Top 10 Techniques For How To Edit Real Estate Photos in Lightroom and Photoshop

Remove shadows in real estate photos by Lightroom

Are you looking into the most common and basic techniques on how to edit real estate photos? Post-processing for real estate photography is an essential step in creating amazing images that will help your clients sell their listings fast and for top dollar. 

There are different techniques that real estate photographers can use in order to retouch and make property images look stunning. 

In this post, we’ll share our Top 10 Techniques on How to Edit Real Estate Photos and make your images look amazing. But first, let’s take a look at why photo editing is crucial in real estate.

Why Is Photo Editing Crucial in Real Estate?

In the real estate industry, high-quality images that appeal to potential buyers are an absolute must. Especially in today’s digital era, where 97% of people use the internet to search for a home, according to recent studies. 

Photo Editing is Crucial in Real Estate
Photo Editing is Crucial in Real Estate

As mentioned earlier, your photography is what is going to help your agent and Realtor clients to get homebuyers through the door and hopefully sell the property. So, it’s your job to provide them with beautiful photos of homes, yards, offices, and interior spaces that will captivate the viewers, which requires good post-processing.

With that being said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details next!

How to Edit Real Estate Photos (Top 10 Techniques)

Post-processing for real estate photography takes a good amount of time for many photographers. This usually takes a huge amount of time as this is an important step in creating amazing images that will help clients in selling their properties.

There are different techniques that photographers can use and do in order to retouch and make the properties look great in photos. Here are some of the basic and most commonly used editing techniques on how to edit real estate photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. 

1. Brightness and Color Correction

To get started, brightness and color correction are the backbones of all image enhancement. Color correction can be done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Making adjustments to color, contrast, tone, and sharpness may seem obvious and simple. But with a few clicks of a mouse, these simple edits can transform an image from looking bland and boring into a bright and appealing image.  

Altogether, these basic retouching techniques can turn a mediocre photo into a captivating one that will capture buyers’ attention and help your clients sell their listings. 

2. Perspective and Horizon Correction 

When shooting real estate, you need to be extra careful with your lines. You need to make sure that the horizontal lines and perspectives are aligned. 

Straight vertical and horizontal lines that don’t converge are known issues in real estate photography. Factors such as the curvature of the lens, the shape of the room and its items, and even the positioning of the camera can make these lines come out distorted.

Fortunately, you can fix this issue in post-processing with a simple retouch called perspective correction.

This editing technique corrects the distortion and misalignment between the horizontal lines and perspective. That is to say, it aligns the lines with the image’s frame to make the photo more natural. 

You can align the lines in Photoshop using the Free Transform Tool. Make sure that you select the entire image and drag the corner of the image opposite to where the lines are leaning towards.

3. Remove Unwanted Objects 

More often than not, real estate photography includes unwanted objects that you need to remove to clean up the image. 

For example, some common situations where you may want to remove an object are:

  • There’s a car in the driveway, blocking the wonderful view of the garden 
  • The granite counter would have been perfect if not for that old frying pan that was overlooked during the shoot
  • There’s an ugly crack in the bathtub, or the wallpaper is coming off in the kitchen
  • You failed to notice that someone passed by the property while making the shot 
Clone in Photoshop will help you remove unwanted items
Clone in Photoshop will help you remove unwanted items

But don’t worry because these can be edited in Photoshop by using the Clone Stamp Tool. Simply, choose the Clone Stamp Tool and pick the source area by pressing the Alt key. Then, you can start cloning the object that you wish to remove.

4. Remove Color Cast

Color cast in a photo can be considered an eyesore, especially in the real estate photography industry, where images need to look extra captivating. To put it another way, color cast is a tint of a specific color in a photograph that is often unwanted and distracting.

For instance, certain lighting can cause film and digital cameras to render a certain color cast. Here are some situations where the color cast can appear:

  • Fluorescent bulbs can produce a bluish tinge 
  • Dark window tint films can alter the color of a beige-colored wall 
  • Gray skies outside may dull the otherwise bright wall inside
  • Even the color settings of the camera can affect the natural colors of the home
  • Fortunately, through editing, you can restore the original color of the areas with color cast using 2 simple techniques. These techniques neutralize and remove the unwanted tint that masks the actual colors.

5. Enhance the Photo With a Sky Replacement

Undeniably, colors come alive on bright, sunny days. On the other hand, gloomy and overcast skies can make your real estate photography look dull. Luckily, you can replace the sky with a few not-too-difficult editing tricks and make your dull sky look picture-perfect.

Kolorheaven's sky replacement service
Kolorheaven’s sky replacement service
  • All in all, a sky replacement in real estate photographs can:
  • Make the property look more appealing
  • Offer a mood booster
  • Provide real estate photographers more freedom when not having to worry about the weather or the time of day to do the photoshoot 

So with a few tricks, you can replace gray, cloudy, or overcast skies with summery, sunny ones in Photoshop. 

6. Photo Manipulation

Undoubtedly, nothing is more welcoming and inviting than a full, green lawn outside of a home. But sometimes, you need to take photos in the wrong season when the lawn has dead spots. Or when there hasn’t been a lot of rain and the grass is brown.

While that’s unfortunate, the good news is that you can use Lightroom and Photoshop to adjust the color of your lawn to enhance the landscaping of your photo.

You can use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit real estate photos
You can use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit real estate photos

In addition, other things you can do to manipulate and enhance your photos are:

  • Adding an inviting fire to the fireplace
  • A pool and patio area outside of the property
  • Fresh modern furniture on the balcony
  • And whatever you can think of to enhance and bring value to your photos 

A properly edited photo effectively shows the property in its full glory and beauty, convincing the viewer that the property he is looking at is an ideal investment. All things considered, these more advanced editing techniques can all quickly be done by Kolorheaven’s professional real estate photo editors. 

7. Reduce Noise

Noise or grain appears as millions of hazy dots and decreases the image’s clarity and quality. Seeing that, makes otherwise beautiful photos look grainy and unappealing.

For example, noise can be a result of either low light settings, errors in pixel density, exposure time, or even sensor size. However, it is rather easy to fix! In Photoshop you can just click on the Filter menu, and choose Noise > Reduce Noise.

Additionally, Kolorheaven’s professional photo editors can tone down noise through a variety of editing techniques. And as a result, your photo will become clearer, richer, and more attractive.

8. HDR Editing

High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) is a technique that many real estate photographers use to create a greater dynamic range of luminosity. 

This technique is used to blend multiple images, taken at different exposures, and later combine them in post-processing to create one perfectly blended image.

Read more: Real Estate Photo Editing Services – 7 Types for Kolorheaven’s Customers

To create HDR images, you should shoot your subject in at least three bracketed images using different exposures. Then, all you have to do is merge the photos into one to show its highlights and shadows.

9. Remove Ghosting

Light flares and ghosting in real estate photography are fairly common phenomena. Ghosting can happen when shooting bracketed images for HDR photography.

For example, trees blowing in the wind move from one exposure to the next across multiple images, causing the final blended image to show the tree branches or leaves with a blurred or “ghosting” effect.

While it can enhance the mood of a photo, in real estate marketing, ghosting comes across as a bit manipulative and cheesy. The reason for this is that it takes away the professional look of a picture.

10. Adjust Shadows 

When shooting real estate interiors and exteriors, you may encounter problems with shadows and uneven lighting. While shadows can add contrast and dimension to an image, they can also be distracting and make your real estate photography look less professional.

Remove shadows in real estate photos by Lightroom
Remove shadows in real estate photos by Lightroom

To combat this, you can use Lightroom to adjust shadows, highlights, whites, and blacks. Simply, drag the Shadows Bar to the right in order to open up the shadows a little bit. 

Final Thoughts

To recap, these are some of the more basic real estate photo editing techniques that will help take your image enhancements a long way. But if this seems too much for you to learn, and you want to spend your time out on the field taking amazing property photos instead, you can always outsource your photo editing.

Kolorheaven has a team of highly talented real estate photo editors who are ready and eagerly waiting to enhance your photos. 

Better yet, you’ll also get access to our user-friendly photo management system, so you can upload and receive photos, and send instructions and feedback. As well as track and manage team members and clients, store final images, and more!

We hope this post helped you learn how to edit real estate photos using our top 10 techniques.



KOLORHEAVEN is a powerhouse in the realm of real estate photo editing, driven by an unwavering passion for perfection. Our services encompass Real Estate Photo Editing, Floor Plan design, Video Editing, and 3D Visualization, making them a comprehensive solution for all your creative needs.


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