Just as when you pull up in front of a house, the curb appeal, sets the tone for the rest of the visit, your first picture sets the tone for people looking at online photos. While I have seen many people drive up and drive off in real life, people may look at other pictures – but if they are turned off by the 1st one, it is a hard sale to bring them back.
The following comments are from a real estate photographer will 1,000s of houses experience under his belt – or his camera(?) – being paid by real estate professionals. He did most of his career in the film days when getting it right the 1st time prevented expensive revisits. The tips apply to $1,000 digital cameras and cell phone shots alike. Well except for the use of filters.
Exterior shots are best shot when the sun lights the front of the structure. It is also best to shot at an angle to show depth with in the picture. Straight on shots may make sense to equally show the property from side to side, but will look flat.
Try to avoid showing the neighbor’s property, unless it is all trees which may make it look more like an extension of your property.
Move cars out of sight. Car, bikes, boats, snowmobiles – anything that is not a part of the house both may hid part of the house but also distract from the house.
Take multiple angled shots. Start on one side and take the best framed shot you can. Move a few feet to the side and try again. Being digital, you can take numerous shots for free and just delete. The one you might have thought was not the best when you were in the middle of the street, may be the best one considering light, composure and framing.
If using a SLR or other exposure controlled camera, consider smaller apertures to get the maximum depth of field in focus. F/8 at minimum and even f/16 or f/22 if possible.
If you have or have access to them, filters can be used to enhance the picture. A polarizing filter can be especially hand to reduce glare.
With commercial professional real estate photos available for under $100, please consider using one to get the most interest in your home from the beginning.