9 Workflow Tutorial Tips for Real Estate Photography Editing in Lightroom (2024 Guide)

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned photographer, poorly edited photos will lack the polish buyers expect, leading to fewer clicks, showings, and sales. Armed with years of experience providing real estate photo editing services, we’re creating this post to share a comprehensive guide on how to edit real estate photos in Lightroom. 


Real Estate Photo Editing Tips and Tricks: How to Edit Real Estate Photos in Lightroom

This workflow tutorial covers the essential Lightroom techniques real estate photographers need to edit listing photos, including fixing perspective and lens issues, brightening dark rooms, enhancing color, and sharpening image quality. By following these photo editing steps and investing in Lightroom skills for real estate photography, you can elevate listing quality and drive more sales.

Chart explaining different editing skills and tips

Adobe Lightroom is essential for real estate photo editing because of its complete array of workflow tools to finish your post-processing at record speed. In this post, my Lightroom workflow tutorial aims to enable you to unlock the basic thinking of creating a sequence of activities for photography editing in real estate

  • Learn an efficient editing workflow in Lightroom to streamline processing large sets of real estate pictures.
  • Use Lightroom tools like the adjustment brush to brighten rooms and make selective edits in each photo.
  • Take advantage of image presets to improve exposure, colors, and perspective with one click.

Step 1: Import and Organize Photos

The first step in real estate photo editing is to migrate your photos from the camera to your computer. The best cameras will include a Bluetooth function that allows wireless transfers from one device to another.

However, this can sometimes be interrupted easily. We recommend using a cable to ensure the most stable connection. 

  • After you open your photos in Adobe Lightroom, select the ones you want to edit easily by hitting the P button on the keyboard for 'Pick'.
  • Press the X button to reject the photo. This makes the sifting process easier and faster.

Step 2: Apply Presets and Filters

One of the key techniques for learning how to edit real estate photos in Lightroom is applying the element of repetition. This means that most of your photos will require the same, if not almost the same, enhancements. 

Image presets are a good way to speed up the process in this case. The enhancement techniques you must employ, such as color correction and light distribution, will be more or less identical.

We recommend creating a preset for one photo and apply it each time to save time in real estate photo editing. Simply head to the Develop Module under the Presets Panel and choose a preset that best suits the effect you need on an image.

Step 3: Adjust the Exposure

Shooting in RAW is highly recommended for non-destructive editing. This way, you can use the full sensor data to have more control over the edits during post-processing. 

Use the Contrast, Blacks, Whites, Shadows, and Highlights sliders to achieve even exposure, especially for fixing uneven lighting and unwanted shadows in an image.

  • Expand the brightest whites by dragging the Whites slider to the right while holding the Alt/Option key. Instead of a black screen, the screen will now turn white.
  • Set the deepest blacks by dragging the Blacks slider to the left while holding Alt/Option.
  • Drag the Highlights bar to the left to eliminate blown-out highlights and exposure hotspots.
  • Increase the Shadows value to brighten dark areas and bring out more image detail.
  • Drag the Contrast slider to add punch if needed.

Step 4: Apply Color Correction

Real estate photo editing requires a good skill set in color correction. Applying the right colors will create accuracy and consistency across every photo.

  • Under the Develop Module on the top of the screen, open the treatment panel, pick the White Balance sampler, and choose an existing preset.
  • Stay within the Develop Module to harp on the Tone Curve.
  • Drag the Temperature slider to the left for a cold tone or to the right for a warm tone based on preference.
  • Adjust overall saturation in the HSL tab under the Saturation option. Use targeted saturation to saturate colors in an image selectively.
  • Boost the midtone clarity using the Clarity slider to create depth and add sharpness without affecting highlights and shadows.

Step 5: Sharpen Image Quality and Reduce Noise

You can improve your real estate photo editing by maintaining a clear and realistic state of the image. Overdoing noise reduction can eliminate the image details you need far beyond what you intended to remove.

  • Sharpen an image and add detail by increasing the Sharpening and Radius sliders.
  • Hold the Alt/Option key to see the sharpening mask and adjust as needed.
  • Increase Luminance to remove grain from sharpening if you boosted the shadows earlier.

Step 6: Remove Blemishes and Spots

It's common for real estate photography to encounter blemishes and spots. When post-processing an image, we typically use Healing Brush tools to get rid of these blemishes or larger objects that ruin interiors and exteriors.

Press the H key to launch the Healing Brush. Adjust the size using the slider to create a bigger brush effect and rub it on the object you want to remove in an image. Make sure to hold down the left mouse clicker.

Step 7: Enhance the Sky

I've received countless requests from realtors and home sellers wanting to enhance the sky in an image before they post marketing materials on websites or social media platforms. Enhance washed-out skies in a photo by dragging the Blue Luminance slider left to bring out color.

Step 8: Use Lens Correction to Crop and Straighten Shots

Among the challenges of real estate photography is working on leaning property shots. You need to make them look straight on the Y-axis or the vertical plane. 

  • Click on the Geometry controls in the Edit option. Select the guided option beside the word 'Upright'.
  • Click and drag a line along the part of the image that needs to be straightened. This may also apply to horizontal lines that require similar rectification.
  • Use Lightroom's lens correction options like Enable Profile, Remove Chromatic Aberration, and Constrain Crop to adjust images automatically. 
  • Increase the Vertical Correction slider to bring out building edges more. Double-check that the verticals in an image are properly aligned.

Step 9: Switch to Grid View for Final Checks

After you’ve curated a masterpiece out of the images, take some time to look at every image before you post it. Press the G key to launch the Grid View option in Lightroom. 

This feature allows you to look at a photo from a zoomed-out perspective, enabling you to hover over an image and spot some inconsistencies. From here, you can export your work if there are no changes needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Real Estate Photos Look Professional in Lightroom?

To make real estate photos look professional in Lightroom, correct perspective and lens distortion, brighten dark rooms, and enhance colors selectively while avoiding oversaturation. Also, you can sharpen an image to highlight details without introducing artifacts during the editing process.

How Do I Edit Real Estate Photos?

To edit real estate pictures in Lightroom, import every necessary image, apply basic global adjustments to consistency, and then use local adjustments to fix exposure and colors. Crop pictures symmetrically and straighten any skewed vertical or horizontal lines.

What App Do Realtors Use for Pictures?

Realtors commonly use photo editing apps like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit listing photos. Lightroom offers an intuitive workflow for applying batch edits to groups of real estate photos. In contrast, Photoshop provides more advanced manipulation capabilities for complex image edits.


Unlock the basic thinking of creating a sequence of activities for photography editing in real estate. While it's good to learn how to edit real estate photos in Lightroom, you can also save time with the help of professional image editors who can do everything, from basic retouching to HDR real estate photo editing.

Relevant Quick Links: