How to Take Pictures for Real Estate Listings

Our Two Most Important Tips

For example, take a look a this before-and-after of our client’s home. Great photography makes a big difference (…and so does fresh paint in the right color and a bit of staging)!

If You Can’t Use a Professional Real Estate Photographer…

Perhaps you don’t live in an area where real estate photographers are readily available. Maybe it’s simply outside your price range. Or perhaps you just want to take your own photos. If that’s the case, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

Stage all the rooms first.

It’s important and bears repeating.

Use a good camera.

Newer model cell phone cameras have come a long way. However, their photo resolution may still be too low. If you need images for anything other than the Internet (printed brochures, for example), you’ll need a DSLR camera.

Use a tripod.

None of the professional photographers I’ve worked with use a tripod. But they’re pros — you’re probably not. A tripod will give you sharper shots. The ideal height is slightly lower than eye level.

Get a wide angle lens.

A quality lens is super expensive (another good reason to hire a pro). However, they’re critical to get a decent shot of the whole room. This is especially true for small spaces, like bathrooms. You can sometimes rent a lens or purchase an inexpensive one online. Be aware they may create a “fishbowl” effect or other distortion in the photos.

Take photos from the doorway or entrance to the room. 

Use as much natural light as possible.

Avoid taking interior pictures at night.

That is unless you want your house to look haunted.

Stand with the sun to your back when taking exterior photos.

Also, take photos at an angle (instead of head-on). This helps give the photo more depth and dimension. If possible, wait for a day with blue skies to minimize the need for editing.

Need a Little Help Prepping for Great Photos?

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About Vannessa Rhoades
About Vannessa Rhoades

Vannessa Rhoades is the author of Just Right! Easy DIY Home Staging: Second Edition and founder of Three Bears Home Staging®. She is an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager™ and Certified Expert E-Designer™ and has staged and consulted on hundreds of properties in person throughout the Houston metro area and virtually across the country.

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