The most challenging aspect of photographing a home is the interior work. Experts say home interiors are more appealing to buyers if they are “Light and Bright”, so how does a photographer accomplish the “Light and Bright” images that will make the home most appealing?
First – That camera on your phone is remarkable for what it is, a small camera app on smart phone. It’s great for being always available and for snapshots, but this is a time you don’t want snapshots, you want polished work that stands out in a crowded market. Next – if the photographer you hired shows up with a single flash mounted on camera and just steps into a room and “snaps” a photo, you might as well use your phone. Those dreary, badly lit photos won’t sell anything. Save your money.
Lighting a room well is a challenge. Take a look around you. Are the windows blown out white holes in the wall? Do any of the lamps that are switched on look like glaring bright spots without detail? No. Our brains do a remarkable job of interpreting visual data so that we look out of a window and see a well-lit scene while the room surrounding the window also looks well-lit. A camera cannot do that – the range of light from bright daylight outside to shadowed areas inside is just too great. So, in order to create a photographic illusion that looks like our brain tells us it is supposed to look, we must do more than just “snap a photo”.
There are two ways of balancing outside light with inside light. We can expose for the outside light and build up the inside light (usually with flash) to the same level. This takes (usually) several flashes off camera placed in just the right places. Or we can take a series of progressively darker photographs (called a bracketed series) which we will then blend with photo editing software (Exposure Fusion, HDR, and/or by hand) into a single well exposed photo. Either method has its benefits as well as some drawbacks. Sometimes a combination of the two methods is the best choice. Either method requires knowledge and skill from your photographer. Real estate interiors are where the good photographers earn their keep.
Thanks for taking time to read this piece. I hope you find it useful.