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What are the 3 types of photography?

Residential, Commerical & Architectural


A picture is worth a thousand words, and in world of real estate, it really can be worth millions. The term real estate is often marginalised by houses, however real estate is a broad definition, meaning ‘property consisting of land or buildings’. So, when we refer to ‘real estate marketing' and ‘real estate photography’, we can be referring to a plethora of industries. The purpose of real estate photography is to sell the space and the first fundamental of selling any space is to show it at it in all of its glory, therefore capturing the best angles of your space is is key.

There are three key types of photography in real estate. Having an understanding of these 3 is important to help you decide how to professionally shoot your property. The first type, ‘Residential’, is the most common type of photography within the real estate sphere. This captures everything from the buildings exterior into the interior and dimensions of a space. When you think residential, think estate agency. Real estate photography is not only the most common type of photography in the real estate market, but is arguably the highest competition area of photography. The second type, commercial, is usually used more for business, but it is for the purposes of promoting or selling. Commercial spaces are often similar in that they are open spaces looking to be filled, so capturing scale and light is important. However, for fitted office spaces, feature shots and exciting interior scapes are the bread and butter for promoting a newly fitted, modern commercial space. The third and final type of real estate photography is architectural, which commonly takes photos of structures and building design. The architectural photography space is a bout to attention to detail, and with that being said the market for such photography tends to be passion based, however that by no means discredits it as a profitable industry…quite the opposite.



Taking great residential photographs can dramatically increase the value in your property and also the time it takes to sell, by a lot! The residential photography space is based on the principle of first impressions, and when buying or renting your dream property, nothing gets an estate agent prepared for viewings like a good first impression. Hiring professional photographers to take internal and external photographs of a house benefits you by showing the space exactly how it is in person. Capturing the correct angles and lighting of rooms, makes spaces much more attractive from a property buyers perspective. You would usually use residential photography when capturing small houses, condominiums or holiday rentals, however there are a variety of other ways it could be used.

Every estate agent is looking for more leads, and more leads come from good presentation more often than not. Residential real estate photographers who are new to the industry have a tendency to place value on the vastness of the property they are photographing, which more often than not results in deceptive photography. We’ve all been there where we’ve seen a property online with seemingly high ceilings and plenty of floor space, until you realise after your viewing that the furniture has been pushed to the walls and the shots you saw online were taken from the top corner of the room. You’d be correct in thinking that this industry is not birthed in deception, but more accurately in carefully curated shots of the properties best bits.

Over the Covid-19 pandemic, property photography has seen a shift in proceedings. As viewings become few and far between, the desire for multimedia is prevalent within this market. Agents are looking towards alternative methods of photography, such as virtual reality and videography in order to grant customers an avenue into viewing their home without really being there. With that being said, property photography will always be the leading media function for presenting a house, so the industry is by no means dying, however for any aspiring photographers within the real estate sector, adding the ability to carry out videography to your arsenal is a fantastic idea.

As previously stated, for estate agents moving into these new emerging markets and forms of marketing, leads are everything, but what’s better than leads? Better qualified leads. Better qualified leads are a product of virtual reality, videography and good property photography.



Commercial real estate photography is usually used as a form of marketing material, commonly through business-to-business, on websites and in brochures. Therefore, the reason you'd use commercial photography would be to sell or promote the real estate. Showcasing its best features is essential to give the audience a feel of the atmosphere, for instance this is key for a hotel. Upon viewing that hotel you have been waiting to book before your next holiday, holiday makers absolutely want to see the features of the hotel, and this is where we differ from the foundations of residential real estate. Upon buying a new home, feature shots are typically not so prevalent. In commercial real estate, whether a hotel or an office block, the brand new keyboards and monitors on the desk, or the plush towels on the heated rack are an absolutely essential part of marketing, for the reason that these are the features that will be used by the guests/occupiers. Therefore, capturing the best angles, that are sleek and polished, not only shows the space clearly but with the right professional photography, can elevate the space.

Again, if we look at the differences between residential and commercial spaces and their photography methodology, it is rare that you are going to want to downplay the vastness of its floor spaces. Whether it be a restaurant, an office space, a hotel or an art gallery the expansive nature of these industries is what separates them from competition and ultimately attracts customers.

Furthermore, these images usually are used in newspapers or brochures therefore high quality imagery is extremely important, which is why the experience and skill of a commercial photographer is key.



Architectural photography is usually of buildings or structures used for commercial purposes to publish and use as a form of marketing and even for personal portfolios a lot of the time. It is therefore very important that attractive photographs are taken, capturing all of the best angles - which can be fundamental for architects who create portfolios for their clients. Architectural photography is more about the exterior than the interior, which is really what separates it from both residential and commercial photography. A majority of the time, exceptions can be made to a certain extent for homes, hotels and commercial real estate if the interior is desirable for the customer. On the other hand, with architecture and architectural photography, the art and beauty is in the exterior. Whether is be the building or the surrounding area, fields or exterior design, the devil is in the detail and in the detail is where architectural photographers usually find beauty.

Without delving too much into the fundamentals of architecture, many photographers such as Helen Binet (Photographer for the late Zaha Hadid) use photography to capture the essence of the architecture by exploring light. Architects typically build on the foundations of the direction and trajectory of the sun in respect to the building. Whilst the world focuses on a much more sustainable future than what we currently have, these aspects have always been paramount in the history of architecture. So whether light enters rooms and extenuates colours within the building or even displays natural curvatures of skilled architecture, it is always the photographers mission to find those sweet spots and create visual art out of them. Using wide angles to capture designs or locations is what makes architectural photography a skill. Being able to show how a building is constructed through photography is critical especially due to the talent and time taken into designing and building the space.


At VIVADO UK, we work hard for out client base to excel at these three forms of photography (residential, commercial and architectural). The real estate market is one which is broad and requires attention to detail in many fields of practice, but we adapt to learn these areas of requirements through our expertise in marketing. From residential, to commercial and architectural, our skilled photographers are highly motivated by the art of photography and highly skilled in mastering what it takes to create beauty. Capturing your space at its finest is what we do best and in turn we work with some of the best companies around to the world to capture stunning photography. Our services extend to a multitude of marketing methods outside of photography which we will touch on in some more articles, because photography is not always the answer. As previously stated, there are finer details and more stringent methods of viewership which compliment photography, such as our Virtual Reality service which can qualify the viewership of your spaces along with helping your businesses space to flourish to its full potential.

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