How to Take Better Real Estate Photos

Real Estate Photo Timing
Good photos with or without a perfect day!

1. Timing is Everything!
While most agents only have a few moments of the day to snap photos of the exterior of a property, waiting for the most opportune time of day will improve your photo’s overall quality.

If you sell a home facing north, consider high noon to snap your photos. Facing east? Shoot in the morning to capture the beautiful morning light on the home. Facing west? Shoot in the afternoon and into the evening for best light and sunset glow. Facing south? Just about any time of day will work for you in Colorado, but try to avoid strong shadows on large architectural features. Night or sunset? Consider using a tripod with longer exposure times for a beautiful, rich glow.

Tip: overcast days may be better for properties with strong architectural features so heavy shadows are minimized.

Point of View
Change up your point of view to add drama!

2. Point of View
Using angles in photography can make a room seem bigger, smaller or even more awkward depending on from where the photo is taken. Many people will take photos from a standing point of view, which may be appropriate, but generally a lower point of view (as if you were sitting in a chair) can show off a room more dramatically. It can also show features like ceiling fans, custom drywall work and architectural features such as beams.

Tip: Swap out the distorted fish-eye lens for a different angle. This can give you a more accurate representation of the home and prevent room size disappointments on showing day.

Using angles in Real Estate Photography
Use angles to show more!

3. Angles
The use of angles in a room can draw the eye through a room to enhance or show off the features of that room. Look for natural angles in your camera’s viewfinder or digital display to see where your eye is led. You may find stepping a few feet in another direction can enhance your photo significantly.

Lighting on Real Estate Photos
Show off lights or create a mood with lighting.

4. Lighting
The use of lighting doesn’t only show a room in a better manner, it shows what kind of lights are in the property. Have a kitchen with modern track lighting? Show it in the photo! Ceiling fan with frosted glass? Try lowering your angle to include the room’s lighting feature. Opening window shades could cause backlit photos, so consider using a flash, or opening the blinds only half way to show the window coverings and the room itself without giving the room a “scary campfire story” feel.

Frame your photos
Frame your photos to show off features or size.

5. Use the Frame
Framing the photo can change the initial impression of a home to the viewer. If you cut off pieces of wall, furniture or items of visual interest within the photo, you may unintentionally be making the room seem smaller. When looking through your camera’s viewfinder or digital display, check the edges and corners of the photo for items that may look crammed or cut off.

Real Estate Photo Composition
Avoid centering to create larger spaces

6. Composition – Avoid Centering
Most professional photographers consider the rule of thirds when composing a photograph. Set prominent features at 1/3 or 2/3 of the screen rather than in the middle or center. This allows the picture to invite the viewer to see more within the photo as well as showing off more area. Consider zooming out, moving back or using a wider angle lens to set features in an offset location.

Colorado Real Estate Photography
Move around the property for vastly different shots.

7. Avoid the 20 foot Radius
In IRES MLS, you have the ability to upload 40 photos. Consider 40 very different photos of the property instead of offering many shots of the front of the home within a 20 foot radius. Avoid the scenario of walking 5 steps, taking a photo, walking another 5 steps, taking another photo.

Divide your 40 photos wisely by providing a photo of every room, exterior shots, outdoor features, scenery, neighborhood or nearby items and outbuildings. Farm properties might show equipment included, and Land properties could show geological features, water, fences, etc.

Real Estate Photography Series:

Real Estate Photography 101
8 Best Practices for Real EState Photography
How to Take Better Real Estate Photos
How to Market Your Real Estate Photos
Photo Tools for on-the-go Agents

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