Lighting Interiors – 2nd Edition is Live!

Almost a year in the making…it’s here! I’ve given “The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors” a vigorous overhaul, doubling the page count (277 pages…yikes!) and adding four new chapters as well as a bonus section at the end.

If you’re not familiar with it, this is an eBook (PDF download, click here to buy it) that covers lighting techniques for interiors photography, with a strong bent towards real estate photography. Small flash is used throughout, and the photos are shot and presented with either zero photoshopping, or extremely minimal re-touching (which gets discussed every time). My philosophy with photography, and especially for real estate photography, is to make a deliverable photo entirely on location, so that I can produce a JPG with absolutely minimal RAW adjustments  — or maybe none at all — the least time spent in post-production possible.


Fundamentals_smallI went through the existing chapters with a fine-toothed comb, correcting errors, clarifying confusing parts, creating new diagrams, and in some cases just re-writing entire sections with new photos.

The book starts out with the most basic of basic — lighting a single square (empty) room with one window. I don’t leave anything to the imagination here: we spend three pages just on that empty room. It’s crucial to have a rock-solid understanding of the fundamentals before the real fun begins.

As the book progresses, things get more and more complicated. Every photo that gets discussed was made on a real shoot (with one exception, which I note). The techniques I describe are EXACTLY the ones I employed on those shoots; you see the results, but you also see every intermediate step, including my screw-ups, and how I fixed ’em.


Dining RoomI also added four new chapters: Ceiling Fans, Good Light, Speed Kills, and Out of the Box. “Ceiling Fans” should be obvious enough…

“Good Light” is a discussion of what we mean when we say a photo is “flat”, and how we can avoid that. It’s complete with a couple of test cases where we shoot the same room two different ways and then compare results.

“Speed Kills” is a text-only essay on how it’s possible to manage a 4, or 5, or whatever number light setup and still get in and out of a real estate shoot in a reasonable amount of time. I break down my strategy and thought process on a typical real estate shoot, step by step.

Out_Of_The_Box_smallAnd “Out of the Box” is all about making photos that your clients haven’t seen before – photos that can go beyond simple documentation of a space and instead fire someone’s imagination.

I feel strongly that the difference between an “average” real estate photographer and a “top” photographer lies primarily in their art. Photography is an artistic medium, no matter how hard you try to avoid that — and those who embrace that concept and produce beautiful photos that still accomplish their client’s mission are the ones who really go places. So I’ve injected a lot of that sensibility into this edition.

page_44And finally — the book has a new, vertical, tablet-friendly layout. We’ve really worked hard to make this as readable as possible, especially on a tablet (which is how the vast majority of readers are viewing the book. I’m not sure how we know this, but it’s been explained to me authoritatively and I’m a believer.)

I’m really pleased with the “look” of this edition. You can jump back and forth from any page to the table of contents, there are live links to outside resources, it’s pretty slick.


If you already purchased the original edition — Christmas is early this year. You should already have gotten an email with a download link to the new book. No Charge! If you haven’t received that email, you’ve got some work to do — it either ended up in a spam folder, or (more likely) you used a temporary or “spam” email address when you first bought. The only way the publisher knows who you are is from the address you supplied when you made your purchase, so you’ll need to know that or there’s little anyone can do.

If you haven’t purchased…now’s the time! HERE’S WHERE. The thumbnail and text on that page hasn’t been updated yet, but that’ll happen before the weekend is over and I assure you, there’s only one book — as of yesterday, the only download available is the new edition. So be confident — you’re getting the new book!

Of course, if you think the book is good…likely you’ll want to check out the companion video series, as well, which has also been recently updated.

Feedback? Hit me up in the comments! Me, I’m taking a well-earned day off!

27 responses to “Lighting Interiors – 2nd Edition is Live!

  1. I have not seen any notification, but the email link showing the download address of the new Lighting Interiors ebook may have been deleted. Is there a way to have it resent?

  2. Thanks! Just got the update, looking forward to reading through it!

  3. I pretty much read it all, had the first edition open side by side…man, you did a major rewrite! Great job, the new sections and format changes really sharpen up and focus (see what I did there?) the narrative. It’s really tight.
    Getting psyched for the SF seminar…
    Congrats, and thanks.

  4. Wow, what an update! This should be the #1 required reading of anyone starting off in interiors photography. In fact, you’ve inspired me to get off my butt and practice some different lighting techniques this afternoon!

  5. Hi Scott,

    When I bought the first Edition and consequently the video series I used this email address.

    I also get you posts to this email address.

    I have not seen your email with the free upgrade to the 2nd edition (have checked every where)

    Can you resend link for the second edition

    Email Banner Black1

  6. Scott,

    I am not an OMG sort of person. but, holy crap, the first edition was extremely beneficial and full of lighting wisdom. the second edition has so many extra little pearls of knowledge I am very impressed. It is exactly the sort of information to help the real estate photographer make the next step into commercial architecture and interior design. To be fair – you need more time at a shoot to practice the little “extra” details but I believe
    these will be come more intuitive and quicker to capture.

    I already give the RE agents better photographs than I charge for but practice makes perfect and I want my “next level” clients to be stoked. Thank you for sharing kind sir.

  7. Great job, Scott! Thanks for the update.

  8. Damn I just bought the 1st edition a day! Wish I could have known this was coming 🙁

  9. At our agency (UK based) we only have the option for 1 flash. Is this ebook tailored more for multiple flash use? I appreciate that is the ideal scenario! cheers

    • Hi Richard,
      The book is geared very much towards off-camera flash, anywhere from 1 to 8.
      For what it’s worth, there are many, many photographers in the UK who use more than one flash – I don’t think there are any hard rules against it! Forget what the boss says….just get the photo! 🙂

  10. Cheers for the reply Scott – after re-reading what I typed, I wasn’t very clear. I meant to say…we have, and probably only can flash. So is the book wasted on me? We only shoot small properties at lower end values (nothing like the stuff you shoot, put it thay way!).

  11. Hi Scott, congratulations on producing such a magnificent book, and many thanks for the comprehensive update. That’s the best gift I’ve had in a long time!

  12. Hi Scott, I purchased the video series. And LOVED it. It revolutionized the way I shoot ALL of my real estate photography. So, what has changed or been updated in the video series. At first glance it appears the same. And…I just may purchase the Book PDF. Looks great and I’m sure I’ll pick up some great ideas from it. Thank you, Marc-

  13. Hi Scott, really love what you do, and the new website is fantastic. Curious to know whether your e-book and techniques relate equally and transferably to using strobes as opposed to “small” flash. I’m self taught and pretty well established, but always keen to learn more – there are so few resources out there – but all my experience and day to day work is done using ambient plus Elinchrom & Hensel 500w heads when I need them. You certainly deserve my $, if only for the inspiration you give (!), but is it the book for me?

    • Jonathan,
      Sure – light is light, strobes are strobes. in the book I discuss some camera settings that are designed to tilt the field a little in favor of speedlights, but past that the technique for using the lights doesn’t really change very much. There are things that just aren’t practical for speedlights, but nothing in the book can’t be done with the larger more powerful equipment you’re using.

  14. Hi Scott I just finished reading your book defiantly money well spent. I can tell I will need to read it several more times to fully digest all of the info you have included. I have a couple questions as well.

    1. Do you have any hard and fast rules on the initial flash power setting you use for your first exposure or do you just walk into a room and know approx. what your flash power will need to be. I know every room will be different depending on the amount of light, size, etc. I’m just trying to get from my base exposure to final exposure with fewer clicks.

    2. A chapter on using a light meter for real estate photography and how best to use it for dialing in your flash power would have been a great addition to the book. I noticed you made reference to carrying a Sekonic L358 in your case but never mention it again. I’m not a huge fan of chimping. I would love to shoot tethered but just can’t see bringing any more gear on site for real estate photography.

    • Aaron,
      Hard and fast rules are few and far between…so no advice on flash power. Every shot is different. But you’ll gain an intuition pretty quickly.

      I didn’t mention the Sekonic because I rarely use it unless I’m shooting film. I’d be hard pressed to find much of a difference between what the Sekonic tells me vs. what my camera’s light meter can tell me, except that I can get a hell of a lot more info from looking at the histogram on the camera than I can get from the Sekonic, besides which the camera (with it’s built-in light meter) is already in my hand.

      Shooting tethered is just another kind of chimping, isn’t it?

  15. Thanks for the reply, I guess I should have mentioned my dislike for chimping stems from trying to look at that little monitor on the back of my camera, (perhaps the eyes are not what they used to be) why I would like to shoot tethered. It always seems like what I see on the back of the camera and what I see on a monitor seem worlds apart. I get the the use of in camera meter/histogram but the in camera meter seems a little off 1/3-2/3 compared to what my 358 (reflective/incident)tells me and I seem to get a more accurate exposure from the 358. I also tend to have it out anyway since I tend to use it as remote shutter release with the PW’s. Thanks again for an awesome source of information on RE photography/lighting

  16. Hey Scott!
    I’ve recently come across this book and I’m really keen to grab it to learn more about your methods. My only concern, which I’m hoping you can help answer, is how much I may need to invest in new equipment.
    I currently shoot real estate fairly regularly (~1 shoot per week), and my current setup is two canon 600ex-rt speedlites on light stands, with the canon st-e3-rt transmitter. I find that on anything but the simplest room, I need to spend a bit of time in Photoshop – I’d love to cut this step out!!
    However I am on a limited budget, so I’d just like to get an idea of what ‘extra’ equipment I may need to pick up… I.e. What would you consider your minimum lighting kit for a typical shoot?
    I hope I’m not asking you to reveal secrets from the book!! Any help is much appreciated 🙂

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