Top 8 Tips for Real Estate Photography for The Beginners

First, they fall in love with the pictures put up on the listing site, before they contact the realtor. This is the established pattern with potential clients in search of a property.

Pictures of properties are the bait realtors use to bring in potential clients. Therefore, real estate photographers play an important role in the market.

But, how do you composite compelling pictures of properties, much like the best sellers on Air BnB?

In this article, I will be looking at tips for real estate photography, to help you create outstanding pictures of properties.

Most of these tips are used by the best real estate photographers. Begin using them to set yourself apart as a professional.

  • Avoid impromptu sessions
  • Visit the property before shooting
  • Plan ahead
  • Use virtual staging
  • Clear both interior and exterior of the property
  • Use the right equipment
  • Remain consistent with lighting
  • Take post-processing serious

What Are The Best Tips For Real Estate Photography?

01. Avoid Impromptu Sessions

As much as possible, avoid sudden calls by realtors to take pictures of properties without prior consultation.

Real estate photography requires acclimatization with the property, understanding the structure, interior decoration, and a host of other things. It is beyond just clicking a button on a camera.

The best way to avoid impromptu photo sessions is to set a standard for yourself. Position yourself as a professional, one who puts quality first. Include a clause to the effect on your marketing material, both print and webs.

02. Visit Property Before Shooting

This cannot be overemphasized. There is no telling the state of the property. Renovations might be ongoing; the exterior might be cluttered; the neighborhood within where the property is located might not be safe, etc. 

Visiting the property and assessing its state will help you plan appropriately. You also get to communicate with the realtor to understand their expectations.

You also get to offer advice and ideas to the client on what they can do to make the property ready.  

03. Plan Ahead

Planning is pivotal to a successful photography session. Your plan will rest largely on your prior visit to the property and an understanding of what your client wants. Some of the things you should work on when you plan include:

  • A shot list
  • Equipment list

Create Shot List

A shot list as the name implies is a description of the entire shots you will take of the property. An example of a shot list is below.

  • At least 3 shots each of the living room, the bedroom, and the kitchen 
  • At least 2 shots of the bathrooms.
  • At least 2 shots of the verandah, 
  • At least 2 shorts of the dedicated rooms.
  • 1 shot of laundry room, garage, and pantry.
  • 2 Shorts of the building, from the front and the back
  • At least, 2 aerial shots of the entire building with a drone 

These shots will guide you. You would work with a clear understanding of what areas of the building are a priority.

Create An Equipment List

An equipment list should be prepared based on the shots to be taken, concepts agreed upon with clients, and the uniqueness of the property. 

04. Consult A Professional Virtual Stager

A very important aspect of real estate photography is virtual staging. You can either snap a property exactly how it looks, or you stage it to look like what a client might want.

Statistically, properties remodeled for photographic purposes stand a higher chance of being checked out by potential clients.

It is therefore good practice to have a professional virtual stager you can consult to help recreate the spaces in an apartment.

You can go ahead and suggest a model to your client. This gives you an edge as you get to work on a picture-worthy space.

05. Clear Both Interior And Exterior Of The Property

Declutter the entire property, both interior, and exterior. This extent of clearing to do is determined largely by the state of the property.

Remove non-functional furniture and objects from each room. Do same if you will be shooting the external of the buildings. 

You want each space as free as possible. This will amplify both the aesthetics and the appeal of the property. More importantly, it reduces the amount of work to be done on each pic during post-processing.

06. Use The Right Equipment

Photographic equipment differs in type based on the niche of photography. The uniqueness of taking real estate photo requires a specific type of equipment.

You must be fully equipped with this equipment to capture functional pictures of properties.

  • DSLR Camera
  • Wide Angle Lens
  • Tripod
  • Lighting
  • Drone

DSLR Camera

As much as possible, always use the best DSLR camera for real estate photoshoot.

They allow the use of multiple lenses; allow for both autofocus and manual focus; and the aperture, lens, ISO, shutter speed and other important features can be manually set.

DSLRs are also equipped with custom white balance and external flash control.

The above-stated features of DSLRs make them the perfect cameras, suitable for any conceivable condition you intend to shoot your properties. 

Wide Angle Lens

Wide-angle lenses are suited for capturing wide space to increase the appeal of buyers. With a better sense of depth, a wide-angle lens combines all the necessary objects in a composition.

They have shorter focal lengths compared to the normal lens and are the best for capturing interior and exterior of a building, landscape etc. This will increase the 


To maintain a horizontal level throughout your pictures, you need a tripod. Depending on a tripod is safer, even if you have stable hands. A tripod also eases taking pictures at perfect angles, depending on what you wish to achieve.


Daylight cannot be entirely dependent on, all forms of interior photography. There will always be a need for extra lighting equipment which includes remote triggers, external light sources, light stands, umbrellas, and diffusers. 


To capture aerial photographs of a property, you would need a drone.

The request for the aerial photograph is client-dependent. However, it is better to be over-equipped, ready to provide a full service to your clients than be under-equipped.

07. Remain consistent with lighting

Photography is built on lighting. Understanding how to manipulate light is therefore an important skill, especially when it comes to photography for real estate.

You must ensure you retain the light characteristics for each space. 

  • For properties with wide windows, take full advantage of daylight
  • For properties with poor illumination, set up external lighting accordingly 
  • If the interior is fitted with colored lights, switch them off and use your external lights
  • Always shoot from the bright side of the room. This eliminates the possibility of cast shadows in your composition.
  • For a quick run over of an entire apartment, use the mount on flashes alongside your camera.
  • For larger spaces, fix your lights on a stand, positioned at a convenient corner.
  • Attach light diffusers to reduce the harshness of light as you go on taking pictures from one space to another

08. Take Post Processing Serious

Post-processing is key in creating outstanding pictures for property listings. The right thing to do would be to hire a professional editor.

However, with a basic understanding of photo editing, you can work on your pictures.

Some of the major edits to be done are on white lights, lens correction, composition bending, and the adjustments of shadows, highlights, and clarity

Real Estate Photography Questions

01. How many shots of a property are required for the proper listings?

The overall number of shots is often dependent on the site the pictures will be published. However, the overall amount is dependent on the agreement between the photographer and the client

02. Why are wide-angle lenses better for real estate photoshoot?

Wide-angle lens appropriately covers a wide space while sufficiently allowing the composition of several objects. 

03. Why is real estate photography important?

The importance of photographing real estate is its position in helping realtors achieve their goals. The first point of interaction between realtors and their client are pictures of properties.

Wrapping Up

The purpose of real estate photography is to create pictures of properties that will attract potential clients. Being one of the most functional forms of photography, every picture must be taken with the end in mind.

The focus therefore for photographers is to subscribe to tips and styles that will help realtors achieve their goals, which is to successfully lease or sell properties.