What Get’s Shot & Why

Many, perhaps most, real estate photography clients are purely focused on quantity of pictures for a set price (see: Real Estate Photography: How Many Pictures?). Regardless of the total number of pictures requested, there needs to be a rhyme or reason behind what shots are selected and why.

No matter your image count, you have a finite number of images to use for maximum impact.  20 images to promote a 1,000 sq.ft. condominium, may be overkill, and you’re just stuffing the MLS system. On the other hand, if you’re trying to adequately promote a $1,000,000, 7,500 sq.ft. home, if 20’s the cap, you’ll need to be very selective.

Your real estate photographer starts to earn his or her value by selecting, or helping select, the shots you need.

A typical photo shoot will focus on these shots:

  • Main Entrance, The Money Shot
  • Exterior Front & Front Corner
  • Exterior Rear
  • Main Living Area
  • Master Bedroom & Bath
  • Main Bath
  • Kitchen
  • Key Features Called-Out by Agent

These key areas comprise the highest-value spaces and features most sought by buyers.  Why? Because they represent the structure’s distinctiveness, such as the exterior shots. The others are where the majority of their time will be spent.

Aside from the Master Bed & Bath, the bedrooms are the most overlooked aspects of a home.  They’re a box, hopefully with a window and closet, and need to be a certain size. Don’t like the color? Paint it.  Not much cost or concern.

The Master Bed & Bath are a whole different story.  The buyers themselves will often consider that space their own personal luxury and privilege. Similar to a kitchen, they’re expensive to remodel.  These adjoining spaces lag only behind The Money Shot and Kitchen images.

The Kitchen, often the single most-important room in the house…gets treated as an after-thought.

Ironically, the Kitchen is viewed as the single most-important room in the house. Yet it frequently gets treated as an after-thought.  For many, the kitchen is where families spend most of their time.  Not just for meals—but for entertaining, homework, or simply as pass-throughs from one space to another.

The Money Shot, is whatever shot that one shot is, that the real estate agent or seller selects to represent the home.  This is the shot that you first see in a MLS listing. It’s the ‘big picture’ used on the direct-mail marketing pieces.  And, for high-value homes, if a picture book is commissioned, it’s the first thing you see. Either through the square hole in the cover, or on the cover.

The Money Shot: The first image you see.

1153 Tartan Lane 48390Whatever the quantity of pictures selected, the real estate photographer’s objective is to tell the home’s story.  Or, if a commercial property, the story of the structure or space being promoted.

Personally, I like to shoot images so they connect one, to another, as though you were taking a tour of the home.

What Doesn’t Get Shot?

The what does get shot may seem fairly straight-forward.  Not discussed, is what does not get shot.

The Not Shots:

  • Garage spaces
  • Workbenches
  • Shed & Secondary Building Interiors*
  • Half-Bathrooms
  • Closets
  • Basements
  • Laundry Areas

For the most part, these spaces are simply unattractive and do not earn their keep compared to the other shots in your finite set of purchased images.

For instance, Garages often have stained floors with workbenches burdened with the load of ‘stuff’ from when the rest of the home was decluttered. Half-baths are often excluded because, even with an ultra-wide angle lens, its simply hard to get a complimentary shot.  Plus, as part of your 20/30/40 images, there’s almost always another image worth more.

There are exceptions though.

Torben Photography-Laundry RoomOn very rare occasions, a homeowner may have a finished garage (or basement), perhaps with an impressive workbench, that adds clear value.

The same might be said of a laundry space.  Though, of all the residential shots I’ve taken, only one laundry area warranted a shot.

What Do You Think?

As a Seller, a Real Estate Agent, I encourage you to share your thoughts.  Do you dis/agree or care to embellish? Feel free to comment.

Leave a Comment

About Torben Photography

J. Torben Pedersen is the driving force behind Torben Photography.

JT specializes in Real Estate, Product, and Motorsport photography.

Residing in southeastern Michigan, he takes on engagements nationally as well.

Member of:

Member of Real Estate Photographers of America and International

Member, Professional Photographers of America

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Aerial Images!

Torben Photography also offers aerial drone photography. Popular with Commercial & Residential clients alike.

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