When clients or followers approach me at BLUEPRINT, I very often hear this:
“I want my real estate Instagram account to have a vibe like yours.”
Or, “I want my website to look like this one.”
When I ask for more detail or specific examples of what they like, I’m usually able to pinpoint the conversation to just one thing:
I believe I’m good at what I do. But no matter how well I design a logo or build out a visual strategy? The final result of sharing my work on IG or my website will fall short with poorly lit, low-quality photos. Quality photography is a “brand ethic” of sorts that I require of myself. And it’s something my clients hear me talk about consistently in terms of their own businesses as agents, too.
Pro photos sell your personality and service model. They drive traffic to your online homes. Most importantly, they make your audience feel the soul of your brand. They’re a non-negotiable.
Speaking for myself, this is how I use IG as the power player of my visual strategy. My feed is my portfolio. People pay me for my aesthetics, styling and eye. So every image I choose to share, the reason I pair photos beside each other, the way colors and space work together on my grid — all of this is a developing art for me, always done with thought + intention.
Here are some tips to get you thinking seriously about your brand photography!
COMMIT TO THE IDEA THAT QUALITY IMAGERY IS A REQUIREMENT FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS.
Because insisting on elevated imagery isn’t a “being a creative on Instagram” thing. It’s a mark of small business excellence, regardless of your industry, and most certainly including the real estate space. Your business runs on first impressions and the need to make others believe that you care.
INVEST ON BRANDED IMAGERY + FOCUS THAT IMAGERY ON SELLING A LIFESTYLE.
Instead of marketing statistics or listings? Think of yourself as a blogger or lifestyle influencer, where real estate just happens to be a part of that day-to-day.
Post beautifully shot community and lifestyle images. Quality interiors, favorite neighborhood hot spots, YOUR face, your workflow. Curate everything. Grow community around professional imagery that is personal only to YOU and your brand strategy. And when it comes to the actual brand shoot…
CREATE AN EFFECTIVE BRAND SHOOT CHECKLIST.
Your brand photo shoot will be most efficient if you put in a little homework before. By researching exactly what type of photos you think you’ll need, your photographer will be able to deliver better photo options.
If you’re working with a web designer, check with them in advance to see what orientation photos they’d like to incorporate. Typically I recommend horizontal photos for your website, and vertical shots for your social media.
Below is a breakdown of what you should plan for:
60% vertical photos / 40% horizontal photos
Vertical for Instagram + Pinterest
Horizontal for Website + Blog Posts
Headshots in at least 3 different scenes
Flatlay style environment shots
Product Shots (if applicable; things like team swag, branded stationary, etc.)
KEEP THESE TIPS IN MIND, TOO.
Before doing this, make sure you have a clear vision of your style (if you don’t, things will get very messy, very quickly). Nail down that color palette and photography style! If you do know your style, color, and overall aesthetic, I recommend creating a dedicated Pinterest board just for brand photography inspiration. That might mean pinning flat lays, headshots, product styling, room styling, detail shots, etc.
If you plan to use images from online, do your best to get all images from the same photographer and color palette (again, to keep the style consistent and clean). HERE is a blog post on where to find quality stock photos for your real estate business.
Once your personal brand shoot images are in hand, take full advantage of them. If you have styled images, use them on your website, your client guides, brand pieces/marketing, and of course throughout your social media.
Find shot props / elements that make the final images unique to you. If you love tea or are a constant note-taker…if you often find yourself shuffling through paint chips as part of home reno projects…if your classic leather briefcase rarely leaves your side…make that a part of your shoot. Remember, this isn’t about corporate headshots with a stiff and sterile marketing narrative. You want imagery that tells a story to not only capture your brand style, but your personality as well.
Cheers to you, friend –
BLUEPRINT is a boutique creative studio serving the real estate industry. Visit our website for information about our services, explore our online shop of high end marketing templates for Realtors, and to learn how our team can support your real estate branding, social media and editorial needs.