Tag Archives: instruction

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Turns 26!!!

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Click to preview the opening video from the series!

 

 I allowed an anniversary to go by un-remarked earlier this year, but it’s better late than never: it was 26 months ago last Friday that we launched the groundbreaking Lighting For Real Estate Photography video series — which has become the benchmark for learning to light interiors for photographers all over the world.

I’m extremely proud of this series — filmmaker Malia Campbell and I worked for many months to produce something that would be truly practical and useful for working photographers. We didn’t want it to be just a “hey-look-how-awesome-I-am” piece but rather something that would have a solid, practical, and immediate effect on someone’s else’s work.

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This living room photo from high up in the Oakland, California hills has become the de facto “signature shot” of the entire series.

And the feedback we’ve gotten over the past two years tells me we accomplished this. I get emails almost every day like these:

“Hi Scott,
Just wanted to share with you a $7m home I photographed this past week.
Were it not for you, and your video course, I would have struggled to shoot this.
I’ve gone from Zero to Hero in the span of a few short months …thought you’d enjoy knowing the huge difference that you’ve made with this photographer.  Thank you.”

To everyone who has emailed me, Thank You. And thank you to everyone who just quietly bought the series, too. We went way out on a limb with this, with no guarantee of success, but I can say unequivocally, I’m very glad to have done it, if only to know that I’ve made some small impact to move photography forward a bit.

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Going over the storyboard and cutting fluff.

Make no mistake —  emails like the one above are incredibly gratifying. Compared with the top dollar that many instructional videos command, we’re a bargain at $175. Especially so when you consider the value of your own time — we worked VERY hard to make sure that there is no “fluff” in our series. You won’t hear me droning on and on, repeating myself (which I’m prone to doing; Malia was one harsh editor and forced me to stay on-topic). We carefully sketched out every episode to make sure that it was packed with solid, practical information and not a lot of blah blah blah. The most recent episodes (le Monde Réel) are free-form conversations between myself and other working photographers and are full of the inevitable “Uh’s” and “Umm’s” that come with everyday speech. But the rest of the episodes are tight — every second of footage has a purpose!

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This was one gnarly kitchen! Sunlight, black granite counters, lots of glass….my favorite episode is the one where we shoot this!

I think these videos are still as useful and solid as they were when we launched; even more so with the additional episodes that were added in later. They make a great companion to my book, which is in it’s second edition and which I’m equally proud of. One question I get asked a lot is whether it’s worthwhile to get both — e.g., is one different/better than the other?

I’ve never really known how to answer this; of course I think they’re both good and while there’s overlap, they present the material differently and go off in different directions at various points. The best resource I’ve seen was this discussion thread on Flickr, which I found illuminating.

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One of the more fun photos we did — playing with fire…

If you’ve seen both and have an opinion….do me a favor and chime in in the comments section! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and so would a lot of others!

 

Lighting Interiors – 2nd Edition is Live!

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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.

Details, photos, and a sample page, click here!

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

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In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

Wood, Windows & Weflections – A New LFRE Video is Live!

1395322_617764091613942_1555111238_n

In the latest addition to the “Le Monde Réel” section of my 28-part video series “Lighting For Real Estate Photography”, we talk with Brandon, who shot a kitchen that I’d wager 95% of real estate photographers deal with on a regular basis.

We talk through the issues, how Brandon lit his (pretty darned good) photo, and then discuss different strategies that could have been employed in that situation. Good times, for lighting nerds.

If you’re already a subscriber to LFRE, then head back over and hit the “Le Monde Réel” link – you’ll find the new video at the bottom of the page. If you’re not a subscriber….get over there and register! Lots of good stuff waiting for you….

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Updated

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As I mentioned recently, there are 6 new episodes currently being added to the Lighting For Real Estate Video series, under the heading “Le Monde Réel”. We went live with “Rick” a couple of weeks ago, which covers a gnarly color cast situation, and more recently we released “Simon” – which deals with a bizarre reflection issue, and “Kristen” which addresses log homes and wood paneling.

Coming up next week is “Pat”, which centers on flash technique and photographer-induced shadows.

If you’re a subscriber, log into the site and look under the “Video” tab to find the “Le Monde Réel” link. That’ll take you to a new page with all three videos ready to play. And check back periodically — there are 3 more episodes in the editing phase as we speak, which will be released as they’re ready, about one every week to ten days.

Enjoy!

Lighting For Real Estate Photography – Video Launch!

Well —- we’re live!

Click the image above to go to the video website. They’re ready to play! A number of things conspired to move our launch date up from March 1st (which was seriously sandbagging anyway) to TODAY, including a pretty kick-ass web design group that came in way ahead of schedule.

So, without further ado — we’re launching. Registration is $175, gets you unlimited streaming access to all 21 videos (about 3 hours’ worth). Here’s the table of contents:

  • Start Here
  • Fundamentals
  • Use This
  • Let’s Take a Walk
  • Wake Up
  • Look Out!
  • Living Large
  • Dinner Party
  • Let’s Flush This Out
  • Eat at Joe’s
  • Here and Here and Here and Here
  • Wide Open Spaces
  • Into the Night
  • Fin

Then come seven “shorts” (plus an introduction) covering little tips and tricks that were too long to include in a “regular” episode, but too good to just leave out altogether. Stuff like mirror reflections, color casts from yellow walls, stainless steel, etc. etc.

I think it’s pretty comprehensive. People looking to be told what exact exposure settings to use, or what flash power settings, are going to be disappointed, because these videos concentrate much more on the process, the strategy, behind those decisions, rather than just reciting whatever was going on in any one particular shot. That sort of thing is useless, in my opinion, because no two situations are the same. Better to understand the why of what to do, rather than what someone else did, in some other room.

So the early episodes go into exhaustive detail about what’s going on. As we progress to the more challenging stuff, I drop some of the basic stuff and focus on what’s new and unique to the situation. Whenever possible, I present a simple one or two-light solution, and then build to a more elegant solution.

I hope you like them. Malia Campbell and I put in a TON of work on this. Many, many two and three-hour Skype calls, hours of writing out detailed episode treatments, lots of favors called in from clients (we got some outstanding locations), and some brutally long days of shooting and editing. Malia did a stellar job of capturing the rooms, and the process, and kept me from rambling incoherently and diluting the message (as I’m prone to do). We’d do a take, and I’d be like “That was great!”. Malia would shake her head, and say, “Do it again. Leave out the crap about _____ and ______ — that’s off-topic. Stay with what you’re doing here, now. Ready? Rolling!”

And we’d do it again. And again. Until we had something that was clear, concise, and really illustrated the point I wanted to make.

I hope you like them. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Announcing My Book — Lighting Interiors!

Exciting news today — I’m stoked to announce that I’ve got a book coming out — “The Essential Guide to Lighting Interiors”!

We’re scheduled for release in Mid-October (OMG – that’s only 4 weeks away…maybe I’d better hurry up and finish that intro!) I’ve been working with Larry Lohrman at photographyforrealestate.net, and this will be published as an eBook on the PFRE Media imprint. You’ll be able to order on THIS SITE, and of course there’ll be a follow-up announcement here when that’s live.

On average, I receive an email a day asking me if there’s a book, a DVD, or even a brochure describing technique. Now, finally,the answer will be “yes”.

I’ve been working on this pup for about 10 months now. Being a full-time photographer and a writer is hard! My publisher wouldn’t give me an advance, so I couldn’t take 6 months in the South of France like I wanted. Instead, I wrote it around my increasingly insane shoot schedule. I wrote chapters on airplanes. I wrote chapters at 3:00am. I pulled over to the side of the highway and made notes in my iPhone about stuff I wanted to cover.

Lighting Interiors is written for photographers who are lighting residential spaces, and it’s focused on the use of small flash (e.g. speedlights), and on the need to work fast while still producing good quality. The techniques covered are the ones I use with my real estate shoots; and you’ll find that they “scale up” well and can be applied to more exacting projects as well.

All of the images in the book are from “real” shoots, but I’ve included either set-up shots, or lighting diagrams, or both for every one, along with a written description of what I did and why. The book follows an actual shoot, from bedrooms and bathrooms to living areas to the kitchen, but we also digress in order to examine “case studies” of a variety of styles of the room in question, or to discuss post-processing, or to examine reflections in depth.

I’ve still got some writing to do before this one’s in the can, so to speak, so I’m going to end this and get back to work. Watch for a release announcement in just about 4 weeks!