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Photographing Real Estate in Different Lighting Conditions

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

city, citryscape, rain, puddle, raindrops

When photographing houses

we always want to make sure your house looks as perfect as possible! We can’t control the weather, or when your listing needs to go up, but we do have some tips to help you out! Natural lighting is necessary, and positioning the house is not an option! But, our team of professional photographers have years of experience under an umbrella of conditions both literally, and figuratively.

If you're wondering when to book your photo shoot, or are concerned with environmental factors, take a look at some of these components to consider:

The First Thing to Look at

when booking your photo shoot would be the direction of the house. Our photographers are equipped to photograph any house, in any lighting condition. Even if the sun is rising behind the house during the photo shoot, we can still provide an ideal image.

Overall, it is best on a sunny day to observe when the sun is crossing over the house, and try to pick a time where there aren't long dense shadows scattered across the front.

light, trees, sunbeams, forest, shadows, sun, sunshine

A Sunny Day

of course, it seems like the best time to take photographs of a house. We want the house to look sunny and inviting! But in fact, sometimes when it is sunny out, we have to compensate for harsh highlights and dark shadows. We need to minimize these because they can be distracting and create inconsistent lighting. We want to get you the absolute best for the first shots you want your buyer to see!

Life Gets Wet

in Portland Oregon as you can imagine. We’re used to lots of damp, soggy, and gray days. So many in fact, we make sure to add blue skies to all of our front shots of each of our shoots!

rain boots, umbrella, rain drops, puddle, boots, rainy

It is important the first MONEY SHOT a potential buyer sees of a house is bright and welcoming. While on one hand shooting out in the rain might not be the most fun... the shiny, contrasted pavement and even-toned lighting that the PNW can deliver can be the most ideal you can get for your exterior shots!

Take a quick look

If you send light through a narrow tunnel, such as a flashlight, it creates a directional beam of light. The smaller the tunnel, the more crisp the beam of light will be (such as a laser) the wider the tunnel of light, the softer and more diffused the light becomes (like a lantern).

flashlight, directional light, light, beams, shadows

In the studio, photographers can use big diffuser boxes over their lights to create the softest light possible around their subjects. This is done using a piece of equipment called a lightbox. A lightbox scatters light inside a hood, and the light that emerges creates the look of directional ambient light, instead of a straight, harsh beam.

lightbox, shadow, subject, photographer, studio, umbrella, beams, soft box

When a photographer takes photos of a house outside on a cloudy day, the clouds cover the sun and scatter the light. The ambient light that comes through creates nice, even lighting for houses. It makes a soft light that is devoid of harsh shadows, and bright beams of directional light in odd places. It makes the house pop out, and when we add blue skies it can often be the best results we can achieve.

Take a look here in some examples.

The image on the LEFT the sun is in front of the house and on the RIGHT the sun is behind.

In this image the sun is behind the clouds and we have added blue skies back in!

soft light, house, real estate, market

The real estate market slows down during the winter months, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare, or you won't be able to get good photos of your listing up! All of these shots are inviting, but now you can see some of the subtle differences that go into getting your WOW shot! Sometimes the summer can mean hectic schedules, big outdoor projects, construction, and renovations. You might find it rewarding to get a head start at your own pace while your house isn't underway with new last-minute projects. Go take advantage of the natural lighting and get ahead of the market this season!

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