Photographing Luxury Property

How I shot Palm Ville – Using good photography to sell your property.


There are many ways we at Luxury Property try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Prompt action and integrity are key areas but many other important differences come under the heading of ‘attention to detail’ and presentation. Small incremental differences can add up to a huge advantage and good photography is a key to success.

One owner of an extremely valuable home contacted us and asked me to offer his property for sale for no other reason than he appreciated the care and effort I had made to take the photos of another property.  In fact, I had made five different trips on five different days to get the right shot at the right time – the right time being when the sun was in the right place. Compare this level of commitment to the usual 15 minutes with a cell phone other brokers take. But I am not a professional photographer – I just work hard.

Take the front gate for example – this had to be taken with the sun behind me and that meant going there in the early morning. The early morning sun was no good for the beach side of the house so I had to go all the way there only to take photos of the front gate. It is a glorious entrance and a job worth doing well. One photo of the gate in relation to the road gives context and a sense of scale – the property is enormous.

Front Gate

The Grand Entrance with road

Another photo of the gate opening invites you inside.

Front gate detail

Welcome to Palm Ville

Another photo of the front gate from the other side gives more context and had to be taken at another time of day. You can see the shadows so you know that this time the sun is behind me from the other direction.

Good photography takes technical know-how but it also takes patience.

3 car garage plus staff accomodation

Garage and staff quarters

Palm Ville was built with considerable attention to detail and happily, all the windows are mirrored to reflect the heat of the sun and keep the house lovely and cool. These mirrored doors provide a clever way to give context to the front gate and the beach in the same shot. Again, the light had to be in the right place for this shot to work optimally. All of this needed to be planned.

Mirrored glass

Think creatively – 2 views are better than 1

As a rule, I like to work from the outside and then go in. Here we see a panorama of the main house from the beach. This establishes the context for the detail to follow.

Palm Ville Main House

The Main House

Of course, I have included another panorama of the garden in relation to the beach.

Huge lawn sea views

Garden and beach shot combined gives context


And now for a little more detail. Make sure you take the time and effort to set the scene – there were no mattresses on the sun lounger when I visited – the owners were abroad. However, I had the mattresses and the drinks, glasses, and towels put out and added the hat for detail. The result is a totally different photo. This one invites and tempts you. Good real estate photography takes time and effort.

Swimming apool Area

Invite the viewer to be a part of the scene

Again, here I set the scene and then I drill down into the detail – this table was bare but I got some things from inside the house and made the scene more inviting and more interesting.

Outdoor dining

Set the scene

rear garden dining area

Attention to detail

The light just before the sun sets offers unlimited potential for creativity and showing a property at its best. Too much strong light and too little light is a problem. If you catch the light at the right moment your photos will glow with warmth.

Garden pool side gazebo

Beachside gazebo overlooking the beautiful azure sea

patio sunset

Lounge patio area as the sun begins to set

Everyone loves a sunset photo – they say nothing about the house as such but they speak to the heart of what it is like to live here and this is important.

Sunset views

Breathtaking views

Night photos present more challenges – you will need a sturdy tripod or at least something on which to rest your camera – set the timer for the shutter release so the camera is perfectly stable when the shot is taken.

Patio dining area

Patio dining area – clear and crisp image

A pool shot with pool lights at night is a must have shot – again use a tripod

Swimming pool lights

Swimming pool at night with inky black background

Your photos have to show what it must be like to live in a home like this, so add some emotion – and don’t forget to get the horizon straight. You can use some photo editing software to get the horizons straight but better to get it right in your camera first time.

Boat and jetty area

Tempt the viewer to a boat trip

Add some excitement

Feel the speed

In my next blog, we will look at shooting house interiors.

For the whole presentation see here High-End Beachfront Family Home 

You can see the full photo set here –[email protected]/albums/72157679100413050


  1. Richard

    on   said 

    This would certainly encourage me to use your services … it is such attention to detail which distinguishes excellent from the merely good.

  2. Dave Stallworthy

    on   said 

    Only just seen this , a very nice professional job with intresting descriptive information ( decent house to photograph as well , hope it sold well )


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