How to light up a room

Photographing interiors for real estate is more complicated than it looks... if it's done right. It's usually my goal to make the lighting look natural in all of my photography and that is true of my interior shots as well. Here's a living room that I shot last week along with a photo of the lighting setup. Read on to find out how I lit up this room.

The first thing I do is walk the room and try to determine where to place my camera for the best composition. That's where I set up my tripod (D).

Next I'll bring in the lights. Here we have a 3000 watt flood (A) pointed at the ceiling. Bouncing the light off the ceiling adds soft even light to the room without casting unnatural looking shadows. I needed push more light into the seating area so I added another 3000 watt flood shooting through an umbrella (B). Again the umbrella softens the light smoothing out what would have been some odd looking shadows.

The two flood lights were almost enough to overpower the daylight that was leaking through the closed window blinds. The problem with the daylight was that it is bluish in color while the room lighting is more orange. The combination of colored light can sometimes look a little strange. I knocked down the light coming in through the window but putting a 4'x6' silk (E) in front of it. You can still see some of the bluish light from the window on the ottoman in the final shot but there I think it is helping to define the shape of that piece of furniture.

My test shots were still a little dark on the front side of the ottoman. I added a Nikon SB-800 flash (C) to kick just a little bit more light into that part of the room. I added a filter to the flash to make it match the color of the rest of the room lighting.

Hey, are you looking for a nice apartment community near Concord Mills in Cabarrus county? Maybe you should check out more of The Reserve at Stone Hollow.

concord photographer