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Beautifully Created Property Photography For Estate Agents

Professional property photography helps win instructions

Many estate agents complete their own property photography to try and save time and money. This often tends to be a false economy and ultimately this could be rather expensive for themselves and customers.

Property photography badly taken can harm a listing and also distort the way a potential vendor views your company.

The House Photographer can give your company an edge! By portraying your customer’s homes in the best possible light and from all the right angles.

We balance the light between inside and out and between rooms. Consequently, this draws the eye and generate a natural flow between spaces. Experience has taught us how to:The House Photographer - Property Photography

  • choose the correct angles in rooms
  • to show off all the best features
  • how to fuel the desire to want to view a property.

Naturally you can only get the picture 85% right in the camera.
The rest is taken care of during post-production editing.
Therefore all images created will be edited in Photoshop to give the finishing touches.

The art of property photography for Estate Agents

The key to a great shoot is planning and preparation!

When we arrive at your customer’s home the first thing we do is ask to be shown around. Therefore, we get to view the size of the property and the scope of the work required. Viewing each room with the owner allows them to get involved. Together we can point out features that need to be included in the shoot. This could be original features such as:The House Photographer - Property Photography

  • architrave
  • ornate cornice
  • ceiling roses and coving
  • original flooring
  • decorative fireplace.

Property photography that involves the vendor always best practise. As a result, it makes them feel part of the shoot and shows that their contribution is relevant.

Many home moves are motivated by space. Either the owner has too much and is looking to downsize or not enough and looking to upsize.
It’s quite usual to find clutter and some items which will need to be moved prior to shooting the room. By touring a house first, it gives us the opportunity to work out a logical order to shoot the rooms. In addition we can inform the customer what needs to be moved and when.
Another crucial point is that we get to discover the best angles. Therefore identifying any obstacles or items in a room that may hinder us getting the best possible shot. In conclusion, taking this approach, we have found that customers appreciate the time and effort we put into each shoot. Which usually reflects well on the Estate Agent’s property photography, who instructed us.

Property photography: Shooting the outside

The outside shots are normally taken first unless the weather prevents us from doing so. Whatever order they are taken in, it is important to take the outside shots quickly. Keeping the gap to a minimum between shooting the front and back maintains continuity of light levels and cloud cover. As a rule of thumb, if the light and sky are good we would always take the outside pictures first. Therefore allowing us to concentrate on the internal photos. If the light and sky outside improves following the internal shoot we will shoot it again. As a result we always achieve the best property photography possible.The House Photographer - Property Photography exterior

The importance of the outside photos must never be under estimated the front will often give the famous Kerb appeal. In most cases, it will be the first picture that a buyer will see on Rightmove or Zoopla.

Creating a portrait

We view property photography the same way as a portrait photographer views their clients. That is the reason why we are successful with estate agents.

A portrait photographer will rarely shoot a customer head-on! This type of shot is reserved for driving licences or passports. Usually people would agree that this is the least flattering picture they have of themselves. The reason for this is simple, all their features have been flattened.

Head-on shot

Head shot at an angle

The above images show a man photographed in 2 different ways, head-on (passport style) and at a slight angle. The head-on shot, there is no definition or shadows created by his features and therefore looks unflattering and flat.

The picture shot at a slight angle shows:

  • his jaw line
  • definition to his cheek bones
  • shape of his nose
  • his eyes have a better shape due to shadow

As a result of the slight angle, he looks a lot more appealing.

Now let’s look at a house and how by shooting it from a slight angle makes the features stand out better.

Head-on house shot

House shot at an angle

The House Photographer - Property Photography - Front2

Looking at the above 2 images, although they are not the same, there is a big difference. You will notice that the second image shows more depth in the bay window and by the door.

In property photography, it is imperative that we try and show off the natural features of the house. Therefore try and create as much ‘Kerb appeal’ as possible.

Make the first photo inspire! Customers will then want to see the rest of them.

Property photography: shooting the inside

Inside property photography is not as simple as it may sound. There are several points to be considered before you take the first shot.

The first thing that always needs to be addressed is basic housekeeping. This means making sure that the home is clean and tidy before you start.

The House Photographer has developed a simple acronym to help remember these points and it is ‘LEAFS’, which stands for:

  • Lighting
  • Entry points
  • Angles
  • Features
  • Shadows


Any photographer will tell you that the most important key to any great shot is lighting. Property photography is no different except you will have to learn to balance light onsite.

A room with a window you will have 2 exposures. The first is for outside light and second for the ambient room light.

During the day, the outside light will always be brighter due to the sun. Therefore the inside is darker.
If the camera is set for the exposure of outside light you will get a great view through the window. However, normally the room will be too dark as the room is not as bright as the outside.

If the camera is set for the exposure of the ambient room light you will get a great picture inside. However, the window view will be over exposed and too bright. This is the natural dilemma that all property photographers face each time they shoot a home.

Exposed for inside

Exposed for outside

The first image is clearly exposed for the inside as the outside and is far too bright. The second image is exposed for the outside and is too dark inside. Both examples could have benefitted from having the main room lights turned on. If the lights were on it would allow the photographer greater flexibility with the camera settings. The result would have been a much cleaner and better shot.

Both above images were taken by an estate agent and displayed on Rightmove.

The property photographer will need to balance the light so an even level can be achieved outside and inside. The best way to do this is to expose for the outside and artificially light the room with a flash. This way a harmonious level of light will spread across the room and blend with the light from the window.

The House Photographer Property Photography Sphire 08

Entry Points

Entry / exit points are doors, arches or other walkways that lead from the room that is being shot. The standard way of dealing with a door is normally to shoot the room with it shut. That way the photographer only needs to deal with the lighting issue in the one room.

A better way would be to open the door and balance the light in the adjoining room. This will show how the rooms flow and will also give an enhanced feeling of spaciousness. Doing this the photographer will need multiple flash units and possibly light stands if they are on their own.

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The above image shows how both rooms have been lit to match the light levels in each room. The rooms now have a much more open and spacious feel about them and certainly look inviting.


The biggest criticisms that customers have of an agents property photography are:

  • photos that they do not show the true size of a room
  • photos that make a room looks smaller than it is
  • rooms look dark or poorly lit

This is usually due to the position of the photographer when shooting a room and can easily be rectified.

Most rooms are square or rectangular, the longest line that can be drawn in either shape is a diagonal line.

Shooting from diagonal a position captures length

Shooting with a wide angled lens gives the shot width

Photography Portfolio

Great position to light balance through the window

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Great position to light balance through the door

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By standing in one corner of the room and aiming a wide angled lens at the opposite corner a long and wide shot can be captured and therefore creating a more realistic view of the room.


Identifying features is important during the customer walkthrough and prior to the shoot. It will highlight points that could be beneficial to the sale. These features can then be photographed during the shoot and separate ones added if necessary. This step is valuable in show casing a home and helping it stand out from other listings on property portals. Although many of these features could be obvious to everyone. Some customers become blind to them over time and may forget to mention them. A photographer must always keep a keen and enquiring eye open so they are not missed.

Staircase feature

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Coving Feature

Fireplace feature

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Garden feature

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Bad shadows can turn a warm and nice looking room into a dark and most of all unappealing space. This is caused purely by not using light correctly. However good shadows can emphasise light and give a room a high quality, almost brochure effect.

Let’s look at bad shadows first, poor lighting due to little or no flash, hence a poor picture. The effect of this can make a nice room seem cold, dark and not a room that would inspire you.
Look at the picture below of a bedroom that is tidy but just poorly displayed. With correct lighting how much better could this room look?
Most customers would be upset if an estate agent shot their master bedroom like this.

Good shadows, can sometimes create a nice effect with a blind, if you have strong light pouring through a window. The image below generates a great and positive shadow on the furniture and bed. This denotes that this home gets lots of natural light and as a result looks better. Obviously natural light is always a positive feature of any home.

Both of the bedroom pictured here could look stunning and inviting. The photographer must always be aware of the light available and supplement if needed.

Customers deserve the right to have their homes displayed properly by estate agents!

The House Photographer, where ever possible we try to subtly incorporate it into our property photography for Estate Agents.

Poor lit bedroom taken by an agent and advertised on Rightmove

Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen is another room which is prone to poor lighting by agents. Particularly under wall cabinets where the main lighting can be blocked by the cabinet or items stored on the worktop. Therefore extra care must be given to clearing worktops.

Consequently, it is always advised that all lights including under cabinet lights, if present, are turned on.

Flash units do not need to work as hard with all the lights on. The photographer then has more flexibility to their placement which results in better photos.

The importance of staging a room

Correct Equipment Used For Property Photography

Property photography is easy with the correct equipment

Not all estate agents use a DSLR camera and the ones that do are not always trained to the same level as a professional photographer.

The equipment that we use are as follows:

  • DSLR camera
  • Professional tripod
  • 4 x Flash units
  • 3 x Light stands
  • Bubble level
  • 360 Degree camera
  • Monopod with legs

We believe that whilst it is essential to have good quality equipment it is more important to know how to use it well. Therefore our photographers all have Nikon cameras that are used on a professional grade tripod. Consequently, this will yield not only straight photographs but also allow us to unlock the camera’s full potential. It is not recommended to take a picture below certain shutter speeds without the use of a tripod.
This is because the slightest movement could blur an image when using a slow shutter speed.
Taking photos with a good steady tripod gives the photographer the opportunity to generate a greater depth and warmth in an image.

The House Photographer - Property Photography - Gear

Lighting the room

A flash must always be used when a room has insufficient light. Therefore to minimise flash reflection it is always best to use a flash off camera. This method also gives better control and consequently, better direction of the flash. For a multiple light setup, where other rooms need to be lit simultaneously light stands maybe required.
We carry 3 light stands to ensure that each flash is correctly positioned to make the light look natural.
Each flash can be adjusted up of down by a controller unit on the camera. Therefore our photographers have complete control of light.
Very few companies go to these extreme measures and due to this our customers enjoy an unrivalled quality of service.

To find out more information about our professional property photography service please give us call or use the contact button below to send a message.