Ep 156: How to photograph real estate

Real estate photography can be a great way to get regular work as a photographer.  But there are specific techniques that you should use if you want to get great real estate shots on entry point.

This episode, Gina and Valerie talk about the essential elements of real estate photography, how to get the ideal shots, and provide a checklist of dos and don’ts.

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Show notes

  • Real Estate photography is a great way to make some extra cash as a newbie photographer.
  • Not just homes for sale but Airbnb, hotels, resorts or lifestyle photography
  • Great photography can make even the most humble home look incredible

Shoot manual mode



  • Tripod
  • Wide angle lens 24-35mm is fine
  • Longer lens for details
  • Speedlight or studio strobes
  • Tilt shift 17mm or 24mm will help with distortion


Camera settings

  • Iso 100-400
  • Aperture 8-16
  • Shutter Speed slow (adjust according to the light)
  • Use a tripod to avoid camera shake


Camera height

  • low/waist height
  • to get vertices vertical
  • Shoot with camera level
  • Shoot horizontal images


Shoot into room at an angle

Turn on lights


  • Shoot little details
  • View
  • Birds sitting in bird bath
  • Architectural elements


Style property

  • Declutter
  • Fresh flowers
  • Move furniture
  • Move sponges from sink
  • Ensure blinds are even
  • Remove personal images
  • Clutter
  • Remove everything from the top and doors of the fridge.
  • Get rid of fridge magnets, menus etc
  • Clean bench tops
  • Hide dishes etc
  • Style kitchen setting
  • Bowl of fruit or flowers
    Close toilet lid
    Hide soap on rope etc
  • Clean mirrors and any glass surfaces.
  • Hang new towel
  • Hide the Creepy Doll collection
  • Clean house
  • Add life by having a pot of coffee on kitchen bench



  • All lights on
  • Shoot at twilight or when house is lit by the sun
  • Solar lights use post it notes on solar panel to force light on
  • Clean garden
  • Wet driveway can add nice reflections
  • Start collecting sky stock shots


Exposure techniques

Fill flash plus ambient.

  1. First image ambient
  2. Second shot with flash( point flash up to ceiling)
  3. Shoot windows with light
  4. Third image window light
  5. Blend in LR + photoshop +layer mask + luminance



    Multiple exposures and blend

  • Lightroom perspective correction  
  • Lens barrelling


Suggestions from members of the Facebook group.


Peter Foote Shoot to show as much floor as possible. I like to have the lights on. Be careful to keep the verticals vertical. Rich Baum is the godfather of RE photography. He has a great YouTube channel.

Ben Hopkins Turn all the lights on, change all the blown bulbs, clean bed sheets & table clothes, high aperture so you get lovely star light sparkles.

Pamela Hnyla My comments come from the POV of a student who shot interiors for a class assignment. I’m sure some pros would have more or better things to offer.

Anyway. You’ll think to use a wide-angle lens, make the place look charming, and all that. Use a tripod, of course. If it seems appropriate, take two shots, one that will catch the loveliness of the outside through the windows and one that properly exposes the interior, then do Photoshop magic.

The one thing you might not know, though, is that Photoshop can correct the distortion that will occur. You can make the angles in the walls and ceilings straight instead of splayed by using — well. I know it has already changed somewhat since I used it. Transform? I used it in Camera Raw, but I believe it can also be done in PS itself. I suggest you research rather than trying to follow my ramble.

Making those angles look good, in my opinion, is priceless.

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Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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