Real Estate Photography Tips & Information

Photography Equipment for Real Estate

It's easy to think buying a new camera might help you take better photos for your listing presentations, but you might not need to. Most point and shoot cameras purchased in the past few years with more than 4 megapixels can create images more than good enough to use on MLS and print brochures.

Get to know your camera better

Take some time to get more comfortable using your camera. You don't need to spend an entire weekend studying and mastering every esoteric feature on your camera. With just 30 minutes or some quality time during TV commercial breaks you should see improvement in your photography skills.

Start off by reviewing the manual and any quick start guides that came with your camera. Be on the look out for any recommendations that may be relevant to taking photos of homes.

After refreshing your memory about what some of the buttons and settings on your camera can do, have fun and experiment! Use one room in your house as your test subject. Try different camera settings, different angles, and most important different shooting modes. If your camera supports it get away from “auto” mode and try to use manual or aperture priority modes. Also try different exposure compensation settings. Increasing the exposure by as little as 1/3 or as much as 1 stop may make a huge difference in helping you get better and brighter images.

After experimenting with your test room you should find settings that will be a great starting point 99% of the time. It might be “auto” mode, that's okay because by going through and experimenting with different settings you will know your camera better and have greater confidence that you're taking the best picture possible.

There are many online forums and discussion groups organized by manufacturer and camera models where you can get more information and ask questions. Start by visiting the website of your camera manufacturer and searching Yahoo! groups.


Many photographers will tell you a tripod is their most indispensible piece of equipment they would be lost without. A good sturdy tripod will allow you to take photos with longer exposure times so you can get sharper, brighter images. Plan on spending $75.00 or more for a solid & sturdy tripod. Many of the bargain tripods for $20.00 or less at your local electronics store don't do a good job of supporting the camera and will shake if you even breath on them, which defeats the purpose of why you want a tripod.

Off Camera Flash

Using an off camera flash may not be option for most point & shoot cameras but if your camera has a hot shoe for an external flash it is worth looking into.

An off camera flash will give you more options such as bouncing the flash off the ceiling for better results while not looking as harsh as most on camera flashes. Also, sometimes the camera lens can block the light from the on camera lens creating odd shadows and irregular lighting patterns.

Circular Polarizer Filter

When taking photos of the exterior of a house a circular polarizer filter can help. A polarizing filter will darken the sky, and remove reflections from water and other shiny objects.

Related Articles

Taking Real Estate Photos
Preparing Real Estate Photos for MLS

Additional Resources

Popular Photography Magazine
Luminous Landscape
Yahoo! Groups
Popular Photography Magazine Forums
B&H Photo Video