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Professional Tips for Beautiful Listing Photos

23 Nov

Your listing photos create a crucial first impression. You want the buyer to love what he or she sees and feel inspired by the beauty captured in your pictures. The composition, lighting, and secrets of professionals are what make aesthetically pleasing shots. 

The composition of the photographs is what the viewer most consciously notices. Pay close attention to what is in each picture. Professionally staged rooms are your best bet. Empty rooms are your second choice. If you must show your house with your decor, get rid of your knickknacks and clutter. Each item in the shot must be intentional and well-thought-out.

Good composition is essential, but great lighting is equally crucial. "Lighting is a key factor in creating a successful image. Paying more attention to light is perhaps the single most important step you can take to improve your photography" ( Try to photograph during the brightest part of the day. Open all of the blinds. Open outside doors to let in even more light. Turn off all artificial lights. Turn off your flash. You want bright, natural light.

A good photograph depends upon smart composition and quality light; however, it is the professional secrets that add magic to a picture and cause a shot to resonate with people.

Professional Tip #1: Correct Lens Distortion

What is lens distortion? Put simply, it is when a lens produces curved lines where straight lines should be ( This is particularly noticeable in architectural photographs. Having clean, straight, parallel lines in a shot produces immediate beauty and creates definite improvement to the image as well as adds increased professionalism. 

Example of tilt-shift lens.
Photo: Courtesy of

One way to get photographs with perfectly straight lines is to use a tilt-shift lens. However, a tilt-shift lens requires a professional camera. If you are shooting with a cell phone, you can still achieve the inherent appeal of straight-lined buildings through software programs such as Lightroom or Darktable. Lightroom is a paid program; whereas, Darktable is an open-source, free program. Both offer effective, professional results; Lightroom may be a little easier to use ( YouTube has plenty of videos showing how to navigate both of these programs. The time you spend to learn how to use these will be well worth it!

Professional tip #2: Take bracketed photos and merge them in Photoshop to create the most eye-pleasing picture possible.

Bracketed photos are a series of photos taken of the same subject in the same position from the same vantage point utilizing different exposure value (EV) settings spanning from dark to light. A secure mount on a tripod is a must in order to pull off this technique effectively. The reason for this is the pictures must precisely layer over the top of each other in Photoshop so that you can merge the best qualities of each of the different versions to create the most aesthetically pleasing photograph.

 Bracketing is particularly helpful when photographing the rooms of your house because you want your shot of the more dimly lit inside to have more light exposure and the bright world outside to have less light exposure to avoid a blown-out look blooming outside the window.

 You can set your camera to take the bracketed shots automatically, or you can manually adjust the EV settings and take the bracketed shots yourself. Some high-end cell phones such as the Google Pixel and some iPhones will let you take bracketed shots as well. The end result will be well-lit and professionally highlighted interiors with gorgeous, clear views of the windows' scenery. 

 Professional tip #3: Use a wide angle lens whenever possible

A wide-angle lens will make your home feel larger than it is. This type of lens displays a wider field of view than our vision. Wide-angle lenses are generally used for scenes where you want to capture as much as possible (

Keeping in mind composition, lighting, and the secrets of professionals will vastly improve the aesthetics of your listing photographs and will inevitably boost buyer interest in your home. Once you've got the perfect home pictures, you can upload them to Kayifi when you list your property - free!

interview with Steve Warner, Director of Creative Services, Dynamic Attractions.