How to Take Pictures of Your House Like a Pro

Think of the last three items you purchased online. 

What sold you on your purchase? A lot of factors probably played into clicking “Place My Order.” Things like price and customer reviews certainly made a difference, but what about the images and ads you saw as you searched the internet?

If quality photos can sell you on a pair of shoes or a cool gadget, imagine what they can do for bigger life choices, like purchasing a home.

And when you're selling your home as a for sale by owner (or, FSBO), then the photos you post are even more important. If you don’t believe us, then consider this:

  • Seventy-nine percent of recent home buyers told Zillow they shopped online to find their home
  • Almost half of buyers who purchased in the last 12 months said that viewing professional photos was extremely or very important to their home-buying experience

It literally pays to know how to photograph your home at its best.

That’s why we're here to give you everything you need to know to produce high-quality home photography, without hiring a pro.

Before we give you some tips on how to get great, professional-looking photos with your own digital camera, we need to talk about getting your home photoshoot ready.

Invest in a deep clean

We know what you’re thinking, you’re trying to save money by not hiring all these pros to do the work for you, but this is worth it.

For just a few hundred dollars your house will sparkle like never before and help you capture the best photos possible for your listing.


Declutter, but also depersonalize your home for these photos. Home buyers should be able to picture themselves living in the home they see in posted pictures, that’s harder to do when your family photos and personal belongings are in every picture.

Add color

You may have a neutral style, which is great, but your home photos will really pop when you add fresh flowers or a fun throw pillow to the space. A little extra color could grab the right buyers’ attention.

Once your home is perfectly staged, you’ll want to create a shot list to reference. Remember that when you post your photos in an online listing you will want roughly 22-27 quality photos. Here is a basic list of shots to follow:

  • Exterior shot
  • Master bedroom
  • Guest room
  • Kids rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Living room
  • Bathrooms
  • Back Yard
  • Patio
  • Pool or hot tub
  • Any bonus rooms

How to take the right photo

There are a few musts that you should follow for home photography specifically:

  • Use a tripod
  • Shoot at chest height
  • Shoot landscape
  • Take lots of photos
  • Use a wide lens
  • Watch for distorted vertical lines

Don't make these mistakes

There are also these must-not's:

  • Photograph someone’s reflection in mirrors or windows
  • Get pets in shots
  • Leave ceiling fans running
  • Leave the TV on
  • Leave the toilet seat raised

Our guide is sure to set you up for success when it comes to photographing your home for listings. If you’re still unsure about what the quality of your photos should be, just hop on Zillow to see which listings wow you.

Want more tips for sellers? Check out our sellers' guide.