Lots of REALTORS work with a professional photographer on a regular basis for their listing photos, and why wouldn’t they?  Just like consumers trust REALTORS to guide them through the home-buying process, many real estate professionals trust the ‘photo experts’ to guide them through the intricacies of getting just the right photos for their listings.


There are many questions to ask a potential photographer such as the type of equipment used, what kinds of shots will be taken, and much more.  However, one of the most overlooked questions is potentially the most important.

Who owns the photos?

When you ask the photographer this question the answer should always be a resounding YES.  Not only should you own them, but there should also be no restrictions or limits on the photos.  Just like your latest real estate transaction, the key is to get everything in writing.

Be sure you receive a written release and save it with the other paperwork for that particular listing.  Your time is valuable; the last thing you want to get involved in is a legal fight over who owns the listing photos.  Be sure to check out NAR’s resources for sample work for hire, assignment, and exclusive license agreements available for your use.

This article is adapted in part from Inman News and was initially contributed by Laura Ure, CEO of Keenability, a full-service marketing agency specializing in lifestyle and creative real estate marketing.  View her full bio and other articles at

The original Inman article can be viewed in its entirety at