It’s no coincidence that real estate photoshop has become such a hot industry today. All photographers or realtors always want all photos which are posted on their website to be as complete and beautiful as possible. That’s why they always look for the professional photo editors.
However, editing is just a part of the process of creating a good photo. In order to get a perfect photo, the quality of the input is also an equally important factor.
During our 6 years of working in photoshop, we have met many questions from clients about how to take the best and most reasonable real estate photos, so that the photos after editing achieve the highest quality. The following article will answer these questions.

Comparison of common shooting techniques in real estate photography

I. Single Exposure Photos

Advantages of single exposure photos:

It can be said that this kind of technique is the simplest one in photography. All you have to do is set your camera with your expected colors and brightness. Thanks to this convenience, you can have a single photo with just a phone, or a point-and-shoot camera, or more advanced with a professional DSLR.
From there, you may leave your image as it is, or just have a few edits in one of the many editing software such as Lightroom, Photoshop…

Disadvantages of single exposure photos:

Inspite of its convenience and simplicity, a single photo’s colors can be inaccurate. Besides, because of  insufficient light, some details may be lost or unclear.

II. Multi - Exposures Photos:

a. HDR Photos

HDR photography is a common style used by many real estate photographers. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and the basic principle of the style is to capture an image that has pixels in all points of brightness on the histogram’s dynamic range.

There are 2 most common types of Exposure value (EV), -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 or -2, 0, +2.
In this case, 0 shows the most neutral exposure possible. This kind of exposure shows the brightness which is created by the automatic or aperture priority mode. In case you shoot it manually, just set your camera with your expected EV.
– 2 represents two “stops” darker exposure from your “best” exposure and +2 represents two “stops” brighter. You can of course bracket any way you want, but this typically gives you a good range. 

Advantages of HDR photos:

– Simplicity of Shooting: With HDR bracketing for real estate photography, all you have to do is just set up your camera like you normally would. It can be automatic mode or just set it according to your expectation, then vary your shutter speed in such a way that it is suitable with the natural light. If your shutter speed is very long, a tripod will be a necessary equipment, especially for the interior photos.
This approach will help photographers not only save their time but also their money. For a professional, working quickly can have a huge effect on their productivity which can decide how much they can earn after each job. Especially if you have to photograph multiple properties in one day!
– Get a lot of details, limit the loss of details.
– Nowadays, we can easily find some softwares which can auto-merged your photos. This approach can help you save time and money.

Disadvantages of HDR photos:

– Color and brightness can’t accurate.
– Your photos won’t be vibriant, pop and not deep enough.
– Of course, with HDR bracketing and processing, you are at the mercy of the ambient light. All you can do is just turn the lights in a room on or off or use the natural light from the window. And sometimes, if just using the ambient light, some shadow areas won’t look good enough because of the lack of brightness. Especially, when shooting a super dark interior on a bright sunny day, everything will have a “dirty” look. It can be said that if the higher dynamic range is, the more washed-out walls and window frames will have.

b. Flambient Photos

Flambient means Flash and Ambient. It involves combining both flash and ambient light in your shots. The flambient method is one of the fastest growing methods for shooting real estate photography.

Advantages of flambient photos:

– Just like HDR, Flambient can help you get more detail, even more, than when shooting HDR.
– With the support of flash, you can change the light in the room and control it entirely. Thanks to flash light, you can easily illuminate the areas that need to be standed out even if they are covered by the natural shadow.– Comparing with HDR, Flash will bring you a sharper, crisper image. Everything will look cleaner and clearer and also help editors get the correct color easier than in HDR.

Disadvantages of flambient photos:

– First, of course, is the cost of the additional equipment. Especially if you get more than just a single flash. (Light stands, brackets, all kinds of light modifiers, larger strobes, etc.)

– It might take you a lot of time to set up. Unfortunately, you don’t always have enough time to set up, move around, and break down flashes for lighting every single room of a property. Depending on how quickly you work and how simple or complex your setup is, it might take double or triple the time to shoot with flash instead of just shooting HDR.

Which way is the best for real estate photos?

Based on the above comparisons, you must have made your own choice. Each form of shooting will bring a different benefit. Therefore, each way will depend on the needs of each photographer.

The differences between HDR and Flambient (Source: Brad Capone)

According to our experience in this field, we assume that in order to get the best photo, flambient will be the best choice. Although it has some disadvantages of the additional equipment’s fee and time-consuming, we think that it might not be a problem at all. Flambient gives you all the control you get with hand blending HDRs with the additional benefit of more accurate colors by incorporating the flash.

The flash can overpower the ambient light with its temperature. This will help you have a clean and accurate color to work with. Despite the fact that flambient takes more time to shoot and set up equipments, we still think it can be fine if you can get the hang of it.

It can be faster when shooting HDR, but it will be time-consuming in editing, not to mention the worse result than flambient.

Above all, we believe that come to Beepec, all problems can be solved smoothly and help you save your valued time. At Beepec, we will be given:

  • Multiform services
  • 70 + Professional Editors Work 24/7
  • Free trial
  • Fast Turnaround Time
  • Strict Quality Assurance Process
  • Easy Payment
  • Quick Help
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