Guest Author: Paula Hernandez

When it comes to marketing a property, the importance of high-quality photos cannot be overstated. In fact, studies have shown that the quality of property photos is one of the most important factors for prospective buyers or renters when searching for a property online.

However, while many property owners and real estate agents focus on the composition and angles of their photos, the impact of lighting on property photography is often overlooked.

The truth is, proper lighting can make a world of difference in the way your property is perceived in photographs. The right lighting can highlight the best features of your property. On the other hand, poor lighting can make your property look dull, unappealing, and even downright uninviting.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the importance of lighting in property photography and explore some tips and tricks for making the most of this critical element.

Whether you’re a real estate photographer looking to improve your marketing strategy or a property owner hoping to attract more buyers or renters, understanding how to use lighting to your advantage can make a significant difference in the success of your marketing efforts.

So let’s get started and discover how to take your property photos from ordinary to extraordinary with the power of lighting.

The Impact of Lighting on Property Photography

First and foremost, lighting can create a mood or atmosphere in a photograph. The right lighting can make a space feel warm and inviting, while poor lighting can make it feel cold and uninviting.

This is especially important for spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, where potential buyers or renters will be spending a lot of time. By using lighting to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere, you can help potential buyers or renters envision themselves living in the space.

Another way in which lighting can impact property photography is by highlighting the best features of a space. For example, if a room has beautiful built-in shelving, proper lighting can draw attention to it and make it a focal point of the photo.

On the other hand, poor lighting can make the same shelving blend into the background and go unnoticed. By strategically using lighting to highlight the best features of a space, you can make your property photos stand out from the rest.

In addition to creating a mood and highlighting features, lighting can also make a space appear larger and more spacious. By using bright, even lighting, you can eliminate harsh shadows and make a room feel open and airy.

This is particularly important for smaller spaces such as bathrooms and closets, which can feel cramped and claustrophobic if not properly lit. By using lighting to create the illusion of space, you can make your property photos more appealing to potential buyers or renters.

Techniques for Lighting in Property Photography

Now that we’ve established the importance of lighting in property photography, let’s explore some specific lighting techniques that you can use to transform your property photos.

Natural Light

Natural light is often the best choice for property photography as it is flattering and can create the warm and inviting atmosphere that you would want.

If possible, schedule your photo shoot during a time when the natural light is at its best (typically early morning or late afternoon). Be sure to open any curtains or blinds to let in as much natural light as possible.

Ambient Light

Ambient light refers to the existing light in a room. This can include overhead lighting, lamps, and even light from the outside.

When using ambient light for property photography, it’s important to take note of the color temperature of the light (whether it is warm or cool).

If the light is too warm or too cool, it can make the colors in the photo appear unnatural. To combat this, you can use a color correction filter on your camera or adjust the white balance in post-processing.


Using a flash can be an effective way to fill in harsh shadows and create even lighting. However, it’s important to use the flash sparingly and strategically.

A flash that is too bright or too close to the subject can create unflattering, blown-out highlights. To avoid this, use a diffuser or bounce the flash off a nearby surface to create softer, more even lighting.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting refers to lighting that is used to highlight specific features or areas of a room. This can include track lighting, spotlights, and even table lamps.

Accent lighting can be particularly effective for highlighting architectural details or artwork. However, it’s important to use accent lighting sparingly and strategically to avoid overwhelming the space with too much light.

Light Painting

Light painting involves using a flashlight or other light source to create patterns and designs in the photo.

This technique can be particularly effective for creating a unique and artistic touch to property photos. Light painting can be used to highlight specific areas of a room or to create a sense of movement in the photo.

To achieve this technique, set your camera to a long exposure and use a flashlight or other light source to “paint” the area you want to highlight. It may take some practice to get the desired effect, but the results can be stunning.

General Tips for Lighting in Property Photography

lighting in property photography

In addition to specific lighting techniques, there are some general tips to keep in mind when lighting your property photos:

  1. Use a tripod: A tripod can help you keep your camera steady and avoid blurry photos,
    particularly when using longer exposures.
  2. Avoid direct light: Direct light can create harsh shadows and unflattering highlights. Instead, use diffused light sources or bounce light off nearby surfaces to create softer, more
    even lighting.
  3. Experiment with different angles: Different angles can create different moods and perspectives in your photos. Try shooting from high angles, low angles, or even from outside the room to capture the best lighting and perspective.
  4. Don’t forget about exterior lighting: Outdoor lighting can be just as important as indoor lighting when it comes to property photography. Be sure to capture the property’s exterior during different times of the day to showcase how the lighting changes.
  5. Consider the color temperature: Different light sources can emit different color temperatures, which can affect the overall look and feel of your photos. Make sure to choose lighting that complements the colors and style of your property, and that creates a cohesive look across all of your photos.
  6. Avoid over-editing: While post-processing can be a useful tool for enhancing your photos, it’s important to avoid over-editing them. Too much editing can make your photos look artificial and detract from their overall quality.
  7. Think about the mood you want to create: Lighting can have a significant impact on the mood and atmosphere of your photos. Consider the type of property you’re shooting and the emotions you want to evoke and use lighting to create the right mood for your audience.
  8. Practice makes perfect: Lighting is a skill that takes practice to master. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out as you’d hoped. Keep experimenting, learning, and refining your techniques, and you’ll soon be creating stunning property photos that showcase your property in the best possible light.


In conclusion, lighting is a crucial aspect of property photography that should not be overlooked. Proper lighting can create a warm, inviting atmosphere, highlight the best features of a space, and make it appear larger and more spacious.

By using specific lighting techniques such as natural light, ambient light, flash, accent lighting, and light painting, as well as keeping general tips in mind, you can transform your property photos and make them stand out from the rest.