Mastering Flambient Real Estate Photography in 2024: How to Start?

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Mastering Flambient Real Estate Photography in 2024: How to Start?

By Keila Ngo 05/01/2024

Flambient real estate photography must be familiar to every aspiring real estate photographer. Yet, creating high-quality real estate photos using flambient is often done incorrectly from not understanding the basics. The advanced guide today will unveil an explanation of the whats, whys, and hows of flambient, while addressing 5 unskippable flambient fundamentals for real estate photography as well. 

A Definition of Flambient Real Estate Photography 

HDR Flambient

Flambient photography, in general, is a combination of shots taken in both flash and ambient lighting. In real estate photography, this method often gives the result of 3 final shots. They include the 2 same shots with artificial and flashlight and 1 last window pull shot. 

The definition of a flambient photo seems simple but it’s even much more obtackle to master. Today, it’s disturbing where other bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, and also public groups are on.

2. Must-have Equipments For Flambient Real Estate Photography

What Equipment Does Flambient Real Estate Photography Require?

real estate flambient gear equipment

It is essential to understand that flambient real estate photography uses a combination of natural and artificial light to get the perfect white balance. That is one of the reasons why it takes extra equipment and fewer people spend time doing flambient photography. Below are the most required tools to ensure successful flambient real estate photography:

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • Wide-angle lens (10-20mm for APS-C cameras and 14-24mm or 16-35mm for full-frame cameras)
  • Tripod
  • Speedlights or flash
  • Flash remote trigger
  • Light stands for speedlight or flash

How to Set Up The Equipment for a Flambient Shot?

The thing you should begin with is to nail your camera on a sturdy tripod. Everything should be fixed so that your bracket of shots will be consistent for editing later in Photoshop. Secondly, it is important to use a remote trigger throughout the whole shooting process. It is even more crucial when the property you work on is in a poor light condition. You can freely adjust the flash light and other factors knowing that with just a click, the camera will capture the shots instantly. 

real estate flambient photography

3. How To Shoot Flambient Real Estate Photography

We already had an article about flambient photography method in general. Yet to best understand how the technique works, let’s dive into the detailed breakdown steps below.

The Flash Shot – Creating the Base

This shot is called the base because it puts the correct color temperature to all items in the room. While at the same time, the color still syncs with the natural light coming through the windows.

To achieve this flash shot, the photographers need to arrange the speed-light shining towards the ceiling. It should be placed at a certain angle so that the light can hit the ceiling and bounce back to fill the low-light areas. Depending on the structure of the rooms, you can flexibly hold it by hand or put it on top of cabinets. 

real estate flash shot

Next, it is crucial to have an appropriate camera setting for flash shots. In general, you need to reduce ambient light as much as possible. To achieve that, the camera should be in manual mode and the aperture f stop should fall in between 7 and 9. Remember to also set the AP mode for this shot.

The final result is a slightly overexposed photo of the room. These shots should show neither hard shadow nor inconsistent color temperatures (natural window light and electric light). This is because the flash has overpowered the lamps and ceiling lights and even the light environment. 

The Ambient Shot – Capturing the Natural Look

So we already have “the base” with the correct color temperature, now is the time to capture the light and shadow with the ambient shot. The processing now is quite easy, you can keep the camera settings just like for the previous flash shot, but of course with no flash this time.

real estate flambient hdr

Sometimes one ambient shot should be fine, yet in other cases, one is not enough. To best capture the dynamic range of the room, you should do a bracket of 3 images. It is also recommended to shoot in RAW, it will give a clear shadow and highlight details. 

Besides, photographers need not worry about overexposed or blown-out windows. They can just focus the camera on a well-received light area in the room. The reason is that this method includes a window pull shot for that. You can even learn how to edit it in the flambient post- processing.

The Window Pull Shot 

This shot is supposed to retain the colors and brightness of details outside the window. There should look overexposed around the window, while the rest of the room looks very dark. To achieve this, simply keep the same settings as for the flash shot and aim the flashlight straight at the window.

real estate flambient window pull

Some experienced photographers also suggest taking a fourth shot without the flash, which is the “repair shot.” The reason is that pointing the flash at the window can create hot spots on the glass due to flash reflection. That last shot allows you to mask and cover the hot spots easily in the post-processing.

>> Read more: Shot Window Pull in Flambient Real Estate Photography

Final Thoughts

It is apparent that flambient real estate photography requires more equipment and profession. Yet it pays off the potential to reach a more high-end clientele and scale up your real estate photography business. Especially when you aim at shooting luxury houses, flambient photography will probably give you a strong competitive advantage.

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