Tips & Tricks

5 Tips For Photographing Real Estate On Waterfronts

5 Tips For Photographing Real Estate On Waterfronts

Capturing real estate listings on waterfronts presents unique opportunities and challenges for real estate photographers. Waterfront properties are highly coveted for their views and lifestyle, and as a photographer, your task is to highlight this lifestyle and unique living opportunity.

In this article I’ll share five essential tips to help you capture stunning and effective photographs of real estate on waterfronts.

Table of Contents

1. Drone Photography Is A Must

One of the most impactful ways to showcase waterfront properties is from above. Drone photography offers a perspective that highlights the relationship between the property and the water, providing potential buyers with a comprehensive view of what makes these properties so special.

Showcasing the very close proximity to the water is the most important thing you’ll need to do on jobs like this. Using drones to illustrate this proximity and access of the property to the water is a must.

Aerial shots can capture the expanse of the shoreline and the layout of the property along it, offering a view that ground-level shots can’t match.

Drones can also capture the scale of the property in relation to its surroundings, giving potential buyers a sense of the space and privacy the property offers.

Finally, being able to fly out over the water and look back at the property is an angle you’d only be able to get with a drone.

2. Highlight Any Water-Based Amenities

Waterfront properties often come with amenities like private beaches, docks, or boat slips. These features are significant selling points and should be prominently featured in your photos.

  • Dock and Slip Photography: If the property includes a dock or boat slip, capture it from angles that show its size, condition, and distance from the main house. Including a boat in the dock can add to the lifestyle appeal. Walking down to the dock and photographing the exact slip really shows the viewer exactly what they can expect.

  • Recreational Areas: For properties with private beaches or recreational areas on the water, photos should convey the ease of access and the leisure opportunities these amenities offer. Obviously, if you can photograph these amenities on a sunny day, that would be ideal.

3. Photograph Some Exteriors During Sunset

The golden hour – just before sunset – is an ideal time to photograph waterfront properties. The warm, soft light can create a magical and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the property’s appeal.

Utilize the natural, soft light to capture the property and its surroundings in a warm glow. This can make the property feel more inviting and cozy.

Waterfront properties have the added advantage of water reflections during sunset. Use this to your advantage to capture stunning shots with reflections of the property and the sky on the water.

Even if you don’t do a full twilight shoot, showing the sunset from a waterfront property is a major selling point in itself. A few photos can really be impressive.

4. Interior Shots With Water Views Are Key

Don’t forget the importance of interior shots that include views of the water. These shots can be challenging but are crucial in showcasing the unique selling point of waterfront properties. Here’s two things to consider when capturing these angles:

  • Balancing Light: Shooting interiors with bright outdoor light can be tricky. Use techniques like HDR or exposure bracketing to balance the interior with the bright view outside. You’ll want to clearly see the water and any features outside.

  • Framing the View: Compose your shots to include windows or glass doors that frame the water views. This not only shows the view but also demonstrates how the interior spaces connect with the outdoors.

5. Emphasize Lifestyle and Recreation

Waterfront properties are as much about a lifestyle as they are about the actual house. Your photos should communicate the lifestyle potential of living on the water.

For some lifestyle type images, include images that suggest recreational activities, like kayaking, sailing, or just relaxing by the water. If permissible, staged photos with models can be effective in illustrating this lifestyle.

If you can make it happen, showcase how the property can be enjoyed during the best time and season. If there is a beach, do your best to photograph it on a beautiful, sunny, summer day.

Additional Resources

If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.

You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.

If you’re more interested in other resources that can help your real estate photography business, check out our Business Resources page.

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About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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