Some people would say that real estate photos live a very utilitarian life, usually quite short and with an almost depressing singularity of purpose. Get people to notice the house. Get people to see that it is a nice house. Give them an idea of what type of house it is, and finally play a role in having them see the house.
As a photographer and an artist first and foremost, I would like to think that these pictures also play a role in showing people a home, not just a structure, and showing it to them through their heart's eye. Not just conveying information but conveying a feeling that will hopefully be the one they feel when they think of the word "home".
As such, I firmly believe that a listing should include photos beyond just: "these are the rooms, this is the front of the house, this is the backyard, shed, pool, what have you".
I think that homes have a character, a personality, a spirit. This is most obvious in older homes: the brass door knob, smoothed by thousands of turns by hundreds of hands over the years! The skeleton key that opens all the old locks in a house. A room that just begs for a piano, or a painters easel - even if they are not pieces that are included with the sale of the property, they speak to the home's character and spirit.
Perhaps a statuette in the back yard, or an old, old tree. Maybe it's a unique piece of trim, a banister lovingly worn to a satin beauty by the people who leaned on it, in good times and in bad.
I think all these things are important, that they're special, that they're something that speaks to us on a level beyond utility and practicality. And I think it is never time wasted taking these pictures, as I don't think it is time or money wasted to include them among the listing photos.
Perhaps I am just a sap. Maybe I am the one who "doesn't get it". But I really think human beings respond to that aspect of making a decision about their greatest single expenditure. And I think it would be foolish to overlook that.
TwoSixPix philosophies, tips and tricks, and just a little peek into who I am behind the camera.