In real estate marketing, there lies a topic so contentious it could rival the great debates of our time: the use of twilight photos in property listings. 

Ah, yes, twilight photos. Some agents view them as a crucial tool in their marketing efforts, capable of transforming an ordinary listing photo into something extraordinary. Others, however, see them as an unnecessary embellishment and a waste of time. 

So, what’s the truth? Let’s find out.  

Understanding Twilight Photography’s Appeal

We all know the importance of professional listing photos—and any photographer will tell you that the right lighting plays a crucial part in capturing the best images. 

But beyond great lighting and a skilled photographer, what really makes listing photos stand out? 

Twilight photos capture properties in the soft, ambient light of dusk, offering a visually striking contrast to the brightness of daytime shots. This unique lighting can highlight a home’s exterior features and landscape lighting to create a welcoming, cozy glow. But the question remains: Is the allure of twilight photography truly attracting more buyers, or is it merely aesthetic?

Services like have made twilight photography a cost-effective option for agents. For as little as $4 per image, agents can transform daytime photos into twilight scenes, offering significant savings compared to traditional photography costs of $25 to $100 for the same effect. 

This accessibility prompted a closer examination of its effectiveness.

A Data-Driven Approach

To cut through subjective opinions, I launched a comprehensive split test comparing twilight photos against standard daytime shots. 

I turned to Instagram and Facebook ads to conduct this analysis, comparing the following styles from

  • “Warm Whites”
  • “Orange & Yellow”
  • “Puffy Clouds”
  • “Fantasy Style”
  • “Dramatic Clouds”
  • “Cooler Blues”

The split test was designed to ensure fairness and accuracy, employing the same budget, timeframe, and audience targeting across all test variables. We ran the Facebook and Instagram ads with the same ad spend ($250 each), during the exact same timeframe, using identical ad copy, and targeting the same audience. 

Opting for an “Awareness” objective, we chose the path less traveled—knowing well it results in fewer clicks than a “Traffic” ad. But here’s the kicker: the clicks we aimed for were more organic, capturing the genuine interest of our audience rather than just chasing after the habitual clickers that Facebook algorithms love to target with “Traffic” ads. 

The Results Speak Volumes

The data revealed a clear preference for twilight photography.

“Dramatic Clouds” emerged as the champion, raking in 230 clicks, significantly outperforming the standard daytime photos “Puffy Clouds,” which brought in 213 clicks. This suggests that the atmospheric quality of twilight photos resonates more deeply with potential buyers.

It’s important to note, too, that buyers aren’t tempted by overly processed images. “Fantasy style” photos came in last, with just 180 clicks. 

But here’s where it gets really juicy. In the long run, leveraging a consistent advertising budget, the advantage of the right twilight photos became even more apparent.

Let’s say you have a $200 weekly average Facebook and Instagram ad spend. Over a 52-week stretch, those “Dramatic Clouds” twilight photos would obliterate the competition, amassing 11,960 clicks, while standard “Puffy Clouds” photos would get 11,076 clicks, and “Fantasy Style” just 9,360. 

That’s right. By simply switching to subtle yet appealing twilight photography, you could snag an extra 884 clicks over a year compared to “Puffy Clouds.” That’s a 7.98% increase in clicks to your website. In the world of clicks and conversions, those numbers aren’t just good; they’re gold.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Twilight photography isn’t just another gimmick. It’s a strategy that can significantly increase visibility, drive more traffic to your listings, and ultimately, increase your ROI.