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The Easy Checklist for Real Estate Photography Standards

Do your images meet the standards? |

real estate photography - exterior

THE FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHER is to deliver accurate, attractive, and timely marketing images to increase real estate sales.

Marketing images must meet the basic standards of real estate photography.

  1. The image must be accurate and true to reality.
  2. The image must be pleasant and appealing; it “looks good.”
  3. The image must be delivered on time.
  4. The image must contribute to increasing real estate sales.

The specific characteristics used to evaluate real estate marketing images are:

  • REALISM: The image must be accurate and true to reality.

    • The image is not deceptive.
    • The color is correct.
    • Details are clear and visible.
    • Vertical lines are parallel.
    • The horizon is level.
    • Lens distortion is virtually imperceptible.
    • There are no gratuitous or artistic touches.
    • After-capture processing (including editing and HDR) is not apparent.
  • ATTRACTIVENESS: The image must be pleasant and appealing; it “looks good.”

    • The image is not dark, dingy, or grimy.
    • The image is not dreary or unexciting.
    • The image is not ordinary.
    • The image is well composed.
  • TIMELINESS: The image must be delivered on time.

    • The image is available to the agent when it is needed.
  • UTILITY: The image must contribute to increasing real estate sales.

    • Potential buyers are not distracted from the sales function of the image.
    • Listing clients and potential buyers compliment the images.
    • The marketing content is easily identifiable.
    • The image holds the viewer’s interest.
    • The image gives the listing a competitive advantage.
    • The image enhances the professional reputation of the agent.

From modest to millions, it’s proven:  Professional real estate marketing images help to sell homes more quickly and for more money.  Industry standards help explain why that is so.

SEE ALSO:   Revisiting the Eight Deadliest Mistakes

AND:  Real Estate Photography By the Numbers

DMurrayImages — We specialize in helping real estate agents, vacation property owners, and others gain an edge in the competitive real estate market and achieve faster sales and better prices.


8 replies »

  1. What do you think about the divide between photographer camps on “deceiving” the potential buyer? One camp wants to deliver accurate representations of the property. This camp uses minimal lighting, maybe just a flash blended in the dark areas to brighten the room a little. The opposing camp wants to make the listing look so incredible that potential buyers just have to come see it. They use all the lighting. Big lights outside to catch the trees. Big lights inside to give the ceiling a glow. A soft light to add character to the throw on the bed. It’s similar to how fast food restaurants never deliver the quality that we see on ads. Do you consider using lights deceiving?


    • Definitely NOT deceiving. While, in general, I personally prefer “lights off” and no added lighting, I must admit that added flash very often delivers a MORE REALISTIC image. It’s important that details in the image be clear so they will be visible — no dark corners or overly bright areas. The potential buyer can see the home much better. The method is less important than the outcome — an accurate and true-to-life image. In addition, an image must be attractive and pleasing — and NOT be deceptive, and we must do our best to present the property with the best possible images. That said, deception must NEVER be tolerated. I think the two “camps” you mention agree on much more than they disagree, including ethical practices. Evan, thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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