Real Estate Photography with Natural Light for great Photos

Michael • October 3, 2023 • 5 min read

Real Estate Photography with Natural Light

Real estate photography is a crucial aspect of the home selling process, and natural light is one of the most important tools in a photographer’s arsenal. It can create stunning and natural-looking images that help potential buyers envision themselves living in the property.

In this article, we’ll explore how to use natural light for real estate photography and provide tips and techniques for achieving stunning results.

What is Natural Light Photography?

Natural light photography is the art of capturing images using available light sources, such as sunlight, rather than relying on artificial lighting.

It is a technique that requires a deep understanding of how light works, how to manipulate it, and how to use it to create stunning images.

Using natural light in real estate photography has many benefits. It can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, bring out the texture and colors of the room, and create a sense of depth and dimensionality.

Natural light also makes the images more believable and relatable to the viewer, which can increase the chances of selling the property.

understand the camera settings

Camera Settings for Natural Light Photography

Before we dive into the techniques for using natural light, it’s essential to understand the camera settings needed to capture the perfect shot. The four primary settings to consider are shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance.

  1. Shutter speed
    Shutter speed controls the amount of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. A slower shutter speed allows more light to enter the camera, while a faster shutter speed reduces the amount of light.
  2. Aperture
    Aperture controls the size of the opening in the lens through which light enters the camera. A larger aperture lets in more light, while a smaller aperture reduces the amount of light.
  3. ISO
    ISO controls the camera’s sensitivity to light, with higher ISO settings making the camera more sensitive. While this can increase the amount of light in an image, it can also introduce noise or grain into the final product.
  4. White Balance
    Finally, white balance adjusts the color temperature of the image, ensuring that whites appear white and not too warm or too cool.

Metering and Bracketing

Metering and bracketing are essential techniques for achieving balanced exposure in natural light photography. Metering measures the amount of light in a scene and determines the correct camera settings to capture the desired exposure.

Bracketing involves taking multiple photos at different exposure levels, which can then be combined in post-processing to create a perfectly exposed image.

Composition and Framing

Composition and framing are critical in real estate photography, as they can make or break the appeal of the property. Choosing the right angles and perspectives, highlighting natural light sources, and positioning furniture and props can all contribute to the success of the final image.

Factors that Affect Natural Light Photography

Several factors can affect natural light photography, such as time of day, weather conditions, direction of light, and types of windows and glass.

Choosing the right time of day and understanding how to position the camera and the subject in relation to the light source can create dramatic and stunning images.

Natural Light Real Estate Photography tips and tricks

Tips for Natural Light Real Estate Photography

Using natural light in real estate photography requires some additional tools and techniques, such as using a tripod, turning off artificial light sources, using reflectors and diffusers, using HDR photography, and employing proper composition techniques. These tips can help create the perfect shot and highlight the best features of the property.

  • Shooting interiors
    Shooting interiors requires evaluating the light sources, using reflectors and diffusers, and positioning the camera and tripod. Understanding how to manipulate the light and how to position the camera in relation to the light source can create stunning and dramatic images.
  • Shooting exteriors
    Shooting exteriors requires evaluating the natural light sources, choosing the right time of day, and positioning the camera and tripod. The position of the sun can create dramatic and stunning effects on the exterior of a property, and as a photographer, it’s important to take advantage of this. 
  • Evaluate the natural light sources: Before starting to shoot, take a few minutes to assess the natural light sources around the property. Look at the position of the sun, the shadows it’s creating, and any other sources of natural light such as trees or reflections from nearby buildings. This will help you to determine the best angles and positions for your shots.
  • Choose the right time of day: The time of day can have a big impact on the look and feel of your exterior shots. Early morning and late afternoon are known as the golden hours in photography, and for good reason. The light during these times is softer and more diffused, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Midday sun can be harsh and create deep shadows, which can be challenging to work with.
  • Positioning the camera and tripod: Once you have determined the best angles and positions for your shots, it’s time to set up your camera and tripod. Take care to position the camera at the right height and angle, and make sure that it’s level. A tripod is essential for getting sharp, well-composed shots, and it also allows you to make minor adjustments without having to recompose the entire shot.
  • Use reflectors and diffusers: Reflectors and diffusers can be helpful tools when shooting exteriors. If you’re shooting in bright sunlight, a diffuser can help to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows. A reflector can be used to bounce light back onto the subject, creating a more even and flattering look.
  • Experiment with different angles and perspectives: Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives when shooting exteriors. Try shooting from different heights, angles, and distances to see what works best for the property you’re photographing.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to capture stunning exterior shots using natural light. However, keep in mind that shooting exteriors can be challenging, and it may take some trial and error to get the perfect shot.

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Editing Natural Light real Estate Photography

Editing is an important part of the photography process, and it can make a big difference in the final result of your images.

While natural light photography can create beautiful, vibrant images, there are still some adjustments that may need to be made in post-processing to enhance the final result.

  • Importance of editing
    Editing is important for several reasons. First, it allows you to correct any issues with exposure, white balance, or color that may have occurred during shooting. Second, it allows you to enhance the image by adjusting contrast, saturation, and sharpness. Finally, it allows you to add your own personal style to the image, making it unique and visually appealing.
  • Understanding the basic editing tools
    There are many editing tools available, but it’s important to understand the basic tools and how to use them effectively. Some of the most important tools include exposure, contrast, saturation, white balance, and sharpness.
  • Tips for editing natural light real estate photography
    When editing natural light real estate photography, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind. First, be careful not to over-edit the image, as this can make it look artificial and unrealistic. Second, make sure to maintain a consistent style throughout the images, so they all look cohesive when viewed together. Finally, take the time to crop and straighten the images, as this can make a big difference in the final result.
  • Real estate presets Lightroom
    Presets simplify the editing workflow, ensuring every property is showcased at its best. By emphasizing the property’s highlights and correcting imperfections, these Real Estate presets make each listing pop, attracting more potential buyers or tenants.

Software options for editing

There are various software options available for editing natural light real estate photography, each with its own set of features and capabilities. Some popular options include Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Capture One Pro.

  • Adobe Lightroom
    Adobe Lightroom is a widely used photo editing software that offers a range of features for editing and enhancing photos. It provides users with various tools for adjusting exposure, color balance, and sharpness, as well as the ability to apply presets and filters to quickly enhance the look of photos.
  • Adobe Photoshop
    Photoshop, another popular option, provides advanced editing tools for adjusting color, tone, and contrast, as well as retouching and compositing capabilities. This software is more suited for more complex edits and retouching tasks.
  • Capture One Pro
    Capture One Pro is a professional-grade editing software that is widely used by photographers in various industries, including real estate. It offers a range of advanced features for color grading, exposure adjustments, and other editing tasks. It is also known for its excellent support for RAW image files, allowing for more flexibility in editing and processing images.

Regardless of the software used, it is important to keep in mind that editing should be done sparingly and with the intention of enhancing the natural look of the photo. Over-editing can result in an unrealistic and unappealing final image.

Examples of Natural Light Real Estate Photography

One of the best ways to understand and implement the tips and techniques discussed in this article is by examining examples of natural light real estate photography. Here are some examples of excellent natural light real estate photography:

example photo natural light, beach house

Beach House
This photo showcases the importance of framing and composition in real estate photography. The photographer has used the natural light to highlight the stunning view of the beach while framing the shot in a way that emphasizes the spaciousness of the room.

example image stunning lake house, bouncing light with reflector

Lake House
This photo showcases the importance of using reflectors and diffusers in real estate photography. The photographer has used a reflector to bounce natural light into the room, creating a bright and airy atmosphere that enhances the overall appeal of the space.

example image modern kitchen, captured in the early  morning

Modern Kitchen
This photo showcases the importance of choosing the right time of day for real estate photography. The photographer has chosen to shoot during the early morning hours when the natural light is soft and diffused, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in the space.

example image rustic living room in HDR

Rustic Living Room
This photo showcases the importance of using HDR photography in real estate photography. The photographer has used HDR techniques to capture the full dynamic range of the scene, resulting in a final image that accurately represents the lighting and tones in the room.


Natural light is an essential component of real estate photography. By understanding how natural light works in photography and implementing proper techniques for shooting and editing, photographers can capture stunning and appealing images that accurately represent the space.

By following the tips and techniques discussed in this article, including camera settings, metering, composition and framing, and using reflectors and diffusers, photographers can capture natural light real estate photography that stands out and attracts potential buyers.

Remember to choose the right time of day for shooting, evaluate the natural light sources, and position the camera and tripod properly. And when it comes to editing, use software options such as Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or Capture One Pro to enhance the natural look of the photos.

What are your take on Real Estate Photography with Natural Light? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Michael
Furoore Team is here to assist you in capturing the most significant moments in your life. To create exciting photographs, discover photography guides, find unique photo ideas, and limitless image inspiration.


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