In Real Estate, A Picture Is Worth More Than 1,000 Words

Services for Real Estate Pros with SpotLight Virtual Tours

This post is has great examples of before and after using a pro photographer. Couldn't pass up sharing it. Thanks Sam!


Original content by Sam DeBord

In today's web-centric world, real estate photos are more important than ever. Many home buyers will "shop" homes online for weeks or even months before actually calling their agent to set up showings of their favorites. If your home isn't presented well online, the number of in-person visits can suffer.

While there are many different levels of photography equipment, lighting, and software editing techniques available, the broad emphasis is to use at least one of the newer technologies to enhance your photos. Interior photos just don't show up well on an old digital camera. The user can only get a small portion of the room into a shot, and the colors look less than real-life.

By using a wide-angle lens, you can really start to show the online buyer what a room actually looks and feels like in person. Your eye is basically a wide angle lens itself, so recreating the in-person view of the home is the goal.

Case in point, this interior kitchen photo:


It's taken with a simple digital camera. This is a large kitchen with lots of counter space, but you can't tell because the flat lens only allows for a small portion of the room to be photographed. What's more, the lighting reflects off some surfaces and the dark-colored cherry cabinets almost disappear.


Stepping up to a middle-of-the-road wide-angle lens, you can begin to see more of the kitchen. The sink and counter space come into view, more windows are seen, and the lighting make the colors more vivid. The lighting has been edited slightly in this photo to remove the yellowing effect of the ceiling lights.

On to the big guns:

This photo was taken with high-end, wide-angle photography equipment. You can see almost the entire kitchen, with a new section of cabinetry and counter space, as well as the ceiling with box beams and lighting. This is what the kitchen truly looks like when a visitor walks into the room.

See More Photos of this Wallingford home for sale


The folks at HD Estates create these beautiful photos by taking the same shot multiple times at different levels of light, laying them on top of each other, and then running some digital filters to clean up the lighting. This allows the clean dark wood color to come out as well as the natural light and light-colored box beams and counters.

Even exterior photos can really benefit from some high quality photo equipment:


It's not a necessity to have professional photography done in a real estate listing. Many homes sell without it. However, there's a clear trend in the market towards more online browsing and less in-person visits before a purchase. Professional photography can definitely give a home an edge, or at least entice a buyer in for more evaluation.

Sam DeBord is a licensed real estate broker with, a division of Washington State Realty, LLC. He is a member of the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors and a Green-Certified Pro.

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Comments (3)

Keith Landis
Keystone Home Finance - NMLS#834342 - Conventional - FHA - VA -USDA - Jumbo Programs - Direct Phone 412-726-1654 - Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania - "Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source"

that really does make the home more attractive to a buyer

Apr 07, 2010 05:31 AM
Jody Lautenbach
Century 21 Premier Associates - Pella, IA

I see this happen all the time in many photos. Why would you not lighten the photo or retake it.  They are paying you to market their house!

Apr 07, 2010 05:38 AM
Debra Harbaruk
Re/Max City Realty, Commercial Dr Condos - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver BC Realtor

I love the step by step examples, they really make your point clear.

Nov 16, 2010 05:50 AM