There is no easy answer to this question. The number of photos you provide as a real estate photographer will depend on your clients’ expectations and the norms in your area. However, we can estimate how many images are needed based on the marketing requirements for a listing, some simple math, and your available time. Let’s start by figuring out the marketing requirements for an average listing by asking some simple questions.

How many photos do I need to take?

What is the minimum number of photos required to meet basic listing requirements? The answer is easy. A Real Estate listing only needs one photo to be listed. What is the minimum number of photos required to communicate the key features of a property to communicate the space? The answer to this question will depend on the property but it usually looks like this: one photo per small space, two photos for large spaces, three to five exterior photos.

When I shoot a home I usually do the following:

Exterior – Shoot 3 photos from the front of the property where the building occupies most of the frame. These will be useful when listing the property online where the thumbnail images are quite small. Shoot 2 photos of the back of the property showing the yard and structure.

Interior – Shoot 1 photo per room on the main floor. Shoot 2 photos for kitchen, living rooms, and master bedrooms.

Focus on showing potential buyers what they want to see.

Effective real estate photos give buyers the information they want to see so they can decide to investigate further. Every property is different and each has its own unique set of features that a potential buyer might want to see. This means that you may need to create extra photos to focus on key features like countertops, sink faucets, outdoor kitchens, special equipment, the list goes on. Capturing extra photos for these key features will help differentiate and add a lot of marketing appeal to the listing.

Can there be too many photos?

It may seem like a good idea to provide as many photos as possible, but this is usually a mistake. Too many photos can make the process of looking at the home very frustrating for potential buyers. Photos are often displayed in a carousel or slideshow within listing platforms where they will be displayed in a sequence. If there are too many photos of a certain area it may take a very long time to move onto the next space. This makes it more difficult for buyers to get the information they are looking for. It is usually a good idea to have a conversation with your client about expectations and their needs prior to the shoot. The right number of high-quality images is often way more valuable than a long parade of low-quality ones.

Don’t duplicate photos.

One of the easiest mistakes to make is to take extra photos of a space that are too similar to each other. This duplication is unnecessary and results in wasted effort for everyone involved. Try and make photos that capture a space in its entirety. This is made much easier when using an ultra wide angle lens.

So… how many photos should I shoot?

Although we have discussed that there is really no perfect number, for an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house (around 1500-2000 square feet) this usually results in a total of around 25-30 photos as a starting point. From my experience this allows me to achieve a good balance between quality and quantity. If the property is larger and has additional special features it will require more images. If the property is smaller, it may require fewer images. There will always be exceptions and every property is unique, so the best practice is to have clear expectations set up with your client about what you provide and to ask if there are specific features important that you are required to capture during your shoot.