get the right photos for your rental

Photos are usually the first thing a renter sees when browsing through homes or apartments for rent, and they can make or break your rental listing. Be sure your ad gets the attention it deserves by including 10 to 15 high-quality photographs.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great photos, but keeping these tips in mind can help you bring out the best in your property.

Shoot from different angles

Take several photos of the same room from different angles — especially in small spaces like bathrooms. The lighting and frame of reference will change depending on where you stand, so take shots from different corners and heights. Corner shots add dimension to the photo, while shooting straight ahead at a flat wall makes the room appear smaller than it is.


Be sure to photograph your set up as they would use it; set up with included items shown. Let them visualize themselves camping and see what they don't have to bring.

Take advantage of natural light

Good photos are all about lighting. Without enough lighting, the room may appear blurry and gloomy. Take photos of your property during the day, and supplement the natural light by turning on indoor lights and opening blinds or curtains. Uncovering the windows serves a dual purpose: It brings more light into the room, and it makes the space feel bigger.

Use the grids as a guide

Turn on your camera’s gridlines — most smartphone cameras include this option in the settings — to get the best composition in your photos. These lines can help you improve the balance and perspective of the photo by applying the “rule of thirds”: When looking at the 9 x 9 grid on your camera, align the focal point of your room with one of the points where those lines cross. This puts the featured room element one third of the way into the frame (rather than in the center), which often results in a more interesting and eye-pleasing image.

Clear the clutter

It should go without saying, but cleaning and tidying up before your shoot makes a huge difference in creating sloppy vs. professional-looking photos. Clutter in the room distracts viewers from the main features of the property, so remove as many extra items as possible — think tissue boxes, refrigerator art, toys, stacks of mail and the like. Make the bed, clear away cords and wires, and hide countertop appliances before photographing your property. And even though it seems obvious…close the toilet lid!

Stay out of the picture

When photographing bathrooms or other spaces with mirrors, check your angle to avoid capturing your reflection in the shot. Also, when using the flash, make sure it’s not hitting the mirrors. If the home is pet-friendly and occupied during your photography session, leave the animals out of the picture. The cat curled up on the bed or the pup looking in through the sliding glass door may be cute to their owners, but there are better ways to communicate that pets are allowed.

Edit wisely

Basic smartphone cameras come with easy-to-use photo editing tools, but be careful about over-adjusting the brightness and contrast. Overexposed or filtered photos can send the message to renters that you’re trying to hide less desirable features

First impressions count. Put your rental’s best face forward and stand out among the listings with a selection of stellar photos.