When I found out my friends Dan and Linda were putting their house up for sale I asked them if I could do some photos of the house. I had always wanted to try and do some architectural/real estate shots and just really hadn't ever had the opportunity. I had fooled around with my own house and done a few shots there, but never a whole house. I told them I wouldn't charge them and they could even use the shots if they wanted for their listing. How could they say no, right?
They said they had already taken some of the furnishings out of the house so some of the rooms were a little sparse but I said that was okay, I would still like the practice. I had done some reading up on real estate photography and it appears that folks who do this kind of thing do it one of two ways: using multiple flashes or something called HDR photography.
HDR photography is a process where you take multiple exposures of the same thing using different aperture settings and then combine them into one photograph. The idea is to expose one photo for the brightest part of a room (usually sunlight coming in the windows) and another for the darkest areas of the room. You then do a varying amount of other shots between these two extremes to properly expose other areas of the room. One HDR photo will typically be made up of anywhere from three to seven exposures. I've seen some cool photos done with this process where the final photo looks kind of dreamy and .... just different, for real estate though, I've found that if it's not done exactly right the final results can look kind of strange and sort of fake looking. Because of that, I decided to go with the flashes.
I only had three flashes available to use for this house. If I start to do more of this kind of work I would probably get at least a couple of more. It always seemed like there was some little spot that I would have liked to have had a little more light. All in all though, being that this was a first attempt, I think things turned out pretty good. Dan and Linda were happy with the photos and even ended up using them for their listing. Oh, and in case you were interested, the house already sold. I'm pretty sure it was the photos that did it :-)