Why I Use Flash Photography at EVERY Real Estate Shoot

When it comes to real estate photography, you basically have two types of photographers: Ones that use artificial lighting and ones that don’t. I’m the kind that uses flash photography at EVERY, SINGLE photo shoot. Before I explain my reasoning, let me break down the alternative.

What is HDR Photography?

High Dynamic Range Photography, otherwise known as HDR Photography, uses photos captured at different exposure levels and automatically combines them to make the “perfectly exposed” image.

Confused yet? That’s ok. The process is actually much easier than the definition.

An HDR Photographer will set up his camera in one place and take several shots. He adjusts his settings so each capture is darker/lighter than the last.

He then uses software to magically combine the photos to create your final image. TADA!

The Problem with HDR Photography

The biggest problem with HDR Photography is that it’s so hit or miss. If the lighting conditions are just right, the final image looks pretty decent. But if the interior is too dark compared to the outside, the algorithm has a hard time combining the photos for a clear image. The areas around the windows start to get halos. The rest of the images looks washed out.

So why do photographers use HDR photography? Well, it’s easy. All you have to do is setup a camera in the corner, press a few buttons, and the software does the rest. Flash photography takes a more skill and practice, and many photographers don’t know how to apply it to real estate.

Flash Photography for Real Estate

So why do I take the harder route and use flash photography? The answer is simple: You get a MUCH better final image.

With flash photography, I can control the light. I can determine how much light is necessary and where to place it so my photos come out clear and natural looking.

Lighting an interior is not an easy task, so I understand why it can be intimidating to a lot of photographers. Practice makes perfect though. Through education, trial, and error, I’ve developed a system to come up with stunning real estate images. It’s not really a trade secret either. I use flashes at different power levels, in different places, and manually combine them in Photoshop for the perfect image. Here’s an example:

The three images above were masked in Photoshop to create the image below. This is a process that takes practice and finesse to get right.

The Choice is Yours

HDR Photography isn’t always a bad thing. It’s generally cheaper and the photos usually come out “good enough”. However, flash photography will create a much better first impression on potential buyers. I have a list of clients who have switched from an HDR Real Estate Photographer to me, because my photos always come out that much better. I’ll email you their contact info if you need proof :).