Why we (usually) shoot with the lights off

While lights within a home create an inviting ambiance, their role photography is a little more complicated. Let’s delve into why using practical lights during a photoshoot might not yield the best results and can potentially detract from the visual allure of a property.

Practical lights, despite enhancing a home’s livability, come with their share of challenges when it comes to capturing a property through the lens.

First, these lights often introduce unwelcome color casts and shadows. The varying color temperatures of different light sources—daylight through the windows, incandescent, fluorescent, or LED bulbs—create a blend of hues that don’t accurately represent the true colors of the space.

Practical lights also pose difficulties in maintaining consistent lighting throughout a space. Uneven illumination can lead to areas being excessively bright or deeply shadowed, challenging the capture of an accurate portrayal of the room.

However, in the realm of high-end photography, the approach to lighting shifts dramatically:

Fine home publications like Dwell, Architectural Digest, and Enki tend toward natural light as the primary source in their photography. This preference stems from the qualities of natural light, which creates an authentic and captivating aesthetic. Its soft, ambient nature offers a bright and airy atmosphere that beautifully accentuates a property’s features.

Moreover, in high-end photography, professional lighting equipment is judiciously used to complement natural light. By skillfully balancing ambient and flash, we can highlight a property’s best aspects without distorting colors or creating distracting shadows.

In essence, while practical lights contribute to the livability of a home, they might not be the best choice for real estate photography, especially when aiming for high-end standards. Embracing the subtleties of natural light, as seen in prestigious publications, and leveraging professional lighting equipment can help capture a property’s true essence and resonate profoundly with potential buyers.

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