Jennifer Wall Real Estate Photography | Five Keys to a Great Real Estate Photograph

Five Keys to a Great Real Estate Photograph

July 06, 2015  •  2 Comments

I was recently asked to describe the characteristics of a great real estate photograph, and I thought that would make a good topic for my first blog entry.

I think there are five key elements that make a great online real estate photograph stand out and get attention:

#1: Wide Angle Views

Wide angle lenses provide several advantages over lenses with a normal field of view:

  • The photographer can pull in much larger scenes to create a more realistic image of the home.
  • The flow of traffic throughout the home is more accurately depicted.
  • Homes with open floor plans benefit greatly from a wide angle lens as they appear larger; smaller rooms are made to appear “cozy” vs. cramped.

Normal Field of View







Wide Angle Field of View

#2: Great Composition

Regardless of the type of photography, whether it’s real estate, landscapes, portraits, weddings, senior portraits, pet photography, etc., all great images start with a great composition:

  • All rooms should be viewed and photographed from several different angles to capture the best perspective for showing the room to its best advantage.
  • All superfluous distractions should be removed.
  • Each photograph should have a focal point that pulls the viewer into the room.
  • Including more floor space gives the impression that the room is larger.

Poor Composition With Distractions







Nice Composition That Pulls Viewer In

#3: Straight Lines

All lines, including horizontal and vertical, must be straight:

  • Vertical lines must be vertical, and horizontal lines must be horizontal; the human eye is trained to look for symmetry.
  • Bowed lines give the impression that the room is out of balance.

Bowed Lines Create Distortion







Straight Lines Create Balance

#4: No Blown-Out Windows

The human eye is attracted to bright light; if windows are blown out or highlights are too bright, the viewer will miss the other details in the photograph:

  • Ambient light from a window that fills the room can produce a beautiful image; too much light, however, can cause “blown” highlights or hot spots.
  • Some homes are highly sought after based on a “$1 million view”, such as golf course or lake home. Additional effort must be taken to ensure those views are captured properly and included in the final image.
  • Care must be taken to create the proper balance when scenes from outside the window are brought into view. If those scenes are too dark, the photograph takes on a surreal or “fake” quality.

Blown Out  Highlights







Properly Balanced Highlights and Windows

#5: Clear and Bright Rooms

Potential homebuyers are naturally attracted to clear, bright, open spaces:

  • Photographs must be clear and sharp from edge to edge.
  • All rooms included in a single image must be lighted properly and evenly so there are no dark areas from room to room.

Dark Secondary Rooms







All Rooms Evenly Lit and Sharp


A Note About Exteriors


  • Great landscaping should be captured to show off the beauty of the home's outdoor settings, including fire pits, swimming pools, intimate courtyards, etc.


  • Attention must be given to special architectural details, such as gas lamps, flagstone walkways, etc.







  • Bright blue skies and puffy white clouds make an excellent backdrop to show off the home at its best.


Wade Short(non-registered)
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Virtual Tours(non-registered)
These tips are amazing! We should also mention night shots, they are becoming very popular lately.
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