Top 7 Challenges Every Real Estate Photographer Will Face (& How You Can Overcome Them!)

High-quality real estate photography can sell a home 32% faster than other listings. In other words, your photos can make or break a big sale.

With that kind of pressure, there are bound to be challenges a real estate photographer faces on a daily basis. Luckily, these challenges are easily avoided with the right planning and know-how.

Let’s look at 7 common real estate photography challenges and how you can overcome each one.

1. Window Light

Does this sound familiar? When you try to take interior shots, the room itself appears darker than the windows. You expose to correct the issue, and either the room gets even darker or the windows become bright, featureless boxes.

You can never get a happy medium.

It’s called dynamic range and it’s a common challenge in real estate photography. Ideally, you want a photo that not only showcases the room but the windows and the view outside as well.

One of the easiest solutions to this problem is to take bracketed exposures. This technique merges 3 to 5 images together in post-processing (HDR). When each exposure merges together, it gives you a photo that is well-exposed throughout the image.

2. Color Balance

It’s the epic battle of natural light versus artificial light. Natural light can look too blue in pictures while light from a lamp is too warm. When using them together in a photo, the color balance is all off.

For a super easy fix, turn off all the lights in the house and photograph using only natural light (be sure to ask the agent if this ‘look’ is acceptable to them).

But a more professional solution is to use strobes to light the interior. The lighting from strobes is more powerful than any other light in the room, overpowering the color imbalance and making it all appear the same. What you get is a crisp, well-lit photo.

3. Tight Spaces

You’re almost always going to photograph a room that is very small, such as a bathroom or pantry. The tight quarters make it a challenge to showcase as much of the space as possible.

Sometimes the only solution you need is to position yourself or a tripod in a doorway. It gives you a little more wiggle room to work with.

Another option is to use a wide-angle lens, though you have to be careful not to distort the picture. You may need to make corrections in post-processing to ensure you keep a straight line throughout the image.

4. Working with Angles

Speaking of angles, they can make or break a real estate photo. Shooting the wrong angle can make a spacious room appear small and cramped. The right one can open up the space and make it feel more welcoming.

Always photograph a room from floor to ceiling. Leaving out the ceiling in a picture will make the room appear short, almost claustrophobic.

Furniture placement also makes a big difference. For example, never take a photograph of the back of a sofa. Arranging yourself so the furniture faces you will make the room appear open and more spacious.

5. Dealing with Room Clutter

Clutter in a home is part of everyday life. But it’s the last thing you want to see when taking property photos.

Ideally, the real estate agent should have a talk with the homeowner about decluttering and staging the house before you come into the property. Not only for photos but for the sake of open houses as well.

If that’s not the case, or the homeowner is blind to their clutter, the challenge for a real estate photographer is having a frank conversation with them. Find a way to explain how beneficial sprucing up the home can be without being offensive. Decide if part of your services is helping the seller in these situations, or if you tell the agent that they need to reschedule for when everything is photo-ready.

Visual aids, such as before and after pictures of clutter, may help them see the difference for themselves.

6. Using Drones

Drone use in photography has been on the rise. But many homeowners, and even real estate agents, underestimate the power of using drones for every property shoot. It can be a real challenge to get them to see the potential.

If the property you’re shooting has an amazing view, using a drone will capture that from an amazing perspective. And, of course, it will be a true selling point that the real estate agent will want.

But drones can also photograph a better angle of the full property. Or if the house has a beautiful roofline, using a drone will capture it better than if the photo came from ground level.

Discuss the benefits of drone use before each photo shoot. Or better yet, plan it as part of your everyday equipment and photo package.

7. Be Prepared

As a real estate photographer, you know how important it is to prepare for each job. To get the best pictures, you need the right equipment, the desired natural light, and a complete shot list.

That can be a challenge when it comes to dealing with real estate agents and homeowners. That’s why it’s important to sit down with them ahead of time to discuss all the details that you can.

If possible, walk through the property with the real estate agent before the shoot to discuss areas that need showcasing. Look over each area and decide what equipment and lighting you will need.

It’s also a good time to see if that dreaded room clutter will be an issue. If so, it’s a problem you can avoid by having that early conversation.

By preparing as much as possible, you will save time and daylight… two of a real estate photographer’s best friends.

Overcome the Challenges of a Real Estate Photographer

You love making a house feel like a home through pictures, and now that you know how to overcome the challenges a real estate photographer can face, you can take beautiful photos that sell.

Want to know how to set up a client management system to make your business run even smoother? Check out how to streamline the process!

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