The 10 Essentials Of Real Estate Photography

Moses with the New Tablets of the CovenantI’ve been using what I’ve called the 10 essentials of real estate photography for a long time in my Photography For Real Estate eBook and the Realtors Guide to Using Photography in Real Estate Marketing. This is my attempt to boil down principles into a concise statement. Last October I did some tinkering with the 10 essentials and got a lot of good reader feedback. I’ve incorporated that feedback and refined the words a little to come up with a statement that I’m happier with than the October 2012 version:

  1. Understand the purpose of each photo.
  2. The primary purpose of a real estate marketing photo is to present the features of the property. Try to minimize and remove all distractions.
  3. Use a DSLR to accomodate:
    • A wide-angle lens (14-24mm effective focal length).
    • One or more external flash units.
  4. The front shot is the most important shot because it can motivates potential buyers to look at the rest of the photos/marketing. Use a twilight and/or elevated shots when possible.
  5. Render interiors light and bright. Accomplish this with either:
    • Bracketing
    • Small flashes
    • Combination of the two
  6. Straight Lines must appear straight.
  7. Verticals need to be vertical.
  8. Don’t let window brightness distract. Control window brightness with:
    • Small flashes, Bracketing, or
    • Window masking in Photoshop
  9. Control color casts with:
    • Camera white balance settings or
    • In post processing
  10. Present Real Estate Marketing Photos for Maximum visual impact:
    • Large or fullscreen
    • Automatic slide shows

These principles are the underlying essence of this blog and all the materials I publish here to help agents and real estate photographers.  For more details with examples the left side-bar has a free download link to a creative commons (use it how ever you like) 10 page PDF on this subject. Today (Monday 2/11) I have the opportunity to talk about this list with the agents in Tom Tezak’s office in Wailea here on Maui. I think all agents need to understand these principles even if they are having a professional shoot their listings. Of course most, but not all, professional real estate shooters understand these principles.

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