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  • 22 Dec 2014

How to Use Light for Professional Real Estate Photography Results

Light, light, light – we can’t put enough emphasis on its importance for attractive property photo shoots. You have just one attempt at impressing potential property buyers. Bright, crisp and colourful photos are the best way to make a great first statement and to awaken emotional desire. 

The manner in which the real estate photograph is lit is one of the variables that you’re in control of. Indoor photography can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the experience. Understanding a couple of basic rules, however, will give you the tools necessary to give potential buyers access to all of the important information hidden in your pictures.

Should You Use the Camera’s Flash?

This is probably the most important aspect that will have to be addressed before we move on to finer nuances of real estate photography light use.

Most commonly, the use of the camera flash indoor will make the picture excessively “washed out.” This is one of the main reasons why turning the flash on when doing interior photography is consider a major sin.

External flashes are something completely different. These can help you boost the brightness in dim and dark conditions. To use an external flash, however, you’ll need to move away from the camera’s automatic settings and learn more about the manual adjustments.

If you don’t feel confident in your skills or comfortable with this technique, you’ll simply need to stick to flash-free photography.

Choose the Right Time to Shoot Your Home

The right time for the photo session will give you access to the best possible light conditions. Think about the direction of the sun and that of the windows, in order to do real estate photography in the best possible way.

Eastside rooms should be photographed in the morning. If you have rooms that face the west, postpone the photo session to the end of the day. Rooms that face the north and the south should be photographed whenever the natural light is bright enough.

Avoid taking room pictures in the middle of the day when the sunlight is most intense. The brightness will “burn out” some of the details. If the sun is excessively bright, you’ll simply need to pull the curtains shut and experiment with shooting the interior this way.

Play with the Available Light

Balance of light is your main goal. What does this mean? You should have no excessively bright or under-lit spots in your photograph. This may sound like a relatively simple concept to grasp but execution is a completely different thing.

Play with the available light sources. Draw the curtains and take a picture. Open them and make another shot. Change the places of lampshades. You can also rely on mirrors to reflect the light and result in an even more interesting effect

Successful interior photography is all about being creative enough with what you have available. Add a couple of lamps, remove them and shoot the room from different angles. This approach will result in at least several great shots that you’ll get to use in your listing.

When is Combining Natural and Artificial Light a Good Idea?

Though combining natural and artificial light is usually a big no-no, such photographic experiments can sometimes result in incredibly innovative and original photos. This is why you need to dedicate enough time to playing around with the camera. Shoot al kinds of pictures, even if the idea seems to be absurd. The results could be quite artistic and unusual.

Artificial light like the one coming from a lampshade can be used to make the interior softer and warmer. A bit of natural light streaming through the windows (with the curtains half-drawn) will give additional brightness to the picture, resulting in a very interesting effect.

When doing such experiments, refrain from facing the window and taking a picture. The natural light will be too bright this way, disturbing the balance of the composition.

One final tip – choose artificial light shades that do the interior design a justice. If the interior is minimalist and executed in cool tones, refrain from picking bulbs and fixtures that will result in warm, yellowish hues.

Getting the light right means that you’re halfway there. Follow the basic rules and you’ll get beautiful real estate photos, even if you don’t have professional equipment.