The Importance of Professional Real Estate Photography

Real estate photos are a critical part of a property listing. They are the buyer’s first impression of who they will become if they buy this house or apartment.

The best way to get good at professional real estate photography is to practice. Shoot from different angles, and experiment with lighting and camera settings.


Real estate photos are all about highlighting the property’s features in ways that can attract and engage prospective home buyers. To do that, professional real estate photographers pay close attention to composition.

For instance, they ensure that a property’s target subject (a lush garden, the custom fireplace, or the gorgeous roof) falls on one of the image’s four middle grid lines. This ensures that the photo will draw a viewer’s eye to the subject without distracting them with unrelated elements in the background.

Additionally, real estate photographers often use the rule of thirds to create balanced images. They also avoid using images of people, pets, or other unrelated subjects in real estate photography. As much as home buyers appreciate cute animals, they’re more interested in learning about the property and how it would fit into their lives if they moved in.

Another key point is ensuring that the photos are high-quality. Grainy or poor quality photos can make a listing look dated and can turn off potential buyers. Real estate photographers use a tripod to keep the camera steady, which helps avoid or diminish perspective distortion and other problems.

They may also use a wide-angle lens to capture more of the space in a single shot. However, they should be careful about using too wide of a lens, which can cause photos to appear unnaturally stretched or distorted. Additionally, they may choose to crop their photos in post-production to change the aspect ratio of the image.


A great real estate photographer will use a range of lighting and camera settings to achieve the eye-catching results you want. For example, they may bounce the flash off a window or a door frame to soften its light and prevent the potential for glare on the glass. They may also use a wide-angle lens to reduce perspective distortion.

Most professionals shoot their exterior images at sunrise or sunset for the warm, golden light that makes homes look cozy and inviting. For interiors, a professional will work with the natural light available, using reflections to brighten dark spaces, and working around shadows (which can create an unwelcoming feel).

Even with the best gear, you won’t get the photos you dream of unless your camera is set up correctly. A good tripod with a geared head is essential. A spirit bubble or remote is helpful for ensuring the camera’s not moving during a shot, and a cable release can help guarantee no movement when shooting HDR photos with multiple exposures stacked together.

Almost all commercial images are heavily post-processed in order to bring out details, create visual flow, and make the subject look its best. A great real estate photographer will have a strong grasp of modern image editing software, and should be open to tweaking a photo here or there based on client preference.

Camera Settings

Real estate photography is a specialized skill, and you’ll want to invest in some professional equipment. A DSLR camera, a good quality tripod, and a wide angle lens are all essential for capturing the best property images. A timer or remote is also helpful for taking photos in rooms where there’s a risk of reflection (like the bathroom). A spirit bubble is a great tool to have on hand for straightening up vertical lines in photos – you don’t want wonky corners!

Aperture is another important setting to know when shooting properties. A lower f-number means a larger aperture, which allows more light in and creates a shallow depth of field, perfect for focusing on specific elements. A higher f-number narrows the aperture, which increases the depth of field and is ideal for capturing entire rooms in sharp focus.

Finally, remember to experiment with different compositions and angles while shooting. Aim for variety, so you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to editing and preparing the final image. Some of the most eye-catching real estate photos are the ones that capture a sense of movement and flow by showing multiple perspectives of the same space. For example, by capturing photos from both the kitchen and living room of a home, you can show how the spaces are connected.


Real estate photography captures buildings, land, and the surrounding environment to help sell property. Unlike other types of photography, the main function of real estate photos is to draw in potential buyers and encourage them to schedule viewings. This process is aided by professional photography, but it can also be helped with virtual tours and 3D images. Widely-available prosumer-grade cameras and software make it easier than ever to create HDR listing images, enticing drone videos, and immersive 3D virtual tours for less.

The first component of real estate photography is to capture the property. This includes the house itself, as well as any outdoor space, furniture, and decor. The second component of real estate photography is to accurately contextualise the property. This includes shooting doors and windows to show how rooms flow into each other, using angles to accurately convey expansiveness, and omitting unnecessary items to highlight key features.

One of the most important things to remember for real estate photography is that it’s often difficult to get everything right on a single shot. This is particularly true for interior shots, which may need to be corrected for white balance and exposure. To help prepare, photographers can practice in their own homes or at friends’ houses. They can also practice at different times of day to get used to how light changes throughout the course of a shoot.

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