Real Estate Photography (blog below)

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Why hire a professional photographer to market a property?

iPhones, droids, and Samsung phones have incredible cameras for taking photos in a diverse range of lighting conditions. It’s tempting to forego the costs of a professional photographer and rely on the use of a cell phone with a great camera. Although appealing, the cost benefit analysis doesn’t favor this approach.

Professional photographers cost hundreds dollars because they have to invest in expensive equipment and spend time traveling and setting up the shoot, which can take several hours. Most importantly though, is the fact that a small percentage change in the price of a real estate transactions affects the sale price by thousands of dollars. So, why not invest a few hundred dollars in professional pictures that can be used to market your property and increase the sale price by several times that amount?

When vetting potential photographers, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the following terms and marketing ideas:


HDR stands for high dynamic range. This improves the range of color and contrast in digital photography. Essentially, the camera captures multiple images at the same time that have different exposures in a quick sequence. The camera combines these photos to make a single image that is more clean and crisp than a standard photo. 

This is particularly helpful with real estate because photos are often taken in high contrast settings. For example, if you are shooting inside without HDR on a sunny day with a window in the back ground, this will wash out the photo making the inside appear dark. If you adjust the exposure to compensate, the outside becomes extremely bright or even white. With HDR, the darker exposure adds more detail to brighter areas, and vice versa, to prevent this issue.

Virtual Staging

Virtual staging is the process of using a picture of an empty or incomplete room and digitally editing it to add furniture or fixtures. For example, you can add furniture to an empty room to create a welcoming environment, or pictures on the wall to add a touch of interior design. More impressively, in areas that are under construction, editors can even add finishes like drywall where there are only studs. 

Virtual staging can cost up to $50 per room, which costs much less than physically staging a room. In addition, making alterations are significantly quicker and easier via the computer. 


A panoramic photo is taken using specialized technology that captures images with horizontally elongated fields of view. It is a more dramatic version of a wide angle. New iPhones come equipped with the technology, and professional photographers won’t charge anything extra for this feature. Panoramic photos are an important element of virtual tours, covered below. 


Twilight is also known as the golden hour. This is the hour after sunrise or before sunset where the sun does not cast direct light but instead creates a golden glow. It can create a striking difference with outdoor photography, but will have little affect on indoor photography. Shooting during this time is more expensive because it’s the most popular time of day for a photographer. 

Depending on whether the selling points of your property are inside or outside will determine whether it’s necessary to pay extra for twilight photos. 

Blue Sky Guarantee

Blueskly Guarantee is a modern trend that refers to the ability to create blue skies in photographs regardless of weather conditions.  If the weather is overcast or stormy, editors can use programs to eliminate dark clouds in favor of blue skies and sun. This can cost up to $100. 

Aerial Drone Footage

The popularity of drones has helped the price of aerial photos and videos to come down. For $100-$200 most photographers allow you to add drone photos to your package. Viewing real estate photos online can be disorienting, and a 100 foot overview is extremely helpful for determining the orientation  of the property. This helps mentally associate photos of rooms and amenities relative to other features. 

Generally, this is well worth the investment.

Virtual Tours and Showings

Virtual Tours have the fastest growth rate of any type of photography. A virtual tour refers to ability to view a property online as if you were there in person. Special cameras take panoramic photos and stitch them together to create a realistic representation of reality. 

One of the main benefits of a virtual tour is the ability to show the property in the event an in person meeting is too difficult, such as cross country viewing. This opens up the field of potential buyers while simultaneously saving time for both parties. This is extremely helpful in commercial real estate where a listing broker might have to tour the property with dozens of people before finding a qualified tenant. 

Virtual tours can also capture 4k photos, which can be used in place of hiring a traditional photographer. While not quite as crisp as a professional photo, the quality is impressive. 

The best results will be generated by using all of the methods listed above if it’s within your budget. However, we recommend reducing the services to just drone photography and virtual tours if you are cost conscious. You can save approximately 50% of the cost while still receiving 80% of the benefit by using these two services.

If you need help finding the perfect location or your ready to invest in commercial real estate, email us at