Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Your Mission: Photograph Homes and Rooms

Posted by larrylohrman on September 7, 2006

The cover of September 2006 issue of Architectural Digest got me thinking about the difference between Real Estate photography and many interior photography shots you see in Architectural Digest. Notice that the shots on the cover and many shots in the articles featured in this issue on designer’s own homes are tight shots that don’t show the whole room. This is because these shots are about design and design elements, not rooms.

I think it is important to be clear about the fact that your mission as a real estate photographer is to sell whole rooms and whole homes. To do this you need wide shots that show as much of a room as possible and even the relationship between rooms. It’s frequently useful to shoot design details like mill-work or leaded glass doors but those kind of shots should be secondary to a shots of the whole room.

I’ve always been a little puzzled why these great interior photographers that whose work you see in AD don’t shoot as many wide-angle shots as I do. Part of the reason is their mission is different. They are featuring interior design more than whole rooms. The other reason really wide angle shots have perspective distortion that magazine editors don’t like. I always find myself trying to show as much of a room as possible but I must admit that shots with my zoom on 16mm that make a ordinary living room look like a bowling alley can be offensive. I try to keep my zoom between 20 and 24mm to control perspective distortion.

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4 Responses to “Your Mission: Photograph Homes and Rooms”

  1. Kris Dick said

    Hi Larry,

    Over the past few months i’ve been trying to focus on some photos like these also.

    In some properties with really fantastic appliances such as gas cooktops i’ll get my 50mm f/1.8 out and get some angled closeups with very little depth of field, or i’ll focus on specific parts of the room like you mentioned.

    A couple of examples of room elements that i’ve shot are:

    I’m always trying to give a new look to my photographs, and it’s a very good point that you’ve made about the shots in Architectural Digest.

  2. Kris Dick said

    Oh dear, I messed that up!

    Here are the links I meant to include in my previous comment, sorry!


  3. Kris, Great shots! Very artistic. These shots are a strong statements about elegant design, color selection and are a tribute to whoever staged or did the interior decorating. If I didn’t know I’d say these were right out of AD. I like how the window is bright behind the tope colored couch… this creates a wonderful feel. However, if this is a home you are selling I get very little feel for the room. As a buyer, I’d be crushed when I arrived to move in and found all this elegance gone:)

  4. […] Your Mission: Photograph Homes and Rooms […]

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