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Real Estate Photography: 23 Tips For Stunning DIY Photos

Publicado por crislanzarotetop en enero 21, 2021
| Blog
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Real Estate Photography

Let’s face it, taking your own listing photos is risky. Chances are you’re not a professional photographer, don’t have amazing gear, and well, real estate photography is not as easy as it looks.

But since you’re reading this article, you’ve probably made up your mind already and want to learn how to take great listing pictures that will impress other agents on your MLS and buyers on Zillow. So to help make your life easier, we talked to 23 agents and brokers and asked them for their best real estate photography tips.

Here’s what they told us:

1. Don’t Show Too Much. Sometimes Less Is More.

Living roomReal Estate Photography

Todd Andrew, Red Oak Realty

“Sometimes less is more. Don’t show too much. For instance, if the floor plan isn’t ideal, show individual spaces. The goal is to get buyers into the home. Let them decide when they get there whether they want to make any compromises the property may entail.”

2. Be Wary of What’s in Your Line of Sight Through Windows

line of sight through windowsReal Estate Photography

Michael Edlen, Edlen Team Coldwell Banker

“Photographers and agents sometimes neglect to consider what is in the line of sight through windows when shooting interior spaces. If one is not careful, the shot may inadvertently include scruffy landscaping across the street, an old van in someone’s driveway, or a patch of weeds in the sidewalk area. Worse yet, it may be a shot that includes a window with a large bush blocking most of the outlook, making the room feel closed in.”

3. Shoot Your Virtual Tour on the Same Day as Your Listing Pictures


Emile L'Eplattenier headshot

Emile L’Eplattenier, Managing Editor, The Close

“If your schedule allows for it, always have your virtual tours shot on the same day, and preferably in the same lighting as your listing pictures. First, because consistency is important, and second, your virtual tour needs to look just as good as your listing pictures.

Speaking of quality, the image quality of some virtual tours might not look as good as pictures taken with your high-quality camera. This makes lighting even more important.

If you’re on a DIY budget, Asteroom is an excellent way to make DIY virtual tours with nothing but your phone. So if you have a decent camera on your phone, there’s no more excuses for not having virtual tours for even your cheapest listings.”

Visit Asteroom

4. Make Sure to Schedule Enough Time for Your Shoot

Wrist watchEmile L'Eplattenier headshot

Emile L’Eplattenier, Managing Editor, The Close

“One of the biggest mistakes agents make when shooting listing pictures is only scheduling a few minutes and rushing through the shoot. This is almost always a bad idea. First, because framing your shots properly can take time, and second, because you never really know what state the listing is in before you show up. There might be clutter from the homeowner, dirty windows, broken light bulbs, or other issues that will take time to fix.”

5. Ask Your Homeowner if They Have Shots of the Home in Different Seasons

American homeReal Estate Photography

Angel Pointek, Associate Broker | VP of Marketing Coldwell Banker Elite

“Ask the sellers for any photos they may have showing the home in different seasons. Show off that beautiful winter wonderland scene in the winter or the gorgeous red maple in the fall. Our job is to tell your home’s story, and those seasonal photos can be used in creative ways.”

6. Hire a Pro to Edit Your Photos for Just $5

real estate photo editorsChristopher Linsell

Christopher Linsell, Senior Real Estate Writer, The Close

“The gig economy is flourishing, and experts who are ready to take your photos to the next level are just a click away. That means prices are lower than ever, and there is no excuse to not have all your listing pictures edited by a professional.

At last check, there are 260 listings on Fiverr for freelancers who will take your DIY real estate listing photos and run them through Lightroom and Photoshop to give them the polish your listings deserve. With prices starting at just $5, how can you afford not to?”

Visit Fiverr

7. Never Fake Views Through Windows

Views Through WindowsEmile L'Eplattenier headshot

Emile L’Eplattenier, Managing Editor, The Close

“Although it may be tempting to Photoshop in a pastoral green meadow or weeping willow to cover up a drab backyard visible through the windows, don’t!

First and foremost, you will likely be flirting with violating National Association of Realtor (NAR) rules, but more importantly, you’ll be starting your relationship with a potential buyer with a lie. A white lie to be clear, but a lie nonetheless.”

8. Remove Window Screens & Make Sure the Windows Are Clean Inside & Out

Real Estate PhotographyKenneth Er

Kenneth Er, Compass

“I think one of the little details that a lot of people miss is to remove the window screens and clean the windows inside and out. This just makes rooms look so much bigger in photos and in person with the right light.”

9. Make Sure All Light Bulbs Work & Make Sure They Are Consistent With the Fixture

Light bulbsReal Estate Photography

David Welch, MBA Broker Associate RE/MAX

“Make sure all your light bulbs work, and please keep your bulbs consistent within a fixture. I have seen bathroom light bars with three different kinds of bulbs in them: standard, LED, and compact fluorescent.”

10. Get Your Lighting Right

Dining roomReal Estate Photography

Anne Jones, Owner & Realtor, Windermere Abode

“Make sure the sun is on the front of the house. Your cell phone camera is good, but you lose the details when homes are backlit. I also love high-contrast homes. Bright colors photograph better than neutral ones—almost the opposite of interior photography rules. You may not like the fake grass and clouds, but blue skies and green grass make compelling thumbnails!”

11. Invest in a Wide Angle Lens

House InteriorsReal Estate Photography Tips

Erin Attwood, Real Estate Photographer, Dune Life Photography

“A wide angle lens is a must-have for shooting interiors, but most of the ultra-wide range zoom lenses run well over $1,000. Unless you are shooting the Taj Mahal, this isn’t necessary. I would recommend a 24mm wide angle to help ‘open up’ rooms, and they won’t break the bank at only around $130.”

12. Neutralize & Declutter Before You Start Shooting

Kitchen designReal Estate Photography

Alayna Summanen, Realtor, CRS Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

“We explain to our sellers that some design features and elements that look great in person may not photograph well. For example, bold accent wall colors, or collections, or a photo collage. We advise to clear everything off counters and leave minimal decor for the professional photos. It may look plain to the sellers, but it will really make the home shine in the photos. For over 93% of homebuyers, the first showing is online and the photos are what make them decide whether or not to schedule a time to view it in person.”

13. Always Stage the Home, Even if It Just Means Rearranging Current Furniture

Staging your homeReal Estate Photography

Fallanne Jones, The Property Girls Team at Keller Williams

“Staging your home for listing photos is absolutely crucial. If you are currently living in your home, rearrange furniture in a way that lets potential buyers see the potential. Buyers won’t be able to envision themselves living there if they can’t see past crowded furniture or dated decor. For a quick fix without breaking the bank, try adding trendy rugs or pillows to your existing furniture. If the house is vacant, consider hiring a professional stager. They know what is in style and proper placement. Contemporary furniture and decor will bring your house to life and help buyers visualize the space.”

14. Avoid Developers’ Stock Photos of Amenities

fitness gymReal Estate Photography

McGrath, Co-founder NYC Brokerage Yoreevo

“The vast majority of the time such photos are highlighted, the interior photos are terrible, if they exist at all. When someone has been looking long enough, they’ll associate these irrelevant pictures with a low-quality listing. The same can be said for stock photos of the building’s amenities—you’re diverting attention from what the viewer actually cares about—which looks suspicious.”

15. Pay Attention to the Details

Living room designReal Estate Photography

Jlyne Hanback, Realtor, Keller Williams

“Pay attention to the details! There is nothing worse than a fabulous home photo with a crumpled, crooked bedspread or an open, dirty toilet! Put away toiletries, straighten bedclothes, and always look over the photos for small details that will turn off a potential buyer.”

16. Don’t Post Too Many, or Too Few, Pictures

BathroomReal Estate Photography

Katie Messenger, Realtor With Keller Williams Realty

“There is a quantity sweet spot. Too few photos may leave buyers wondering what isn’t being shown, or confuse them on the layout and features. Too many photos may cause buyers to lose interest.

Around 20 pictures will give a pretty accurate depiction of most homes without being too overwhelming. However, a lot of it depends on the size and square footage. For instance, 10 would be far too few on a 10,000-square-foot, million-dollar house, but could be just fine for a one-bedroom, one-bath condo.”

17. Open All Curtains & Blinds

outdoor view from the windowReal Estate Photography

Daniel Tirado, Aerial Photographer

“As a professional drone photographer in the real estate business, a pro tip I always recommend for real estate photos is to open all of the interior window blinds. While these may be outdoor photos, opening the blinds makes the house look more inviting and bigger from the outside by allowing potential buyers to see the exterior and interior of the home in one picture. From a photographer point of view, opening the blinds dramatically reduces any glare that may shine back at the drone camera when capturing pictures and videos.”

18. Always Inform the Neighbors Before Drone or Exterior Photography Sessions

Flying DroneReal Estate Photography

Daniel Tirado, Aerial Photographer

“As a rule of thumb, I always inform the neighbors that a drone will be flying in the area to capture real estate photos as it can ease unnecessary anxiety for both the neighborhood and the pilot.”

19. Ask Your Homeowner to Keep Pets Out of the Home

Dachshund on a couchEmile L'Eplattenier headshot

Emile L’Eplattenier, Managing Editor, The Close

“Even if your homeowner has an incredibly photogenic pet, avoid the temptation to take listing pictures with them in the shot. Sure, buyers with pet owners may love it, but what about all the other buyers who check out your listing? Some people see a cute dog or cat and immediately think of allergies and bad smells. So that snuggly picture of your homeowner’s Dalmatian by the fire just might alienate a significant percentage of your buyers.

Of course, if your listing is well priced in a seller’s market, this might not keep them from touring the home, but why risk it? After all, it might keep them from being excited about the home, which could very well hurt your bottom line when it comes down to making an offer.”

20. Take Photos of Your Photos

Documenting the photographyChristopher Linsell

Christopher Linsell, Real Estate Writer, The Close

“Documenting the photography process is a great way to build excitement about a new listing. Use your social media platforms to let everyone know that there is something new on the horizon, and give just a little glimpse of the work behind the scenes.”

21. Whenever Possible, Hire a Professional Listing Photographer

Professional Listing PhotographerReal Estate Photography

We think Sunny Lake Hahn, Partner at 7DS Associates, the most well-respected (and trusted) real estate consulting firm in the country, explained it best:

“Professional photographers understand the importance of light and how to capture a space at the right time for the highest visual impact. Based on the position of the property, they know if it’s best to shoot at sunrise, sunset, or anywhere in between. They also have the ability to blend the same photo taken with different exposures to create the perfect image.

In our digital, mobile world, professional photographs have the ability to stop the consumer from scrolling through listings. Beautiful images capture attention and get people to click through. Being able to get and keep the consumer’s attention is highly valuable in our instant-gratification world.”

22. Use Exposure Bracketing When Shooting Exteriors

exposure bracketingReal Estate Photography

Daniel Parish, Growella.com

“When shooting exteriors, always opt for exposure bracketing over one single image. Taking several images of the exact same shot at different exposures and combining them in post gives you the most range to work with. Never worry about losing detail in the shadows or blowing out the sky again.”

23. Relax!

cute dog chillinEmile L'Eplattenier headshot

Emile L’Eplattenier, The Close

“Believe it or not, one of the keys to real estate photography or any photography, for that matter, is to leave the stress from your day in the office. When you’re stressed out and rushed, everything you need to do to take great listing photos becomes harder. Choose angles to shoot from, keep a steady hand to keep pictures sharp, and especially, coordinate with homeowners about dogs, cats, clutter, and all the other annoying things that will get in between your camera and the beautiful pictures of your listing on Zillow.

So relax. Schedule your shoot on a day when you’re not frantically rushing from showing to showing, and take a few deep breaths before you walk into the house, camera in hand. You already got the listing, so the hard part is over, right?”

Over to You

What do you think: Is real estate photography something that amateur agents should try on their own? If so, what are some great real estate photography tips our experts missed?

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