Bear Karry, October 28 2021

The Best Moments to Consider Breaking Real Estate Photography Rules

In recent years, virtual home tours have been in vogue. Partly because of the current world situation and the convenience it offers to companies and their clients.

The rise of virtual home tours highlighted the demand for businesses to provide professional real estate photography services. In addition, there is also an enhanced need for real estate photography knowledge among people who want to take photos of their homes.

A few blogs back, we discussed some photography rules and tips that can help you take great photos for your virtual staging. In that article, we emphasized the need to always turn on the room lights along with other basic photography guidelines.

However, in this article, we’ll discuss when it’s okay to break photography rules for the sake of achieving great results.

Editorial Magazine Shots for Virtual Home Tours and Aerial Photos

Photos for virtual home tours are very different from editorial photos. In a virtual tour, you would want to turn on all the lights to brighten up the space to show that the fixtures are working and the home is move-in ready. While photos for virtual staging are more practical, editorial photos tend to be more artistic.

Seasoned luxury home photographers prefer natural light as opposed to artificial light. Their preference entails that editorial shots take more time, but they are always magazine-worthy in the end.

Wall Color Balance in Home Photography

Some parts of a house tend to have warmer lighting conditions than others. Although warm light is excellent for promoting relaxation, they throw off the wall’s color balance, making them appear unnatural or unattractive, especially for potential homebuyers.

To understand it better, think of a room with blue walls lit by a warm yellow glow. When you take a photo, you won’t see the blue walls or the yellow light. Instead, all you’ll witness is a room with muddled green walls.

In a similar situation, shooting the room in natural light is the best option. Just remember to adjust the exposure and color accuracy, and you’ll do great.

Anti-Spotlight Effect for Realtor Photography

Showing off your home to potential buyers is the main goal of virtual tour photos. However, not all surfaces are meant to be highlighted.

Sometimes the room’s lighting condition and the position of the lights can create a spotlight. It would be great if you could direct it to the best features of the room. But oftentimes, homeowners point spotlights at random areas of the room, like the top of the fridge or a corner shelf.

The remedy to this is simple: turn off the lights. Shooting the space using natural light will eliminate the spotlight effect.

Anti-Staining Effect in Real Estate Photos

White walls look great because they can make a room look more spacious. White cabinets are also necessary because they give off a clean look. However, if you take a photo with the warm room light on, your picture will feature cabinets and walls with beige areas.

When warm light is cast on white surfaces, they will achieve a stained or burnt look in the final photo. Although you may prefer the look of the stained wall or cabinet, you cannot mix it in with the rest of the virtual home tour photos because they are not accurate to the real-life equivalent.


Turning on the room lights is one of the golden rules of professional real estate photography. However, if you want to take editorial photos, adjust the color balance of the walls, eliminate spotlights, and prevent the staining effect, then you would have to switch off the lights and depend on natural light.

If it all sounds too complicated for you, don’t fret because Bear Karry is here for you. We provide award-winning professional real estate photography and drone services near St Pete FL and Tampa Bay that can leave you and your potential buyers in awe. Book a session today!

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Bear Karry

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