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Real Estate Photography Lighting Tips

15/03/2021
No Comments
In this article, we're giving you real estate photography lighting tips so that you can capture high-level interior and exterior photos to get potential clients to buy your clients' properties.
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How Do You Use A Flash To Light Interiors?

19/02/2021
10 Comments
Rhett asked the following question: Can you tell me what the most popular settings for shooting interiors are? Also, how would you set your flash and would you use a Gary Fong Light sphere? Shooting interiors I usually shoot at f5.6 and white balance in Auto. then set my SB-700 to TTL. What do you think is […]

What Are Your Favorite Real Estate Photography Efficiency Hacks?

14/04/2020
18 Comments
Kelly, from Columbus, GA writes: “I was coming up to the end of my first year in real estate photography and I was starting to get the hang of using off camera flashes before the Covid-19 virus shut everything down. I’m trying to get more of a handle on things; especially related to getting more […]

Lighting: When Not to Light a Room

09/10/2019
6 Comments
Author: Garey Gomez A big part of real estate photography is becoming comfortable and proficient with a workflow that gets results you want, without taking too much time. Efficiency is the name of the game. Many photographers, myself included, use small strobes to light the interior to overcome the dynamic range and augment the available […]

How to Shoot Dark Wooden Spaces

10/09/2019
7 Comments
Dan in California, writes: "I'd like to hear how most of you deal with wood. Wood on the ceilings, wood on the walls, wood on the floors. Many homes we shoot, and some commercial buildings have cedar or knotty pine ceilings, including more and more of the $1 million+ homes we work on. We also […]

Addressing Color Casts from Warm Tone LED Bulbs

12/08/2019
8 Comments
Andrew, from Northampton, MA, writes: “I have an issue that may be of interest to some of your readers. I find that LED warm tone bulbs are increasingly prevalent in houses. In my raw files, they often give a persistent and unpleasant orange cast to a room. But unlike incandescent bulbs, the cast is very […]

I Need More Powerful Lights

12/06/2019
12 Comments
Jenn in California writes: I've been using a Nikon D750 with the Flashpoint R2 Pro and a few Flashpoint Zoom Li-on Speedlights. I absolutely love how the system works. It's super reliable and the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are a game changer when compared to how I used to need four AA batteries in each of […]

How to Deal with Bright Windows and Dark Shiny Floors?

21/02/2019
8 Comments
Ken in Georgia asks: I have been asked by another real estate photographer to retake photos of a condo. The condo has huge windows and dark, shiny floors. I have shot condos like this before and had good luck by setting the WB for the sun, exposing for the windows, and using an HDR 5 shot sequence […]

How to Improve Lighting of Poorly Lit Real Estate Exteriors?

29/01/2019
Phil in South Carolina asks: I have a constant issue with north-facing homes. This must be a big challenge for every real estate photographer. It takes a perfectly partly cloudy day to get the natural diffusion to look good naturally. Sure, there are ways to artistically blend multiple exposures in post-processing, but I want to […]

What Is a Good Flash Setup for Getting Started in Real Estate Photography?

22/01/2019
12 Comments
Kevin asks: I new to real estate photography and so confused about Speedlights. I need to figure out where to start with Speedlights. I see from some of the posts that Scott Hargis is referred to often when talking about lighting for real estate photography and I have watched his videos on one of the […]

Do You Shoot with Interior Lights on or Off?

14/12/2018
13 Comments
Jack in Florida asks: When I photograph the exterior of a house, I generally like to have the interior lights on especially if there's impressive chandelier or other lighting features inside. After doing this for over 10 years, I got a complaint from a new agent that she did not like the lights being on […]

What Are the Best Light Diffusers for Shooting Large Rooms?

21/11/2018
5 Comments
Discover the best diffusers for shooting real estate interiors and learn different approaches to using flash lighting.

Does Anyone Use an Independent Light Meter to Shoot Interiors?

05/11/2018
9 Comments
?David in Alabama asked the following: I've recently been reading about the Sekonic C-700 color and light meter. It seems like an amazing tool with great potential for PFRE users but how would you best use a device like this to sort the perennial problems of WB and color accuracy in rooms with multiple light […]

POLL: What Is Your Main Lighting Technique for Real Estate Photography?

13/09/2018
12 Comments
A couple of days ago, I ran across Matthew Stallone's great little tutorial on HDR vs. Multiflash real estate photography. It made me think of how much real estate lighting techniques have changed over the past few years and how it may help someone starting out in this field to get a big picture overview […]

Shooting an Empty Room with a Bright Window and Shiny Floors

01/08/2018
14 Comments
Steven in Jersey says: A few months back, I had a photo shoot in an empty house with wood floors. In post-processing, I noticed what a poor shot it was. Recently, this happened again. The dark/light extremes and exposure are really kicking me in the pants. In post, I can bring the exposure up but […]

Compositing: Is It the Future of Great Real Estate Photography?

11/06/2018
12 Comments
?Ray in North Carolina says: I recently viewed a YouTube video where the photographer stated unequivocally that compositing is the now and future for producing great RE photography. I am an avid off-camera lighting shooter and he is right that the process can be cumbersome; not always producing the best possible photo. What are your […]

When Do Real Estate Photographers Gel Flashes to Control White Balance?

31/05/2018
Last week, there were two questions about gelling flashes. Tom on the Big Island asked: For those who use interior flash, do you always or more often than not, gel the flash? I have been trying to get a better understanding of how to use gels. I have seen videos that gel the flash to […]

How to Add a Big Strobe to Your Real Estate Photography Flash Lineup

27/04/2018
?Bill in California asks: I’m interested in finding out more about which strobes/moonlights RE photographers use. I didn’t find much reference to those in the PFRE equipment poll or in the general blog posts. I shoot listings for only 1 client (my wife) with up to four YN560-III Speedlights remotely controlled by a YN560-TX. I […]

Lighting for Real Estate Photography Video Series by Scott Hargis

13/03/2018
8 Comments
Recently, I was talking to Malia Campbell who shot the video for Scott Hargis's now famous real estate photography lighting video series. She reminded me that we are going on 6 years since she and Scott released this fantastic video series. For those of you who are just starting out in real estate photography and […]

Make the Move from HDR to Off-Camera Flash... Without Breaking the Bank

09/03/2018
17 Comments
Carmen in Spain asks: I want to move from HDR to off-camera flash. With a tight budget and so many options out there, how can I make sure I buy the right gear on the first try? I'm not going to bore you with my lifelong history of gear buying failures but the most epic […]

How Do You Control Glare and Reflections on Interior Windows?

14/11/2017
10 Comments
Darren in Northern California says: Is there a particular technique or tactic to reducing glare and reflections on interior windows during twilight photo shoots? I capture a few exposures (ambient and flash fill) and then brush them together in editing. Often times, the views beyond the window are obstructed by interior reflections. Window reflections can […]

Do Any Real Estate Photographers Use LED Lights Rather than Flash?

06/10/2017
7 Comments
Earlier this week a reader asked: Does anyone use LED lights so that you can see how everything looks before shooting (aka not relying on flash lighting)? I don't have any direct experience using LED lighting but I would speculate that in general, continuous LED lighting wouldn't be that much of an advantage for real estate […]

Tips for Shooting a Log House Great Room

26/07/2017
Brad in Idaho says: I would love some specific advice on one room of a house. It's a gigantic "great room" and very very dark. There is also a large emphasis on the view. I shot it last year before I knew how to use multiple flashes and was still doing HDR. I was very […]

How Do You Light and Photograph a Large Interior Space?

19/07/2017
9 Comments
Luciana in Iowa asked: I have been asked to photograph the interior of a commercial property. I went there in advance to see how I would set up my lighting, but honestly I'm having a hard time coming up with a plan. It is a gym with huge open spaces and very high ceilings. I […]

Why You Can't Use Auto Exposure Bracketing When Using a Flash

12/07/2017
5 Comments
Ron in Northern California says: I love your resource here. I have a Canon 5D MKIII with 600EX-RT speedlite and ST-E3-RT trigger. I've been shooting for a couple of months using brackets and Lightroom HDR. I had some color consistency issues and after reading some your posts on using a manual flash I added flash […]

Is Anyone Using the SL-360 StreakLight for Real Estate Photography?

05/07/2017
10 Comments
Steven in South Jersey asks: I am looking at a Flashpoint 360 and wondered if any other readers use one for real estate? I will soon be shooting with a Sony A7 Mark III and continue to use my Nikon with the latest SB flash can I get the nikon to function as a slave […]

How Do Real Estate Photographers Deal With Dark Colored and High Gloss Walls?

08/04/2017
7 Comments
Rich in South Carolina asked: Shot a higher end house the other day and encountered a tough scenario: black walls, dark wood, lots of windows. Any tips or tricks for shooting black walls? Flashes were doing very little at full power. Also in the same house, high gloss red paint! I left the flashes in the […]

What to do With The Flash Zoom Setting When Using Bounce Flash?

21/03/2017
4 Comments
Last week two readers asked what to do the zoom setting when using the lighting techniques described in The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors by Scott Hargis. Thierry in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) asked: Is there a specific way to set flash zoom level when bouncing ? I know I have to try myself different setups but I would like […]

Is Compositing Ambient and Flash Shots in Photoshop for You?

18/03/2017
16 Comments
Sharon recently asked the following: I would love to know via a poll how many real estate photographers do a Lightroom to Photoshop composite process vs. lighting the way Scott Hargis does where you spend much less time post processing.  I see so many tutorials on YouTube for compositing, and it seems like it's a very […]

Are Black and White Images Appropriate for Real Estate Marketing?

25/02/2017
19 Comments
Ron in Texas asks: I wanted to run this idea by you and your readers. I live in a small Texas border town and do RE photography (still and drone) as a retirement supplement, and there are a limited number of high-end homes to shoot here. I stay reasonably busy, but could always use a […]

Which Interiors Photographic Approach is For You? LR/Enfuse Or Small Manual Flash?

12/01/2017
14 Comments
Fred in FL asks: So the big question: I know that you're high on both Scott Hargis's and Simon Maxwell's work. But they have totally different approaches to interior real estate photography. Scott is all about the lighting, whereas Simon is all about using LR/Enfuse to do the heavy lifting and then a little light. […]

One Light Real Estate Photography Video Series By Andrew Pece

30/11/2016
A new series of instructional videos has recently been produced by Andrew Pece, a photographer based in Orange County, California. The video series is entitled One Light Real Estate Photography. Andrew uses a single, hand-held light to produce all of his imagery. This technique taps into the powerful control that Photoshop compositing brings with it by using […]

What Are The Best Techniques For Post-exposure Modification of Over-bright Interior Lights?

23/11/2016
5 Comments
Don asked about controlling light from over-bright bulbs: I wondered what the best techniques are for post-exposure modification of over-bright bulbs, lamps and other fixtures that show up as undifferentiated white blobs.  Obviously, I would rather avoid the problems by using bounced light, changing bulbs, or using a dimmer, but sometimes that isn't possible. What […]

What's The Best Way Of Minimizing Color Casts When Shooting With Small Flashes?

21/11/2016
9 Comments
Peggy in AL asks: Does anyone use the Dem Flip It Cards to avoid color cast in shooting your real estate? I am finding in my area, many condos are full of colorful interiors. I doubt that small articulating Flash reflectors are going to help you avoid picking up color casts from colored walls. Here […]

What is The Preferred Way of lighting Rooms Without Windows?

10/10/2016
4 Comments
Vida in Kranj, Slovenia asks: What is your preferred way of lighting rooms without windows? Having elaborate lighting to mimic windows is often impossible due to small spaces and also misleading. Rooms with one strong light overhead are lighted terribly with ugly shadows and colors. Using bounced flash is often flat and just not soft […]

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Big Lights For Real Estate Photography?

06/04/2016
19 Comments
Jennifer recently asked about lights bigger than small flashes. She said: I'm seeing many FB posts in RE Photography groups where many RE photographers are starting to use more powerful flashes (N-Flash, Profoto B1, Flashpoint Streak Light etc.) I do feel that I could use more power than I'm getting from my speed lights and […]

What Are Your Secrets For Getting Great Window Pull?

22/03/2016
17 Comments
Here are some quick and easy ways how to get great window pull in any room. Use these techniques effectively and enhance your real estate images.

Using High-Speed Sync Feature of Godex/Newer Flash Triggers

26/01/2016
13 Comments
This is a guest post by Walt Simpson of Orlando, Florida. Recently I discovered a technique using some new triggers. I currently shoot with a Nikon D800 and use the Godox/Neewer TT850 Flashes and ST-16s transmitter/receivers. Neewer TT850 *LI-ION BATTERY* Flash Speedlite with FT-16S Wireless Flash Triggers And LI-ION BATTERY Car Charger. This is a […]

How Do You Deal With Mixed Color Temperatures In Interiors Photography?

08/01/2016
10 Comments
John wants to know: How others fix white balance issues on white ceilings. Color casting from adjacent walls, interior lights of varied temperatures and some sunlight all make for a challenging fix. I have been adjusting by using local adjustments brush on the ceilings and using WB tool, a little desaturation and increasing brightness. Wondering […]

Do You Change Light Bulbs To Control White Balance?

02/10/2015
17 Comments
Dwayne sent me this lighting tip that cost less than $10. The two photos to the right are examples of what changing light bulbs can do. Dwayne says: A bulb in my office ceiling fan burned out so I ran down to the store and bought 2 new LED's so I would never have to […]
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