Light & Bright is the Key!

One of the ways to make real estate photography stand out, is to make sure you get your interior shots right.  Real estate agents who overlook the value of great photos or decline to enlist the help of a professional often wind up making a boatload of costly mistakes.  As I often emphasize, utilizing great photography in marketing a home is really important, especially in a world where consumers find just about everything on the internet.  Heck, nowadays, people are searching from more than just their computer… they are on phones, tablets, etc.  You get the picture!

So, here’s a tip… and a simple one:  Make sure your interior photos are light and bright!

Light, bright (a.k.a. “properly exposed”) interior photographs give an up-beat, positive impression to the potential buyer.  When done right, they can be clean, crisp, and welcoming, as opposed to dark or dingy like a dungeon.  Take a look at the photos below to see what I mean:


Step into my dungeon...

I’m sure, by now, you see where I am going with this.  While I could argue (actually just point out) a whole host of bad things about the first photo, you can clearly see that the second one is at least a tad more inviting.  If you follow our blog, you also know that I am becoming a big fan of picking on the poor house from the first photo which was found on the local MLS within five minutes!  🙂

So, how do you do it?  Well, most amateur cameras tend to underexpose images, and doing this the right way often requires specialize lighting or photo editing software.  Proper lighting and controlling window exposure can be downright tough if you don’t know what your doing.  See a typical example of a “blown” or “blown out” window below.


Everybody down! The sun is exploding!

The two common approaches professional real estate photographers use are using multiple small flashes (a.k.a. strobes) to light the interior or shooting numerous bracketed exposures and combining them using special software.  Either way can be challenging and require a great deal of practice to get right… But, once you master it, the results speak for themselves!

“Bouncing” a flash is the easiest way to start getting better interior photos.  You simply attach an external flash (like a Canon Speedlite) to the camera’s hotshot, and often simply point directly at the ceiling, and fire away.  While I use all manual settings, most cameras and flashes set to Auto will give you a decent start.  The flash shoots upward at the ceiling and bounces back down, blanketing the room with soft light.

For the record, in the dining room I shot above, I was fortunate enough to get away with simply metering my camera to the window’s exposure and bouncing a single on-camera flash straight at the ceiling to blanket the room with nice, soft light!

Go ahead, give it a try… Happy bouncing!

S18 Photography 2012



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