Welcome to my first Real Estate photography blog post. I’m not entirely sure about what to write, but I will try to cobble something together.
This is a home for sale that I photographed about a week ago. Owned by a single rather well off chap, who had very good taste. I loved this house. You can see the details at the Agents Website.
I will attempt (not only to show off my photo’s) to show you how and why I made them. Firstly though, as a Real Estate photographer, I am always limited in focal length. Estate Agents always want you to “make it look big”, so you are forced into using a focal length of around 16mm. As this does cause distortion it is not my length of choice. But we need to do what the client wants sometimes.
This is a 5 bedroom house. Two are just being used as storage and so aren’t really what I want to show. Here is the smallest remaining bedroom.
For this one, I needed to show the big window, the fireplace and the location of the bedroom compared to the rest of the house. I always try to do this. It ties the views in with the floorplan. This meant I needed 2 photos. For both of them, I exposed for the window (slightly overexposed because I HATE those very dark window pulls. It just does not look right!). I placed a strobe in the far bedroom and one in the hallway. Two were also placed in the bedroom. I try to create natural-looking shadows using strobes but also take a few ambient shots to brush in the shadows in photoshop. The fireplace was also flashed to bring in some detail.
The master bedroom. This room was right up my alley. I love it! The first image is your standard Real Estate Photography type image. In the corner, looking big, showing the window and the door. I had a strobe in the hallway and one just to the left of the window. A nice simple shot.
The next image. How I love one-point perspectives. This was taken well out in the hallway and I was able to zoom right into 24mm, lessening distortion and making the room look more natural. I had a light in the shower with a 1/2 CTO gel on to make it warmer and had a flash to the right of the image. Positioned carefully so as not to show up in the mirror. They can be a pain!!! Again, I played around with flash and ambient light settings to get this image as it is now in camera.
Living Room 1
Frank Lloyd Wright once said that rooms are designed to be enjoyed from a seated position. So I try to keep my camera at that type of height for my photographs. This is the main living room. Image again created in-camera using 4 strobes. I positioned 1 in the far lounge, 1 in the hall, 1 to the left of the window and one to fill in the shadows on the right of the image. All bounced off the wall or ceiling to give me a big soft lovely light.
This study was a very straightforward room to light. I exposed for the window, put a strobe in the back room and simply stuck a light on the door bounced into the ceiling to bring up the exposure. All the strobes were then turned off to take a bracketed ambient shot and I then blended this all together in Photoshop.
Living Room 2
This is another room I loved. From the big windows to the fireplace to the furniture. Even the stuffed dog looking out the window. I knew it need two images to truly show it off.
The first one is a one-point perspective. I lined up the chandelier with the center window and used the edges of the opening to create a frame. The foreground was lit with a strobe and exposed for the outside. This image is created in Photoshop. I had nowhere to hide my lights. I initially took a flash pop in each corner. The ones near the windows brighter by about a stop than the ones inside. Then I light painted the chest, fireplace, wine rack, and ornaments before blending them all together in photoshop.
The second image is a nice easy one. I moved the chest almost into the fireplace so it wasn’t blocking my path through the image and used 4 strobes to light the area.
The kitchen. This room was TOUGH to shoot, man. A narrow, galley kitchen, reflective surfaces everywhere. There was nowhere to put my camera or lights. And multiple light colours from the overhead lights, unit lights, natural light that was tinted from the conservatory. All of these were made with multiple flash pops and then tidied up in photoshop. Sometimes there is just not the space to get it in-camera.
Real Estate Photography doesn’t really allow time to make the most of rooms like this.
The images taken in the conservatory are single exposures.
I hope this post was worthwhile for you. Please comment below if you have anything you’d like to ask or drop me an email if there is a blog post you’d like me to put up. I can answer questions on Architectural Photography, Real Estate Photography or Photoshop.