The Best Orientation, Resolution, and Format for Property Photos

  • Generally, photos displaying your property should be in the landscape orientation. That is, they should be wider than they are tall. Most screens your photos are viewed on are also wider than they are tall. As a result, photos in this orientation are less likely to be cropped when displayed to potential renters.

    In addition to being in landscape, any image you upload should have a high resolution. Low resolution photos appear blurry on larger screens. A minimum of 2,000 pixels in each dimension (height and width) is a good resolution to aim for.

    File format is also important when uploading and storing property photos. JPEG is a good file format for website images as it is a very compressed (small) file format. Image files that are larger make your website load more slowly. It is a good idea to save backup copies of the images you upload in larger, higher-quality image formats such as PNG just in case. You can always make a large, high-quality image file smaller but you can never make a small, low-quality image better quality.

  • Explorer

    Good info, thanks. I learned years ago (pre-digital) the rules of thirds and how when taking a photograph to mentally split the image in thirds and never place the main focal point dead center. Do you agree with this philosophy when it comes to home photos? What are your feelings regarding the “dusk” photo approach? Thanks, John

  • Newcomer

    @John-Hughes Hey John, curious what you mean by the dusk photo approach?

  • Leader

    What is the “rule of thirds?”

  • Explorer

    Dusk photo: when you turn on all the lights in the house and shoot just before sunset, preferably with brilliant colors in the sky. I think these photos are romantic and attractive, but the nature of the light means you get far less detail. I do have a pretty “dusk photo” on my listing but not as the main pic.

    Rule of thirds: imagine ±shaped crosshairs dividing your view into 4 quadrants – don’t put anything important along those lines. Now imagine a tic-tac-toe grid. When shooting a landscape the horizon looks better at the 1/3 or 2/3 line, not splitting the image in half. Align a strong vertical to the left or right, not straight up the middle. There are so many “rules” of photography, like confirming no unwanted features in the background. You should zoom in as close as you can to your subject, but be careful not to crop off the top of a steeple or a person’s feet.

    Personally I feel that home photos are less about rules of composition and more about getting as much info into the frame – I know when I am renting I inspect every little detail (how do the rooms fit within the floorplan? where is the tv relative to the seating? anything awkward about the cooking/serving area?) A tripod is essential to set up your shot to ensure it’s level, the verticals aren’t too distorted, preview the scene and remove distracting clutter. You can make minor adjustments if say your flash bounces off the door frame and spoils the shot. A tripod lets you set a long exposure for a dim bedroom, and make multiple exposures to get both a well-lit interior plus the view out the window (HDR technique). A point-and-shoot camera will do a fine job with depth of field, but usually won’t allow extended shutter speeds. With a DSLR camera you can manually tweak the flash intensity, shutter speed, ISO, aperture and focus, but if you’re not interested in developing a new hobby, I’d suggest hiring a pro. They’ll have off-camera flashes with diffusers/reflectors to brighten shadows and dark corners. Good looking photos are SO important, and optimal lighting is the key.

  • Explorer

    @Maryrose-Coleman Maryrose; I am attaching a couple of photos of our rental home at dusk to show what I meant. Hope this helps. John0_1475160856010_CBH Front 2.png 0_1475160910267_Pool At Night 2.png

  • Explorer

    @Ann-D-Liptak Ann; Thank you for the very full & detailed explanation.

    Different question for you…how did you attach the photo to your MyVR identity circle (the circle preceding your name on the MyVR community portal)???



  • MyVR Employee

  • @John-Hughes

    The post @Jonathan-Murray referred you to contains instructions on how to change your cover photo but not your profile photo. Your cover photo is only visible within your profile, while your profile photo is what appears next to your name when you post. You can see the difference between the two in your profile

    0_1475169200669_Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 10.09.54 AM.png

    To change your profile photo, you can follow the instructions I posted here

  • Explorer

    This conversation was one of the best I’ve ever read on taking property photos.

    Simple. Very easy to understand for us non-professionals!


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