January 18, 2021

The Evolution of Real Estate Photography Tips

Powerfact: Sometimes Google ISN’T the best way to get answers.

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Keeping Up With The Times

It can be difficult to keep up to speed with the speed of technology. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of real estate photography.  In this article, we examined the top four Google search returns for the query “how to take a real estate photo”, and found, in each case, that the results Google came up with were well past their use-by date.

You’d never guess this, though, from reading the ‘expertise’ offered in the top four Google search returns for “how to take a real estate photo”.

In each case, we found that an agent who followed the advice on any of these sites rather than simply utilizing the products and services offered by would stand to lose thousands of dollars for an end product that was no better (and probably, in many cases, worse) than what could provide.

With smartphone technology being what it is today, and dirt-cheap photo-editing services like, available to every real estate agent on the planet, every real estate agent can now deliver not just good, but stunning real estate photography and virtual tours for their clients – at a very low cost.

There’s No Longer A Need To Invest Thousands In Photography Equipment

For most properties, there is no longer any need to spend thousands on high-end photography equipment. Sure, digital SLR cameras can take wonderful pics if you know how to use them properly, but for the purposes of online real estate marketing in 2021 and beyond, SLRs might be the equivalent of buying a Ferrari to pick up some milk from the corner store.

It’s not necessarily Google’s fault that this truth fails to emerge at the top end of the search. The technology is moving so quickly that a lot of even relatively current advice has passed its expiry date.

It is essential to keep this in mind if you are an agent going to Google for pointers on how to maximize the power of real estate photography.

In order to avoid exploitation, Google likes to keep the exact characteristics of its search algorithm confidential, but one detail that seems consistent is that the longer an article has been online, the more ‘points’ it receives towards its Google search ranking.

Not being aware of this can work against you if you want the best and latest advice on how to maximize the potential of photography to sell a property.

Observe how in the case of our Google search experiment on “How to take a real estate photo” the solutions offers today are so superior to any of the advice given, that they render the information in the top four articles obsolete.

SEARCH QUERY: How to take a real estate photo

Search return #1

The first return under this query belonged to a site called

The post was written six years ago – the same year that came into being. It is not the fault of author Tanya Goddall Smith that the advice she gives in this column is completely outdated. Among her top 10 tips are pointers like “Bring light stands”, “Bring more than one flash”, “Use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom”. Much of Goodall Smith’s advice is aimed at turning real estate agents into professional photographers or encouraging agents to hire professional photographers.

Search return #2

There is no time stamp on this article, and in fairness, it is geared more towards professional photographers or aspiring professional photographers, than it is towards real estate agents.

If you’re an agent who chooses to follow the advice in this article it is going to cost you a lot of money, not to mention a heck of a lot of time spent learning the terminology and techniques it recommends.

This article suggests purchasing a $1000-plus camera, a wide-angle lens, specialized flashes, a remote trigger, light stands, lights, professional photo-editing software, then it suggests the agent learn how to use all these things at a professional level.

Fortunately, by using, an agent can accomplish everything that this article recommends, but can do so using any standard smartphone  Declutter – check. Professional lighting levels – check. Consistency, beauty, professionalism – check, check, check.

before and after of what image enhancement can do to a property in real estate

Search return #3

Anyone familiar with the capabilities and services of will immediately comprehend the limitations of this article on Written in 2018 by Alexa Collins, the article does make some reasonable suggestions. However, the piece’s top two tips for real estate photography no longer apply, now that has entered the property marketing game.

  • Tip #1 ‘declutter and clean every room’. Sure, clean, uncluttered spaces do elicit the best returns in real estate photography, but item removal service means that you don’t have to physically go about removing items from each room you photograph – let do this for you, for a fraction of the time.

before and after of what an image enhancement can do to real estate photos

  • Tip #2 “Now that you’ve cleaned and decluttered the house, you’ll either need to stage it yourself or bring in a professional staging company.” Simply not true.’s “virtual staging” service eliminates the need to physically stage your property, saving you dozens of hours or thousands of dollars, or both. Send a photo of an empty room and for a mere $32 per image, they can virtually stage it for you and have it looking fabulous.

Search return #4:

This post on offers 22 tips for high-quality real estate photography. Though some good, common sense pointers can be found here, there is also some serious mixed messaging going on.

After a litany of extremely technical advice on, for example, ways to fix color temperature, or barrel distortion or managing ISO settings, the article concludes with the suggestion that real estate agents outsource their photo editing to companies like who can save them hundreds of hours in technical headaches, and probably a whole pile of cash.

Interestingly, too, the very first tip this post gives real estate agents is that choosing the time of day might be the most important factor in taking a good property photo.

There is no dateline on the post, but clearly, the author was not aware of’s Day to Dusk service, which completely gets around the challenge of choosing the right time of day to photograph a property.

before and after of enhancing an image to make it more appealing online for real estate

Of course, sunset photographs are compelling. This is why developed its Day to Dusk capability, enabling agents to offer sunset photographs for every property they list, while sparing them the hassle of having to book professional photographers to be there at the perfect moment during this tiny window of time when the sunsets.

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