Tag Archives: lighting for real estate photography

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Turns 26!!!

screenshot

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.

Millenium_03

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.

BTS

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!

Millenium_01

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.

Millenium_02

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!

 

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….

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 Again

sinead

Latest installment of “Le Monde Réel” went live this week — check it out at LightingForRealEstatePhotography.com!

Honestly, this was the one that I came very close to dropping from the series, because it just looked too damn hard. There’s no way that this shot doesn’t challenge even the most advanced lighting technician, but Sinead and I worked through it and came up with enough ideas to at least get something done. Lots of good stuff inside….if you’re a subscriber, let me know what you think of this one!

Le Monde Réel Marches On

LFRE_Screenshot

We’ve just gone live with the fourth new episode in the “Le Monde Réel” section of lightingforrealestatephotography.com.

We launched this section a few weeks ago, and new episodes are emerging from the editing process every week or ten days. Still two more to come! In them I conduct a live video chat with working photographers to discuss real-world “problem” photos they’ve sent me. We talk through the issues, propose solutions, I draw diagrams all over their lovely photos, and it’s a good time.

If you’re already a subscriber, head on over to LFRE.com and check ’em out – they’re pretty cool!

Lighting For Real Estate Photography Updated

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 4.37.30 PM

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!

Le Monde Réel

Rick_1_%205_seconds

I’ve been working on a new set of videos to add on to the Lighting For Real Estate Photography series, and I’m happy to announce that we’re about to release the first one!

Last fall, I asked for submissions of “problem” images — photos that people found particularly challenging to compose and light. We got some great stuff, and out of those came the six new episodes we’re calling “Le Monde Reèl” (The Real World).

We’ll be releasing them one at a time, as they come out of the editing process. Look for the first one this Friday – April 5th! The rest will follow, about one every week or 10 days.

These are free-form discussions with the photographers themselves, in which we dissect the image, identify the challenges, and propose solutions to each specific problem. I think it’ll be a nice addition to the 22 episodes already up.

If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll be getting an email each time a new episode goes live. But I know half of you signed up with bogus emails, so I’ll be posting something here, too.  😉

Seven Days Of Shooting Makes One Weak

It’s actually more like 12 consecutive days, but on the seventh day I was too busy making the shot above to blog anything. Clever tag lines aside, it’s been a busy September. More than half of what I’ve shot is either embargoed or still in proofing, but I’ve been lucky to shoot some killer interiors/exteriors for DogTown Development, Leslie Arnold Architect, HouseWorks Inc., and MJM Interiors. And, of course – Sotheby’s!

And, in the mix, was two days of shooting video with Malia Campbell for a new episode in the Lighting For Real Estate Photography series. It’s in the editing phase now (which means it’s thankfully OFF my plate) but I think it’ll be a really cool addition to the series. Watch here for an announcement when it goes live.

Meantime, here’s a few recent ones I can share:

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!

One For the Bloopers