Real Estate Photography Tips for Real Estate Agents

real estate photography

When comparing similar properties, the listed features, measurements and location alone are not always what sells the property, the photography can have a huge influence. A house that looks amazing versus a house that looks like a crime scene will win every time if the price and features are similar.

Most real estate agents will hire a professional photographer to get real estate photography done on behalf of clients. It is still useful for you to know a few tips and tricks in case a client ever asks for advice or you receive bad photos for a listing.

Here are some tips for planning the photography of a property for your real estate client.

Consider the weather and time of year for exterior shots

In most cases, spring is the best time of the year for real estate photography. If the property has many deciduous plants, the garden won’t look as nice if photographed in autumn or winter, it might all look bare, dead or neglected. Summer has a risk of drought and the associated issues that come with it such as sun-stressed turf.
If any changes are coming soon to the property before it goes up for sale, such as changes to the garden, changes to concreting or roof, it is worth waiting to get these fixed before the photography is taken.

Because many real estate leads are normally inbound and could come at any time of the year it may not be possible to arrange for photography in the spring for all clients. You can instead keep this tip in your mind for when talking to potential real estate marketing leads. If it is nearing spring or currently spring, you can suggest that now is a good time to get some exterior photos for future use. Advice like this could help demonstrate your knowledge as a real estate agent and if they do act on your advice, there’ll probably come to you to make the sale.

Staging the exterior of a property for the best photo

Home staging photography isn’t just for the interior. The difference between a great exterior shot and a bad one could be an expensive mistake. Here are some tips for staging the front of the property:

  • Make sure lawn and landscaping is in order. You want the house to look well maintained, if it looks like the home owner could not look after the exterior, one might assume the interior is also a wreck.
  • Put any toys, bikes and other clutter away. The fewer personal items the better. The buyer wants to picture their life in the new house, not see evidence of whoever currently lives there.
  • Hide the rubbish bins. These don’t look very nice out the front of your house in the first place. If you normally keep them out the front, hide them for the photo at least.
  • Close all doors, windows and the garage. It helps keep the junk hidden, especially if the home is still occupied.
  • Park the cars away from the house. Cars in the photo can detrimental to the photo. It could look like it is covering up an oil stain, it could be blocking a good or bad feature. People looking at the listing may form an opinion on the current owners based on their brand of car. Removing the car from the shot can only possibly have benefits.
  • Clean the walkways and driveway. This include sweeping and cleaning up oil spills on the concrete.

Take the photo at the right time of the day

As this is an exterior photo, the sun will be lighting the property. This will take a little planning. The right time of the day for real estate photography will depend on which direction the house is facing, so this will vary from property to property. It can be beneficial for someone to do some test photos with their own camera at different times of the day leading up to the photo shoot to identify the best time to take the photos before hiring a professional photographer. Mid-morning, mid-afternoon and twilight are usually the best times to try.


  • The photographer should keep their back to the sun, if the sun is behind the property, everything will be lost in the show.
  • Watch out for glare in the windows or metallic surfaces. The photographer may have to reposition themselves to avoid the glare.
  • If the photo is being taken in bright daylight, keep all inside and outside lights turned off, this will help black out the windows.
  • If the photo is being taken early in the morning or at twilight, turn on the interior and exterior lights for best results.

The best framing for real estate photography

If you are using a professional photographer, this section should be common sense to them but it is mentioned here for the benefit of anyone else taking the photos if a professional is not an option.

In most instances, the head on view will not be the most flattering photo. A sense of depth will be lost from the driveway and any lawn or gardens. The length of the house will also be hidden. The driveway may also look unnecessarily wide.

Photos taken from a more side on angle with give a much better sense of depth to the entire house as well as driveway and garden. In most cases, the opposite site to the driveway will deliver the best photo.

  • Use a tripod to ensure the framing is level. This will help avoid blurry photos. A tripod also makes it easier to adjust the next shot.
  • Find an angle with the fewest obstructions (shrubs are less interesting than the size of the porch).
  • Make sure key features are clearly visible, eg. If your porch wraps around the side of the house or if your roof has been newly restored and looks nice, make sure it can be seen.
  • If there’s something undesirable currently on or near the property (perhaps there’s a skip bin out the front of next door) you should try an angle that doesn’t show it.
  • The photo can be cropped down if necessary, so a shot too wide is better than one not wide enough.
  • Capture from multiple angles. Though one particular angle might be superior, you can use this as the main image for a listing, but if you can post multiple angles, one from the other side would also be good to have.

Looking for more real estate marketing leads?

If it’s a warm time of year, consider using some tips from this article as a new talking point when contacting fresh real estate leads with help from Radius Suburb by PrintForce. Let them know that now is the best time to photograph their property, even if they’re not ready to sell yet. They’ll remember you when the time is right.

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Photo credit: Desert Hills Home Tour – 03/14/2008 via photopin (license)

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