The benefits of virtual staging for Real Estate Photographers

Virtual staging photography offers numerous benefits for real estate photographers, such as enhancing real estate advertising by showcasing well-furnished interiors, attracting more potential buyers, and ultimately leading to faster sales and higher offers.

By offering virtual staging services, photographers can increase their property sales commissions, reach a wider audience both locally and globally, and create a more scalable business model.

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Picture of George Nicola
George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

This article offers valuable insights for both amateur and professional real estate photographers on leveraging virtual staging services to enhance their offerings and stand out in a competitive market.

The real estate photography industry is advantageous, and with the ever-growing competition, many forward-thinking photographers are eager to elevate their services by incorporating virtual staging or working in tandem with home stagers not only to bring to life photos of vacant listings.

By doing so, they can showcase well-furnished interiors, attract more potential buyers, and ultimately lead to faster sales and higher offers.

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What is virtual staging photography?

Growing a real estate photography business requires diversification. Virtual staging photography is an add-on service professional photographers use to enhance real estate advertising and improve property presentations on social media.

By offering virtual staging, photographers can create curb appeal, boost their real estate photography business, and provide clients with visually appealing staged images that attract potential buyers.

How to offer virtual staging as a photography service?

To offer virtual staging as a photography service, you can consider several approaches, including hiring a virtual staging company, using a DIY method, or using bespoke virtual staging software.

Hiring a virtual staging company: Partnering with a professional virtual staging company like TALLBOX can provide high-quality results and save time. These companies have the expertise and resources to create realistic staging designs tailored to your client’s preferences.

Using DIY virtual staging: Applydesign, one of the prominent DIY solutions, requires no software knowledge for decent results. More custom virtual staging software options are available to help you create realistic staging designs.

It is imperative that virtual staging is utilized with honesty and transparency by both real estate agents and sellers and not used as a tool to mislead prospective buyers or renters.

Read more about how to learn what is virtual staging disclaimer.

Have a project to stage? We know how to do virtual staging effectively >

Photography For Real Estate Interiors book

Photography for Real Estate Interiors: How to take and create impressive interior photos” by Nathan Cool is a comprehensive guide for shooting high-quality interior real estate photography. Updated in February 2023, this book covers everything from gear to editing, composition, lighting, settings, techniques, and more.

With real-world examples, screen shots, diagrams, and links to video tutorials, readers will learn how to stand out and produce professional real estate interior photos.

Nathan Cool, a professional photographer specializing in real estate and architecture, provides practical techniques and insights that are valuable for both beginners and experienced photographers in the real estate industry

Why virtual staging is important real estate photography?

There are three golden rules:

1) The golden rule number 1 in real estate photography is for the photographer to provide the best service to their clients, being agents, sellers, or else. And virtual staging comes in handy in delivering significant business advantages for photographers.

2) Golden rule number 2 is to avoid cheap escape agents who want everything at the lowest possible price, have quick results and are unreliable in their feedback.

3) Golden rule number 3 is to provide consistently top-notch photographs. Never deviate from the workflow or quality guidelines you’ve set, no matter what.

Following these three golden rules and offering this service, photographers can create visually appealing staged images that attract potential buyers, increasing home sales and making long-term partners in the face of agents and sellers.

This unique selling point helps them stand out in a competitive market and establish a solid online presence for their client’s properties.

It is a cost-effective alternative to traditional home staging, making it an attractive option for photography businesses to earn extra income and contribute to the photographers’ business growth.

How Photographers Benefit from selling Virtual Staging?

Staging real estate photos unlock numerous benefits and long-term possibilities for photographers. It enhances the perceived value of the services by combining real estate photography with cost-effective home staging.

Here are some of the critical advantages photographers can gain from selling this add-on service:

#1 Attract Home Buyers Quickly

For non-believers, offer a trial or free staged photos. By integrating real estate photography with digital staging, potential buyers can be drawn more quickly.

This can be used as leverage when a photographer approaches a new estate agent.

Digitally furnished spaces will enable real estate agents to improve the quality of their listings by at least x2 folds. Opening new possibilities for all reduced listings to be re-listed as fresh new stock.

2# Customize and Visualize Different Styles

Digital staging offers the ability to tailor spaces according to potential buyers’ preferences, accommodating their unique tastes and styles. Showcasing a variety of styles targeted at the desired audience results in immediate satisfaction and appeals to a wider range of buyers.

3# Sell Photography Services for a Higher Price

Pairing high-quality real estate photography with digital staging allows to better appreciate the property’s value compared to others in the market.

This advantage enables photographers to pitch for more projects, charge higher prices for their main services and stagings, and broaden their offerings to include related technologies like 3D renderings and floor plans.

4# Win More Premium Listings

Providing digital staging and virtual tours can give clients’ properties a competitive advantage over other premium listings, resulting in increased property evaluation requests.

This improved presentation highlights the property at its best and assists photographers in securing more upscale projects.

tallbox virtual staging

Have a project to stage? We know how to do virtual staging effectively >

Tips for real estate types you can shoot

It is essential to acknowledge that incorporating virtual staging sales with real estate photography works best with specific types of homes, but it’s not limited to vacant spaces only.

Even though the profit from cluttered spaces might not be as from staging vacant spaces, you can shoot any home regardless of size, space, or condition. 

If previously dimly lit, cluttered, and unkempt listings from agents weren’t appealing and the best for a portfolio, this add-on broadens the client base.

Below are the 5 general categories of various types of real estate properties you can shoot:

Virtual staging photography for Flats or Apartments

  • Flats or Apartments

A flat is British, while an apartment is American, but both terms describe the same thing! These residential homes are part of a large building, usually in an apartment block or a skyscraper style.

Instead of hiring a home stager professional to assist in the process, agents can utilize the cost-effective services of photographers to:

Showcase the space: Adding furniture to the flat helps potential buyers or renters visualize how they could utilize it.
Add homey touches: Incorporating small accents like cut flowers, house plants, or candles creates a more welcoming atmosphere.
Create conversation spaces: Arranging furniture to encourage conversation and socializing makes the flat more inviting.
Keep it neutral: Using neutral colors and decor appeals to a broader range of potential buyers or renters.
Illuminate the space: Ensuring the flat is well-lit with natural and artificial lighting enhances its appeal.
Highlight the flat’s character: Emphasizing unique features, such as a fireplace or exposed brick walls, helps the flat stand out.

Virtual staging photography for Detached or Single Family Homes

  • Detached or Single Family Homes

As the name suggests, detached homes are standalone real estate properties. They don’t share a wall with another property and offer more privacy. This heightened privacy makes them more expensive and high in demand in various regions, especially in the US.

Located primarily in suburbs, detached or single-family homes work well with digital staging due to their spaciousness.

Here are some tips for photographing and staging detached or single-family homes:

Virtually staged home in traditional style Image by TALLBOX
Vacant virtually staged single family home in traditional style / Image by TALLBOX

Design for the camera, not for the end user: When arranging a space, prioritize the camera’s perspective. Consider if the angle looks right, highlights the house’s best features, and if the light hits the items correctly.
Avoid common photo blunders: First impressions are crucial when buyers view numerous home photos online. Ensure toilet seat lids are closed in bathroom shots, avoid taking photos with the TV on, and move any vehicles in the driveway before taking pictures. If necessary, use digital removal to complete the task.
Consider curb appeal: Detached or single-family homes sell best with good curb appeal. If the listing lacks this, use digital staging to enhance the property and blend seamlessly with the surroundings.
Stage every room: Utilize a room-by-room guide on stage a house for photos.
Consult the seller about the home: Sellers often have the best knowledge of the home’s solid features and selling points. If possible, ask for their opinion on the property’s best-selling features, rooms or areas to photograph that might not be immediately visible, and the best angles or perspectives for each room.
Ask the sellers to help prepare the home: Ensure the home is clean and decluttered.
Take photos on a bright, sunny day: The sun should be behind the house for better shots of the front exterior and optimal lighting inside.
Consider shooting at twilight for awe-inspiring results: Houses often have a different, more dramatic appearance at night or twilight, and such photos are becoming popular among potential buyers.

Virtual staging photography for Semi-detached Properties

  • Semi-detached Properties

Semi-detached properties are a pair of houses that share a common wall with the key purpose of saving space. They are very common in the UK as real estate developers use a portion of their piece of land to build two properties instead of one.

The most significant advantage of semi-detached properties is the high level of privacy that comes with them, which many potential buyers seek in a new home.

However, the photographer’s task it’s not easy, shooting can be daunting, especially if the other homeowner does not buy the idea to prepare the property in advance.

Here are some tips for photographing and staging semi-detached properties:

• Declutter: Remove any unnecessary items from the property, such as wheelie bins, to make it look clean and organized. If not possible, virtual removals can do the job.
• Clean: Ensure the property is clean and tidy, especially in areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. Even simple cable management helps! 
• Remove personal items: Remove any personal items, such as family photos, to make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the property.
• Maximize natural light: Open curtains and blinds to let in natural light and make the property look bright and inviting.
• Hide unsightly items: Move any items, such as garbage cans, lawn equipment, toys, bicycles, or garden mess, out of the shot.
• Ensure all lights work: Check that all light fixtures in the property turn on with a working light bulb. A light bulb costs less than a dollar, buy 10 in a box and always carry them with you, ensuring they are within the same color range.
• Consider timing: Try taking photos at different times of the day to show the property in different lighting conditions.

Virtual staging photography for Cottages

  • Cottages

Semi-detached properties are a pair of houses that share a common wall with the key purpose of saving space. They are very common in the UK as real estate developers use a portion of their land to build two properties instead of one.

The most significant advantage of semi-detached properties is the high level of privacy that comes with them, which many potential buyers seek in a new home.

However, the photographer’s task it’s not easy; shooting can be daunting, especially if the other homeowner does not buy the idea to prepare the property in advance.

Here are some tips for photographing and staging semi-detached properties:

  • Create the illusion of space: Make the cottage feel more spacious by decluttering and removing unnecessary items.
  • Focus on lighting: Ensure the cottage is well-lit inside and outside to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Highlight natural materials: Bring the outdoors indoors by highlighting the home’s stone foundations and wooden beams. To create a cozy and rustic feel, you can add raw materials such as plants, flowers, and wood accents.
  • Set the mood: Use scents, music, and lighting to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.
  • Be prepared to declutter and depersonalize your cottage: Remove personal items and family photos to allow potential buyers or renters to envision themselves in the space.
  • Repair and update: Make necessary repairs and updates to the cottage to ensure it is in good condition and up-to-date.
  • Consider the area and demographic: Understand the size and demographic of potential buyers or renters to tailor the staging to their preferences.
  • Consult with a real estate agent: If you need help staging your cottage, it’s a good idea to consult with your staging partners. They can evaluate your property and give you advice that considers the local market and the preferences of potential buyers.

Virtual staging photography for Bungalows

  • Bungalows

Semi-detached properties are a pair of houses that share a common wall with the key purpose of saving space. They are very common in the UK as real estate developers use a portion of their land to build two properties instead of one.

The most significant advantage of semi-detached properties is the high level of privacy that comes with them, which many potential buyers seek in a new home.

However, the photographer’s task it’s not easy; shooting can be daunting, especially if the other homeowner does not buy the idea of preparing the property in advance.

To get the best out of a bungalow with photography and staging, consider these tips:

  • Design for the camera: Think of the camera first when creating the plan. Consider the angle, the house’s best features, and how the light will hit the items.
    Check out the competition: Look at bungalows for sale in that area and their online photos. Can you improve on them?
    Know what to cover: Take two wide-angle shots of each bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room. Take one photo of the bathroom unless it’s incredibly beautiful or spacious.
  • Take one to three photos of the backyard and one to two shots of the front of the home to show off the “curb appeal.” Capture one shot of each feature, including the laundry room, garage, and pantry.
    Walk through the home before shooting: Each home is different. Get a feel for the space before picking up the camera, and mentally note the best angles and any small items you may need to move or adjust.
    Prepare the space: Remove the seller’s items before taking photos. Spend up to an hour constructing the scene for one perfect shot. Hide clutter that will not look appealing in the photos.
    Light it up: For north-facing properties, any time between 10:00 and 14:00 is suitable, and for south-facing properties, take photos first thing in the morning or last thing in the day. The reason for photographing properties with different aspects at different times is to have the sun behind you when looking at the front of the home. This ensures the photos will be bright and saturated with color, which cannot be achieved when photographing in shadows.
    Fluff the carpet: Keep the space clean and tidy. Fluff the pillows and straighten the rugs.
    Capture details: Include trendy or beautiful shots that excite buyers and encourage them to stop scrolling and pick up the phone.

How Photographer’s Clients Benefit from Virtual Staging

Apart from the cost-effectiveness of the real estate photographer, virtual staging has additional benefits to the clients.

Not only does virtual staging cost less for the photographer’s clients, but they will also get more than they pay for. This is beneficial, especially for remote buyers who spend many hours shopping for a home online.

As a new photographer or if you are reconsidering changing your profession to be a photographer, virtual staging can benefit your potential clients in various ways. These include.

Styles and Design Trends

By incorporating virtual staging into their photography services, photographers can effectively identify and categorize potential homebuyers based on their preferences for styles and design trends in the real estate market.

This targeted approach allows photographers to showcase properties that are closely aligned with the tastes and interests of their clients, increasing the likelihood of a successful match.

Example:

Imagine a young couple, John and Jane, searching for their first home. They specifically prefer modern, minimalist design with an open-concept layout. As potential homebuyers, they represent a specific profile within the real estate market.

A photographer specializing in virtual staging can create buyer persona profiles and with this information find and create a targeted property listing for John and Jane. For this, they can work with estate agents with expired listings or re-listings.

The photographer can present a curated list of properties that closely align with the couple’s preferences. In return, the business receives a commission and increased interest 

Photography Use Cases

virtually staged room in a Mediterranean style
Staging use-case. Staged hhouse in Mediterranean style / Image by TALLBOX

When photographers capture images of their clients’ empty rooms and are asked to assist in selling the property as is, this presents an opportunity to showcase previous virtual staging projects that successfully attracted real estate agents in a short period.

Demonstrating the “before” and “after” settings is essential for enhancing the marketing image of their real estate photography businesses.

The presentations of virtual tours and staging remain in the photographers’ portfolios even after closing a sale.

As a result, utilizing these case studies saves them significant time when explaining to prospective clients how to incorporate specific architectural features into their empty rooms, rejuvenate neglected gardens, or restore faded lawns.

Photography Marketing Materials

Optimizing property images is not solely about creating a presentation for real estate agents and disregarding the material. It involves strategically leveraging the material even after the project is complete.

Photographers can send the “before” and “after” variations to real estate agents in various sizes suitable for websites, smartphones, and printed material.

virtually staged home in contemporary traditional style
Virtually staged home in contemporary traditional style prepared for printing / Image by TALLBOX

Pricing photography add-ons

Pricing photography add-ons, such as virtual staging, can be a valuable source of additional income for real estate photographers. The cost of virtual staging services varies depending on factors like the company providing the service, the property’s size, and the project’s complexity.

As a real estate photographer, you can charge clients per image or offer to price based on volume, monthly subscription, turnaround time, and staging quality. 

Freelance virtual stagers charge, on average, anywhere from $7 to $90 per photo, and established staging companies charge $50 to $140 on average. Hence, on average, 20% per staged image is acceptable as a resale value.

  • Luxury Virtual Staging – High-end furniture, decorations, and lighting are used to create a genuinely luxurious first impression in this virtual staging service.
virtual staging
Luxury staged living room for $3.5m in neo traditional style / Image by TALLBOX
  • Animated Virtual Staging – A brief (up to 5 seconds) animation that displays the makeover details, captivating potential buyers.
  • Lifestyle Staging – Combining real estate marketing and virtual reality, this service creates an emotional and immersive experience for the buyer by incorporating furniture and décor from well-known brands that cater to their tastes.
  • Themed Staging – Revitalizing a property by adding décor corresponding to a specific theme, such as spring, summer, autumn, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more.
  • Virtual Decluttering – A service that virtually eliminates clutter from photographs.
  • Virtual Outdoor Staging – Enhancing the outdoor areas, including yards, facades, patios, etc., to improve the property’s exterior appearance.

Each virtual staging service varies in cost, with more sophisticated and value-adding options generally carrying a higher price tag.

However, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for your client’s needs. Select a service that aligns with the property type you will photograph, the target audience, and the price tag of the property.

How to Sell Virtual Staging to Realtors

To effectively sell virtual staging to realtors, consider the following strategies inspired by Photography for Real Estate:

  1. Demonstrate the benefits: Emphasize the cost-effectiveness, convenience, and flexibility of virtual staging compared to traditional staging. Explain how it can help attract more potential buyers and increase the chances of a successful sale.
  2. Provide samples: Offer staged photos of the property using real estate marketing materials; this will help realtors visualize the impact of virtual staging on their listings.
  3. Educate realtors: Offer informative resources, such as blog posts (What You Need To Know To Hire A Virtual Staging Company) to help realtors understand the process and benefits of virtual staging. This will build trust and credibility in your services.
  4. Offer additional services: Besides virtual staging, consider providing services like Matterport, Giraffe360, or other types of virtual tours. Collaborate with proven partners skilled in using Matterport cameras to deliver accurate digital versions of residential or commercial properties that realtors want to sell faster.
  5. Provide data integration: Enhance the 3D versions by integrating key data for references, such as property specifications, floor plans, and interactive hotspots. This will make the virtual tours more informative and engaging for potential buyers.
  6. Tailor your services: Understand the specific needs of each realtor and customize your services accordingly.
  7. Offer a satisfaction guarantee: To build trust and confidence in your services, consider offering a satisfaction guarantee or a free trial for first-time clients. This will give realtors a risk-free opportunity to experience the benefits of working with you.
Virtually staged home in British country style
For sale by developer virtually staged home in British country style / Image by TALLBOX

How to Sell Virtual Staging to Home Owners

Catering to individual homeowners may be less profitable for photographers. This is because achieving scalability and maintaining efficiency can be more challenging when dealing directly with homeowners.

Instead, photographers can focus on partnering with real estate agents or agencies, who typically have a more extensive network and a steady flow of properties to stage.

By offering virtual staging services to these professionals, photographers can increase their property sales commissions, reach a wider audience locally and globally, and create a more scalable business model.

Photography tips and Virtual Staging – Techniques

Part of the real estate photography basics says that good marketing requires effort.

Using your smartphone or point-and-shoot cameras to take photos for virtual staging is not recommended but possible.

In real estate photography, the wide-ranging exposure to light makes it crucial to capture photos using a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera, a feature absent in high-end smartphones and cheap cameras.

The 3D images can be impeccably blended using photo-editing software to deliver a single photo with perfect lighting, highlighting every detail beautifully for potential buyers and tenants to enjoy.

The following cameras are our recommended picks for virtual staging from the cheapest to the most expensive:

  1. Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80

Easily capture transitory moments with the long-zoom range capabilities of this high-tech camera using 4K photo mode. Its high-resolution stills and ultra-high speed focusing helps you shoot photos at up to 30 frames per second with foresight in full details.

Key Specifications:

  • 18.1 megapixels 1/2.3″ MOS sensor
  • 4K UHD video recording at 30p
  • Lumix DC Vario 60x Zoom Lens
  • ISO 6400, 10 fps Shooting, 4K Photo Mode
  • Post Focus and Focus Stacking
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity

Retail Price Range: From £260 to £365

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5

Upgraded with out-of-this world features, this state-of-the-art multimedia device shoots remarkable still photos and captures outstanding 4k videos that many real estate photographers yearn for in a single compact camera. Its Post Focus function gives it a competitive edge over its rivals since it gives you the power to focus after taking a shot for a sharpest ever imagery!

Key Specifications:

  • 20 megapixels Four Thirds sensor
  • 9 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization system
  • All 4K footage taken using full width of sensor
  • Video Frame Rates 4K: Max. 60fps & FHD: Max. 180fps
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Post Focus and Focus Stacking

Retail Price Range: £990 to £1,699

  • Nikon D750

Captures fast-paced, full-frame DSLR images by switching between stills and video effortlessly. Manages exposure during recording using its cinematic video capabilities, including zebra stripe highlighting; custom-tone curves, in-camera profiles for picture control, and a flat profile for colour grading applications.

Key Specifications:

  • 24.3 megapixels Full-frame
  • Tilting LCD monitor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 6.5 FPS continuous shooting
  • 100-12,800 ISO sensitivity range
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps

Retail Price Range: From £739 to £2,416

  • Sony Alpha7 III

With a restructured sensor design, this Mirrorless Digital Camera is ideal for capturing photos and videos for more decisive moments in various working conditions. Its sophisticated low-light performance, advanced speed, wide frame coverage and improved autofocus capabilities easily tracks every still and moving subjects excellently.

Key Specifications:

  • 24 megapixels full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 10 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • 4K UHD video capture up to 30p
  • 100-51,200 ISO Expandable to 204,800
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Front-End LSI & BIONZ X Image Processor

Retail Price Range: £1,445 to £2,270

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

This exceptional workhorse camera is the epitome of still photography and 4K-enabled videos. Its full-frame image processor has the ability to balance performance and sensitivity with fine detail in close-up shots for a meticulous photos that pursue perfection.

Key Specifications:

  • 30.4 megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 7 FPS continuous shooting at 30 MP for up to 21 Frames
  • 4K JPEG video at 30p
  • DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
  • 100-32000 ISO Expandable to 102,400
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and GPS

Retail Price Range: From £1,670 to £2,880

  • Nikon D850

For super high resolution photos with DSLR image quality, Nikon D850 allows real estate photographers to enjoy continuous shooting astoundingly thanks to its amazing sensor design, dynamic range, battery life, autofocus, and Silent Photography in Live-View mode. It is also embedded with Speedlight control, focus shift capability and low-light shooting needs.

Key Specifications:

  • 45.7 megapixels full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 7 FPS Continuous Shooting
  • 4K UHD video capture up to 30p
  • Battery life lasts up to 1840 shots
  • 64-25,600 ISO Expandable to 102,400
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity

Retail Price Range: From £1,840 to £3,150

  • Nikon Z9

45.7 megapixels full-frame stacked CMOS sensor

  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • 8K UHD video recording at 30p
  • 100-51,200 ISO sensitivity range
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Retail price range: £5,499

  • Sony A1

50.1 megapixels full-frame stacked CMOS sensor

  • 30fps continuous shooting
  • 8K UHD video recording at 30p
  • 100-32,000 ISO sensitivity range
  • 6-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Retail price range: £4,500

  • Canon EOS R3

24.2 megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor

  • 20fps continuous shooting
  • 6K CRAW video recording at 60fps
  • 100-102,400 ISO sensitivity range
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Retail price range: £4,499

Camera Lenses

Before spending your hard-earned money to buy a camera specifically for virtual staging, you must ask yourself: What lens is best for interior photography?

At Tallbox, we hold cameras in the highest regard, but lenses are more important than all other vital tools of our trade, including cameras, tripods, lighting gear, etc.

As a professional real estate photographer, the following list of lenses and their specs will help you take high-quality photos for virtual staging:

  1. Canon EF-S 10-18 mm

This lens has impeccable color neutrality, and image contrast thanks to its wide-angle zoom and incredible focal length range. Its eye-catching optical design has a large diameter and an ultra-low dispersion element to reduce chromatic anomalies throughout the zoom range for excellent image sharpness and clarity.

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 2.9 inches (diameter), 2.8 inches (length)
  • Filter Size: 67mm diameter
  • Focal length: 10-18mm
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.72 feet
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5-5.6 to f/22-29
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 108 degrees to 74 degrees

Retail Price Range: £186 to £440

  • Tamron 10-24mm for Canon EF

This wide zoom lens is convenient in low-light properties and is also fixed with weather sealing to prevent it from catching dust and moisture when shooting. The front element lengthens to approximately a-quarter inch, so most of the focusing and zooming occur internally. For properties with landscapes and skylines, its super-fast autofocus definitely pays off.

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.3 inches (diameter), 3.29 inches (length)
  • Filter size: 77mm diameter
  • Focal length: 10-24mm
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.78 feet
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5-4.5 to f/22-29
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 108 degrees to 60 degrees

Retail Price Range: From £307 to £599

  • Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 16-35mm

Released in February 2010, many amateur and professional photographers have praised this superb ultra-wide lens for its ability to capture landscapes and interiors without sacrificing brightness or depth of field. Its focal lengths sweep an extensive range thanks to its handheld steadiness, sharp focusing, image stabilization, vibration reduction, and rich color rendering.

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.25 inches (diameter), 4.92 inches (length)
  • Filter size: 77mm diameter
  • Focal length: 16-35mm
  • Closest focusing distance: 1.0 feet
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 107 degrees to 63 degrees

Retail Price Range: From £780 to £1,170

  • Tamron SP 15-30mm for Nikon F

This high-speed lens covers a resourceful range of ultra-wide-angle focal lengths to provide sharp, flawless images even in peripheral properties. Its improved optical design and image stabilization make it a suitable pick for capturing architecture and landscapes with stunning foreground features.

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.87 inches (diameter), 5.61 inches (length)
  • Filter size: None
  • Focal length: 15-30mm
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.92 feet
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 110 degrees to 71 degrees

Retail Price Range: From £674 to £1,101

  • Canon EF 16-35mm lens

Whether you are an amateur or an expert real estate photographer, this high-performance lens is ideal for you because of its outstanding wide-angle performance and its edge-to-edge image quality, even in low-light conditions. It perfectly fits most full-frame Canon cameras and maintains clarity, even when you can hardly get the best lighting in a property.

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.5 inches (diameter), 4.4 inches (length)
  • Filter size: 82mm, P=0.75mm/1 filter
  • Focal length: 16-35mm
  • Closest focusing distance: 0.92 feet
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22
  • Diagonal angle of view: 108 degrees to 63 degrees

Retail Price Range: From £650 to £1,365

Type of Tripods

The proper selection of a tripod will always have a positive impact on the photos you take of various properties.

Therefore, avoiding shopping only for the cheapest ones is advisable. As a professional real estate photographer, ensure the tripod you are going for has three essential qualities: excellent stability, outstanding durability, and great extendability.

As you search for the most suitable one for your professional needs, we recommend the following:

  1. Neewer Camera Tripod Monopod Carbon Fiber 

With an incredible extendability of up to 1.9m, this tripod tops our list when it comes to capturing interior photos. You can easily adjust the legs for extra height in elongated rooms like the kitchen.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 2 kg
  • Load Capacity: 12 kg
  • Leg sections: 4
  • Min Height: 62cm
  • Extended height: 191cm

Retail Price Range: From £111 to £130

  • The Manfrotto BeFree Advanced Tripod

Due to its ability for quick setup and pack-up, this small and light tripod is the best companion for professional photographers who are constantly on the move. With 3 independent angles that inspire creative framing, it is an excellent choice for taking beautiful panoramic scenes.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Load Capacity: 8 kg
  • Leg sections: 4
  • Min Height: 40cm
  • Extended height: 150cm

Retail Price Range: From £129 to £177

  • Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod

This unique tripod is designed for savvy amateurs who are just starting. The entire set is easy-to-use as it effortlessly fulfills the demands of the most challenging shoots.

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.52 kg
  • Load Capacity: 5 kg
  • Leg sections: 3
  • Min Height: 42cm
  • Extended height: 160.5cm

Retail Price Range: From £129 to £177

Remote Triggers

In real estate photography, a blurry image is a big no-no. Sometimes this can be difficult if your camera keeps shaking once you press the shutter-release button by hand or if you want to capture a shot from afar.

The remedy for clear images is using a remote control trigger. Below are our 3 top picks:

  1. Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Control

Covering up to 16 ft. (5 m), this remote trigger allows you to capture scenes effortlessly by changing between an immediate or 2-second delay. It has a nice minimalist design and fits well in your hand.

  • Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control

This remote trigger is fitted with infrared and lets you shoot photos and videos from 6 ft. (5 m) away. It comes with an immediate release mode and a 2-second delay mode. It’s a suitable choice for your night-time photoshoots.

  • Panasonic Remote Control for Lumix S Series DMW-RS2E  

The Panasonic remote control is compatible with all Lumia S Series digital cameras and allows you to shoot continuously. The connection cable tethered to your camera extends up to a maximum of 80 cm and comes with another 2 m long extension cable.

Flash

If you want to capture photos with optimal lighting, flashes will help you capture a rich image with less shadows. Below are our recommended flashes for taking decent photographs of real estate interiors.

  1. Profoto D1 Air 1000W/s

This relatively lightweight and compact flash comes with an air remote, among many other practical features. You can blend it with other real estate photography equipment for better outcomes to get a better-detailed color.

  • Yongnuo 560 III  

This powerful, affordable and durable flash is a great fit for professional real estate photographers who work around the clock. You can make it an integral part of your interior photography lighting setup without worrying about losing or breaking it.

  • Canon Speedlites

If you need to take impeccable shots in a small room that is dimly lit, bring with you Canon Speedlites! This small and highly portable flash will be useful in reducing the time you would spend editing real estate photography after every shoot.  

Flash Trigger

Currently, the market is flooded with many affordable flash triggers, which can make it difficult for you to determine the most suitable one for your real estate photography. Below is a list of our top 3 flash triggers.

  1. Yongnuo RF-603 

For a higher sync speed and good performance that does not fade with extended usage, you need a Yongnuo RF-603 II flash trigger. It also works well with many non-Canon and Nikon cameras at unbeatable prices!  

  • CowboyStudio NPT-04   

For real estate photographers who are comfortable using manual flash settings, this flash trigger is a great way to activate some off-camera flashes. Its exceptional durability gives you the liberty to throw them in your bag and some spare batteries and you are good to go.

  • Yongnuo RF-602C  

This flash trigger comes with a hot-shoe-mounted transmitter with a PC sync port and a receiver that feels quite solid in hand. And for its affordability, you can hardly go wrong.

Light Modifiers

Light modifiers are artificial lights that can improve the lighting in real estate photos by softening harshness, highlighting the mood of a scene, or flattering a subject. Below are our top 3 picks:

  1. Photography Umbrellas

Due to their affordability, portability, and easy-to-use capabilities, umbrellas are widely used by real estate photographers. They are two types: diffusion umbrellas, which soften the light by pointing the light source at the subject, and reflective umbrellas, which bounce light on the subject by pointing it on a silver or white surface in the opposite direction.

  • Softboxes

Softboxes are usually placed over a light source to soften and diffuse it through a panel of white fabric. The larger the box, the softer the light.

  • Scrims

These are large pieces of diffusion fabric stretched over a frame. Typically, they are very costly but large enough to diffuse light from an illuminated interior and create your own shade if shooting outside.

The ideal focal length for virtual staging depends on the camera type:

  • For DSLRs or interchangeable lens cameras, use 18-22mm.
  • For cropped sensor bodies, avoid wider than 12mm; for full-frame cameras, use 16-18mm.
  • On full-frame cameras, a 50mm wide-angle or standard lens is recommended.

The goal is to capture the room’s sense of space without distorting proportions. In real estate photography, suitable focal lengths vary based on the property’s size and space, with 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm standards for exteriors and spacious interiors.

For distant or detailed shots, use 70mm or 85mm; for tighter spaces, opt for 16mm, 14mm, or 11mm.

A tilt-shift lens lets you shoot the entire height of a property without the need to tilt your camera. Generally, you won’t find any zoom lenses that are tilt-shift, and that’s why they are very costly.

Since real estate photography is more about producing volumes at much lower price points, the tilt-shift lens is not a great fit because it lacks the zooming ability, which will force you to switch lenses frequently.

If you are an amateur real estate photographer who wants to incorporate virtual staging, we don’t recommend tilt-shift lenses unless you are specifically working with luxury homes, which demand a more architectural shoot.

In real estate photography, preparation is essential. Therefore, before the very day of the actual real estate photo shoot:

  • Prep all your gear – DSLR camera, tripod, wide-angle lens, charger, extra battery, memory cards, a secondary camera, etc.
  • List the number of shots needed per room/space, e.g., 1 photo of the bathroom, two wide-angle shots for the living room, kitchen, and bedroom, etc.
  • Confirm the property’s address with the homeowner or real estate agent to ensure you have enough time to get there.
  • You can check ten tips from Rightmove as well: link.

You already know that great photos draw attention and improve your chances of selling a home faster and for higher returns. Therefore, when you arrive at the property:

  1. Declutter

Even though everything can be removed digitally, ensure all surfaces and floors are free from paper, clothes, shoes, dust, books, post-it notes, or any unnecessary stuff that steals the impeccability of your shots. Dust surfaces until dry and conceals all cords and wires that may distract the eye during the photo shoot.

  • Plan your shoot by walking around the property first

All homes are unique. Therefore, familiarize yourself with the surroundings of each and take notes on how you want to carry out the shoot, the best angles, and the rooms that need cleaning, and even ask the homeowner for extra help where necessary.

  • Do some creative shoots.

Look around the house and start photographing anything. This creative idea will help you see various objects up close and inspire you to take unique and exciting photographs during the shoot!

  • Turn the lights on/off.

In every property, you must decide whether the lights should be on/off. Turning lights on instantly makes the house warmer and more welcoming but introduces fluctuating light temperatures. Turning lights off gives a light temperature with a cold feeling. Generally, both cases will still need some photo editing after the shoot.

  • Watch out for lens distortion.

Ensure your camera is straight when shooting different angles to avoid lens distortion. If you tilt the camera, you’ll notice vertical lines starting to slant in one direction. The ideal height in most homes is about 5 feet (152.5 cm). A higher angle may expose too much ceiling and a lower one may capture too much furniture.

Conclusion

To establish a reliable additional income stream through real estate photography, it is essential to integrate the advantages of virtual staging and maintain consistency in your work. By combining the powerful techniques of real estate photography with the innovative approach of virtual staging, you can truly enhance the value of your services.

How to photograph a house for sale on a low budget?

If the goal is to showcase the property in the best possible light to entice potential buyers on a zero budget. Photography skills are key, if staging techniques will not be implemented by an expert but rather by the photographer, using every trick in the book plays an important role of a good online listing.

Here are 7 detailed examples to do before photographing the property:

  • When preparing the property, leave just enough furnishings to showcase the rooms without cluttering the space. However, completely empty rooms lose visual appeal and context. To achieve the best outcome, strike the right balance of decluttering while retaining some key furnishings that give a sense of scale and usage. Ask the homeowner to remove objects which are considered as clutter rather than furniture or important decorative objects.
A living room with hardwood floors and messy furniture and decor.
A living room with hardwood floors and messy furniture and decor.
  • For example, when scouting locations, it’s important to identify rooms with attractive architectural details such as wood beam ceilings, chandeliers, moulding, openings with natural light and even the kitchen counter if it’s made of a quality material. However, it’s crucial not to avoid messy rooms or undesirable features like damage, as doing so could be seen as misleading. By utilizing techniques such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and good post-production, many of the attractive features of the house can remain central to the listing.
An empty room with overexposed lighting and wrong angle.
An empty room with overexposed lighting and wrong angle.
  • Set up off-camera flashes on stands for defined directional lighting. Avoid harsh or uneven lighting that creates dark shadows or overexposed hot spots.
  • With a minimal budget of $50, you can ask the homeowner to buy versatile items such as decorative throw pillows, a cozy blanket, a small area rug, and a few affordable wall art pieces from Wallmart or Ikea. These items can help to add warmth and personality to the space without breaking the bank, and they can easily be switched out or rearranged to suit different tastes, and they can be utilized in different areas during the photoshoot.
Underexposed photography of an empty living room with a fireplace for real estate photos.
Underexposed photography of an empty living room with a fireplace for real estate photos.
  • Capture ultra wide-angle shots that emphasize the size and dimensions of each room. However, distortion from such lenses can bend elements in undesirable ways, so it’s best to avoid fish-eye lenses or going below 12mm focal length. Stay between 16mm and 35mm for interior photography to minimize distortion and capture a natural-looking perspective.
Photo of a living room with low lighting, wrong angle and clutter
Photo of a living room with low lighting, wrong angle and clutter
  • Get close-up shots of high-end appliances that add value for home chefs. However, isolated details lose context within the bigger spaces.
  • Significantly boost contrast for vivid tones or unwanted color casts can develop. However, overcooked HDR looks artificial and hurts authenticity.
  • Package photography assets into branded slideshows clients can directly publish. However, lack of review loses oversight on appropriateness and quality.