My Favorite 6 Photo Tips

 May 12, 2014

There’s no doubt about it, photos of your listings can make a huge difference.

The right photos on your website can bring you buyers as well as impress your seller. Poorly done photos often send potential buyers away, and can annoy your seller no end.

Of course, when you decided to get into real estate, you probably didn’t think you’d have to become a photographer as well.

Fortunately you don’t have to become an expert. Today’s cameras, including those on newer cell phones will let you take good pictures of your listings without much hassle at all.

Here are my favorite tips for photos on your website:

Don’t ever post a bad picture

It happens. You’re rushing and your photos show it. They are dark, or out of focus or just plain wrong. Take a deep breath and delete those.

Now, go back to the property, even if it has to be a day or two later, and spend a bit more time actually taking the pictures. Poor photos will do more harm than good.

Put the toilet seat lid down

I don’t think I’m alone in this. A bathroom with the toilet seat down just looks more together somehow.

Also helps to straighten towels – for the same reason.

Make sure there’s enough light

Dark photos that obscure details can be worse than no photos at all because they frustrate the viewer. Take photos during the day if possible, and open some curtains. You don’t want glare, but you do want clarity.

Ask the owner to remove distracting objects

It’s amazing how many distractions can show up in a photo. Today alone I found:

  • a bicycle propped up on a fireplace
  • a sink full of dirty dishes
  • a laundry room with lots of presumably dirty clothes
  • glare coming off a monitor
  • broken kids toys in a backyard

Sellers range from neatniks to slobs. You can be sure they don’t recognize what’s going to be distracting or not – they live with it like that. In each of the examples above, the fix is pretty simple – something you can actually do yourself if you have to.

Usually, however, the owner will be happy to move the stuff. Just ask nicely.

Don’t use a fisheye lense

Fisheye lenses are amazing in the right place. But they get their panaroma look by distorting the image. For the kinds of pictures you want for your website they simply don’t work well because of that distortion. The alteration is often confusing and sometimes looks like you’re trying to fool the viewer.

The same thing is true when your try to make a room look larger by changing or forcing the perspective. The viewer can almost always tell that something has been done to fool the eye. Even when they can’t when they visit the property that bathroom that in the photo looked spacious now looks cramped. You don’t need that kind of disconnect in perception.

Pretend you didn’t take the picture

When you’re looking over the photos you’ve taken, try to see them as if you’d never looked at the house before. Even setting them aside overnight will help you see them more clearly, making it more likely you’ll be able to choose the very best pictures for your website.

Taking good photos for your iHOUSE website isn’t exactly rocket science. Take your time and know that you’ll get better with practice.

Do you have a question about photos and your website? Ask in comments and I’ll do my best to answer it.


Anne Wayman

By Anne Wayman

Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.