How to Take Pictures of Real Estate Exteriors

Taking high-quality exterior photos is crucial when it comes to marketing and selling real estate. These images are the first thing potential buyers see, and they often determine whether someone will take the next step in exploring the property further. In this article, we will explore how to take great exterior photos of real estate.

  • Choose the Right Time of Day
  • The right lighting can make or break an exterior real estate photo. It’s best to shoot exterior photos during the golden hours, which are the hours just after sunrise and before sunset. During this time, the light is warm and soft, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Avoid taking photos in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, as this can create harsh shadows and make the property appear uninviting.

  • Plan the Composition
  • Before taking any photos, take a moment to plan the composition of the shot. Consider the angle and perspective from which you want to photograph the property. Think about the features you want to highlight, such as the front entrance or the landscaping. Take a few test shots to determine the best angle and framing for the shot.

  • Clean Up the Exterior
  • Make sure the exterior of the property is clean and tidy before taking any photos. Remove any clutter or debris from the yard, and ensure that the lawn is mowed and the landscaping is well-groomed. Check for any trash cans or other items that may be visible in the photos and move them out of sight.

  • Use a Wide-Angle Lens
  • A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing the entire property in one shot. It can help create a sense of spaciousness and showcase the property’s best features. However, be careful not to distort the image too much, as this can create a distorted and unrealistic view of the property.

  • Use the Right Settings
  • When taking exterior photos of real estate, it’s important to use the right camera settings. Shoot in RAW format, which allows you to capture the most amount of detail and adjust the settings later in post-production. Use a low ISO to avoid grainy photos, and a high shutter speed to capture sharp images.

  • Edit the Photos
  • Editing is an essential part of the exterior real estate photography process. Use photo editing software to adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the photos. Crop the photos to remove any unwanted elements, and adjust the color balance to create a consistent look throughout the set of photos.

  • Show Off the Landscape
  • The landscaping is an important part of the property, and it’s important to showcase it in the photos. Consider taking photos of the property from different angles to show off the landscaping. Capture shots of the garden, trees, and any other unique features that add value to the property.

  • Use a Drone
  • Aerial photography is a great way to showcase the property’s location and surrounding area. Drones are an excellent tool for capturing aerial photos of real estate. They can provide a unique perspective of the property and show off the surrounding landscape. However, be sure to check the local laws and regulations before flying a drone.

  • Use HDR Photography
  • HDR photography is another technique that can be used to capture the best possible exterior photos of real estate. It involves taking multiple photos of the same scene at different exposure levels and then merging them into one image. This technique can capture the full range of light in the scene and create a more natural-looking image.

  • Consider the Weather
  • Weather can play a significant role in exterior real estate photography. If possible, avoid taking photos on cloudy or rainy days, as this can make the property appear gloomy and uninviting. Instead, wait for a clear day with plenty of sunlight to take exterior photos. However, if you must take photos on a cloudy day, try to edit the photos to make them appear brighter and more vibrant.

  • Use Natural Light
  • When taking exterior photos, it’s essential to use natural light as much as possible. Avoid using flash or artificial lighting, as this can create harsh shadows and make the property appear unnatural. Use the sunlight to your advantage and try to capture photos when the light is soft and warm.

  • Take Photos from Different Angles
  • Taking photos from different angles can help showcase the property’s best features and create a more dynamic set of photos. Consider taking photos from different heights and angles, such as from ground level, eye level, and even from above with a drone. Experiment with different angles to find the most compelling shots.

  • Highlight Unique Features
  • Every property has unique features that make it stand out from the rest. It’s important to highlight these features in the exterior photos. Whether it’s a beautiful garden, a unique architectural detail, or a stunning view, make sure to capture these features in the photos. These features can help set the property apart from others on the market and attract potential buyers.

  • Use Reflections to Your Advantage
  • Water features, such as pools, ponds, or lakes, can create beautiful reflections that can add a unique element to your photos. Use reflections to your advantage and capture the property from different angles to showcase the reflections. Reflections can add depth and interest to your photos and make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

  • Consider the Surrounding Area
  • The surrounding area of the property can play a significant role in its appeal to potential buyers. Consider taking photos of the property from a distance to showcase the surrounding area, such as nearby parks, shopping centers, or attractions. This can help buyers get a better sense of the property’s location and what the area has to offer.

In conclusion, taking great exterior photos of real estate is essential for marketing and selling properties. To take great photos, choose the right time of day, plan the composition, clean up the exterior, use a wide-angle lens, use the right settings, edit the photos, show off the landscape, use a drone, use HDR photography, consider the weather, use natural light, take photos from different angles, highlight unique features, use reflections to your advantage, and consider the surrounding area. By following these tips, you can create stunning photos that will make your property stand out and attract potential buyers. Remember, the exterior photos are the first impression that potential buyers will have of the property, so make them count.

Doug Marshall

Doug Marshall is a freelance photographer, photography instructor, professional blogger and pizza enthusiast. You can follow him (dougmphoto) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.