The 6 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Real Estate Photography

Oh, they’re embarrassing.

Real estate photography mistakes are everywhere — real estate websites, property portals, and even on slick real estate magazines. How many of them can you spot?

Great real estate photography isn't hard — if you know what you’re doing. To get great results, you need to know the right strategies and techniques. The rest is simply planning and execution.

A real estate image has only one main job: to sell the listing. It should create a story. It should portray the property in the best possible light. And it should trigger a desire to visit the property.

So never underestimate the importance of a high-quality real estate photo. According to a 2017 NAR report, 95% of potential buyers are searching for properties on online websites.

So how do you ensure that your listing stands out? How can you avoid and fix photo mistakes?

Here are the six biggest mistakes to avoid in real estate photography and how to fix them:


Have you ever tried flicking through images of a listing and happen to come across a reflection of someone in a bathroom? Nothing is more creepy or unprofessional.

If you're a seasoned photographer, you already know how to avoid getting your reflection caught on camera. This also includes the reflection of the camera and the flash itself.



To reduce the possibility of getting caught on camera, use various angles when in a room with mirrors or reflective surfaces, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

There are situations where it's not always possible to avoid a reflection, especially if the spaces are small and tight. In such cases, just take the photo as you usually would and then send it to an image editing service to remove the unwanted reflection.

Another technique is to use the self-timer function of your camera. Step out of the room when taking shots inside kitchens and bathrooms. This will make the post-shoot editing a lot easier.


Nothing is more unappealing in photos than a messy or a cluttered room. Clutter always looks worse in photos. So put away all clutter before taking the shot.

If the owners are still occupying the property, carefully arrange things before taking the shot.



It's not enough for a property to be clean. Each photo should be staged and carefully planned to get the best result. So it would be our recommendation to provide the property owners with a "pre-photography checklist" so that the property can be adequately prepared before the shoot.

Irrelevant Items

One of the biggest mistakes, turn-offs, and time wasters for potential tenants and buyers is focusing too much on irrelevant items in the image slide shows, such as furniture or fruit bowls which are not included with the property.

What you should do instead is to only include photos that have something of value to provide toward the marketing of the listing. This means images or close-ups of things that come with the property. That's what you want to emphasize and focus on.



Be selective of the images you use. Only include those photos that show the excellent features of the property. All the images used should tell a story and add value to the property. You want to show off as many features as possible in the most appealing way.

No Photo Editing

What's worse than over-editing your photos? Not editing your photos at all. No matter how good you are, images still need editing so the presentation of the property is done very professionally.

When you don't edit your real estate photos, they could be misleading. Inadequate lighting or a flash can affect colours, distort objects, or blur images. But when they are edited well, you can maintain that professional appearance in all your advertising and marketing.



So you already know that you need to edit your photos. But we all know that the process is long and time-consuming. So instead of doing all the editing yourself, we suggest outsourcing it to a competent image editing service.

Just upload your images, choose the kind of editing you want, and then click Submit. You'll have your professional-looking photos back in under 24 hours.

So what can realty editor do for you? Well, many problems can be solved. One good example is bad lighting. This can easily be fixed with image enhancement. Even gloomy skies can be remedied using a Day-to-Dusk edit.

Poor Quality

What's the biggest mistake you could make with photos? If you thought poor quality, you’re right.

Some people think that if they are dealing in low-cost listings, then it's perfectly OK to use grainy images. Well, the truth is, it's not OK. Not only do poor photos reflect badly on your agency's brand, but it also takes a lot longer to sell the property.

So if you're serious about getting the property sold sooner than later, use high-quality images. Basic phone cameras and point-and-shoot cameras just won't cut it. In fact, research has shown that listings shot with a DSLR camera sell faster and for more money than those that were not.



Learn to take your photos using the correct equipment. Know the basic techniques and practice them a lot until you master even the advanced techniques.

Poor Lighting

The science and art of photography both deal with light. It makes a tremendous difference in the appeal of an image. If you have incorrect lighting in a room, for example, it can look gloomy, and it could even discolour the walls — reducing the appeal and impact of the photo.



If you want to get the best exposure in a room, use a technique called HDR bracketing. Take multiple shots of the same area at various exposures to capture as much detail as possible.

Then, in editing, the images are overlaid and edited together so that they create one well-exposed photo. This technique is used by nearly all photography professionals when taking shots of an area that both have big sections that are either very dark or very bright.

Another technique to make a room feel fresh, airy and light are to turn on the lights and open all the windows. This will reduce shadows and help brighten the space.

The Bottom Line

Creating great awesome real estate photos isn't complicated. But it takes knowledge of proper technique and above all practice and experience.

So those are the six biggest mistakes to avoid in real estate photography. By avoiding them, you will ensure that your photos you create will truly stand out and attract more tenants and buyers.


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