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Money Shots


Active Member
Jul 19, 2017
I am wondering what the money shots are for Residential real estate. What heights above the house, what angles, how much sky to include above the roof, etc.

What are agents really looking for in their listing photos? Video shots as well?
I don't think there's a correct answer. It's sales, so accentuate the positive, and de-emphasize the negative as best you can. No two pieces of real estate are the same. Pull up some realtor websites and have a look at their photos to get an idea of what they might be after. I'd probably stay away from any lengthy videos unless you really know what you're doing.
It depends on the agent. From what I can tell, looking at other people's listings, a lot of agents want grossly over processed, noisy HDRs and neon colors (or maybe that's all they are willing to pay for) which is unfortunate. My personal style is to make it look as realistic as possible, and as close to how your eye would see it, while doing my best to hide the fact that it's an HDR to anyone unfamiliar with photography. Most realtors want very bright photos that make every room look bigger than it is - that way when people are browsing listings, they really stand out. You can make the darkest closet lit by one tiny bulb light up like a bright summer day with the right processing, and that is usually what they want.

If you're doing aerials, it entirely depends on the property and the lighting conditions - time of day is very important. Not every property looks good at the same angle, especially with the way driveways, front yards, windows, large trees, landscaping, etc. differ so much. Or maybe the neighbors house on one side is super ugly, and you don't want it in the frame. Or maybe someone has a giant motorhome parked somewhere you don't like, and have to work around that. It's different for every single property - part of being a good photographer is being able to find the best composition on the 'fly' so to speak, especially on a paid shoot.

I am so rarely asked for video that I don't offer it - not worth the investment for me.

I shoot Real Estate professionally (though not so much with my drone due to local restrictions), if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Oh - and it's not at all lucrative, I have a 'real' job as well haha! I'd also strongly suggest you really know what you're doing before you start charging money - lots of people buy a drone or fancy camera and think they can start charging for work (not saying this is you - just a general comment).

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In my experience realtors want consistency and uniformity in their listings. Basically you take the same shots the same way with every home and they'll usually tell you exactly how they want it but if not you can probably figure it out from looking at their existing material. The most important thing aside from overly bright, boring photos is that you get them done fast.
I opened it when I read "money shot". Wrong forum)))

That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the thread title for the first time as well haha. Had to quickly glance up and make sure I was still on the drone forums :D
Ken Heron had a great video highlighting your topic.

Thanks for all of the responses. My apologies for not thanking earlier. Yes, the Money shot title was to grab some attention, my apologies to those looking for a different topic. :)

Canada Drone, I may take you up on picking your brain more on this process. I am new and would like to find someone to bounce ideas and thoughts off of, I appreciate the offer.

Thanks again for the responses.
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