How to Take Interior Real Estate Photos

Interior real estate photos aren’t difficult to take. First, you need to know how to take interior real estate photos and have the right equipment. You can also look up useful tips on how to take interior photos for real estate with iPhones on the internet.

Also, taking interior real estate photos requires a little amount of technicality. There are different camera settings you have to learn. How you take exterior photos is quite different from how you take interior photos. Hence, you have to factor that in.

There is a lot of conflicting information regarding interior real estate photography out there. You need to sift through that misinformation to stay ahead of the competition. 

This guide will help you navigate the art of taking interior real estate photos. We have also listed some tips that would improve your picture quality and help you retain clients.

Think purposefully about composition

The photos you take of interior spaces are usually the first opportunity potential buyers have to see what the property is like. These photos give them the opportunity to inspect the property and look out for certain features. 

That means you have to take the photos in a way that makes the property attractive and inviting. It is advisable that you rely on the old standard rules such as leading lines and the rule of thirds. Applying rules will get you quality real estate photos – clients are always eager to pay for quality photos. 

You should make an effort to discover ways to photograph the room at an angle when composing your shots. Photographing at an angle can help improve the feeling of depth in the room where the room itself can look flat when photographing it straight on. 

It is important to note that you only have one chance to give potential buyers a good impression of the property. Your photos become better when you pay more attention to composing eye-catching photos. These kinds of photos are also able to grab the attention of potential buyers. 

When you are photographing a property, ensure you cover as much ground as possible. For wide photos, for instance, it is important that you include the entire room while focusing on everything. You can achieve this by placing the tripod as far back as necessary. Then, start by shooting straight on before proceeding to the corners. 

Use the level on your tripod to make it perfectly flat because your camera needs to be perfectly straight. Use a timer or remote to eliminate motion blur if you are shooting with a low shutter speed. Make sure you are not too close to the wall when shooting from a corner. This is to avoid distorting the walls. 

The height of the tripod should be around 4 feet or about 120cm. This will allow you to showcase the room as a person would see it in real life. Ensure there is a balance between the floor and the ceiling in your photo. If you have to make a decision between the two, then go for the floor.

You may have to adjust the height of your tripod to accommodate the furniture in the room. Take extra care not to crop out furniture legs when positioning your camera. 

To take medium shots, find the right elements to capture and concentrate on its amenities. Things like gyms, jacuzzi in the bathroom, Gas range stove, and anything that adds value to the property should be captured. 

Using a 28-35mm lens that allows you to get closer to the subject is recommended. This type of lens also produces an image that feels more intimate. 

Detail shots on the other hand require more creativity and skill. Capture things that bring out the uniqueness of the property. These images from a detailed shot are often used for the marketing of a Bed and Breakfast.

Create images with depth

All the old rules you know about photography don’t become useless because you are shooting real estate photography. Of course different rules apply to this type of photography but they still come in handy. 

It is necessary that you draw the viewer into the photos you have taken through its depth. Make sure there are three distinct layers to each picture at least. Everything in your shot should be beautifully sharp, especially when creating images with depth. This is a very important rule. 

Think about the items you can place in the foreground, middle, and background. This will naturally help to lead the viewer’s eye to the whole photo. 

Also, you should make sure that your eyes fall on the part of the room you want to highlight. If there is something that is sneaking into the frame for instance, can it distract the viewer’s attention? This is a common occurrence if the color is too bright, if too much of it is seen in the shot, or if the item is too in-focus. 

Ensure that your f-stop is consistent with what you want to appear sharp in the photo. You will normally see interior photos that have f-stops that are between the f/8 and f/16 range. But, you can opt for a lower f-stop if it contributes to making the depth you prefer.

Get Verticals and Horizontals Right


It is important in real estate photography that you ensure that the vertical lines are as straight as possible. It is equally important that they do not converge. The horizontals should also be correct in order for the photo to come out well.

Although it is more difficult to see the horizontals, especially when using two-wall composition, it becomes evident if a photo is not level. You can use the viewfinder level on your camera to set both vertical and horizontal levels. Some photographers opt for spirit level on their tripod instead. 

Distortion will always be an issue, especially in bathrooms where you have to shoot wider than usual. This is usually because you are with a wide-angle lens. Lightroom is an easy way to correct your horizontals and verticals. It is one of the pre-set you can apply to your photos.

Rely on natural light

Many real estate photographers make the mistake of relying on artificial lighting to take interior photos. It shouldn’t be so. It is worth stating that artificial light doesn’t completely throw off a photograph. What it does sometimes is to throw bad shadows on walls, the floor, and ceilings. Thereby creating an extra problem for you to fix. 

Focus on using as much natural light as possible. You can map out a layer of the house before a shoot commences. This is so that you will be able to take photos of each room right when most of the natural light is entering through the windows.

Natural light affords the interior spaces an openness that cannot be replicated with artificial light. Natural light also has the capacity to breathe life into the dreariest of rooms. 

Exposing the photos of the room will result in windows that are blown out completely if you try to photograph an interior room. On the other hand, the room will be far too dark if you expose the widows. The simple solution is to bracket your exposures and merge them together. 

Bracketing exposure simply means using your camera’s auto exposure bracketing feature to capture many images, each of which is shot at a completely different level of exposure. Then you can merge the resulting photos together in a post-processing program to create a final image that is well exposed throughout.

Using Flash

Real estate agents and homeowners are usually in a hurry to put the listing online. Sometimes also, budgets do not give photographers many hours for one listing. The best way to mitigate this is to use flash. 

Using a flash attached to your camera is the best way to keep photographs moving from one space to another. Ensure you bounce the light off the walls to soften it when using a flash on your camera. 

A dreaded black area will appear in the center if the camera flash is pointed directly into the room. A quick drop to shadow around it will follow. This is called vignetting. Something that is undesirable in the real estate photography industry. 

Make sure you position the flash so that it bounces off a wall behind you, the ceiling over you, or even one of the side walls. When you do this, you allow light to diffuse into the space and give a more even appearance. You can also attach light diffusers to your source of light. 

Ensure you buy a flashgun that has a multi-angle flash head. This is recommended as these positions aren’t possible with a pop-up flash on your camera. Use your flash on manual mode. This will enable you to have complete control of its strength. 

1/16th power is recommended as starting power but you can choose to go as high as full power if you are shooting towards bright windows. Install your flash units on light stands when dealing with larger spaces. Angle them towards the ceiling and position them out of the frame. 

At the end of the day, the position of your lights is dependent on the size as well as the shape of the room. You can therefore place your strobes in the corners. You can also place them behind you in most instances. Try out other spaces until even illumination is achieved if those areas don’t work.

Camera height for interior photos

It is recommended that you set up your tripod between the waist and chest height. Here are some camera heights for different rooms within a property. 

  • For kitchens, you should set the camera in a way that allows you to see the tops of the counters, and not only their edge. You can employ tilt-shift lenses. They are helpful so that you do not show too much ceiling. They are however expensive to own.
  • For the bathrooms, the best camera height to get the best photos is just above the counter or sink height.
  • In the case of the bedrooms, your camera height should be a little higher than the bed. Waist level is recommended.
  • The living room can be difficult sometimes. As a rule, it is advisable to shoot just above waist high unless there is something obstructing your view.

Adjusting the settings on your DSLR

It is always a good idea to have the manual of your specific camera ready. This will help you to make sure you have the correct instructions on how to adjust the settings. With the right settings, you can take quality interior photos. 

Being able to adjust camera settings offers the photographer a lot of flexibility when it comes to post-production. This is because there are times when you will be rushing to get the shoot done and at the same time be under pressure to deliver the shots. 

For the shutter speed, it is usually between 1/60 and 1/2 a second. This is dependent on how much natural light you have at your disposal. Keep your aperture set to between f/7.1 and f/9 unless you want a shallow depth of field that will highlight a particular item within the room. 

Raising your ISO will allow you use a faster shutter speed. However, ensure you do not introduce too much digital noise. This you can do by keeping the ISO below 400. 

 You can test out different ISO on your camera before you commence shooting. This will help you determine how far you can go without it affecting the quality of the photos. 

If you are shooting under low conditions, use a tripod and a remote trigger to prevent your camera from shaking which could cause your photos to be blurred. The more you practice these settings, the more the quality of the photos you take improves. 

Ensure you save your file as RAWs. This will give you the opportunity to edit the photos. You can edit RAW files without affecting the quality of your photos. 

Auto White Balance (WB) can affect the color accuracy/consistency of your photos and make editing them very difficult. So go for a WB setting that is suitable for the conditions. An example is “Daylight” for natural ambient light.



The best course of action for interior real estate photography is to follow the two-wall rule of composition. Rooms tend to appear longer and/or narrower than they truly are when you take the photos from down the length of the room showing the convergence of three walls.

You may find yourself in such situations and you may not be able to avoid it. What you can do is to try and keep the focal point as close and short as possible. That way, you don’t end up with the rooms looking like a corridor.

The next step is to decide what the most important feature of the room is and focus on it. Potential buyers would want to know what type of floor coverings is in the rooms. Also, some buyers would also want to know if their furniture will fit into the room, how much cupboard space is available if the property has an air conditioning system, a fireplace, access to outdoors, views, external lights and windows, etc.

Wrap up

Following these steps when handling interior real estate photography shoots will help you produce high-quality photos. Your work will also be distinct from other photographers in the industry. 

You want to make sure you are always improving your skills as a photographer. This is critical to how many clients you can retain and how much you will make from the craft. So constant practice is the best way to improve your real estate photography skills. 

Outsourcing your post-processing need to meet up your turnaround time is recommended. That is where Time Off Editing comes in. With years of experience under our belt, we are known for quality and fast delivery. 

It is way easier to correct a dark photo with professional photo editing than an overexposed photo. That is where we also come in. Time Off Editing can get the first batch of photos to you in less than 12 hours! 

Contact us for all your high-quality, eye-catching, and attention-grabbing real estate photos today!