Is Lighting Killing The Mood?
by Jackie Goldstein
on Apr 29, 2013
Listed in Photography

Noel Coward once said, “Love is a question of lighting.” If done right, it can inspire love, but if done incorrectly, it can turn a photo of a beautiful space into a nightmare-ish vision.

Every wonder why, in a photo, the light over the kitchen sink turns a vile green? Or a closet radiates a hellish red glow? It didn’t look that way when you took the picture. That’s because our eyes automatically adjust and balance light from different sources. But the camera sees light differently. It doesn’t have our brain to interpret what it’s seeing. So it just records the data.

Real Estate Bad Lighting Photo
A) Daylight  B) Fluorescent  C) Low Wattage Tungsten D) Tungsten + daylight E) Tungsten

Know Your Light Sources

It is important to find the right balance, as different types of lights can come through as different colors when photographed indoors.

Daylight appears blue, while tungsten generally presents a yellow or reddish hue. Fluorescent bulbs cast a green light. Finding the balance that works for different sources can be tricky, but cameras come equipped with a setting that corresponds to the light sources you are shooting. And most of the time, simply setting the white balance to “automatic” on your digital camera can solve your problems.

Color of light poses one of the challenges of photographing indoors and one of things you have to get just right, but it isn’t the only lighting consideration…

The direction of the light – is it casting undesirable shadows? Does it seem unnatural?

The luminosity or brightness – are areas getting washed out? Or is too dark to see detail?

Contrast – are shadows harsh? Or do you need a little more contrast to help define what you’re seeing?

Don’t be intimidated. This may sound very difficult, but it’s not.  When you learn to recognize these factors and recognize how they affect your photos, you can improve your photography greatly and put people in the mood… to buy.

Learn more about the online photography course for Real Estate professionals at:

30+ years in creative direction. Previously Art Director of Turner Broadcasting and Assistant Art Director with WSB-TV in Atlanta. Founded, grew and sold "Galileo", a new media advertising and marketing company. Currently work with companies to help develop creative messaging to build their brands and increase profits. Have worked with Ed Wolkis, the author of the book, "How To Take Photos That Move Houses" for over 30 years. Together we created the online photography course for real estate professionals to be engaging, informative and integral to attracting buyers to their listings. Photos That Sell Houses

1 Comment
  1. Eric Stegemann

    Thanks for another great post about Realtor photography!

    Posted on 4.29.13 at 10.13 am
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