Real Estate Photography: It’s Not Just Pictures of Pretty Houses


Spoiler alert!  There are many genres of photography out there that don’t fit the stereotypical mold of glitz and glamour.  Not all professional photography involves smiling happy families in matching sweaters, five-star weddings, sunsets over Santorini, or following around beautiful people in designer jeans as they strike funny poses in exotic places (if only…). One of these lesser-known, but increasingly lucrative, genres is real estate photography.


Know this: Real estate photography isn’t just pictures of kitchen islands and master bathrooms!  As millennials enter the home-buying market, real estate is taking a surprisingly “real-life” turn, and one of the ways it is doing this is by depicting neighborhoods and cities as locals see it.  In fact, the Sacramento Bee just published an article about the changing landscape in real estate marketing, highlighting a trend that is focused on advertising the homeowner lifestyle and experience vs. farmhouse sinks and travertine floors.


My love for travel and street photography has given me the opportunity to work for several real estate and relocation firms, most recently Jane Gray of Jane Gray Real Estate.  Jane is an experienced businesswoman with her finger on the pulse of the Sacramento housing market.  To give her clients a real feel for the area and differentiate her brand from the competition, she knew she needed unique, fresh, and authentic imagery.  When she reached out to me to develop the visual content for her website and blog, I jumped at the chance!  I love this kind of work because I get to explore a city from the inside-out and fully indulge my passion for architecture, landscape, and candid street photography.  I also get to tap into my storytelling skills as I weave a visual narrative of a city.


The goal in this type of real estate photography, which I’ve started calling “environmental photography”, is to show people so much more than the four walls of a house.  We all know that it’s not the 800 square foot media room, but the surrounding community that really turns a house into your “home.”  Want to see what it’s like to call Roseville and Sacramento home?  Keep scrolling…


Thank you Jane for the opportunity to create exclusive content for you!  I can’t wait to see how you use your images for Jane Gray Real Estate.



Sacramento Proud!

Hair cuts now come with hair of the dog.  Bottle & Barlow is what happens when an old school barber shop mashes up with a happenin’ bar.  There’s a new zeitgeist brewing in Downtown Sacramento and businesses like this one are at the forefront.

Last week I had the opportunity to work with Dwellworks, LLC on a Sacramento Street Photography project.  My assignment?  Photograph neighborhoods throughout the Sacramento metro and capture the essence of what it’s like to live and play there.

I had a bit of a home field advantage, having lived there for 2 years while I was in graduate school.  Still, there was plenty of new stuff to do and see as I traversed this large and very diverse region.

As those of you who follow me on Facebook know, I had a HOT time in the city (literally!).  The temperature soared as high as 106 degrees some days as summer gave the city a nice, warm hug.  I walked for miles through residential areas and retail centers with 25 pounds of camera equipment in tow, sleeveless shirt to keep me cool and visor tipped down to block the rays, sunglasses in place and a look of focus on my face, cameras swinging from my sides and looking every bit the part of a modern-day Mad Max(ine).  IF you still think photography is all travel and glamour…enter this sweaty photographer with sticky hair and a mild case of dehydration. 😉

Nevertheless, a job like this is always waaaay more FUN than it is exhausting, and I came back with a collection of images that show the many similarities – and differences! – of these NorCal neighborhoods.

The Tower Theater in Midtown is hot gathering place for Sacramento locals.  Having the amazing Tower Cafe next door with its eclectic world menu and inviting garden patio certainly doesn’t hurt.

But do you want to know what the coolest thing is?  No matter how hot it was outside, the people of Sacramento kept on living and doing their thing outside.  Never missed a beat.  Check out the pictures below to see what’s kicking in Sacramento’s hottest/coolest neighborhoods.  You just might find your next road trip stop – or neighborhood!

Downtown Sacramento

Anchored by such icons as the State Capitol building, Tower Bridge, and Old Town waterfront, there’s not a whole lot not to like about this part of the city.  It’s the heartbeat of Sacramento and on the Friday night I visited, it was definitely ticking.


Midtown Sacramento

The hip-i-center of night life, arts, and culture for the Sacramento area.  Lots of color, food, and sometimes colorful food can be found here.  Always a scene worth seeing and a favorite home base for young professionals and entrepreneurs.


East Sacramento

With one toe tickling the East end of Midtown, culture and entertainment is easy to come by.  But there’s a quieter, more old fashioned feeling to this section of Sac that makes it a place you’d want to grow up – and grow older – in.


Fair Oaks

It’s fair to say (haha, can I say that?) that Fair Oaks wears its quiet quirkiness as a badge of honor.  Chickens run amok in the quaint downtown square and really, nobody cares.  It’s an oasis of semi-rural charm surrounded by the hustle and bustle of urban life and the calm of river living.  In Fair Oaks, life moves just a little slower…and they like it that way.



Nowhere else in Sacramento does local history, urban comforts, and excellent outdoor recreation blend better than in Folsom.  Better buy a kayak and a paddle board, dust off the golf clubs, and lube up that bike chain if you move here – because out here, the people MOVE!



If all you have seen of Roseville is the Galleria (guilty as charged), then dig a little deeper.  There’s a historic downtown with an impressive rail yard and plenty of mid-century architecture.  Restaurants and retail options abound in this town, making it a major entertainment magnet for the Sacramento metro and Sierra foothills.


Elk Grove

This large suburb to the south of Sacramento has a lot to offer: a tidy historic downtown with tempting restaurants, parks and plazas around every corner, family recreation options everywhere you look, and a semi-rural feel that welcomes you home after a long day downtown.  It’s this All-American quality of Elk Grove that makes it a favorite for families.


North Natomas

To the north of Sacramento is a community that blends the best that city life and suburban living has to offer.  Kids play soccer in the evenings in neighborhood parks and people pack the local library and cafes to read and socialize.  The Sacramento International Airport is just a few miles away, making it the perfect landing place for business travelers.  Plus, nature is right at your back door.  Need I say more?


Thanks for stopping by, neighbor. 🙂