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What makes a good real estate photographer?

Lucy McInally

High quality property images make a massive difference to property listings. With hundreds of properties listed on property portals, a prospective buyer can find it challenging to narrow down their search. One of the deciding factors? Images that stand out. In fact, Realtor magazine found that listed properties with professional photographs were viewed 61% more than other properties listed at a similar price. However, when agents are employed to take photos, as opposed to working with professional real estate photographers and editors, they don’t have the knowledge and expertise to take fantastic photos. Even the most amazing properties can look bad in images. If you’re an agent taking property photos or a photographer who’s new to the industry, read this blog post to learn about what makes a good real estate photographer. 

Catch viewers’ eyes

In a recent interview with Estate Agent Today, John Williams, Sales Director and Former Head of Photography at Fourwalls Group, was asked about the importance of good photography in the real estate industry. As a veteran photographer, John advises that a good property photographer takes photos that “really catch the eye, [through the use of] colour, contrast and daring to be a bit different. Show the agents what you can do as an individual and try and get the shot that no one else has seen”. Colour is a crucial element in photography, as viewers are psychologically attracted to brighter images with warm hues that elicits feelings of relaxation. However, if a shoot takes place on an overcast day, it reduces light and colour in images. Consequently, photo editing is an important part of the photography process. You can either make changes yourself or outsource to professional editors (a procedure that can take up to 48 hours to receive returned images). Alternatively, brighten your images automatically using photo editing software. Alex Harvey, Partner at Thomas Harvey Properties, uses via OnTheMarket, as an alternative to brightening, sharpening and cropping property images himself. Our AI photo enhancer saves time - “ has been far more beneficial than we expected…I hope to be using this service for the foreseeable future!” 

Attention to detail

John also adds that a good photographer doesn’t “substitute for one of those very rare blue skies days”. The overcast weather is a frequent occurrence in the UK, and it seriously hinders property images. For instance, a typical first image in property listings is an exterior property image. If a grey sky looms over the property, it not only darkens an image, it makes it less attractive. A dark day also impacts lighting in interior spaces. Due to the fast-paced nature of the property market, it’s understandable that photographers and agents can’t wait for a sunny day to take photos. Luckily, the editing process will improve your images. You can either spend time replacing a sky using software such as and Photoshop, or use our sky replacement feature. It instantly transforms a property image with a grey sky into one with a bright blue sky. Additionally before taking photos, a good photographer ensures that the property is clean and well presented. If objects are obstructing elements of the exterior or interior, and you can’t remove them, for example, a neighbour’s car is parked right outside the property, remove the objects during the photo editing process. Achieve clutter free property images with Doctor Photo object removal service. Read more tips in our blog post on how to stage a home for property photos

Achieve well-composed shots

A professional photographer knows that focussing on a central point creates a more attractive image, as it draws the eye towards a certain subject matter. The focus must be located in two-thirds of the image, either left or right, under a principle called “The Rule of Thirds”. By doing so, you’ll balance your subject matter with negative space in the image, thus drawing the viewer’s eye. It’s important this is achieved in property marketing. Professional photographers are aware that viewers need to be guided around the image with the use of dominant lines, however, this isn’t always achieved. Crop your images to focus on a central point and correct perspective to straighten any wonky angles using perspective correction tool.

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