Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos

Real Estate Technology with IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM

Let’s face it, if you want to sell a house, visuals are key. Having vibrant, inviting and attractive photos of the homes you are trying to sell is paramount. The point is, you cannot overlook the idea of having a visually stunning photo of the property. Based on the an article by The Close, featuring 23 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos, we’ve compiled a list featuring some of these useful tips. Here are 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos:

1. Ask the Current Homeowner if they have Seasonal Photos of their Property

Having seasonal photos of the property is great for marketing the home. This small detail can actually help take that sales to the next step. Angel Pointek, Associate Broker at Coldwell Banker Elite says, “Our job is to tell your home’s story and those seasonal photos can be used in creative ways.” Don’t just take photos of the property in its current season. Ask for photos of the home in the fall or wintertime. It can add character to the property!

2. Consider what’s in your Line of Sight through Windows

You may disregard small details, but small details are always important in marketing a property. Taking a photo of a window inside a home or condo and having the view be a garbage truck or an unkempt lawn is a no-no. “Photographers and agents sometimes neglect to consider what is in the line of sight through windows when shooting interior spaces,” says Michael Edlen of Edlen Team Coldwell Banker. Always consider these smaller details. You want your photos to be a good representation of the property.

3. A Wide Angle Lens is the Way to go

In order to make your listing more interesting and add depth, you need to make sure that you have the necessary tools to do so. Consider using a wide-angle lens for a change. “A wide angle lens is a must-have for shooting interiors,” says Erin Attwood, Real Estate Photographer at Dune Life Photography. “I would recommend a 24mm wide angle to help “open up” rooms but won’t break the bank at only around $130.” Make that small investment in a wide angle lens if you are doing your own photography, because who really wants a closed off space?

4. Make sure the Home is Staged

You will increase your chances of selling a property by doing so. Adding trendy pieces, setting the mood with some inviting accessories or even just adding flowers can make a difference. This will also help potential buyers visualize the space prior to even scheduling a viewing of the property. Adding key contemporary details or even just advising the seller to rearrange the furniture will already go a long way. Enlisting the help of a professional home stager is also an option, but not required. A few small changes can already do so much.

5. Avoid Developers’ Stock Photos. Period.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. How would you feel if you were to click on a listing of a condo you were interested in and find that there is nothing but stock images of the building’s amenities. The image of the pool is off and the fitness room image seems like it was taken right off Adobe. Immediately, there are red flags. Taking stock images and using them as part of a listing is a big no-no. In fact, according to James McGrath, Co Founder of NYC Brokerage Yoreevo, “you’re diverting attention from what the viewer actually cares about which looks suspicious.” Using such images will immediately turn off the buyer, who will then avoid your listing or any other listings you’ve posted because they will feel scammed.

6. Post just the Right Amount of Photos

When creating a listing, you may think “how many photos I should add?” The answer is…there is no right answer. However, there are a few rules that would apply. There is such a thing as posting too few photos or not enough photos portraying the property in its entirety. There is also such a thing as posting too many similar photos, which will bore or annoy the potential buyer. But, having photos that feature lots of variety in terms of rooms and angles is a plus. You also have to consider how big the lot is and add accordingly.

7. Do not Fake Window Views

A nice view of a beach in Maui or a the Empire State Building is always tempting, but it is also misleading. Don’t fall into this trap. You want the window views in your photos to portray the real thing. As stated earlier, you do not want to have a window view of a garbage truck or an unkempt lawn, but at the same time, creating an idealistic or photoshopped image is also not recommended and could get you in trouble.

8. Use a Drone for Views of the Neighborhood

Drones are a big thing and have quickly grown into a big thing in a matter of a few years. If you want to your listing to a new level, investing in drone photography and video is a great way to start. Buyers are always curious about the neighborhood and how things look like in reality. “Drone photography of the whole property in relation to high-value sales features like a golf course or a lake speaks to what it is like to live in the neighborhood and the home,” states Diana Bourgeois, Real Estate Writer at Fit Small Business. “Investing in drone photography of the home can increase buyer interest and reinforce the value of the property for the price.” This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spending thousands on a drone; hiring a professional will suffice.

9. Filters Count

This specific point was not in the article, but it could be a useful one. Especially if you are planning on adding listings on your social media. Using apps or even the Instagram photo editor can make a huge difference in the way your listing looks, which could also attract the buyer. Making a few tweaks to the photo of the property, such as contrast, the brightness and even a preset filter will speak volumes. However, there is a fine line between using a filter to tastefully edit a photo and completely editing a photo, making it look childish and commercialized. If you are still unsure, do some research on how professionals in the industry do it or even have someone help you out.

In Conclusion…

Remember, your photos are like windows of opportunity. If you have misleading, overly commercialized, photoshopped images of properties you are trying to sell, you will see negative results. Make note of these tips next time you are posting photos for a property. For more helpful tips and tricks in real estate, read up on our previous blog posts and follow us on our social media!

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Roy Kelley 03/08/2020 01:00 AM
Real Estate Technology & Tools

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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Rich. This is terrific, specific and telling. Photos matter a lot.

Feb 29, 2020 06:43 AM #1
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Rich - lots of Good points here. I think drone views can make a difference. 

Feb 29, 2020 07:02 AM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

These are really good suggestions for those who take their own photographs. I like a combination of professional photos for the main listings photos and my own to use as extras when I can.


Feb 29, 2020 07:55 AM #3
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We always hire a pro. IMHO, few agents have the skill set or gear to do it as well. Our clients deserve the best in marketing, and compelling photos and videos are the best way to get buyers in the door. 

Feb 29, 2020 08:00 AM #4
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Century 21 - Redwood Realty - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate

All great tips for do it yourselfers.  Like others have said professions when I can. Drones are not always possible.

Feb 29, 2020 05:24 PM #7
Janet Berry | Janet Berry Luxury Home Team | Premiere Plus Realty | (239) 450-1892 - Naples, FL
Upscale Homes Throughout Naples and SW Florida

This is an excellent post!  I think the added dimension that drone photos add is incredible...especially for the rright property.  My Husband does my drone videos and photos, and I am amazed at what he had to go through to get his drone pilot's license...learning different types of airspace, etc. but it sure is worth it.

Feb 29, 2020 07:24 PM #8
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

Great tips for those who attempt this on their own. I am grateful that we have companies to outsource this to. :-)

Mar 01, 2020 08:25 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Mar 01, 2020 09:57 AM #10
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

Great post with plenty of very useful info.  I especially like the idea of obtaining seasonal photos to incorporate in the marketing effort.

Mar 01, 2020 02:28 PM #11
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent list of DIY thoughts on photography. It's amazing how many luxury home listings have horrible photos with many of the issues you listed in your post.  Makes me wonder if the seller knows how poorly the home is being marketed?

Mar 02, 2020 06:09 PM #12
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great advice on photo, just had a conversation with a client concerning this topic. His property did not show well online because of the photos that were taken. 

Mar 03, 2020 03:45 PM #13
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Rich,

Great advice. My camera sort of gave up the ghost, but my phone almost takes better pictures. Not as good as a photographer; that is the best trick, but not bad in a pinch.

Mar 03, 2020 09:04 PM #14
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I especially like the comment of how many photos to add. We can put up to 80 photos now in our MLS--way too many!  People lose interest--you don't need to post 10 photos of the entryway!

Mar 04, 2020 07:11 AM #15
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Excellent advice.  So many agents add way too many photos, practically duplicates or only slightly different - not sure why they think that's a good thing to do.  And wow - for people to fake the view out the window, that's awful!

Mar 05, 2020 07:34 PM #16
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