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I Just Booked My First Real Estate Photoshoot. Now What Do I Do? (Part 2)

If you are new to my blog welcome! I hope you enjoy reading the various topics I cover regarding real estate photography. One of the goals I have with my blog is to share tips, tricks, and other related information to those individuals getting started as real estate photographers. In the previous month's posting, I discussed various factors to consider when shooting the exteriors of properties and more specifically went over weather, time of day, lighting, and shooting techniques. Since this is your first listing that you will be shooting for a client, you are probably wondering as the title states "Now What Do I Do"? Hence, the focus of this month's posting will be to continue to discuss several key considerations I discussed last month such as lighting, shooting techniques, and also, will address the condition the interior of the property is in and what you should think about when you arrive to capture it.

1. Interior Condition and Time

Depending on which way you go about it whether shooting the interiors first or last, the overall state the inside of a property is in will directly impact a number of things such as the total time you will spend at the property, the visual aesthetics, and also the amount of time spent in post processing editing the interior images. First off, I highly recommend just like for the exteriors I discussed last month to do a walk-around throughout the inside of the property and adjust items on the spot such as: hiding/removing remote controls, closing the toilet lids in the bathrooms, and removing any signs of animals present like food and water bowls, and so on. By doing this first you will be saving considerable time later on during the editing phase and also will instantly enhance the interior aesthetics of the property. The second thing is to look at the overall layout of the space such as the living room and consider which angle will best convey that space. This is where it a good idea to come up with a shot-list prior to arriving at the property so that you can save time by knowing ahead specifically the angles you wish to capture. I usually do this by first typing in the address of the property on Google to see the previous pictures of the property that are available to get a sense of how the inside of the house looks. I then create a shot list based on this information.

2. Lighting

Unlike the exteriors, capturing the inside of a property from a lighting standpoint will vary from one real estate photographer to the next as some myself included prefer to shoot using a mixture of natural lighting (ambient) and artificial lighting (strobes) while others make use strictly of the available lighting (ambient). Deciding on which way to go is entirely up to you however, in my opinion since this is your first real estate photoshoot, I would suggest starting out by just using the available lighting that is present as it will keep things easier for you (no flash settings to worry about, light stands and placement considerations, and reduces the risk of any accidents from happening in the event a light stand tips over and knocks something off and breaks it). I am a "lights on" type of real estate photographer meaning that I like to have all available light sources on such as lamps, wall sconces, etc. as I like to see the warmer look in the images as opposed to the cooler look if the lights are turned off. Hence, during my walk-through this is something I make sure to address by turning on all light switches throughout the house. Depending on your style this is something you should consider when shooting your first listing as lighting is key in any type of photography and for real estate its no exception.

3. Shooting Techniques: There Are Several To Choose From.

When it comes to how you capture the interiors of a property there are different ways to achieve this. Personally, I choose to shoot using the "flambient" technique, which involves shooting an ambient exposure followed by a flash exposure with an off camera flash unit and then in PhotoShop blend the two layers into 1 final image. The picture you see above was shot and edited using this technique. What I like about the flambient technique is it allows you to capture the true colors of the space (with the flash image) while also, making use of the ambient lighting (with the ambient image). For more information on this technique I highly suggest you watch video tutorials from Rich Baum or Nathan Cool on YouTube as they will show you how this technique works in greater detail. The other popular technique is to shoot using the high dynamic range (HDR) technique and take a series of exposures (under, normal, over) in a single bracketed set. In my opinion, this is a good technique to consider as it is your first listing to shoot because its less time consuming than the flambient technique and requires less equipment (no flash or strobes or light stands needed).


In summary, I hope you have enjoyed reading this month's blog post. When it comes to shooting your first listing and more specifically the interiors there are a number of factors to consider some of which I have discussed here to help better prepare you for your first shoot. The best piece of advice I can give is to: do your research and take the time to learn the different shooting techniques and your overall workflow processes as it will vary depending in part on which shooting technique you choose to use. In addition, don't be shy to ask questions to other real estate photographers in your area that are willing to help you. Lastly, don't forget to have some fun while shooting the property!

Finally, as I have mentioned in previous blog postings if you know someone looking to get into real estate photography and believe they would benefit from this post or others I have written before please feel free to share it with them. Also, make sure to subscribe to my email list to receive the latest news and updates from Marcos Guevara Photography (just enter your email address at the bottom of the screen when you first visit my website). Lastly, please be sure to like my social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Have a great day!

Marcos Guevara

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