A basic guide for beginners

There are countless potential paths for photographers looking to turn professional these days, and some will opt for real estate photography when they’re just starting out. If you’re already a big fan of architectural photography, taking pictures of real estate is a logical next step; the differences are not huge compared to other sub-niches.


You can capture all kinds of properties in your photo shoots, from standard houses to luxury apartments and mansions. Wherever you’re shooting, you should try to create compelling images for potential buyers to make an offer.

Knowing what to do in real estate photography is tricky, but we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn more about the equipment you need, as well as the most important skills and how you can impress buyers with your realtor photography.


What equipment do you need for real estate photography?

Before looking at the most important skills you need, understanding the gear you should invest in is a good place to start. Of course, you will need a good camera body; it doesn’t matter whether you choose a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

In addition to the camera, you need to purchase the following items.

1. A versatile lens

Real estate photography is a versatile genre and you will need a lens that can perform in multiple situations. Zooms and prime lenses can work in many cases, but we recommend choosing a prime lens.

Since you will often be shooting in tight spaces, using a smaller lens, such as a 27mm or 35mm lens, is a smart option. Your camera manufacturer will likely have a wide range of offerings, so it’s worth sifting through to see which ones best suit your needs.

2. A tripod

There are several advantages to using a tripod in photography, no matter what genre you specialize in. Real estate photography is no different, and you can argue that it’s even more important here than in other verticals like portrait photography.

If you’re shooting indoors, having a tripod to stabilize your camera is essential. You’ll probably have to reduce your shutter speed to the point that your photos become blurry, and putting your camera on three feet will prevent this from happening.

When taking photos outdoors at night, you will also need a tripod. If you’re taking photos indoors and don’t have any, flat surfaces will suffice, but you’ll limit yourself to what’s available during the day.

3. SD cards and extra batteries

You’ll quickly learn that as a professional photographer, completing client projects sometimes takes longer than you’d hoped. Although many modern cameras have good battery life, you don’t want to rely on just one camera. Even if you can recharge it at the location of the photo shoot, you will unnecessarily delay the process for everyone.

Likewise, you may need to capture more photos than expected. Rather than flicking through your camera to delete the ones you don’t like, you’re better off investing in two or three extra memory cards. If you can, choose a 64 GB or 128 GB.

Check out these tips to maximize your productivity as a freelance photographer.

What are the most important skills for real estate photography?

After reading this far, you have a good idea of ​​the basic equipment you need for real estate photography. What are essential skills, though?

Below are three crucial traits that you must possess for a successful career as a real estate photographer.

1. The ability to follow a brief

Real estate photography is more demanding than you think, and the images you capture can greatly affect a homeowner’s ability to sell their property for the price they want. You will likely receive a brief when you agree to take on the project, and you need to follow it properly.

Make sure you’ve read everything and ask if you have any questions. the client will appreciate that you want to do the best job possible.

2. Regular communication

Throughout the process, you will need to maintain good levels of communication with your client. Many photographers fail to find a job because they struggle to learn the key people skills you need to build a successful long-term business.

Be sure to finalize meeting times and other details well in advance. On the day, ask the customer to communicate exactly what they need and show them the photos you take to make sure they are satisfied.

After shooting, you’ll need an efficient way to send files. Try to send them the photos as soon as possible.

3. A basic understanding of the exposure triangle

If you’re a beginner photographer, you probably won’t know every concept under the sun; even most professionals never reach this level. However, you should have a basic understanding of the most important ones, especially when it comes to the exposure triangle.

The exposure triangle describes how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture work together. If you overcompensate in one area, another will become unbalanced. And in residential photography, getting them right can dramatically change the results of your photos.

How to impress buyers with your real estate photos

Alright, so you have a better idea of ​​the skills you need to become a better real estate photographer. For the last three subsections, we will advise you on how to make your images really pop.

1. Focus on the most impressive features of the house

Each building has unique characteristics, although you might find it bland. To be successful in real estate photography, you need to find the property in even the most mundane places.

Get off the beaten track. Is the building a World Heritage Site, for example? Or does it have a newly installed bathroom that potential buyers will love?

2. Consider the time of day you will be shooting

Even if you’re shooting indoors, the time of day will dramatically change the look of your images. While you might find it a bit irritating to get up early or stay up late, it’s probably worth it to get the right shot.

Depending on when you are shooting, you might also need additional lighting. The time of year will also determine the height of the sun during the day, so you will need to think about that as well.

3. Use a minimalist approach

Although you should take a wide range of angles in real estate photography, we recommend that you make your images easy for the viewer to understand. Cluttered spaces will not only confuse potential buyers; each piece will also look smaller than if you had only a few elements in the composition.


Focus on one or two essentials and do what you can to make them stand out.

Great real estate photography is crucial for sellers, and it’s your job to help them

Real estate photography is harder to master than you think, and going into a shoot with the idea that you’ll make easy money is the worst mindset you can have. To take good photos, you need to focus on the most important aspects and paint the property in its best light.

After reading these tips, you should know what you need to buy to get started. Plus, you’ll know if you have any special skills you need to work on.

Stewart C. Hartline