Are you a real estate agent looking to level up your real estate photography game? Look no further! Learn how to take stunning real estate photos to captivate buyers and make your listings stand out in a crowded market.

We’ll guide you through the essential steps to prepare yourself and the property before, during, and after the shooting day, including tips for taking great listing photos. Finally, we’ll explore editing techniques to enhance your photos. Get ready to elevate your real estate photography game and attract your future homeowners leads!

What Are The Benefits Of Real Estate Photography For Listings?

Real estate photography is crucial for a property’s first impression because it can make or break a potential buyer’s interest.

High-quality photos can showcase the property’s best features and increase the chances of selling it quickly and at a higher price.

On the other hand, poor-quality photos can turn off potential buyers and make the property less attractive. Thus, we recommend investing in real estate photography to increase your chances of a successful sale.

How To Prepare Before A Real Estate Photography Shooting?

1. Prepare Yourself For The Photoshoot

Real Estate Agent Preparing For A Photography Shoot Source

Proper planning is fundamental. Be well-prepared to increase your chances of capturing breathtaking listing photos that will leave buyers in awe.

Before you start shooting, take the time to do a thorough walk-through of the property. Familiarize yourself with the space and identify its unique selling points.

Look out for architectural features, unique features, or breathtaking views.

2. Create A Shot List

Many realtors forget about the shot list. Don’t be one of them.

Be sure to list every necessary shot and the best angles to capture to showcase the property. Prioritize the property’s key selling points and unique features in your list. This way, if you run out of time during the shooting day, you will still have the most important photos.

Preparing a shot list can save you time and effort during the shooting and after the editing stage.

3. Get Your Equipment Ready

Real Estate Photography gear Source

One of the crucial tips is to test and ensure your equipment is functioning and ready for the big day.

  • Start by checking that your camera or smartphone is charged and has enough memory space for the shoot.
  • Additionally, take the time to clean your camera lenses. Remove any dust or smudges that could affect the image quality.
  • Pack backup equipment is also crucial. So bring extra batteries, memory cards, and a tripod for added stability.
  • Don’t forget to bring extra accessories like a flash, reflector, remote trigger, and remote shutter release for better lighting and control.
  • Make sure to use a low ISO to reduce noise in your real estate photos. You can also use a polarizing filter to reduce glare and improve color saturation.

How to Choose the Best Real Estate Photography Lens?

Real Estate Photography Lens Source

Use wide-angle lenses when taking photos to make a room appear more spacious. A low distortion rate will prevent the room from appearing warped. Moreover, a wider angle lets you capture a larger field of view, which you can crop and adjust during editing. You can’t go wrong with a wide-angle lens; this is what professional real estate photographers use.

Remember to test your camera or smartphone beforehand to ensure everything functions.

4. Check For The Weather

Real Estate Photography Weather Source

Before scheduling your photo session, check the weather forecast. Rainy or overcast days may not appeal to buyers, as the property could appear dull. You want a bright, sunny day with optimal lighting conditions to capture appealing real estate shots.

If the weather is unsuitable for showing the best parts of the property, consider rescheduling the photo shoot. It is crucial to do so if your listing has great outside features.

Ensure you have alternative indoor shots ready to prepare for weather changes.

Bonus Tip: Take advantage of the golden hours.

Photographing the property early in the morning or late in the afternoon can create soft shadows and a warm tone.

These can enhance the property’s appearance by creating a breathtaking effect. You can reproduce this effect in image editing using photo filters.

How To Prepare A Property For Real Estate Photos?

5. Make Sure The Lightning Is Right

Lightning Real Estate Photography Tips Source

To capture stunning real estate photos, it is crucial to ensure proper indoor lighting. Natural light is ideal for a realistic ambiance, so open curtains and blinds to let all light sources in. Avoid shooting on cloudy days or during harsh lighting conditions to achieve even, balanced lighting.

Consider using extra lighting gear, such as softboxes, reflectors, or flash units, to fill in shadows and create a well-lit space. Your best option to further enhance the atmosphere is to turn on all interior lights to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

Lastly, be mindful of the time of day when shooting. Early morning or late afternoon can provide beautiful natural light.

6. Clean & Remove Homeowners Clutter

One of the key tips for real estate photography is to ensure that the property looks its best in the photos. Clutter is attention-grabbing and distracts potential buyers from a home’s best features. To achieve a clean and clutter-free space, it is crucial to thoroughly clean the entire property, paying attention to small details like dusting, vacuuming, and organizing.

Thus, remove clutter or unnecessary personal items that don’t help create a clean, spacious feel that appeals to a broader audience. Don’t forget to tidy up outdoor areas such as the yard, porch, or patio for a complete look.

Additionally, make sure all the windows are clean and free of smudges. It will maximize the natural light and showcase the property in the best possible way.

Going the extra mile is what separates a great, professional real estate agent from the rest. It can be rewarding if you do everything you can to showcase your seller’s property.

Real Estate Photography Tips During The Shooting

7. Position Yourself In A Room Angle or The Doorway

Real Estate Photographer Preparing Listing Shooting Source

When photographing small spaces, it can be challenging to accurately convey the size of the room in the photos.

This is why positioning yourself in a room angle or the doorway can make a significant difference in real estate photography.

Choosing the proper position allows you to create depth, showcase the space, and capture the entire room in one shot.

Remember, you should aim for chest level to avoid distortion when shooting.

8. Take Multiple Shots Of Each Room From Different Angles

Experiment with different angles to find the most appealing perspective. Moreover, taking multiple shots ensures that you capture the best possible image of each room, giving you more options during the editing process to select the most appealing images. Consider the shot’s composition and framing, and ensure that your chosen position allows for optimal lighting and eliminates unwanted distractions.

Here are two types of shots that real estate photography businesses love:

Real Estate Photography Angle Tips Source
  • Corner Shots: Position yourself where the windows are on the side or at a 45-degree angle. You should avoid having the window in front or behind your camera. Shoot from corner to corner to make the room look as big as possible. Always include three walls if possible to offer a better idea of the space.
  • Straight-On Shots: These shots are ideal for showcasing kitchens, windows, stairways, and bathrooms. Because they complement the square symmetry in home architecture. But, they may not be suitable for every situation as they can remove depth. To help you frame your shots, you can use a composition grid. Follow the vertical lines and align them with the room.

Bonus Tip: If you want to immerse your buyers even more in the property, you can use detail shots.

They are perfect for highlighting a property’s details, such as a living room’s fireplace stone or a kitchen countertop marble.

These shots give information that you won’t have with wider shots. You can use a zoom lens for them. Take pictures of elements that will stay with the house; otherwise, they are unnecessary.

Real Estate Photography Detail Shot Source

If you can invest, you can also use a drone to capture aerial photography or video shots. These shots are challenging to achieve with traditional filming methods but can make your work stand out from the competition. Remember to plan and get any necessary permits or safety precautions when using a drone for your shoot.

9. Take Advantage Of Reflections

Real Estate Photography Tip: Use Reflection Source

Capture a property’s beauty and make it more attractive to potential buyers with reflections. They can showcase the environment, making the property feel more connected to its surroundings. Consider using surfaces like mirrors or windows to take advantage of reflections.

Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find the best reflections. Yet, be mindful of unwanted reflections like camera equipment or yourself.

Use mirrors to highlight a room’s best features. Add depth and dimension to an otherwise flat image, and create unique and appealing photos. Playing with reflections can add a creative and unexpected element to real estate photographs, making them stand out.

10. Use A Flash

Camera Flash Source

In real estate photography, using a flash can improve the quality of your images if you don’t have good lighting conditions.

A flash helps illuminate dark corners and brighten the image, ensuring no area is left in the shadows. It also balances the exposure, preventing overexposure in bright areas and filling in dark spots. To achieve the best results, it’s essential to diffuse or bounce the flash off a surface to avoid harsh lighting.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to experiment with the intensity of the flash to achieve the desired level of fill light. By using flash, you can create more lit scenes and capture stunning real estate photos.

11. Shoot At Different Times Of The Day

To make your real estate listing stand out, taking photos of the property at the right time of day is essential. It allows you to show its versatility to potential buyers.

  • Capture the exterior during golden hour to achieve a warm and inviting glow that will immediately catch the eye of potential buyers.
  • During daylight hours: showcase the interior to highlight the natural light and spaciousness of the property.
  • Twilight shots create a stunning ambiance with illuminated windows and landscape lighting.

What Is Ambiance Shot in Real Estate Photography?

Ambiance shot in real estate photography refers to capturing images that showcase a property’s mood, atmosphere, and overall feel, highlighting its unique features and creating an emotional connection with potential buyers.

Photograph the property at sunrise, midday, and sunset. Experiment with different lighting conditions. Capture unique perspectives and moods, giving your photos an extra wow factor.

12. Showcase The Property’s Curb Appeal

Real Estate Curb Appeal Source

It’s essential to capture the property’s exterior to show its curb appeal. Give potential buyers a comprehensive view of the property’s surroundings from different angles.

  • Natural lighting enhances the beauty of the landscaping and architectural features.
  • Close-up shots of unique elements like a front porch or an inviting entrance can captivate the viewer’s attention.

Focus on the property’s curb appeal. Thus, avoiding any distractions or clutter in the foreground is vital. Keep the driveway clear of cars and tidy up any bikes or garbage bins on the side of the house.

13. Capture The Property’s Unique Selling Points

House Interior Source

When capturing a property’s unique selling points, several strategies can attract potential buyers.

  • Highlight the property’s architectural features to draw attention and create interest immediately.
  • Showcase luxurious amenities like a swimming pool or spa to enhance visual appeal.
  • Emphasize the spaciousness and functionality of each room.
  • Highlight any unique or standout elements, such as a fireplace or custom-built features. Those will make the listing more memorable and increase its desirability.

If your listing is on a website like Zillow, these standout features are often evident and included as keywords.

Be sure to include photos of the mentioned “quartz countertops,” “custom kitchen cabinetry,” or “Brazilian wood flooring.”

14. Highlight The Neighborhood

Real Estate Neighborhood Source

This is one of the most overlooked tips for real estate photography, but it shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

Besides showcasing the property, you’re selling a way of life and a neighborhood. Potential buyers need to fall in love with the local area too. By taking photos of the community and surrounding areas, you can create a sense of place and highlight what makes the area unique. This can give potential buyers a better idea of what it would be like to live there and increase the appeal of your listings.

Make sure to include photos of nearby parks, schools, and shopping centers to highlight convenience for future buyers. Capture the local amenities and attractions to showcase the neighborhood’s appeal.

Real Estate Photography Editing Tips

15. Use Professional Photo Editing Software

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer+

Once you’re done with the shooting, it is time to edit your real estate photos. Investing in professional photo editing software is one of our best real estate photography tips.

It can make a significant difference in enhancing your real estate photography. It is what differentiates you from other realtors. You can make your listing photos perfect and more appealing by putting in this extra effort. Adjust the white balance, lighting, crop, and straighten the pictures. Give them a clean, polished, professional appearance.

One recommended must-have editing software for real estate photography is Xara Photo & Graphic Designer+. It provides excellent editing capabilities and is affordable ($6.99/month). If you are a beginner, its user-friendly interface will help you go through the post-production process.

16. Adjust Color Temperature, Luminosity, and Contrast

When it comes to real estate photography, adjusting color temperature, luminosity, and contrast can make a significant difference in the outcome of your images.

  • Adjust the color temperature to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. That will appeal to potential buyers.
  • Balance the luminosity to ensure that all areas of your photo are correctly exposed. Avoid any overexposed or underexposed parts.
  • Increase the contrast to enhance the visual appeal of your images and highlight critical details.

Pay attention to the natural lighting conditions during the shoot and adjust if necessary during editing.

Experiment with different editing techniques to find the perfect balance for each photo. We promise you can get a similar result to a professional real estate photographer.

17. Apply Photo Filters

Apply photo filters to your real estate pictures to create different styles and atmospheres.

Did you miss the golden hour when shooting? No worries – you can add a beautiful sunset filter. Or try a warm filter to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Yet, it’s crucial to avoid excessive use of filters that make the photos look unnatural or overly edited.

Adjust the filter intensity to achieve the desired effect without overpowering the image. The goal is to showcase the property accurately without creating misleading visuals.

18. Edit Unnecessary Objects Out In Post-Production!

If you have accidentally captured a personal item or an unnecessary object in your photo, you can use your photo editing software to remove it. Yet, be careful not to overdo it and make the photo look unrealistic.

Nowadays, removing unwanted objects or people from an image is a breeze. If you are using Xara, use our Magic Erase feature!

19. Create Cohesive Marketing Material With Your Pictures

Xara Real Estate Templates


Once your photos are properly edited, they can be added to your real estate marketing materials. Nowadays, it is not enough to market your listings on third-party websites. You must put your listings out there, whether online or through print materials.

What’s cool about Xara is that you can generate color palettes from your pictures. So, if you want to take a break from your branded materials to create unique materials matching the colors of your property’s photos, you can do it all.

Xara provides many templates for marketing your listings. From brochures, social media posts, door hangers, and postcards. Choose a template, automatically brand it & add your personal agent details, and generate a compelling listing description with our AI-powered text generator.

It is that simple. Then, all you have to do is download, distribute, or print your new listing materials. Try Xara Marketing Center for Realtors now and get your game on the next level.

Create your marketing materials with Xara

20. Use A Virtual Staging Service

Real Estate Virtual Staging Example Source

Are you photographing an unfurnished property? Look no further! You can use AI real estate tools, such as AI virtual staging services, to help potential buyers envision the possibilities of the property.

Adding virtual furniture and decor to empty rooms can make them more inviting and appealing. Virtual staging allows you to display various design styles and layouts that match your buyer’s preferences. If your buyers are interested in modern decor, you can use the platform to generate furniture in this style and add it to your unfurnished photos.

Virtual staging is its cost-effectiveness compared to physical staging, saving both time and money. Honestly, nowadays, we can’t even tell the difference!

21. Create A 3D Tour

Real Estate 3D Tour Source

Did you know you can repurpose your real estate photos to create a 3D virtual tour? You can create an immersive virtual experience for potential buyers by stitching together many images. This allows viewers to explore every corner of the property, enhancing their understanding of the space.

Offering a 3D tour can attract more potential buyers and help your listings stand out from the competition. You can also use applications, such as Zillow 3D Home® Tours, that enable you to create virtual tours using your smartphone. Allocate some time on your shooting day to create the tour.


In conclusion, real estate photography is crucial in attracting potential buyers and making your listings stand out. By following these expert tips, you can ensure that your photos capture the essence of the property and highlight its unique selling points.

Remember, one of the most important tips for real estate photography is not to skip the photo editing stage. Editing your photos to enhance their quality and creating cohesive marketing materials is what differentiates a great realtor from the rest.

This is where we come in. For only $6.99 per month, you can access one of the best and fastest photo editing software for real estate photography. Whether you are a beginner or a professional photographer, all your photo editing, illustration, and graphic design needs are covered.

Download Xara Photo & Graphic Designer+ for free and try it for 14 days.

Download & Try for free Xara Photo & Graphic Design+