The Ultimate Guide to 
Real Estate Photography
Whether the real estate market is hot or not, 95% of homebuyers said they called the listing agent because of the photos. Agents who know the value photos have on the listing’s performance and the reputation are the ones who last keep reading to make sure that you know how to get high quality images, whether you hire a professional real estate photographer or take the photos yourself. 
Hiring a professional real estate photographer
“Professional” is a title used by about anyone with a camera these days. You can recognize a bona fide professional real estate photographer by using the following guidelines:
Do they have the right equipment?
Camera brand doesn’t necessarily matter (Nikon, Canon, and Sony are the most popular), but the following are non-negotiables:
  1. Camera body: minimum of 18 mega pixels (anything less will not produce high enough quality for your print marketing).
  2. Wide-angle lens: 10mm for crop frame sensors and 15mm for full frame sensors will capture any size room.
  3. Tripod & flash: real professionals use a tripod and do not use a flash. 
Pro Tip: if you’re not sure whether your photographer is professional or not, call OBEO’s photography experts to get a free review: 800–729–6236
Do they edit the photos themselves?
Capturing and editing are wildly different skill sets. Professional real estate editors can produce higher-quality results much faster than a professional real estate photographer. For example, it takes about three hours for a professional editor to beautify 25 photos and around 10 hours for a professional photographer to deliver comparable quality. (Great editing takes much longer than the actual photoshoot!)
The result? A professional editor can deliver photos the next day, but a professional photographer would need a couple of days to deliver the same quality.
Pro Tip: If your photographer is not using a professional editor, have them try OBEO’s image enhancement and item removal. It will change their life…and yours.
Do they shoot multiple exposures…in RAW?
Amateurs shoot in JPG (or JPEG), professionals shoot in RAW. There’s literally billions of reasons why RAW gives that much more detail in the image when editing. Shooting multiple exposures per seen (a technique called HDR, or high dynamic range) is ideal for real estate photography, especially when bright light is entering the windows. Beware of the amateur hacks – real estate professionals don’t use the auto HDR setting in their camera and especially don’t use flash.
Pro Tip: If you can’t see clearly through your windows, then it’s time to switch to a real professional at OBEO who knows how to shoot premium photos and HDR photography.
Do they produce consistent quality?
You can always ask for examples. However, to avoid getting unrealistic examples just ask for two of their most recent shoots that aren’t on their website. This will give you a more realistic sense of their quality, then pay attention to a few key elements:
  1. Are some photos darker than others or are all the photos generally the same brightness?
  2. Can you see through the windows or are they super bright (known as “blown-out”)? 
  3. Is the entire image crisp and in focus (zoom in on the picture to see if everything in the foreground and background are in focus)
Pro Tip: To verify your photographer’s quality and consistency for free, send five sample images to Will review and write the images as if they were one of our professional photographers.
Are they reliable?
If you call a reference, here are the best questions to determine reliability:
  1. Are they on time for photoshoot appointments?
  2. How responsive are they to calls and texts? 
  3. How often do they have to be reminded or monitored? 
  4. Do they have a clean background check? 
  5. Do they have insurance?
Pro Tip: Professional photographers might be great at photos, but not so great at managing a calendar. OBEO’s platform forces accountability to service-level agreements so you can get quality content, on time, every time.
Final deliverables
A professional real estate photographer should deliver high-resolution images for print as well as web-optimized images without additional fees
Pro Tip: Showcasing your photos with OBEO’s Property Website is a nice touch that your sellers and will appreciate and likely share to their social media channels.
Taking your own real estate photos
Capturing listing photos by yourself is certainly possible, but to be successful you must first identify why you’re taking the photos and recognize the accompanying risks and rewards.
Avoid the three biggest risks
There’s a lot of reasons and scenarios why you should take the listing photos. Acting as a professional photographer can work as long as it doesn’t:
  1. Impact the listing’s performance: Photos heavily impact sales amount and time on market. 
  2. Jeopardize your relationship with the seller: They hired you because you’re a professional agent first, not because you’re great at taking photos. 
  3. Impact your reputation among peers and potential customers: referrals don’t happen to agents who cheapen in the profession by showing crappy photos
Cost/benefit analysis
Is the photoshoot worth your time? You can get premium photos in your area for $150 from OBEO. If a photoshoot takes about 45 minutes, then you should ask yourself:  is it the best use of your time? Is it the best use of your client engagement? Will you be able to use the photos as marketing collateral?
Get Trained
Whether you’re shooting with a mobile device or a DSLR, you can avoid amateur mistakes and produce quality images with a little training. The two primary elements in your training must include composition and camera settings.
Pro Tip: OBEO’s free photographer training course is an excellent resource. Get access by emailing
Hire a professional real estate editor
Your ultimate weapon to great photos is leveraging a professional editor. There are unique skills that can transform average photos into eye-catching works of art. Editing is where the magic happens. If a professional photographer uses one, you should too!
Pro Tip: See the power of a professional editor. OBEO’s Image Enhancement will edit 5 photos for free when you use the code: 5forFREE
What to know about photo editing?
Performance time is the great separator between professional editors and photographers. If you want to maintain high quality and need photos fast, then professional editors are required.
Professionals use Photoshop. It’s the premier editing software that empowers the editor to manipulate photos to their highest capacity. Every camera and lens manufacture interfaces with Photoshop and even tries to mimic some of its capabilities. It’s that good.
Pro kitchen knives don’t make you Gordon Ramsay. Pro golf clubs don’t make you Tiger Woods. A professional editor will employ around 20 techniques to produce a premium photo. Mastery of these techniques is the art that separates amateurs from professionals.
About OBEO
OBEO provides reliable, high-quality real estate photography and editing services at affordable prices. Whether you use our photographers or editors, you get quality content, on time, every time. Call 800–729–6236 to get started or visit
Photography Services
When you need a professional that has the equipment and expertise to capture the best angles that really showcases the property. 
Use this Promo code to get 50% off your first order:
Editing Services
When you have your own photos, but you need a professional to touch them up so they really pop. 
Use this Promo code to get 5 images edited for FREE:
Marketing Suite is included with every order
Making it easy to share your listing by automatically creating a customizable listing website, brochure templates, and social postings.