Photography Tips for Rental Properties

Photography Tips for Rental Properties

Photography Tips for Rental Properties

Your mission when you are taking photos of your rental property is to get as many good pictures as you can.

Getting the best pictures of your property is not hard, but it will take some effort and technique.

What Camera?

You can take good photos with just about any digital camera less than 5 years old that has a flash. The real question should be, can I use my iPhone or smartphone? Yes you can, if you follow some of the following tips.

iPhone Photography Tips

The biggest drawback of using your iPhone is the lack of flash. That little flash is OK for ‘selfies’, but it just doesn’t have the muscle to light up a room. That being said, the actual camera in most smartphones in the last 3 years can take some really good photos, if you have enough light to begin with.

Try these tips:

  • Turn on the HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature. This feature tells the computer in your iphone to take three pictures at the same time, and then the computer inside your phone combines the best elements of all three shots to give you a real life looking picture.

  • Keep your hand still and wait for your camera to focus before taking the photo

  • Get as much light into your house as possible. I’ll tell you how in a moment..

Furnished or Unfurnished?

Most people like to see pictures of furnished properties because it gives a more personal feel to the property. Others prefer to see an empty room so they can see exactly what they’ll be moving into. Having furniture in the photo also helps to give people a feel for the size of the room.

I have seen some professional photographers furnish an empty property with fake furniture (made out of cardboard) to make a room appear bigger and more open plan than it really is. However, I have also had this work against me.

Declutter in 5 minutes

I’ve taken photos of houses where the tenants are in the final stages of moving (boxes of stuff everywhere!) but still been able to get at least 6 good photos. The trick is to move things around and play with the angles.

  • Remove all tea towels and bath towels

  • Remove remotes and magazines from all bench tops and tables

  • Pack up or put in a box all the small things on the ground

  • If the fridge is loaded with fridge magnets remove them

  • Remove all dishes from the kitchen sink and bench tops.

The key is to get all the small distractions out of the shot which means playing with the angles. Tenants are going to see a great picture in your ad BUT don’t need to know about the pile of stuff behind you!

Show your House in the Best Light

Sunny and bright rooms not only make technically better pictures, people looking for a house to rent respond better to them. Follow these tips to make your pictures brighter:

  • Open all the curtains and blinds

  • Open all the doors (every bit of light counts)

  • Use the flash on your camera

  • Shoot your pictures during the day to take advantage of the light

  • Turn on all the lights (even lamps and the range hood in the kitchen)


About Michael Gilbert

Co-founder & Joint CEO of Cubbi. Common Ground.

I started real estate in 2006 on the NSW Central Coast. Loved it but noticed too many owners and tenants were unhappy with the value most agents were giving or simply wanted another option that didn't involve doing it all themselves. That's how Cubbi came about.

  • Jason

    There is some general good advice here, but I wholeheartedly disagree with using an in camera flash, in real estate photography, in camera flashes create horrible shadows and dark areas. If you must use a flash, use a hot shoe mounted flash with soft-box to defuse the light which can be directed to bounce off walls and ceilings instead of aiming straight forward. Best advice is to not use a flash at all, invest in a tripod and use a slower shutter speed in conjunction with turning on all available lights and opening blinds/curtains.

  • michaelgilber1

    Thanks for your great comments Jason I do agree with most of your points.

    However you are referring to what a professional would do with a DSLR camera or semi-pro camera not your average iPhone or point-and-shoot camera that would be accessible to anyone.

    Here’s a (updated) blog written by a Professional Photographer on this site for iphone/point-and-shoot camera.

  • Jason

    Yes, I do understand that the article was aimed at point and shoot / camera phone users. I just wanted to point out the drawbacks of using a forward firing flash in real estate photography. I am far from using professional grade equipment to my home rental photography, I use a Canon T3i with Canon 10-18mm lens and get very good results and there is no reason why similar shots can not be achieved with an average point and shoot with manual exposure and a tripod. I can’t speak to iPhone photography as I have never owned or used an iPhone for photography,

  • michaelgilber1

    Thanks for sharing Jason. You are certainly years ahead of most real estate agents with their cameras. The camera we had in an office I worked for was not even as good as my iphone and this was 4 years ago! Cheers Jason.