Photography Dos & Don’ts

How landlords can make the best first impression when showing off a rental property

Landlord advice

18 July 2017

As the saying goes: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. And for landlords, that means prospective tenants will likely take one look at your rental property before deciding if it’s the home for them.

More and more landlords are ditching the letting agents and going it alone, meaning responsibility for getting a property ‘rental ready’ is falling to you, the landlord. So with just one chance to get it right, it makes sense to show off your property in the best way possible.

To help, we’ve put together some before and after shots of a sample property to show how little things like lighting, angles, furnishings and cleanliness can make all the difference when displaying your property to the market.

Use our sliders to reveal the dos and don’ts for showing off your rental property.

Living Room

Living Room Before
Living Room After

Quite possibly the most important room in any home, this is where your prospective tenants will really imagine themselves living in your property.

To help paint that picture, it’s important to show the space in the best way possible. When taking photos of any room, it’s a good idea to get your camera as far into the corner as possible to help maximise the space. Experiment with different angles to find one which works best.

If you have a camera with a wide angle lens, even better. If you’re taking the photos on your phone, you could even consider picking up a wide angle lens kit to fit your phone’s camera.

Open the blinds to bring in natural light and finish with a few extra touches like plants, which can really add life to the room.

Living room dos and don’ts

  • Do make the most of the room’s unique features such as original fireplaces or bay windows
  • Don’t leave the TV on in your shot – it can look blurry in the final image


Kitchen Before
Kitchen After

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes – big and square, long and narrow – so it’s important to experiment with different viewpoints to find one which shows off the room best.

Making sure the floor is visible in the shot is important as this gives a better sense of the space on offer. If the kitchen is large enough to easily accommodate a dining table, this will show that the room isn’t just for cooking, it’s for living and socialising too.

Lighting is crucial in any part of the home. It might feel natural to take the picture with the window behind you to help light the image, but actually taking the photo with the window in shot is a better idea to show off all the natural light coming into the room.

If the window is causing glare, just increase the brightness on your camera to override the sunlight and cut down on the exposure.

Kitchen dos and don’ts

  • Do make sure the room is clean and clutter free. Things like fruit bowls are a nice touch.
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink!


Bedroom Before
Bedroom After

The bedroom is the room where your potential tenants will likely spend most of their time. So comfort is key.

Always be sure to make the bed – nothing says discomfort quite like a bare mattress – and try to use clean white linens instead of patterned bedsheets. After all, there’s no accounting for taste, and white covers will make it easy for your tenants to project their style into the room.

Finally, make sure no clothes are visible in the shot and add some feature pillows to add to the sense of comfort in the bedroom.

Bedroom dos and don’ts

  • Make the bed and add lots of soft furnishings, which will make the room more inviting.
  • Don’t catch your own reflection in the bedroom mirror! Try to make sure the mirrors are reflection-free as this will add to the sense of space.


Bathroom Before
Bathroom After

The bathroom is typically the smallest room of any rental property, so anything you can do to add to the sense of space of the room is a real plus.

That means removing any and all clutter from your shot including toiletries, making sure the shower curtain is stowed away neatly and above all, making sure the room is as clean as can be.

Some nice final touches could be adding a decorative plant and making sure the toilet paper is neatly presented. And gentlemen, remember… put that toilet seat down!

Bathroom dos and don’ts

  • Do go with white towels to give a sense of cleanliness to the room.
  • Don’t leave the toilet seat up!


Garden Before
Garden After

When it comes to the garden, light is your best friend. Taking the picture on a bright, sunny day will do wonders for making the property seem warm and welcoming.

Try to work out when light will be best before shooting your property. Does the front of the property get the light in the morning? Is the back garden a sun trap in the afternoon? And remember to check the weather too.

Finally, furniture can help your prospective tenants imagine themselves spending time in the garden, making it a potential extra living space for your property. If available, add a bench or chimenea to help with this idea.

Garden dos and don’ts

  • Remove the outdoor bins from the shot.
  • Don’t stand in shadows when taking the picture, as this can make the place look dark even on sunny days.

Every home is different, and what might look amazing in one property won’t be the same for another. Experiment with different shots to find out what works and be sure to take your time in choosing the best images to advertise your rental property, because a little effort now can certainly pay off down the line.

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