Elements of Great Listing Photos

Leave doors open

Having doors inside the house open in photographs opens up the entire space and makes it feel larger. This includes bedroom doors, closet doors, anywhere someone could walk into—just not cabinets or drawers. This technique is particularly effective in a close-up exterior shot: have the front door open and the interior well-lit, so that potential buyers can picture themselves walking in.

Use strategic angles

When taking exterior shots, make sure the whole house is in the frame—and that no cars are blocking it. The roof line will ideally be parallel to the frame of the photo, to make it appear level. If your home is large or near an attractive body of water, consider a bird’s eye view shot if you can get it. And never, ever use a fish-eye lens.

Be mindful of the strengths and weaknesses of each room of the house. If there are interesting or unusual features like archways, capture them in a way that shows the architectural detail. Sometimes simple, straightforward shots aren’t the most flattering way to capture a room, so don’t be afraid to get up on a ladder or a chair.

Stage each room

Keep the knick-knacks and personal items out, make sure every single surface is sparkling clean, and try to choose a relatively sunny day so the natural light can be used to your advantage. The idea is to imagine your home is being photographed for a catalog—you want it to look absolutely pristine to impress buyers, but also include fresh flowers and/or greenery to make it a space anyone would feel comfortable living in.

If you’re taking these photos around a holiday, resist the urge to cram each room with themed décor. No one wants to see a home for sale with a huge Christmas tree in the center of the living room, or jack-o-lanterns at Halloween, especially if the season is already over or if they don’t celebrate that particular holiday. Instead, keep your photos up-to-date—if it’s summer, take a nice shot of the backyard in a sunny day. If it’s fall or winter, turn on the fireplace and use blankets or throw pillows to create the illusion of warmth.

Lighting is key

A unique way to get an exterior shot is to photograph it at nighttime, while leaving all the interior and exterior lights on. This adds dimension and depth to your house, and will definitely make your photos stand out in a good way.

However, be cautious when using light more creatively. All interior photos should be shot with as much light—artificial and natural—as possible.

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