Picture Taking Guide

Here is a short, compressed guide of how to take great photos for mls, zillow, trulia, the office website, and mostly everywhere your photos will appear online. If you don’t want to read the whole guide, at least take note of the first 3 tips.

  1. The most important thing to remember is that you should NEVER turn the camera sideways (portrait view). A photo that is taller than wide will end up either distorted, squashed, or shrunk when posted on MLS and real estate websites. Not following this tip is what causes photos to appear with a white block in half the photo.
  2. The largest resolution ever displayed on real estate websites is 640x480 so it just doesn’t make sense to take extremely high resolution photos that will need to be downsized anyway to be uploaded. If you have a camera you always use for listings, bring it to Billy in the office and he will fix the settings to match this resolution. The office camera has already been fixed to this resolution and is ready for listings.
  3. Don’t expect to get great pictures out of a camcorder, palm pilot, cell phone, or disposable camera. They are mediocre at best and when you are trying to sell a home, mediocre doesn’t go very far.

Follow these 3 steps and your pictures will always come out great.

The remainder of this letter is not urgent information but rather a few short tips on picture taking.

Additional Tips

Concentrate on the main living areas. Bedroom photos don't mean much if they don't show much more than a bed. Unless there is something interesting like a pair of French doors with a view of a pool or something green, or a fireplace, or a nice sitting area, skip the bedrooms.

Bathrooms are very difficult to photograph because they're too small and you can't stand back far enough. Even a beautiful bath is tough to capture because of mirrors and limited space, so it's usually best to skip the bathrooms.

Most important areas to photograph:

  1. The front view
  2. Living room
  3. Kitchen
  4. Formal Dining
  5. Breakfast area
  6. 2nd living area or different angle of living room

If any of the above either don't exist, or can easily be captured in the same photo (i.e., often a breakfast area can clearly be seen in the kitchen photo), then consider:

  1. Backyard/garden/patio area
  2. Foyer/staircase/entry – if noteworthy
  3. Master bedroom if there is something interesting there
  4. Any others are a matter of judgment as to what else captures the essence of the home.

Taking a picture of a bedroom is not ideal. Most of the time it’s just a picture of a bed overpowering the frame. Same thing with a bathroom – If it isn’t breathtaking then chances are you shouldn’t take a picture of it.

Finally, below is the website where this information came from. This goes into a bit more depth and detail than this guide but I feel I highlighted the most important parts in the first 3 steps I mentioned. Every extra thing you do, however, will make your listing that much more presentable and will help it sell quicker and for a higher price. Nobody wants to go visit a house they see on trulia, zillow, mls, etc. if it looks terrible in all of its pictures. Remember these tips and you’ll see an improvement in your sales.