8 real estate photography editing tips to make your photos pop!

Producing beautiful images of your properties is the first step to making them sell. With perfectly balanced images showing rooms in their most appealing light, your clients can picture themselves living there, day-to-day. Dull, flat images can form the first hurdle that many clients never make it past. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a pro photographer to take pro images – thanks to tools like Photoshop and Lightroom, average photos can come to life in the edit. Here are 8 editing tips to bring your real estate photography to life.

1) Colour correction

As one of the quickest and easiest photo editing techniques, there’s no excuse for skipping colour correction. Both Photoshop, Lightroom and all good photo editors will allow you to bring your images to life through colour correction. Flat colours can be adjusted to give images a realistic yet dazzling look, and you can adjust hue and saturation to tweak colours in your real estate images until they look true to life.

2) Straighten the lines

When you’re taking pictures of properties, you should start out by trying to get lines straight – squinty pictures can subtly undermine people’s faith in a property. However, if you’ve messed up and you’ve got a squint picture, you can straighten images in Photoshop later to create picture-perfect property photos. In Photoshop, the Free Transform tool will let you straighten out your shots, just select the whole image and drag the cursor to straighten your lines.

3) Balance the light

“Getting the lighting right in your real estate images is crucial as potential buyers will be put off properties with bad light,” says Henry Escobar, a photography expert at Paper Fellows and Boomessays. “Yet shooting interiors, with artificial lighting and mirrors awkwardly reflecting light can create unpleasant dark spots as well as over-exposure. You can adjust all these levels in Lightroom by adjusting shadows and highlights, creating perfectly balanced photos.”

4) Clean your images up with cloning

You can’t always declutter a room before you shoot it, especially if it’s still being lived in! Potential buyers need to see a blank canvas onto which they can project their lives and dreams, so decluttering rooms through Photoshop magic is a great skill to have. The clone tool in Photoshop can paint over objects, cleaning up your images in seconds.

5) Crisp up your pictures

Adjusting the clarity of your images can sharpen them up, bringing out-of-focus images into professional sharpness. In Lightroom, this is as simple as taking the clarity bar and bringing it up by dragging the cursor to the right. However, don’t go too far or you’ll create an artificial sharpness that damages your image resolution.

6) Mastering HDR

HDR (high dynamic range) is a popular effect among photographers as it can inject a richness of colour into your images that bring them to life. Many cameras have HDR mode nowadays but if not, shoot several images of the same subject with a different focus and merge them together to balance shadows and highlights.

7) Sky replacement

“When shooting exterior shots of your properties, it helps to pick a sunny day, as warm light and a blue sky bring out the best in any property,” says Lewis Perez, a writer at Lia Help and OXEssays. “But when the weather doesn’t play ball, you can turn to Photoshop.” Bring up the shadows and add a splash of colour to your skies, to give your viewers an injection of blue-sky thinking!


8) Image processor

These days, clients want to see properties from every angle before they commit to a viewing as we have higher digital expectations. This means real estate developers are taking more images than ever, often ending up with packed hard drives and lengthy uploads. Photoshop can take the sting out of your image processing by automating exports of photos into batches, allowing you to resize, and modify file type, in multiple images at once. This is a huge time-saver that lets you focus on the client.

Moving on

Selling property is all about presenting a beautiful vision to your clients, somewhere they can imagine themselves living and dreaming. Images are crucial to the projection of this vision, and Photoshop, Lightroom and other free photo editing tools are now packed with features that can bring your images to life. Play around in Photoshop and you’ll be amazed at what you can create!

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