Photographing Kitchens - tips for better listing photos

Services for Real Estate Pros with Hearth & Home Videos

Any real estate agent who has a listing wants to have it look its best to attract buyers.  Since most people start their home search on the web, and those viewers tend to use photos to exclude rather than include homes to look at, quality photos are more important than ever.

Since kitchens and baths are major determinants of interest in a home, good photos of them are crucial.

Tips for Good Kitchen Photos

1.  Do not take a "table for sale" picture!  When taking a picture of the eat-in area be sure to show the whole area.  You are selling the room, not the table.  If you can't get far enough away to get the whole area, place the table off center in the photo image, including some island/counter behind it or a slider out to the deck.

2. Remove the detergent/dish drain.  We're so used to having (and seeing) these items next to a sink it's easy to overlook them, but place them under the sink before taking the picture.

3. Remove dish towels from the front of the stove, or cabinet handles. 

4. Flowers can add some interest.  A nice vase of flowers on a table or island can add some interest, class and color.  A mixed bunch of flowers from the supermarket florist doesn't cost much and creates a nice impression.

5. Turn on all the lights (including under-cabinet mounted ones).  I'm always surprised at how many kitchen and dining room shots I see with no lights turned on.  You want the kitchen to look as large and bright as possible. 

6. Use a flash.  Even if your camera doesn't think it's dark enough to need one, manually set the flash to on.  The corners of a kitchen under the cabinets is always in shadow and a flash will help lighten up further away or under cabinet areas.

7.  If aiming at a large window, or sliders in the eat-in area you can prevent the kitchen appearing dark as a cave.  A camera on "auto" exposes for the average amount of light in the frame.  When you are facing a large bright window or glass doors the camera will expose for them rather than for the room in front of them which is what you want to show off in your listing photos.  We've all seen many of these photos - a silhouette effect for the kitchen with a well exposed glass door.  You have to tell your camera what you want it to expose for. Point your camera to the side of the bright window/door where the viewfinder is showing a wall or cabinets inside the kitchen.  Press the shutter halfway down and keep it there.  Then swing the camera over to the window/door area and finish pressing the shutter down.  Pressing the shutter halfway locks the focus and exposure.

I hope this information was of some help to you. With some practice you can improve your photos for your listings.  If you feel overwhelmed or just don't feel your photos are good enough quality, it is alway best to have a talented friend or a professional do your photos for you.  You are getting paid to market your seller's home, and it is your responsibility to represent their home as best you can to potential home buyers. 

Amy Hunter,  Hearth & Home Videos    serving the Metrowest area of MA

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Amy Hunter,  Hearth & Home Videos    Serving the Metrowest Area of MA

Comments (2)

Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Amy, this post has a lot of good information.  It's too bad more people weren't exposed to all this information and your photos by posting it in relevant groups.  If you'd ever like any hints on expanding your exposure on activerain, there are many of us who would be glad to help.

May 14, 2009 05:12 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Amy ~ These are some simple (simple enough for us amateurs!) and super helpful tips.  I just noticed as I wrote this that you're from my neck of the woods.  And I found your blog via a comment that you left on another post that made me chuckle.  Another example of the power of comments!


May 14, 2009 02:51 PM