10 Tips for Taking First-Rate Property Photos

by | Dec 3, 2012 | Rental Property Management Tips

When it comes to successful rental listings, nothing seems to attract prospective tenants’ attention like photos of the property.  Unfortunately, that attention can be good or bad – depending on the quality of those photos.

Bad photos drive away qualified applicants, and that costs landlords money.

It doesn’t take hi-tech equipment or professional training to take good photos.

Rather, proper staging of the property prior to taking the shots is the key to first-rate photos that sell a vacancy.

Keep in mind that the same photos can be used every time the property is advertised, so it is worth a little extra time to set it up right.

Professional photographers say to “think nature” when you line up your shots:

Natural colors and lighting are universally appealing in photos. Neutral paint colors,  like (very) light greys and tans are visually soothing and make an otherwise small unit look bigger.

Provide as much natural light as possible in the shot. Plan to take the photos when the light is peaking in the unit.

Photos pick up every smudge or fingerprint. Make sure the property is sparkling clean before you start.

Include flowers, brightly colored foods, or artwork with natural elements in each shot.

Aiming the camera slightly downward toward the floor — where a person would step into view, provides a more natural composition.

Consider each area — living, dining, sleeping – as its own vignette, so applicants can visualize themselves standing there. Try to include as much of that area as possible, rather than close-up shots of a special detail. A wide-angle shot that captures most of the kitchen will be more appealing than a close up shot of the new refrigerator.

Create depth by composing shots that have both an enticing foreground and an interesting background. Shooting from the corner of a room also can ad depth to the photos.

Sometimes, it’s what you don’t see that counts most.  Don’t hide an unappealing feature, like a tiny bedroom, by not including a photo. That draws more negative attention and discourages applicants.  Instead, stage the room with the right furniture so it looks cozy in the photo.

Using a tripod and self-timer function can help with jitters.

If photography isn’t your thing, consider hiring a professional. Many up-and-coming pros are looking for referrals, so for a couple hundred dollars you can purchase high quality pictures that will look great season after season.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

Property management software for Canadian Condos.

Property Boss

Property management software for single family, multifamily, and student housing.


Screening services for property managers and landlords. Select a market below.