Residential Photography of luxury home in Bellevue
Photograph of shelving home in Bellevue shot for a real estate agent

We always try to make our photos stand out from our competitors.

  When we stand out, we’re helping Realtors stand out in a field full of other Seattle area real estate agents.  Whether our clients are located in Bellevue, Kirkland, Burien or Lynnwood, they are all working hard to build their brand. Our job is all about helping them do just that with professional real estate photography.  So how do we, as residential photographers, stand out?  One of the big ways is the process we use while creating a photo.  And, I don’t mean the photo processing and editing that comes after we take the shot. I’m talking about is the way we approach photography.  It’s how we visualize an image, then go about building that image using composition, depth of focus, exposure, and lighting.  

There is a lot that goes into creating an image for our real estate clients, but I think one of the most important is how we light an image.  One way, the simplest, is to throw a bunch of light at a room, bouncing flashes off the ceiling and walls, and working hard at eliminating all the shadows and highlights.  For me, that makes a boring photo; it’s mostly flat, lifeless, and there is no depth to the photo because there are now highlights and no shadows.  

Real Estate Photography of home in Seattle
Dining room photograph of a home for sale by Reatlor in Seattle

I cut my photography teeth as a nature photographer before I was a residential photographer.

  Anyone who walks through a fine art studio of nature photography will notice how beautiful a photo shot in the golden hour is.  That low light creating highlights on one side and shadows on the other, with long shadows stretching out.  You’ll also notice that style of highlights and shadows in magazines like Architectural Digest and Dwell.  Heck, pick up a catalog for Ethan Allen Furniture and you’ll see those same highlights and nice beautiful, long shadows.  Rarely will you see a photograph from a professional photography studio that is flat-lit with everything having the same light value.  Professional photographers have learned how to create images that are appealing and it has everything to do with light.  

The great artists of the past knew how important light was.

And it’s from them that modern fine art is built.  Look at almost any art by Johannes Vermeer and you’ll see those same highlights and shadows I’ve been talking about…The Milkmaid, The Geographer, Girl with the Pearl Earring.  Over and over again the great artists throughout history have used highlights and shadows to bring depth to their paintings.  Now, do I compare myself to Vermeer, Rubens or Rembrandt?  Heck no…I couldn’t draw a stick if you laid a stick on a canvas and asked me to outline it.  But, I share their love for light!  

So, back to our real estate photography and how we approach an image.  We use one of our photography lights and start with an over-all illumination of a room.  After we have a good, general illumination, we position a second light just outside camera range and start creating those highlights and shadows we love so much.  Personally, I love side-light from the left which results in beautiful shadows moving off to the right.  Turns out that’s how Vermeer painted most of his images.  Could it simply be that the window was on the left side of the room he painted in most?  Sure, but I think he was on to something more.  

If you’re a  real estate agent, Realtor, Broker, call us at (206) 459-4085 when you have a new listing coming up and we’ll get your on our schedule for photography, drone photos, video, social media video, Matterport 3D, or virtual staging.  We can even put you in touch with our Social Media Manager to help manage your presence across multiple platforms.

Residential Photography of luxury home in Bellevue

Real Estate Photography – Lighting

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