How to Take Commercial Real Estate Photos

Besides price and location, what sells property are great photos. They represent the first step in reaching out to potential buyers. The best photos are transparent: They showcase the space, not the personal belongings of the seller. But it’s not as easy as it seems. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know when considering how to best market your property when it comes time to sell.  

How do you sell a property with pictures?

Properties sell with pictures because they create memories in the potential buyer’s mind of what the property is all about. It helps them “see” what their belongings would look like in the room and how they would use the yard. Hiring a professional photographer is important, especially one who has experience with real estate photography. Selling a property with pictures requires, not just effective pictures, obviously, but knowing what to do with them. 

That requires an understanding editing — Knowing which photos are essential and which ones are not. It is not essential, for example, to have multiple photos of a kitchen if they show the same angle. Redundancy can make a viewer tune out. You want to leave them wanting more. At the same time, you don’t want to have too few photos because it will suggest the seller is hiding something. It is better to have a set of photos where each one shows the property in the best light possible.

How do you take professional real estate photos?

Taking photos that best show your property requires following some basic rules:

  • Declutter. You are showing the rooms, not the items within the room. However when the rooms are left a mess, or there is too much stuff in the rooms, the viewer’s eye will see only that. Photos that show messy rooms and dirty bathrooms and kitchens will turn potential buyers off. Give the house a good hard scrub, remove unnecessary furniture and belongings, put the toilet seat down, and create spaces that show off the house itself.
  • Turn on all the lights. You want these spaces to be bright and cheery. That means no dark corners or shadows. Turn on all the lights — overheads and ambient lighting. This is especially true if you are selling your property during the gloomy seasons of fall and winter.
  • Open all the blinds and drapes. Again, you are going for bright and cheery. That means letting sunlight in. Let the viewer see where your windows are facing so they get the best sense of your home’s location. No need to surprise them when they show up that your kitchen is facing a brick wall.
  • Always use a tripod. This may seem obvious, but it’s not when you see all the blurry photos in real estate listings. Your camera or smartphone needs to be stable so you can create perfectly clear and detailed photos of every space, inside and outside. A tripod lets you examine the shot before you take it, ensuring you are including everything that’s essential and nothing is needlessly cropped off or blurred.

What settings should I use for real estate photography?

For real estate photography, you’ll need an aperture of between F8 and F11 to produce superior results. It’s best to use a wide-angle lens with an external flash system and self-timer. Never shoot wider than 12mm. Finally, all photos should be sized medium/high and set as JPEGs.

What is the best time of day to take real estate photos?

It depends on where you live, but typically twilight — or the “golden hour” of the day, which is 30 minutes before sunset or after sunrise — is best because you’ll get the ambient light of the sky, which looks warm and inviting. 

If it’s not possible to take photos during these times, try to shoot whenever the sun is brightest, so you’ll get great light through the windows. Do not shoot on gloomy or dark days. Or even days when there is snow on the ground. Aim for times when the forecast 

What sells a property quickly?

Price and location. Those are the bedrock of any sale. But when it comes to marketing your property, the critical components are: Clear photographs that showcase the space, not the things within the space. A lively and useful description of the house’s character and primary assets. And finally, a full list of all updates by year that shows transparency.

How much should I pay for drone photos?

This depends on the length of the shoot and the number and resolution of the photos. Typically, the average cost is between $250 and $350. Costs can escalate if you include video, translation, editing, and logistics of the shoot.

For example, shooting an office tower requires much more than shooting a one-story bungalow. Some professional operators charge by the hour, or even by the minute. It just depends on your location and what you specify you need.