Professional Real Estate Photography Matters?

Shot for Melissa Utley of Berkshire Hathaway, Billings, MT

Shot for Melissa Utley of Berkshire Hathaway, Billings, MT

It is said, “Photos created by a professional photographer sell more homes”. Well, maybe it’s better explained. First, let’s face it, smartphones are amazing these days. In fact, many photographers are using them as a means for some of their professional images. The problem faced is, dynamic range, a technical term, plaguing all cameras, lacking the ability to capture dark spaces and light spaces all in one shot. This prevents pictures from revealing everything the human eye sees. The human eye can see over 2 times the amount of dynamic range than even the top-of-the-line professional camera. As a photographer, to overcome this dynamic range, it is required to use proper equipment and to have the knowledge, skill and time to blend that full range into 1 scene.

When it comes to showing real estate images, a question comes to mind. If someone was not given the opportunity to see the full picture, would they possibly overlook the property? Think about it for a minute! According to the National Association of Realtors, most people are searching real estate before they set foot in any home. Now how important are those photos if this is “the” first impression?


99% of Millennials search on online
websites compared to 89% of Older Boomers
and 77% of the Silent Generation
— Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 Report

Shot for Magic City Granite, Billings, MT

Shot for Magic City Granite, Billings, MT

The next question is, have you ever liked the quality of the flash that was used on your camera or smartphone? Neither have I. Imagine if you will, if you took a picture of a room in your house during the middle of the day. If you forced your camera to flash so that you could get the outside and inside light to balance, and you did not have the proper power from that flash, your room may still look too dark while the beautiful scene from outside would look amazing or vice versa. Proper flash lighting is essentially important here! That is why flash lighting used the right way will make a room look amazing. Proper equipment, knowledge, skill and time are your required elements for great images in real estate!

This is a true statement. The value, in the way people perceive something, no matter what that something is, if it looks newer, cleaner, and complete, it is most likely to be chosen over something that is not. Real estate photography is most likely to succeed when these principal elements are carried out. Well organized, well cleaned and well lit spaces are far more appealing to the viewers eye. And that brings me back to the topic of lighting. The benefit of a professional photographer, if you use the right photographer, is that they are well invested in the right equipment, have the knowledge to use that equipment and take the time to execute the techniques to create the right images that look and feel inviting to your audience.

Next, it is very important that a photographer be prepared with lighting that is powerful enough to produce the balance of light when most needed. This type of lighting equipment can be very expensive. To light the photos shown in this blog, I’ve had to use 600ws monolighting to achieve this balance. Off camera smaller speedlights would have required more shots and more time that would not have been possible to knock out the power of the exterior lighting coming in.

Let’s talk wide angle lenses. Probably the most important tool in the bag is my wide angle lens. I have seen too many images on MLS where the room scenes shot were only revealing a fraction of the room, making it look small because the lens is incapable of widening out enough to capture the roominess. In conjunction with a full frame camera and a super wide angle lens, no wider than 16mm to avoid distortion, a professional photographer can create the proper angle of view, allowing a larger looking, more spacious feel in the viewers eye.

At VanLeggalo Photography, we use the latest state of the art, expensive equipment to make your real estate images look as if your potential home buyer was seeing it from inside that very home. We create realistic, to life images, that tell the truth!

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Experiencing Life…

… through light, one shutter at a time!

We have been serving the Home Builders Association and many of it’s building contractors in the Billings, MT area for over 10 years. We are adding many new realtors to the portfolio monthly. If you want to be part of what is making dreams come true for many home seekers, let us help make more convincing pictures in their minds! Maybe there will be more house visits?

Robb Vann

VanLeggalo Photography

406-697-4572