How to Take Real Estate Photos With Your Smartphone

Updated: Jul 18

Smartphones these days are more than powerful enough to take beautiful photos.


So you’ve finally made the big decision to sell your property. You’ve only completed the first step. Now, you’re going to need to attract potential buyers who would actually want to make the purchase. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set up real estate listings online. It’s quick, easy, and simple.

However, to ensure that your real estate listing stands out, you need to make sure you have enough high-quality photos of your property. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Would you consider visiting a property listed online if it has no photos? Most likely, your answer is no.

There are a couple of ways for you to go about obtaining high-quality real estate photos. First, you can hire a professional real estate photographer to do the heavy lifting for you. Your other option is to take the photos yourself. To help you decide which path is best for you, we’ve compiled the pros and cons of each. If, for whatever reason, you do choose to take the photos on your own, we’ll show you how to do it effectively by simply using your iPhone or Android. Check it out below.


Why Is Real Estate Photography Important?

If you’re reading this article, you probably already acknowledge the importance of good real estate photography. If you’re not too clear on it’s importance, allow us to clarify things for you.

Real estate photography, simply put, is the art and science of taking pictures that beautifully and accurately depict how a certain property looks like. It may seem obvious that good photography is key when drawing in potential buyers of not only property, but buyers of any product. However, after taking a closer look at the following data, you may realize that you aren’t giving enough emphasis on good real estate photography. Check out the data below.

● Homes with high quality photography can sell up to 32 percent faster.

● A home with one photo on its real estate listing takes around 70 days to sell. On the other hand, a home with 20 photos on its listing spends around 32 days on the market.

Why Hire Professional Photographers?

Now that we’ve established that good real estate photography is a must, let’s talk about the first option you have: hiring a professional. Professional real estate photographs are trained specifically to take the best pictures for this specific purpose. It’s their job, after all. You will, of course, have to shell out some cash to hire a professional, but it’s most probably worth it. Here’s why.

You save time. By outsourcing the work, you don’t have to spend much time or effort taking professional photos of your space. The professionals will do everything for you, from setting the stage to post-processing of the photos.

Your listing will stand out. There are so many listings out there with photos that look like they were taken by an amateur. Potential buyers will naturally be drawn to your listing and its professionally-taken photos. By hiring a professional, you’re letting buyers know that you’re serious about doing business and selling them your property.

You will get more offers. This point is related to my previous point. Since your listing will stand out more, you will obviously get more offers. More interested buyers leaves you with more room for negotiation. You can sell your property at a price that is comfortable for you.

Why Take Real Estate Photos Yourself?

If you’ve got some extra time on your hands and some decent photography skills, it’s a completely acceptable option for you to take the real estate photos on your own. There are a few reasons you may want to consider going down this road. Check them out below.

You’re strapped for cash. There are many professional photographers out there who can do a great job at an affordable price. Despite this, you may still not be in a good position, financially speaking, to hire a pro. If that’s the case, you can still do a decent job taking real estate photos on your own. We’ll get to that in a bit.

You work long hours. Most people aren’t comfortable handing over a house key to just anybody. That’s understandable. You may want to be at home when the photographer happens. But what happens if your available hours and the photographers hours just don’t line up? If you find yourself in this situation, it’s fine to take real estate photos on your own, provided you follow the tips and tricks we lay out in this article.

The Home Photographer’s Secret Weapon

No matter how high-resolution your phone’s camera is, chances are it still isn’t capable of taking wide-angle shots. Let’s say you want to take a photo that shows the entirety of your bathroom. Bathrooms are typically small and cramped up spaces. This leaves us with not enough room to step back and take wide enough shots. No matter how far back you step, sections of the room will inevitably be left out from the final shot. The solution? A wide-angle lens attachment.

You can easily obtain a wide-angle lens attachment for your iPhone from Amazon for just 25 bucks. We recommend the TODI 4K lens. You may have a little trouble getting the lens on at first, but the results will be worth it. You instantly expand your phone’s field-of-view, thus allowing you to capture more of a given space in a single shot. Pretty nifty.




The lens attachment can be used for various purposes. It’s great for listing photos, open house walkthroughs, wide-angle selfies, and much more. Today, we’re going to show you how to use it for shooting wide angles in cramped spaces.

Stage the Space

The first step for taking good real estate photos is to stage the space. Luckily, this doesn’t require any photography experience. At all. All you need to do is keep your space clean.

Declutter and clean every room.

Start with the kitchen and remove everything on top of the counters. This includes kitchen appliances such as your microwave, unless, of course, you plan on selling them along with the home.

After the kitchen, start to work your way towards the living room. Remove everything except furniture. This includes messy shoe racks, pet beds, etc. Don’t stop at hiding and removing items. You also need to actually clean the space. Bring out your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the floor. If you have a marble floor, you may want to have it waxed, as well.

Do the same with every other room, until you are sure that the entire house is aesthetically pleasing.

Set up the Lighting

By now, you should have ensured that your entire property is clean and has been decluttered. Let’s take things a step further by utilizing lighting.

Before we move on, let’s try a quick exercise. During the day, walk towards your window. Take a selfie of yourself while facing the window. This maximizes the amount of natural light in the photo. Take a look at the selfie you just took. It’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Now, take a photo of yourself at night. Don’t turn on the light, but go back to the same window and allow the moonlight to serve as natural light. If you review this night time shot, you’ll probably notice that the picture is blurry and grainy. You’ll see lots of artifacts that make the photo look very low-quality. This is the power of proper lighting.

Let’s say you’re about to take photos of your bedroom. The first thing you should do is pull back the curtains and make sure that you get in as much natural light as possible. This is why you should plan out the ideal time to take photos, depending on the lighting outside. In addition to this, make sure to turn on all the light in the room. The abundance of light will give you a better chance of taking a high-quality photograph.

Taking the Photo

Now, we’re going to take the actual photo. Bring out your phone and attach the wide-angle lens that we recommended earlier. You should notice that more of the room is now visible in a single shot.

When framing the photo, be sure to set it up in landscape mode. Ensure that all your vertical lines are aligned. Hold your phone steady and make sure the shot is not taken at a crooked angle. If possible, use a phone tripod or anything that can keep your phone steady.

You’re not done yet. It’s better to play around with lighting, angles, etc. and take various shots. That way, you can review them later on and choose the one that looks most pleasing to you. Don’t forget to make sure you have enough storage space on your phone to accommodate all the other photos you’re about to take of the other rooms around the house.


Post-processing

By now, you’re done taking at least a few photos of every room around the house. Review your photos and choose the best photo of each room. If you followed our advice, these photos should look pretty good. Congratulations! The job isn’t quite done, though. You can make your photos look even better with some simple editing. If you’re on an iPhone, you can have iOS automatically make the adjustments that it sees fit, for each photo. Samsungs and other phones most likely have similar features. Go through your camera app and see if this is available for you.

If you’d like it to take a step further, you can export your photos from your phone to your computer. This way, you can use professional editing software to fine-tune the photos to your liking. We recommend using Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom allows you to adjust various aspects of the photo to your liking. These adjustments include exposure, white balance, clarity, contrast, highlights, HSL, and shadows. If you find out later on that your photo is a little bit crooked, this issue can also be solved with a little bit of editing.

If you’d like your photos to look professionally edited but don’t have any editing experience, you can outsource. Freelancers on websites such as Fiverr can retouch your photos professionally for a low fee and have them ready for you as soon as tomorrow.


Our Services

In this article, we’ve laid out everything you need to know to take professional real estate photos that will absolutely make your listing stand out. If you’re having some trouble taking good photos or simply don’t have the time to do the work involved, Gonz Media Real Estate Marketing can take care of everything for you.

We are a real estate company that specializes in capturing the attention of potential buyers with stunning real estate photography that stands out. We also specialize in high-quality videography, providing a more immersive experience for your potential buyers.

We’ve spent countless hours mastering the best practices of the real estate photography industry. With this much experience under our belt, you can be sure that you’ll be getting premium service and that we’ll be providing you with premium-quality photos.

References

Accinelli, B. (2019, June 13). Why Use A Professional Real Estate Photographer. Real Estate Photography and Video Marketing. https://benaccinelli.com/why-use-a-professional-real-estate-photographer/.

Collins, A., & USA Today. (2019, June 13). How to Take Real Estate Photos Worthy of a Magazine Spread. HomeLight Blog. https://www.homelight.com/blog/how-to-take-real-estate-photos/.

Dwyer, S. (2018, December 12). Shocking Stats About the Importance of Photography in Real Estate. RISMedia. https://rismedia.com/2018/12/12/shocking-stats-importance-photography-real-estate/.

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