Tips & Tricks

4 Tips For Timing Your Waterfront Property Photo Shoots

4 Tips For Timing Your Waterfront Property Photo Shoots

Timing plays an important role in real estate photography in general, but this becomes especially true when you’re photographing a home on the waterfront.

In this article I’ll share 4 tips for timing your waterfront property photo shoots and discuss some best practices.

Table of Contents

1. Choosing A Day With Good Weather

More important than any of the other tips on this list, the weather plays a pivotal role in waterfront photography. A clear, sunny day not only enhances the natural beauty of the property but also showcases the vibrant blue of the water, making the scene picture perfect.

When possible, wait for days when the sky is clear to ensure that the view out onto the water is unobstructed and captivating. Clear skies allow for better visibility of distant features, such as the horizon or nearby landmarks, which can add depth and context to the photos.

Leading up to your shoot, keep an eye on the weather forecasts to see if there is going to be an issue on your scheduled shoot date. Flexibility in scheduling can allow you to pick the ideal day that complements the waterfront setting. 

Flexibility isn’t always something that can be achieved in the world of real estate photography. Between our busy schedules as real estate photographers and the hectic calendars of realtors, sometimes you just need to get the shoot done.

However, with waterfront properties in particular, it can be a very good idea to have a conversation with your client about possible weather backup dates.

Explain the importance of photographing during a clear day and try your best to be accommodating. The end results will benefit in a major way.

2. Schedule Morning Or Afternoon Shoots

After weather, the time of day is going to be the next most important factor when scheduling a waterfront shoot.

The time of day can significantly affect the quality and mood of the photographs. Morning and late afternoon light, known for its warm tones and softer shadows, can beautifully highlight waterfront properties.

Aim to schedule photo shoots during the golden hours — in the morning or afternoon. This light accentuates the property’s features with a warm, golden glow and long shadows that add depth to the photographs.

Midday light tends to be harsh and can create strong glare, especially on the water, which might detract from the property’s appeal. It can also lead to overexposed spots and deep shadows that obscure details of the property.

This tip is pretty obvious once you start to think about it. What is one thing that everyone wants to see from a waterfront property? A sunrise or sunset over the water.

While I would fully recommend scheduling a twilight shoot to capture these moments, not all realtors want to pay for twilights. So instead, do your best to avoid the harsh lighting of midday sun and try to schedule a shoot earlier or later in the day.

3. Photographing Waterfront Activity

One of the selling points of waterfront properties is the lifestyle they offer. Showing activity on the water can convey the vibrancy and appeal of living by the water.

I wrote about how important the lifestyle is in our article Incorporating Lifestyle into Waterfront Real Estate Photos if you want to read more about how to best feature the lifestyle component.

Research and plan to shoot during local water events, such as boat races, sailing regattas, or leisure boating weekends. These activities not only add life to your photos but also highlight the community and recreational opportunities available to potential buyers.

Waterfront areas tend to be more lively and populated during the weekends when residents engage in various water-related activities. Planning shoots for these times can help capture the essence of waterfront living, showcasing the property as part of a dynamic and engaging community.

4. Include Natural Elements

Waterfront properties can be in a wide range of locations. From beach fronts to lake houses, not every waterfront home is the same.

The first step to including natural elements is to understand the landscape that surrounds the property. This involves more than just recognizing the waterfront. Notice the variety of natural features that contribute to the property’s appeal.

It could be the way the trees frame the property, the patterns of the waves against the shore, or the specific wildlife that inhabit the area. Each of these elements tells a part of the story of the property and can significantly impact a potential buyer’s emotional response.

Show how the property interacts with its environment. This could be through architectural elements designed to blend with the landscape, gardens that border the water, or pathways that lead to the water’s edge.

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.