Real Estate Photography 101


Buyers judge an online listing in an average of 8 seconds. This is a very good reason why it’s important to invest in a professional photographer when listing your home and avoid making the mistake of using poor-quality images. Consumers have become very visual, quick and savvy shoppers so it’s important that your pictures are clear, clean and professional. It surprises me how often I still see listings with very poor quality images that can be easily fixed by remembering some simple things, like ensure good lighting, remove clutter, and use a proper lens. A lot more goes on than just ‘point-and-shoot’ to create good quality photograph. Here are points to consider for your next Real Estate Listing:


Show the exterior – this is the first and most important pictures purchasers will want to see. An ideal time to shoot is on a sunny day right before sunset for a striking effect . Given that our winters are long and the sun is scarce, midday will allow you to still capture enough light.

Highlight special features – If your home has a special feature that should be highlighted try to stay away from wide perspective shots.

Highlight the space – remember to keep in mind that you are focusing on selling the space and not the furniture or decor.

Composition – Remove all the clutter off of your bathroom, kitchen, living room, entrance, etc. which will only distract the attention from the room. Dressing up your room and ensuring that everything is clean and spotless will be more appealing.

Use a wide angle lens – This special lens will allow you to capture more space in a room than your standard camera. They are quite expensive if you don’t already own a DSL, but if you do, than you can simply rent this lens. I like using Vistek & Henry’s but there are many other professional camera stores in the city and the prices are very reasonable.

Keep vertical walls vertical – I like using a tripod which allows me to hold the camera parallel to the ground. Having a crooked or blurry photo is very distracting.

Lighting- All lamps, pot lights should be lit up even during the day to give it a warmer feel to the interior. It’s a good idea to combine natural light with indoor light to brighten up the walls especially if the walls have a darker colour. Be careful that the exposure is not too high when ceiling lights are on.

White Balance – pay attention to the types of lighting inside and make the proper adjustments in your camera. For example, Incandescent light will appear yellowish, florescent lights will appear greenish, and tungsten/halogen lights will appear blueish. Digital cameras measure light based on variations of gray, so a great way to get the proper white balance is to use a gray card and use the exposure taken off the card.

Get some ideas – Don’t be afraid to pick up a Real Estate Magazine and get some ideas from other photographer’s work. What may be applicable to a 3,000 sq. feet home may not be for a 1,000 sq. ft. condo.

And last but not least, learn to be a quick, visual and savvy purchaser as well when contracting your Real Estate Photographers. Ensure that they have a working website with a Real Estate portfolio so you can view their work. Building good relationships with a couple of photographers will come in handy, especially when you have a last minute listing or you need your photographer to shoot without your supervision.


This article was written by Libertad Martinez who is a active Real Estate Photographer in the GTA