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3 Quick Composition Tricks to Enhance Your Real Estate Photos

November 15 2012

Thoughtful composition separates compelling real estate photos from mere snapshots. While there are no hard and fast "thou-shalts" in photography, using established composition principles can lend your photos a natural balance and harmony.

Implement these simple guidelines to move your photos from amateur to eye-catching.

1. Rule of thirds

It's easy to use the rule of thirds--just imagine your picture divided by two equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines. Align the most important elements in your image along those lines to add interest and draw the eye.

The below photograph by Chad JonesChad Jones is a great example. The cabinets occupy the outer vertical thirds, separated by the mirrors. The very inner third acts as the heart of this photo, its focal point an attractive bathroom.

Bonus: Many modern cameras will let you overlay a rule-of-thirds grid on the LCD screen as a built-in composition guide.

photocomp thirds

2. Leading lines

The prevailing wisdom of real estate photography advises against showing large expanses of the street or driveway. The photo below by Ben FreedmanBen Freedman, however, smartly strays from that advice by using the principle of leading lines. Our eyes naturally lead to photo's subject--the house--by following the cracks in the pavement of the road and driveway.

Leading lines naturally take the eye on a "journey" through your shots. Use them to guide your viewer's gaze to exactly where you want.

photocomp lines

3. Symmetry and Patterns

Life is full of symmetry. One side of a leaf--or a person--is the mirror of other. It's no surprise then, that our sight is naturally attracted by a symmetrical subject. The photo below, by Chad JonesChad Jones, also includes repeating elements, like the lights and cabinet knobs, to create patterns that draw our eyes through the image.

photocomp symmetry