Good lighting is vital for all types of photography, especially when shooting photos of real estate. Setting up lighting for real estate photography properly can make a house appear warm and inviting, while the wrong setup makes it appear chilly and uninviting. In this article, we will explain why lighting is important for interior or real estate photography and give you some tips to get the best results.
Why is lighting important for interior real estate photography?
Perfect real estate images make an excellent first impression on potential buyers. Excellent lighting is crucial in doing this. Here are three reasons why lighting is so important in real estate photography
It enhances natural beauty of the house
Good lighting enhances the home's features and appeal. When dark, unpleasant portions of a house are illuminated, they take on a unique shine. When shooting interiors, natural lighting is preferred, but it may be augmented with artificial lighting in spaces that do not receive much natural light.
Additionally, lighting creates the appearance of spaciousness. It has the ability to make a tiny space look much larger than it actually is.
It leaves a positive impression on potential buyers
Prospective buyers may not like to visualize themselves in their new house in a dark and dismal environment. Poorly lit photographs of your house might strike the incorrect tone for a listing, discouraging potential buyers from viewing it. Images that make use of lighting techniques are often regarded as beautiful and stylish.
It is likely to bring more deals
Lighting for real estate photography ensures listings with high-quality photos to improve user engagement, resulting in more visits. It is possible to further highlight the qualities of your home and attract more potential buyers to examine the property by utilizing a professional real estate photographer and a precise lighting strategy.
An accurate depiction of what your house has to offer saves everyone time, resulting in a quicker sale. It all boils down to assuring the quality of the first stage, which is to offer proper illumination.
6 lighting tips for real estate photography
There are various light sources available for real estate photography. Each has its pros and cons. Here we offer some tips to help you make the most of different types of lights. And there are some common tips you should pay attention to.
We also have a post to talk about lighting setup for car photography. Click the link to get some ideas.
Maximize natural light for real estate photography to get best results
Natural light is one of the best lighting sources for interior photography. Besides opening the windows and blinds to let the sunshine in, here are more tips for you to get better real estate photos:
Shoot at the best hour of the day. The optimum lighting for real estate photography is typically around midday, however, this may not be the case depending on the location and direction of the property. Consider arranging the shooting between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM if you're dealing with a north-facing location. If you photograph a south-facing home, plan the shoot for early morning or late evening. Meanwhile, the afternoon is ideal for west-facing residences, while east-facing buildings gain the most from the morning light.
Open every blind. Maximize the amount of sunshine that enters the space. Net curtains can be used to lessen the contrast created by the windows.
Turn off all lights in the room. This helps avoid color casts. With a little easy editing, you can easily create consistent white walls.
Use bounced flash to show details in the shadows caused by daylight
One disadvantage of natural light is that it might generate harsh shadows that need considerable post-production.
A single flash provides the solution. This may be intelligently used with the greatest possible reflectors: the walls and ceiling.
If the flash is focused forward, it will cast harsh shadows. You may keep it on the camera by turning the bulb slightly rearward and toward the ceiling. Use it in conjunction with a radio trigger for more precise placement.
When using a flash, you should be able to generate a picture without the "flash look." To begin, change the camera settings to obtain the proper exposure. Then, adjust the flash brightness such that it just affects the shadows. As a result, the key light will be coming from the window, and the image will appear realistic.
Use a flash to simulate natural light
As a real estate photographer, your goal is to reproduce and enhance the beauty of any room without changing the true perspective. Lighting for real estate photography might be boring and flat at times. This can be improved by simulating natural light.
The idea is to mimic natural light that comes from a certain direction. If the window in the room isn't bright enough, point the flash at the same wall to generate a gentle, broad, diffused light from that direction.
Check that your frame does not include the flash or a bright point on the wall. If you can't prevent it, take a second similar photograph without the flash and use Photoshop to mask off the undesired components.
Use continuous lighting for real estate photography to get real-time adjustments
As the name indicates, continuous light stays on continuously during the whole shooting. Continuous lighting for interior photography often produces an even light stream that illuminates the room and enables you to assess the lighting settings in real-time. As a result, you'll be able to tell whether you need to utilize more powerful illumination or add more light sources.
For high-quality real estate photos, modifiers like softbox and umbrella are required to diffuse the lighting and avoid harsh shadows. It is also advised to invest in a fixture that comes with variable color temperature. In this way, you can build different scenes. For example, you can set it at 5600K color temperature to emulate sunshine to create natural ambient illumination.
The COLBOR CL330 is a good choice of LED lights for photography studio. It is built with standard Bowen mount to work with most of the modifiers on the market. Moreover, its color temperature is adjustable from 2700K to 6500K and the brightness is also 0-100% adjustable. The 96+ CRI enables it to reveal the true color of everything in the room.
Adopt the same lighting techniques for real estate photography for consistent photos
You may use a variety of strategies and tricks to enhance the lighting for real estate photography, but once you settle on a strategy, be sure to stick with it for all the other rooms you'll be photographing.
It is advised to take a stroll around the location before the picture session so you can select the right lighting technique. The same advice applies to brief commercial real estate photographic series that feature a collection of homes and are used by an agency to promote listings on their website.
Avoid mixing lighting for fewer post-production efforts
Ideal real estate photography lighting comes in a neutral and uniform tone, which is achieved by using light sources that feature the same color temperature. If there are mixed color temperatures in the photos, it will have a blue and red cast. This should be corrected in the post-production stage.
What lighting equipment for real estate photography do you need?
From the aforementioned tips, we know that the following equipment is needed for real estate photographer.
Light source: Using strobes, flash, or LED lights for real estate photography are all feasible. You can use only one type or a combination of them to make the target setup.
Light modifiers for real estate photography: Softbox, diffuser, or umbrella are needed when you want to illuminate the scene directly without harsh shadows. Look for the one that comes with standard Bowen mount so it can work with most of your lights.
Light stands for real estate photography: It helps you illuminate the subject at any height, position, and angle. It should be adjusted to different heights and sturdy enough to avoid titling down with light fixture and modifier on it.