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12 Tips for Impressive Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography is a booming industry, with agents constantly vying for homebuyers' attention through captivating visuals. If you're looking to excel in real estate photography, we have some valuable tips to help you produce...

Real estate photography is a booming industry, with agents constantly vying for homebuyers' attention through captivating visuals. If you're looking to excel in real estate photography, we have some valuable tips to help you produce stunning property photos. These tips will have local agents calling you back every time!

What is Real Estate Photography?

You might be surprised to hear about professional real estate photography. Why would people take photos of houses? Well, there's a high demand for real estate photographers, given the current housing market in many parts of the world. This specialized genre may seem simple, but it requires certain skills to capture effective and compelling photos of homes for sale.

Is Real Estate Photography Profitable?

While not as popular as landscape or portrait photography, real estate photography offers better chances of getting clients and earning more. This is especially true if you learn how to market your real estate photography business. Additionally, since there is a never-ending supply of real estate agents, there will always be houses to photograph. Agents often commission new photographs to accurately showcase any changes made to the property.

Real estate photo of a lovely outdoor/indoor space

How Much Does a Real Estate Photographer Make?

The pricing for real estate photography can be tricky and depends on various factors. Location and the size of the house play a significant role in determining the price. Additionally, your level of experience will also impact your rates. On average, a real estate photographer charges around $200 or less for properties under 3,000 square feet, while larger houses can fetch between $250 and $500. If you're in a prime real estate location like New York or London, you have the potential for a lucrative photography career!

Real estate photo of a modern kitchen

What's Necessary for Real Estate Photography?

Real estate photography doesn't require an extensive set of equipment. Here's a list of tools you might already have or need:


You'll need a camera that allows manual shooting for real estate photography. Any crop or full-frame sensor DSLR or mirrorless camera will be perfect for the job.


A wide-angle lens is essential for capturing tight spaces and making rooms look more spacious. Popular options include the Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4G and the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4. If you have the budget, consider investing in a tilt-shift lens to eliminate distortion.


A sturdy tripod is crucial for stabilizing your camera and ensuring there's no motion blur in your images. Consistency is key in real estate photography, so make sure to set your tripod at the same height for all shots.

Remote Trigger

Using a remote trigger is recommended when shooting with slow shutter speeds to avoid camera shake. It allows for touch-free operation and helps maintain image sharpness.


Strobes or flashes are invaluable tools in real estate photography, especially for poorly-lit homes. Flashguns are a cost-effective option, while monolights offer brighter light output for larger properties.

Light Modifiers

Using light modifiers like shooting umbrellas can soften the lighting and create more appealing results in real estate photography.

Light Stands

Light stands are necessary for supporting flash units and ensuring proper lighting in different areas of the property.

A DSLR camera mounted on a tripod

Before the Real Estate Shoot

1. Have a Standard Shot List for Each Property

While every home is unique, there are typical shots that every professional real estate photographer should take. Having a standard shot list ensures you cover all the essential aspects of the property, such as bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathroom, backyard, and the front of the house.

2. Prepare Your Gear the Night Before

Preparation is key in real estate photography. Make sure you have all your gear ready and charged the night before the shoot. Double-check your equipment, memory cards, and schedule to ensure a smooth start to the day.

Real estate photo of a well-lit modern bathroom

On the Property

3. Declutter

Decluttering is one of the most important tips in real estate photography. Clear surfaces of any unnecessary items like clutter, personal belongings, and excessive decorations. Keep the space clean and minimal to create a more appealing and spacious look.

4. Walk Through the Home Before You Start Shooting

Take a walkthrough of the property before you begin shooting to familiarize yourself with the space, identify the best angles, and note any objects that may need to be moved. It's crucial to make the building look good, not the current interior.

5. Lights On or Off?

Decide whether to keep lights on or off based on the specific property and available natural light. Natural light is generally preferred, but if the property is poorly lit, using interior lights or external flash units can help illuminate the space effectively. Ensure consistent lighting throughout the entire home.

Tidy living room with white sofa and furniture for a real estate photography shoot

During the Shoot

6. Use a Flash and Bounce to Diffuse Light

Using a flash unit attached to your camera and bouncing the light off walls helps soften the light and create a more even look. It's a quick and efficient way to move from one space to another while maintaining consistent lighting. Experiment with different angles and positions to achieve the desired effect.

7. Shoot Straight for Less Distortion

Keeping the camera straight while shooting is essential to avoid distortion. Use a sturdy tripod or activate the virtual level function on your camera to ensure vertical lines remain straight. Shooting from a height of around 5 feet provides a natural and balanced perspective.

8. Use a Drone for a Bird's Eye Perspective

Drones have revolutionized real estate photography by offering unique aerial perspectives that were previously unattainable or expensive. They are particularly useful for showcasing a property's location and surroundings. Incorporating drone photography can help your business stand out and increase pricing.

An example of real estate drone photography

Editing Real Estate Photos in Lightroom

9. Correct Distortion Using Lens Correction and Transform

Wide-angle lenses often introduce distortion in real estate photography. Correct this distortion by enabling lens correction and using the transform module in Lightroom. These adjustments will make your photos look more polished and professional.

10. Making Basic Adjustments

Make basic adjustments like lowering highlights, brightening shadows, deepening blacks, and increasing clarity to enhance your real estate photos. Developing your own style and experimenting with different presets can help create a consistent look.

11. Make the Light Temperatures Consistent

Balancing the various light temperatures in your photos is crucial for accurate colors. Use the adjustment brush in Lightroom to adjust light temperatures and ensure a polished and professional look. Consistency in white balance and color correction conveys professionalism in your photography.

12. Make it Composite

Creating Photoshop composites of your images can result in seamless and perfectly exposed real estate photos. By taking multiple shots of different sections of the room with varying flash positions, you can blend the images to create a final composite that looks like a single exposure. This technique requires advanced Photoshop skills but can elevate your real estate photography to new heights.

An example of interior real estate photography with a nice view of the city


Consistency, preparation, and practice are key to establishing a successful career in real estate photography. Start with the essentials, focus on mastering your techniques, and gradually build your portfolio. Remember, you don't need an abundance of equipment to capture stunning real estate photos. With the right skills and knowledge, you can create impressive visuals that will attract clients and elevate your business.