guide to better land photography

People looking to buy land click through hundreds of photos of vacant land in their search for the perfect property. And if they’re honest, they’ll tell you that after a while all the land starts to look the same. So how do you make your pictures stand out? How do you really capture the essence of you land in one shot so that it leaves an impact on the buyer? Here are 9 photography tricks to make your property stand out and find a buyer quickly.

Make a good first impression

If you’re going to showcase your land in the best light, you’ll need to make sure it’s presentable. Mow and trim the grass if possible, make sure it’s clear of trash and debris, and pay attention to what is in the background. You only get one chance to make a great first impression, and if potential buyers see land that is unkempt or disorganized, they’ll just see it as more work for them and make them less interested in moving forward. You want to present the land in its most natural state so that buyers can see the potential, but you also want to clean it up a bit, so buyers aren’t distracted by a mess.

Focus on potential

A big part of selling land is defining the lot’s highest and best use. The land’s highest and best use is used to determine what the land is best suited for and what it can be used for legally. Once you identify this information about your property, you can market it effectively. If you know your lot’s highest and best use is for farming, your pictures should reflect why the land is perfect for farming. Same goes for commercial, residential, and agricultural. When you know what your ideal buyer is going to use the lot for, you can take pictures in a way that highlights why your lot is perfect for what they’re trying to do.

Highlight the view

In some cases, the very best thing about a vacant lot is the view. Whether it’s a view of the mountains or the ocean or a great spot for watching sunsets, it is imperative that you showcase the view. A spectacular view adds to the emotional appeal of the property, and if people can picture themselves enjoying the view, they’ll be one step closer to closing in on the deal. It’s also important to highlight the property’s natural features instead of surrounding houses or roads.

Work with the golden hour

Ask any photographer about the “The Golden Hour,” and they’ll tell you it is key in some of their best work. There is a very limited window of time, either right after sunrise or just before sunset when the natural light is perfect for pictures. The light is softer, and the sun’s position in the sky is favorable to get a good shot. There’s also the “blue hour” which is the time just before the sun rises or right after it goes down. The light is more even during these times and diffused differently than during The Golden Hour. It takes practice to anticipate these times and use your lighting effectively, but if you can do it right, the result can be a beautiful picture with naturally perfect lighting. And lighting is everything when it comes to photography.

Use the right equipment

Smartphones and ”How-To” YouTube videos are great tools if they are all you have to take pictures, but professional equipment is always a plus. If you can buy, rent, or borrow a professional camera, do so. If you are using your phone, use a tripod to avoid shaky, blurry or lopsided photos. Basic knowledge of cropping, focus, and photoshop can also turn a decent photo into a great one.

Use aerial photography

Photography technology is getting better and better every day, and many serious sellers are using drones to take aerial shots of their lot. This unique view gives buyers a different perspective of the land and allows them to see property lines, access roads and other aspects of the land that are hard to see in traditional photography. When you’re using a drone to get a shot from way up high, consider these settings for optimal results:

  • Shutter speed
  • Optical zoom
  • Focus
  • White balance
  • Stabilization

Offer a different perspective

Your land probably looks and feels a lot different in June than it does in January. If you have the time and flexibility, take pictures at different times of the day and in different seasons. People want to know what the lot will look like covered in snow, or how beautiful it’ll be when the leaves change colors in the fall. Capturing the property in different stages allows buyers to get a more in-depth understanding of what they’ll be working with and how the property changes on a daily and seasonal basis.

Take your time

Taking pictures of your property should not be item #3 on your list of things to accomplish in a single day. It’s not something you can do effectively on your lunch break or on a whim. Give yourself plenty of time to take different shots, play with the angles and the lighting. Rushing will only result in half-decent photos that won’t grab the attention of an interested buyer.

Go with the pros

When it comes to selling your lot, the property is only as good as the pictures you take of it. With so much competition, you can’t afford to take mediocre pictures. If you don’t think you have the time or skill to take a great photo, hire someone who can. Professional photos have been proven time and time again to attract more buyers than traditional images. A professional will utilize many of the tips and tricks we discussed and will add their personal experience and expertise for even better pictures.

To sell your land, people must see potential and purpose in your land. For them to see potential and purpose, you must provide them with pictures that show them exactly what they want to see. Avoid getting lost in the shuffle by using these tips and showcasing your lot in the best possible light.


  • Show Comments

  • Smittybilt Tonneau

    Thought only professional photographers can take good photos like those. Good tips for photography in general.

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