The Essence of Capturing a Home: Professional vs Amateur Photography

House Comparison

Similarly to the cover of a book, the exterior and interior photos of a home should catch the eye of the affluent buyer. Homes that are professionally photographed can sell for several $1000’s more than the original listing price. The photo taken on the left is the average quality of what real estate agents and amateur photographers take with a camera phone or point-and-shoot camera. By choosing a professional photographer with years of experience, art direction, and high quality equipment, a photographer can add appeal to the home, increasing the likelihood of selling it faster and for a greater value.

Consequences of Not Hiring a Professional

Photographs evoke emotion and impact buyers’ decision to further evaluate a home. They Inspire creativity and expose a home’s true potential for future possibilities. A false or incorrect presentation of a property can mislead and turn away potential buyers, consequently leading to future conflict. Photos that display differential color schemes, distortion, and erroneous lighting are all false impressions of a home.

False or Incorrect Presentation of Colors

Incorrect in-camera white balance, fluorescent lighting, and color cast can alter the true colors of the interior and exterior of a home.

Bad Composition and Angles

Unlike an experienced photographer, amateur photographers lack art direction. An adept artist can highlight the best features of a home by mastering composition and lighting. They aspire to capture the most intriguing angles and architecture of a home, to make it as desirable as possible.

Distorted Photos

Camera and lens distortion can greatly deceive one’s perception of a home. Amateur photographers lack the expertise on how to correct distortion through editing software, consequently leading to warped architecture, bent furniture, and crooked angles.

Overexposed/Underexposed Images

Underexposed and overexposed photos can eliminate essential details of a home. Inexperienced photographers frequently make the mistake of trying to compensate for dark shadows by simply brightening a photo. This can lead to overexposed skies and outdoor lighting. Amateur photographers lack the knowledge of how to properly adjust RGB levels through editing software, which preserves crucial elements of the home.

Noisy and Grainy Photos

Most amateur photographers and real estate agents do not use high-end DSLR cameras, nor are they capable of calibrating the ideal settings through the camera’s manual mode. In dark environments, photos taken without the correct in-camera settings, external light sources, and a tripod will turn out blurry or noisy. A professional photographer will adjust their camera settings accordingly to the scenefine-tuning the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture whilst having the camera mounted atop a tripod.

The image displayed on the left shows what most amateurs and real estate agents capture using a point-and-shoot camera in a low-light setting. Without the aid of a tripod, the auto settings in the camera were incorrect. The windows and ceiling lights are also overexposed; the indoor lighting cast warm color tones against the wood floors, making them appear orange. The composition is off centered. Noticeable noise and grain shows throughout the photo due to the dark lighting and high ISO set in the camera.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Photographer

Professionally-photographed homes can sell from $3,400 to $11,000 more than the original listing price and significantly faster, according to a study conducted by Redfin. Photos are the second most important element in marketing a home (after price). It is estimated that 92% of home buyers use the internet and digital media to search for a new home (as reported by . If they are displeased by the images they see online, chances are they will pass on the house.

Professional Photography: What you’re Paying for

Education and Experience

An experienced photographer will have dedicated several thousand hours on training in the art of photography. They will understand and comprehend their equipment to the full extent. While possessing the mastery of technical details, they will thoroughly understand how to correct color imbalance by adjusting color temperature and levels. Professional photographers will utilize light painting, selectively lighting certain areas and blending the exposures together. An adept photographer will also be able to properly set their camera to the correct exposure intuitively to the scene without needing to flip through a manual.

Photography Equipment

As technology evolves, professional photographers must be up-to-date with modern equipment to produce the most compelling, high definition images to present-day. Which means a large portion of their income will be used to purchase an assortment of high quality lenses, computer software, filters, and more.

Art Direction

The first impression is essential, it should inspire and motivate the buyer of future capabilities. Professional photographers immediately know how to direct the focus to the best horizontal and vertical lines of a home, capturing the most appealing elements and details.

Want to Have a Professional Photograph your Home?

Contact Ozarks Mountain Living to schedule a photoshoot of your home/property.

We offer the best expertise to properly market your listing to thousands of people internationally.

Our photography packages include:

  • Aerial Photography captured with a DJI Phantom 4 Drone utilizing GPS Controlled Quad-copter Technology
  • High Definition Interior and Exterior Photography
  • Advanced Lighting and Editing techniques processed through Adobe Photoshop CS6 & Creative Cloud
  • Virtual Tours and Video Services



The image on the left—taken with a point and shoot camera on auto settings—displays several problems. The windows are overexposed, eliminating details of the home including the curtains, wood floors, and cabinets. The composition is incorrect, camera distortion and warping can be visibly seen on the edges of the photo. It was also unnecessary to include the wall cluttered with outlets, extended ceiling, door frame, and a cropped ceiling fan in the corner.

Professional photographers are equipped with the best gear for the job. Most point-and-shoot cameras have small sensors and do not include a variety of lenses. This limitation can leave out important details of a home. Both images displayed were taken at the same spot, but with different cameras and settings. On the right, a professional photographer used a DSLR with a wide angle lens. This expanded the view, including the entire bathroom. The image on the left has cropped out half of the bathroom. It also displays warm color cast on the white counter tops from the interior lighting (altering the true color), overexposed windows, and harsh shadows.

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