It's true, a picture's worth a thousand words!

Photography tips for People Like Us members

Before I retired, I was a photographer.  One of my main areas of expertise was real estate photography.  So if you don't mind, let me pass on a little advice for your photos, and as always, take it with a grain of salt.

1. Assume most are looking at your listing on a phone.  More pictures are not always a good thing. Keep photos of the house between 15 and 20 pictures.  Weed out the duplicates. 

We don't need 4 photos of different angles of your bedroom.

 2. Clean up your house!  If you can't be bothered to have it tidy for pictures, how will it look for me when I arrive?

One man's cozy is another man's cluttered.

  1. Prioritize! 

Photo #1 Your first photos should be something that symbolizes your home, usually it should be the front of your house. If I don’t see any exterior shots, I will assume the worse and think it’s a bad neighborhood and move on. If the caption is “Amazing Views!” or “Beach Front”, I’d better see an amazing photo of it! The only exceptions might be apartments or condos with no real front view. Even so, your first photo, the one that will show up on the search, needs to be a eye catcher!  Some might think that they shouldn’t post a photo for security reasons.  Just remember, the odds of an evil doer creating a profile and seeking out your home for a nefarious purpose are slim.  

#2 should be your living room. 

an and tidy, but leave photos of your family. Feel free to give it a personlized touch! Don't be embarrassed if you have religious statues or pictures, they are part of who you are. 

#3 The kitchen. 

Be sure and let your guests know which cupboards are for their use.

 #4 the bedrooms/bathrooms (and put the toilet lid down!) 

#5 Then fun shots of the yard and family rooms. The rest should be others of importance.  I cannot emphasize enough, “Will this photograph make a difference?” One picture of each room if at all possible.

#6 Some people look for the house, others look for the location.  What is unique or fun about your location?  Why would I want to spend time there? Show me a photo!  If your next guest has looked at all the photos up to this point, you've got their interest.  Now is the time to throw on those neigborhood and tourist shots. Be truthful.  If you live 5 hours from Paris, don’t go showing me photos of the Eiffel Tower.

This photo of an orca would be acceptable, as long as you mentioned that it wasn't an every day occurance.

  1. If I can see your artwork in the picture, I don't need a close up.  Same goes for a clump of candles, pillows, the coffee pot, and a stack of books.  Honest! They just make me impatient as they try to load on my slow phone. Maybe you’re an “artsy” person, and like to show your personality.  Go ahead, but I’d advise you not to.  Trust me! They see your personality in the other photos.

    You can see everything in the livingroom.

    You don't need a close up of the pillows!

  2. Should you include photos of your family enjoying your home? Some might argue that it personalizes a home, making it more “homey”, less like a BnB or hotel.  Other's might say "What does that have to do with the house? your family won't be there!" I'm going to let you call it on that one!  Just remember, ask yourself "Does it add or take away from what I'm trying to show?"

  3. What about pet photos? See #5 above. Exceptions might be if you need them to care for your kitty.  A pet lover will check and see if pets are allowed.  If you must, put it at the end of your 20 photos, right with your “artsy photos” (see #4 above!). Many people commented to me, “If they have allergies, they need to know I have a cat!” My wife has allergies, trust me, she’ll look at the details to see if pets or smoking are allowed.  Doris will email and get the details about the host’s pets, and then make an informed decision. You want them to love your house sooooo much that they have fallen in love with it, and will want to stay.  Pet hair and all.   

  4. Take your photos an hour before sunset, or late morning.  This will balance out the light, making it not too dark inside, and the windows won't be too bright to see out.  Open all of your curtains,  Turn on ALL of your lights.  A well lit photo is a happy photo! Most phones and computers have a simple program that you can use to lighten and crop photos to make them “pop”.

    If it's too bright outside, there will be too much light, and you won't be able to see outside the windows.  Wait until later in the day.


Studies have been done, you have three pictures to capture my interest before I move on.  Make them count!


My wife Doris and I live in the Pacific Northwest (Belfair, Washington) in a small, comfortable home overlooking the Hood Canal (part of the Puget Sound).  When we’re home, you’ll find us sailing our small boat or camping and riding our ATVs.  We love to travel and will go just about anywhere on a moment's notice. Before I ran my portrait studio, I was a graphic illustrator/photographer in the United States Air Force, and retired as a Master Sergeant after 20 years.  Military service will give you the travel bug, and we’ve never recovered!

PLU #11291




My wife and I are retired photographers. In addition to traveling, we enjoy sailing, camping, and riding our ATV's. We have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. Non smokers, non drinkers.
Travelling group
LGBTQ+ friendly Retired