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9 Tips for Captivating Real Estate Exterior Photos

What is the first thing that catches your eye when browsing a real estate listing? In most cases, it's the exterior shot of the property. A top-quality image of the outside of a property is...

What is the first thing that catches your eye when browsing a real estate listing? In most cases, it's the exterior shot of the property. A top-quality image of the outside of a property is crucial for success in the real estate business. It sets the first impression and determines whether potential buyers will consider exploring the property further. On the other hand, poorly shot or non-existent exterior photos can lead to missed opportunities and less interest from buyers.

As a professional real estate photographer, your goal is to capture stunning exterior photos that captivate viewers and make them want to see more. To help you achieve this, here are nine simple yet effective tips for shooting high-quality exterior photos for real estate.

1. Prepare the Property for the Shoot

Before you start shooting, collaborate with the realtor or property owner to ensure that the space is ready to be photographed. Just like you wouldn't show up for a portrait with messy hair, you want the property to look its best. Make sure the yard is tidy, move any cars, and remove unattractive objects like garbage bins.

2. Consider the Sun's Position

Think about the direction the property faces and the time of day you'll be shooting. It's ideal to schedule the shoot when the sun casts a beautiful light on the house. Aim to shoot when the light is softest, typically early morning or late afternoon, to avoid harsh shadows and extreme highlights caused by the midday sun. If it's an overcast day, don't worry, as the diffused light can provide even lighting. You can always add blue skies in post-processing.

3. Take Dusk or Early-Evening Shots

Some properties truly come alive during sunset. Capture the magic of the golden hour by switching on all exterior and interior lights as the day transitions into dusk. Aim for a balanced brightness between the property's lights and the sky. Offering dusk shots can also be an excellent way to showcase the property at different times of the day.

4. Experiment with Different Angles

Once you've captured the traditional "safe shot," don't be afraid to get creative and try shooting the house from different angles. Exploring unique perspectives can help your work stand out from other real estate photographers and highlight the property's most flattering features.

5. Use a Tripod and Timer

For the sharpest results, mount your camera on a tripod and utilize the camera's timer function. This will eliminate camera shake, resulting in clear and crisp photos. Using a tripod is especially important for long exposure times during low-light situations, such as at dusk.

6. Keep the Horizon Straight

Ensure that your photos have a level horizon by using the viewfinder alignment grid. Straight lines create a sense of balance and prevent the property from appearing distorted or sliding off the photo. If you're experimenting with creative angles, don't worry too much about a perfectly aligned horizon, as perspective can be corrected during post-production.

7. Pay Attention to Details

Highlight the property's unique personality by focusing on interesting architectural elements, pools, or surrounding landscape. These details are often key selling points for real estate agents, so take the time to showcase them in your photos.

8. Consider Aerial Shots with a Drone

Using a drone to capture overhead shots of the entire property can provide prospective buyers with a comprehensive view and a better understanding of the layout. However, make sure to comply with FAA regulations governing the commercial use of drones in your area.

9. Review and Retouch Your Photos

In the digital age, photo editing is essential for producing the best possible images. Utilize editing software to remove blemishes, reduce unwanted reflections, enhance colors, and improve contrast. Whether you prefer a subtle touch-up or extensive retouching, photo editing can transform a good image into a great one.

Remember, first impressions matter in the real estate industry. Stunning and realistic exterior photos leave a positive and lasting impression on potential buyers and realtors. By capturing captivating images, you'll increase your chances of generating more business and receiving referrals. So, let your photos speak for the beauty of each property, allowing you to spend more time doing what you love.

9 Tips For Shooting Real Estate Exteriors Before: Original Photo