenses must be wide-angle lenses to capture the full aspect of an entire room, and a tilt-shift lens can help with details such as vertical lines. You don’t want door frames and corners to look as if they are tiling outward in your shots.

Know What To Charge

photo of a white house in daylight

Photo by Luis Yanez from Pexels

When you are getting started in the business of real estate photography, you must know what to charge your clients. The average salary of a real estate photographer can range from $80 to $300 per listing, but the exact rate depends on several factors. The first factor is the going rate where you reside.

Real estate photographers in a high-demand area can charge more than people who live in a small town where only a few houses are sold each month. Additionally, an experienced photographer can charge more per listing than an amateur photographer.

Offer Videos

If you are just getting started in the world of real estate photography, you might consider offering videos as part of your package. You can charge more for this, but it’s also a selling point that many realtors want to see. People love a video tour of a home they want to see more of online, and many realtors are willing to pay more for that service.

Build A Portfolio

living room shot

Photo by Milly Eaton from Pexels

Even if this means going around and taking photos of the houses your friends and family live in, you must have a portfolio that includes beautiful photos of homes. No one will hire you to take photos of their listings if you cannot show them you take perfect photos.

Take photos of different style homes, and make sure you have a diverse collection of photos at your disposal. It’s also helpful to have some taken at night to show off your skill there rather than only during the daytime.

Learn To Edit

You will find that editing photos is your best friend, and anyone who uses Instagram for business purposes will tell you the same. You must have the right editing tool to make a house pop, or else you will have a basic photo anyone can take.

While using the correct editing tools and filters is helpful, you must also know when to stop. Too much editing makes it appear you are untrustworthy as a photographer, and buyers don’t want that. Your photos should look real and untouched, even when they are edited.

Take Photography Courses

real estate photographers taking pictures
Image by Peter H from Pixabay

These are going to help you in every manner. Learning and improving your skills is always helpful, and you should aspire to take some photography classes each year to help you hone your style and improve your photography. It never hurts to keep learning how to use your camera. All it takes is one new tool to allow you to book more clients and make more money.

Market Yourself

Now that you have all the skills necessary to become a real estate photographer, it’s your job to find ways to market yourself. Here are some things you can use to do so:

  • Business cards
  • A business website
  • Business social media
  • Social media giveaways
  • A blog
  • Job boards online
  • Local business events

These are all great ways to market yourself, but you can add cold-calling to your list of marketing strategies. Call local real estate offices and ask to speak to people who are in need of photographers. Send your work to them and let them see for themselves how good you are. Don’t forget to follow up on any cold calls you make, either.

How To Take Pictures That Sell

Some houses sell themselves, but not without great photos. These tips can help you take photos that will wow buyers and get them in the front door to see a home after they find it online.

Shoot During the Best Time of Day

Think Bright

Don’t Over-Edit


photo of a house

Real estate photography is subjective. What you feel is the right angle might not be how a seller or their agent envisions the photos. The single most important thing you will do as a real estate photographer is speak to the agent and the sellers prior to taking photos. The most successful photos are the ones they want taken.

Even if you are convinced your way is better, it might not be what a client wants. Sometimes, you just have to give the client what they want. Of course, you are never required to work with anyone if you feel their desires compromise your personal values, ethics, or morals.

Featured Image: Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

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