How do you mean loft them together? the loft modifier will create geometry from splines, but it won’t weld 2 surfaces together… thats the job of the edit mesh modifier.
Photo realism is all in the detail. Use specular, bump, reflection (and refraction for transparent objects)… and so on and so forth. The more detail you put into the material and the model the more realistic it will look. Don’t expect any quick answers for that one.
oh… and of course Global illumination, caustics, depth of field, HDRI … also essential effects for photo realism
You can download HDRI plugin here: