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Real estate photography may seem like a simple task, but it actually requires a certain level of skill and creativity to produce high-quality images that can showcase all the best features of a property. 

One of the most popular techniques used in real estate photography is HDR. With HDR photography, you can capture more details and colors in an image, making it look more vibrant and appealing to potential buyers. 

In this blog post, we will share 9 powerful HDR real estate photography tips that you can use to take your real estate photography to the next level.

Before we dig in deeper, let’s first take a look at what HDR in real estate photography is, as well as the basic gear requirements and best camera settings for shooting HDR.

What Is HDR Real Estate Photography?

HDR or High Dynamic Range photography is a game changer for real estate photographers. Essentially, it’s a technique that lets you capture a greater range of luminosity than you could with regular photography. 

Here’s how it works… 

…You take several shots of the same scene at different exposures and blend them together to create one photo. The result? A perfectly-exposed image where you can see both the room inside and the view outside the window.

This is especially helpful for real estate, where you want to showcase the property as accurately as possible. 

With normal photography, you’ll often find that the inside of a room looks great but the view outside is completely overexposed.

But with HDR, you can have your cake and eat it too (or should we say, capture the room AND the view).

What’s the Best Way to Capture an HDR Image?

Five Bracketed Photos
Five Bracketed Photos

So, what’s the best way to create an HDR image?

We’ve found that five bracketed photos with a range of exposures (from light to dark) work best. That way, you have a wide variety of shots to choose from when editing.

And trust us, when it comes to real estate photography, a well-executed HDR photo can make all the difference.

HDR Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp
HDR Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp

Basic HDR Gear Requirements and Camera Settings 

hdr real estate photography tips

To help you get started, here is the basic gear to help you shoot high-quality HDR photography:

  • Camera: First off, make sure you use a DSLR camera instead of your phone. The better the camera you use, the better the editing we can do later on
  • Flash: Also, using an external flash can really take your photos to the next level. If you have access to a bigger one, go for it! Just remember to set it to “fill flash” and the lowest setting
  • Tripod: Finally, if you’re going for HDR or bracketed photography, a tripod is a must-have. This keeps your photos free of any movement or blurriness, which is crucial for realistic bracketing. So make sure you have a good tripod handy!

Except for the right gear, there are a few camera settings to keep in mind when it comes to capturing great HDR photos:

  • Setting ISO (Film Speed) to 100: First of all, make sure to set your ISO (film speed) to 100 for the sharpest and clearest images. It’s also important to use a medium or large JPEG setting if you plan on sending your photos through our system
  • Use a Cropped Sensor: When it comes to shooting with a DSLR and wide-angle lens, we recommend not going too wide and instead sticking with a cropped sensor of 12mm or a full frame of 17mm for the best results
  • Set Aperture Priority to F7.1-11: If you want to make your real estate photos really stand out, set your aperture priority to F7.1-11. This will give you the sharpest images possible. Of course, if you’re not comfortable with changing your camera settings, you can always use the “Auto/Program” setting instead

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9 Powerful HDR Real Estate Photography Tips

Now that you know what HDR real estate photography is and some basic gear requirements to capture successful exposures, let’s take a look at 9 powerful HDR real estate photography tips.

1. Shoot in RAW Format

Shooting in RAW format will give you more control over the final image. RAW files are processed directly from the camera’s sensor, thus they do not use compression.

Because they are lossless, the images are extremely high-quality.

In other words, RAW images contain more information and detail than JPEG images, which can help you create sharper and more vibrant HDR photos.

2. Use a Tripod

HDR photography requires you to take multiple shots of the same scene at different exposures. 

This means that you need to keep your camera steady to ensure that all the shots are aligned perfectly. Using a tripod will help you achieve this.

Here you can find our selection of the best tripods for real estate photography.

3. Bracket Your Shots

To create an HDR image, you need to take a series of shots at different exposures

Typically, you’ll need to take at least three shots – one at normal exposure, one overexposed, and one underexposed. 

This will ensure that you capture all the important details and colors in the scene.

4. Choose the Right Software

To create HDR images, you’ll need specialized software that can blend the different exposures together. 

Some popular software options for HDR photography include Adobe Photoshop, Photomatix, and Aurora HDR. Experiment with different software options to find the one that works best for you.

If you don’t want to do the blending yourself, you can always outsource this process to a professional real estate photo editing service.

5. Use a Polarizing Filter

A polarizing filter can help reduce glare and reflections in your real estate photos. 

This can be particularly useful when photographing exterior shots of the property.

6. Keep It Natural

It can be tempting to go overboard with the editing when creating HDR images and make them look overly dramatic. 

However, it’s important to remember that your goal is to showcase the property as accurately as possible. 

Keep the editing natural and avoid making the images look too unrealistic.

7. Consider the Lighting

Lighting is a crucial factor in real estate photography. 

Make sure to find the best time of day to shoot your photos, and consider using artificial lighting to brighten up darker areas of the property.

To learn more about the best lighting for your shots, you can check our beginner guide to lighting choices for real estate photographers.

8. Experiment With Different Angles

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives when taking real estate photos. 

This can help you showcase the property from different angles and highlight its unique features.

9. Keep It Simple

Finally, it’s important to keep your real estate photos simple and clean. 

Avoid cluttered shots and focus on the key features of the property. This will help potential buyers see the potential of the property and envision themselves living there.

Additionally, you can use virtual staging to enhance potential buyers’ ability to imagine the space as their future home. It allows you to create clean and decluttered images or add digital furniture to empty spaces using the latest interior design styles

By following these 9 powerful HDR real estate photography tips, you can take your real estate photos to the next level and impress potential buyers with your stunning images. 

Remember to experiment with different techniques and settings, and always keep the focus on the key features of the property. Happy shooting!

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Real Estate Photo Editing

Hire a dedicated editor with performance metrics from $7/hour.

Leverage Professional HDR Editing With PhotoUp!

If you’re looking to enhance your real estate photography game, PhotoUp has got you covered! 

Our team of skilled real estate photo editors specializes in HDR image processing, as well as other real estate photo editing services, including:

  • Image brightness and exposure correction 
  • Color and tone adjustments 
  • Window masking and glare reduction
  • Clutter and advanced object removal
  • Line and angle corrections
  • HDR editing 
  • Harsh shadows and lack of light 
  • Sky replacements and grass greening
  • Twilight and day-to-dusk editing
  • Drone editing
  • And much more!

When signing up for a free PhotoUp account, you can easily upload your photos to our user-friendly software and let our experts work their magic. 

Plus, you won’t have to wait long – the edited versions will be delivered to you within 12-24 hours. 

PhotoUp Real Estate Photo Editing Uploader 

Have a look at our real estate photo editing uploader demo to see how easy it is to get started:

As simple as that! But that’s not all…

PhotoUp – Your Real Estate Marketing Service 

Custom House Portrait by PhotoUp
Custom House Portrait by PhotoUp

PhotoUp is a complete one-stop-shop for real estate marketing and also offers a complete ecosystem of powerful marketing tools such as:

We have everything you need to market real estate in one platform!

So why wait? 

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account and elevate your real estate photography and marketing today!

We hope this blog post helped you learn 9 powerful HDR real estate photography tips to boost image detail and create stunning photos. If you enjoyed reading this post, make sure to also check out the following resources:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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