Do Not Be Afraid of Clouds
In the photography world, it is usually best to avoid taking photos when the sun is directly overhead or behind a subject. The sun will create extreme highlights and dark shadows that severely alter what is being photographed. In real estate photography, the goal is to photograph a home in its very best light which a lot of people assume is on the brightest and clearest sunny day. That is often not the case. Depending on which direction the home is facing or if it has large trees/foliage covering the exterior, the sun may always be casting a harsh shadow. That is why overcast or cloudy days should never be overlooked. They are often the best for exterior shots, as the overcast sky acts as a giant diffuser, which reduces shadow and provides even lighting. A gloomy day or overcast weather might not look inviting but can offer great photography opportunities.
Real estate photographers have to be flexible and prepared for anything. That includes being able to work with the weather that has been provided. If you arrive to a home on a bright sunny day and the exterior of the home is completely shadowed, take a moment to brain storm and create a plan. The best thing to do is take note of any clouds in the sky. If clouds begin to pass overhead and block some of that harsh sunlight, that is an opportunity to get an evenly lit set of exterior shots. You have to remain vigilant of those quick moments of cloud cover. The photographs you see throughout this blog post are from one of our most recent shoots. This particular home was facing southeast and was photographed around 11:00am. Based on direction and time, that is ideal. However, with the large trees directly in front of the home, that cast very dark shadows. The exteriors shots were taken first but as the interior of the home was being photographed, a few cloud started to move across the sun creating a perfectly even lighted scene. The exteriors were then quickly re-shot with that cloud cover giving you the comparison you see.
If and when possible, it is very important to work with the realtor and homeowner on what time of day is best for photographing that specific property but when it comes down to it, every single home is different in every way. We do not have control over the weather or what is growing in front of a home; we only have control over how we work with it. As a photographer, take advantage of your own ability to problem solve and be creative so that you are providing your client with the best possible view. Check out Aerial State for more!