Photography Tips for Real Estate Agents

So, you need new headshots. Do it right the first time.  We have provided some tips to keep it simple, classic, timeless and versatile for all of your marketing and advertising.


Arms Crossed:  This pose can be a cliche to be honest.  Many people don't know what to do with their arms, so they cross them.  It gives them the feeling that they're in charge, not awkward and they mean business. But, what does it say to the potential client?  While posing with crossed arms is harmless and sure, it can make for a great photo, but for those who can read body language does it really mean you're holding back or feeling defensive and not open to a clients needs or ideas? What do you think, myth or fact?
Regardless of what body language experts can argue, crossing your arms in a headshot photo has been done by every single agent at some point in their career.  Want to stand out?  Pose differently... or don't.  The choice is ultimately  yours.

One Hand in Pocket: This pose is slick.  It looks fantastic on gentlemen or women wearing slacks with slit pockets.  One hand or two hands in pockets? I say, one hand!  The other hand can drape beside the body or gently clasp the inside of the suit jacket if you're going for a more regal or formal look.

I do like the sitting pose.  Particularly one where a leg is draped forward -- longer than the other.  The background is clean and can be removed, making this pose more versatile for fun marketing. However, if you choose this pose, make sure to also get a standing torso pose wearing the same outfit so that you have more flexibility.  You don't want all of your advertising to look like you're sitting on the job,... no matter how great and modern the photo looks!

Think about your target client (homeowner) and farming area when choosing your pose. Should it be more formal, traditional, modern, casual or whimsical?


Solid Colour Background: Yes, this is very important.  It allows your graphic designer or printer to easily and more cleanly remove the background from your photo to use in marketing materials where you want to overlay your headshot on top of different scenery or a photo of a home as an example. The background colour is important to decide on before heading to your photographer.
Should you choose a white or light colour backdrop, your headshot photo can then be used on light colour marketing materials.  If you choose a dark or black backdrop, your image is then used on dark background marketing materials.
You cannot easily swap!  For example: Your headshot is taken on a white backdrop, but you want to use it on a black flyer.  Your designer can crop your photo to remove the white background, however, unless you have "helmet hair", through your hairs and around your head will always remain a white hallow.  Not to mention, the reflection of the white backdrop as it bounces off your skin and clothing.  It will look odd and unprofessionally placed on a dark background. The better choice would be to have taken the photo on a black backdrop originally.  That way, the dark background is less obvious through your hair to use on a dark background.  Make sense?
Your photographer may offer to take photos on white AND black backdrops, allowing you to choose for yourself later.
This is ideal in many cases, however, in all of my years of experience working with real estate agents and professional photographers, the agent always choosing ONE photo only and never alternates using different background headshots... there's always something they dislike in it for some reason.  I say, don't be so hard on yourself!
If you do choose to go this route to have more marketing flexibility and are sure you'll use both the white backdrop and black, wear the same clothing... or similar or the photos will end up looking so different, it won't look like you.
I've seen this happen as well.


Torso is surely the most versatile to use but there are important things to remember to tell your photographer:

1. Turn slightly on an angle.  It will slim your photo and give it more flexibility when fitting on to marketing materials (rather than a photo that is taken straight-on with broad shoulders).
2. Take a photo no higher than the belt buckle.  Your graphic designer at Agent Brix will need that extra length in the photo for cropping for print bleed and trim lines for your marketing materials.
3. You'll need at least one FULL shoulder.  Don't allow your photographer to cut off both shoulders. These photos are, well, useless.
4. All of your hair.  Don't allow your photographer to crop your photo at the face or cut off your hair. Sure, it's trendy and chic, but a great photo at high resolution can be cropped any way you'd like later on by your graphic designer at Agent Brix.
5. If you choose a full-body photo, make sure it's high enough resolution (300 - 500dpi) so that your graphic designer can later crop it at the belt buckle for specific marketing materials.


Men: Sold colour dress pants (no texture or pin stripes.. and no pleats!). Sold colour dress shirt that is buttoned all the way to the top, (or one button undone). If you choose to go without a tie, this outfit looks great with a slim-fit suit jacket.
Women: Limit the jewelry, nothing large or distracting or that will date quickly! Keep to solid colours for outer layered pieces (leave the pattern for a top).  Avoid large shoulder pads or pleated pouf blouse shoulders. They never look good in headshot photos and are difficult to crop into marketing materials.  You don't want your clothing or shoulders given all of the attention!  Solid pants or a skirt are equally great choices, but keep the skirt at a classy length.  Stay with simple layers and if you choose a blouse with a suit jacket, keep contrast in mind (ie. navy pants and jacket w/ white blouse.  This is timeless.  OR, choose a signature accent colour that you can then carry through on all of your branding such as a teal shirt).

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