Real Estate photography follows the same basic compositional rules as other types of photography. It’s similar to portraiture, landscapes, and sports in most technical aspects (ie. focus, exposure, white balance) but can differ in composition because of scale and industry requirements. Here are some of the top tips for improving your real estate photography composition.

Tell a story with every photo.

Each photo should serve a purpose and communicate something relevant to the intended audience. It‘s a good idea to think about what every photo is communicating to avoid shots that don’t achieve this.


This image tells the story of a relaxing spa-like experience in a luxurious master bathroom. The image below tells a story of being perched precariously at the top of a stairwell. Although being at the top of the stairs is a common occurrence in a two-storey home it’s not a compelling story and therefore doesn’t make a very compelling image.

down stairs

This is by far the most important tip in the list because it will affect every other image in some way.

Choose one subject for each image.

Try to focus on one space at a time. It may be tempting to show open concept houses as large connected spaces. This can make it difficult to get the details you want to see for each space individually.

dinning table

Here is an example of an image that shows a single space with one purpose.

This image is less about a single space and is more about the larger area. This is a weaker image because it shows the dining room less effectively. The dining room is more important than the hallway and deserves to be the priority.

Keep the camera low and level.

Keep your camera lens between 3 and 4 feet in height. This will result in images that have a nice floor to ceiling ratio. If the camera is too low you will see under furniture. If the camera is too high it feels as though the viewer is unnaturally tall. This is subjective and will differ depending on your personal preference but a good rule of thumb is to keep your camera at about the height of your elbows.

A level camera will result in nearly vertical lines that will differentiate your work from amateur photographers.

Frame and cut creatively.

Avoid chopping things up if you can help it. Cutting a sofa or bookshelf in half can be distracting.

Do your best to frame and crop and include whole features where possible. When this isn’t possible do your best to cut in places where it makes sense to cut.

Drawing room and furniture
Maintain a consistent style of composition throughout.

Your images should be usable in a group as well on their own. Look at your images in succession. Do any of them stand out in a bad way? If you follow the same rules for all your images they should have a consistent look and work well together. These tips are subjective and may not apply to every property but they will keep you on track for most shoots. It’s easy to forget the intended purpose of the images and focus on technical aspects but if you apply the tips found here your images will bring value to the listing.

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