5 Tips on Taking Real Estate Photos in Cloudy Weather
As a real estate photography professional, one of the things that we can never say no to is a photoshoot schedule. There are instances where our clients are pressed for time and thus requires the services for their deadlines. This isn’t entirely bad because it means a professional real estate photography practitioner is in demand and they are confident to get the job done. However, the difficulty sometimes is in facing less than ideal weather conditions. For sure we’d all want to snap some amazingly sunny and vibrant photos or perhaps do some real estate drone photography. But what if the weather does not cooperate? Should we just pack it up and save it for another day? Or are you the type to make the most out of the weather conditions for the photoshoot?
Real estate photography does not back down. It surveys the field and finds the best way to maximize the shoot. Of course, we won’t get the usual photos we want at that point in time, but the creativity and ingenuity of every professional must come into play, figuring out what to do in such cases.
The 5 Tips You Can Use
Remember, all is not lost for professional real estate photography once the sun hides behind the density of the clouds. All this means is an opportunity to adjust and be creative in order to push through with the shoot and allow your client to experience the customer centric service you are known for.
Bring an artificial light source
One of the blessings in real estate photography is the presence of artificial lighting. Whether it is in the form of a camera flash or a standing lamp, you can control the amount of light that goes into the photo. While this won’t mimic the sun in its entirety, you are able to up the brightness from the darkest levels into something more visible for your camera to capture. Now, don’t just rely on your camera for this. Even the best camera for real estate photography might not be able to cut it so make sure your gear is packed and ready to go for any situation.
Use HDR photography
Perhaps something that could significantly make a difference is HDR real estate photography during these shady days. See, HDR takes bracketed images that uses an exposure at different levels and locations within the frame of the photo. While you might see different images that are bright in different spots individually, this will eventually be stacked together to come out with a holistically bright image. Some cameras are able to integrate it while some would require intervention through real estate photography software. Either way, HDR photos should always be a go-to option in darkly lit days especially when you are shooting interiors.
Utilize the Right Camera Settings
Even if your camera cannot by itself, salvage the situation, there are settings built in that will contribute to the overall visibility and brightness of the image if done right. Whether you have the best camera for real estate photography or not, your gear will have these in their features.
- Aperture – This is the opening which determines how much light passes through the lens. An aperture uses the notation f/x where x is a number that signifies depth of field. The smaller the number (i.e. f/1.4), the wider the lens is opened and thereby opened with a larger aperture. It will give the brightest image but also the least focused due to the large opening and multiple items the camera has to see. On the other end is the number such as f/11. This reduces the opening of the lens but has a larger depth perception of the landscape giving more focus but a darker image. Find the balance, strike it, and snap some brighter photos in this cloudy situation
- ISO – For real estate photography cameras, changing the Iso will also impact the brightness of the photo. In simpler terms, lower ISOs will yield darker images while higher ones will produce brighter images. Do some practice shots with your camera before heading into the field, making sure you have found your camera’s sweet spot.
- Shutter Speed – Think of shutter speed as how fast your shutter closes. The longer it is open the more light gets to come in. Shorten the duration it is opened the darker your image gets. The faster the speed, the clearer the photos come out though, so again, find the right shutter speed that will complement the ISO and aperture, so you do not end up with a disastrous shot.
Embrace the cloudiness with wide lenses
Sometimes the clouds present can be an accessory to the overall beauty of the image. Find the best lens for real estate photography in such cases such as wide-angle lenses to capture a vast amount of sky and include them in the image. It will boil down to making clouds pop out during post processing but hey, they could serve as a point of attraction as well.
Come fully equipped
In every shoot, do not assume that the weather when you leave your place will be the same as you get to the destination of the shoot. Even weather forecasts cannot tell the most accurate predictions so better bring all of your gear to be sure you are covered such as lighting, lenses, and tripods.
Prepare for Inclement Weather
Real estate photography pushes through even in rainy weather. Make sure your gear is not destroyed by bringing coverings or even purchasing weather resistant gear. These will make sure your shoot goes on, gives your client their timing, and you get to make a name in the industry as a reliable professional.
Why Cloudy Weather is a Challenge
We always think that sunny weather is our best friend, and it definitely is. The weather on a cloudy day becomes unpredictable as it can work in our favor by turning back into a sunny day or proceeding to be a rainy day. In either cases, you must always be prepared as real estate photography does not say no to clients due to mere weather conditions.
Cloudy day? No problem. Your camera and gear should provide you enough tools to make sure you get through this hurdle. Professional real estate photography is always reliable and follows through. You should decide for yourself whether these tips are what you want to do or simply sit back, and watch others take over the lead.