Real Clear Software Blog Post

15 Best Practices for Photographing Buildings

Best Practices for Photos of Buildings

Did you know that buyers spend more than 60% of their time looking at property photos than the listing description? And that properties with high-quality photos receive 47% higher rates than properties without, or with poor photos? Do you know what your photos look like?

Yes, whether you realize it or not, property photos can make or break a commercial real estate deal because it creates the property's first impression. In fact, the right photographer and photography tricks can pique interest in an unattractive building.

Photographs and Images are also important for property marketing and can be used on various marketing points like your website, listing portals and print collateral. The best photos garner most interests from prospective customers by accentuating the property's best assets and playing down possible drawbacks.

Real Clear Software provides a photo and image section that keeps all of your location images in an easy to review place. But just having photos is one thing... making sure they look nice is another. Here are a few tips to help your location photos shine:

Clean up Images

Photography is not only the art of clicking photographs. You must focus on promoting the property, its highlights and location and not whatever is stuffed inside. So, remove as many things possible without making space feel cold and empty. Don't just tidy the place. Clean windows, check for graffiti, wash grubby spots, replace burnt out lights and take care of everything broken. Also, make sure all illuminated signs on the building are working. You could also add some plants to brighten up the place. Real Clear Software provides a discussion board to help users identify what to clean up and when.

Be prepared

List out the photos that will accentuate its highlights and will be used on the listing. If required, rent furniture or accessories that will help spruce up the interiors. Don't forget to have all deliveries rescheduled, and exterior maintenance projects for the day taken care of.

Proper planning for photographing buildings

Don't wait for the last moment to decide on the spaces you'll be photographing. You need to secure permission from tenants and even get permits from a legal department and the office, which takes time. Set aside some time for securing permission and cleaning up the property. You will also have to be ready to wait out for the best weather conditions for eternal photographs. Planning will give you better and more useful pictures because you will be capturing the property when it looks its best. Professional photographers may use apps like Google Earth to understand the site conditions and save time while looking for ideal photography weather conditions. Real Clear Software provides a great calendar system to organize your timing and set your schedule proper when setting up a proper photography session.

Write a checklist

It's worth writing a checklist to avoid complications and inconveniences. It should include reminders to do things like getting permission, checking light bulbs and power points, switching off the sprinklers, cleaning windows and even having someone who knows the property to help the photographer. If possible, ask to control or block parking spaces because the presence of cars in exterior shots can cause distraction.

Perfect timing

Buildings and properties look different in different lights. It's better to take photographs based on the sun direction. Most properties look great before sunrise and after sunset. Buildings facing north look great if photographed on an overcast day. They don't usually get direct sunlight and look the best without the sun behind it or glaring into the camera. If you want to highlight natural lighting, then take photos in the noon when the sun is at the best angle. Even high-rise buildings look great against the bold blue sky and bright noon sunlight. Adding people in the photo provides for added personality and movement. Sometimes a single photo shoot will not give you the best pictures. Be ready to reschedule the shoot in poor weather. While the proper lighting is important for the best photograph, avoid clicking photos in the harsh sun or dark shadows. A soft, even balance makes the best photos. Additional lights make your commercial property look glossier while natural light warms up photos and gives it a more realistic finish.

Useful tips and tricks for Photos

  • The right composition and framing with everything in focus can give a great photo.
  • Add interest to a photo by framing its surroundings with greenery or using anchor points like furniture to connect photos.
  • Photographers basically ensure all vertical lines like window and door frames remain vertical and that all horizontal lines remain horizontal. This is because buyers get turned off by images with sloping floors and crooked walls.
  • As photos clicked from a low angle have converging vertical lines, keeping the camera level helps avoid this. But they do help create a dramatic effect while photographing a tall building.
  • It's better to turn on the interior lights and avoid using the camera flash where possible.
  • Always work at getting a proper white balance.
  • Make sure the photographer's, equipment and bystanders' reflection don't interrupt the photograph. Check and avoid photographing near any mirror, glass or shiny appliance.

Curb down on special effects

It's true that photo-editing software and smart devices help alter and create great photos. A few taps and swipes of light, color and filter settings can change a photo.
However, remember that you don't have to make changes just because you can. You should know how to use them properly. The wrong effects can do more harm than good in representing the property.

Real estate photo editing 

Even the most experienced photographers cannot always capture the best exposure in a shot. You can get the right exposure by clicking numerous photos and then use professional real-estate editing software to blend and perfect the image's exposure and lighting. While Photoshop is great for real estate editing, the inexperienced may find it intimidating to use. Real Clear Software provides a very simple photo editing feature incorporated into its platform.

Don't date photos based on seasons

Don't date your photos by clicking photographs depicting a season or time other than the present time. Buyers tend to avoid property pictures clicked during winter when it's summer, and vice versa.

Maintain proper coordination and communication

Communication is important even during commercial real estate photography. With so many people like the broker, owner, building management and photographer involved, it can get difficult having everyone understanding things. It's better if only one person who can coordinate with everyone maintains contact with the client. This person should know the broker's, owner's and marketing team's needs and should also be able to work with the building management at granting the necessary access to spaces.

Don't forget a legal model release

Photographers who capture people in a commercial photo should first inform them that they may be appearing in the shoot. They also must get a model release for them before the shoot.

360-degree photographs

These are the best photos for marketing your commercial real estate properties. They are not only more engaging than traditional photographs but can also let your prospects visualize the commercial space better.

Real estate drone photography

Real estate drone photography is growing popular and is much cheaper than traditional aerial photo capturing methods. However, you do require an FAA-approved license to fly a drone, which you can get after undergoing an aeronautical knowledge test. Be ready to spend about $150, and some time studying for these aeronautical knowledge tests. See Real Clear Software's prior blog about Drone Photography -

Hire a professional photographer

Though you may have to spend on a professional photographer, it's a worthy investment to make. The photographs they capture can make a huge difference quickly garnering a buyer's attention and convincing them to pay the best rates for your property.

Clarify your objectives

Don't just hire any photographer. Hire someone who's inquisitive and keeps asking you questions about what you want to achieve through the photos. It could be anything, so hiring a photographer who doesn't find out the goal of your photographs will not capture what you want.

As noted prior, Real Clear Software provides a centralized place to store your location images, but also provides ample other features such as task management, calendar of events, contact CRM and more, all of which help the photograph session from start to finish.

For more information on Real Clear Software, visit, email, or phone (949) 445-6220.

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