Beginners Guide

Comprehensive Guide to the Best Lighting for Interior Photography

The best Lighting for Interior Photography

There are only 2 options for lighting a photo: natural light or artificial light. The best lighting for interior photography is going to be a combination of both.

Only using natural light limits you to so many elements that are out of your hand. Likewise, only using artificial light doesn’t allow for the natural and beautiful look of sunlight streaming in through a window.

By working with the available natural light and adding in some artificial light from a flash, you can achieve some amazing results. Check out this article featuring The Best Flashes for Real Estate Photography so you can achieve the best results. The best flash on the market today when considering all variables is the Godox AD200 Pro

Table of Contents

Best Lighting for Interior Photography

Natural Lighting

The best lighting for interior photography will always incorporate natural lighting. Capturing sun light streaming in from a window and lighting up portions of the photos is something that always looks good.

natural light interior

Using natural light also helps to show the space as it truly looks. Everyone searching for the perfect home wants to know how much natural light is let into a room, so it’s very important to show it.

In the example image used, the viewer immediately knows that there’s tons of natural light being let into the room without even needing to see a window. It makes for a beautiful photo even with so little being shown in the frame.

Using too much artificial light will distort how the room actually appears. You want to compliment the natural light, not over power it.

Artificial Lighting

There are going to be many situations where artificial light is necessary to get a great looking photo. There may be very little, or even no natural light available. This happens often in basements, guest bedrooms, or attic type spaces.

Without artificial light, depth and detail won’t be able to be achieved in the photo. In this example photo, there are no windows in the frame and the kitchen is lit almost entirely by artificial light.

The detail and depth that we see in the cupboards wouldn’t be achievable if this photo used only natural light. The artificial light from the flash not only brightens up the whole kitchen, but it also helps to highlight the details in the wood.

If only natural light was used, this image would appear much flatter and we would lose lots of the depth which make this photo really pop.

Benefits of Using Natural and Artificial Light Together

Using both natural and artificial light together will always produces the best results. The key is not letting one over power the other. If used and mixed properly, the result is the best lighting for interiors.

In this example, natural light is being let into the room from two windows and two skylights. The natural light in this room is obviously worth highlighting and only needs to be complimented by artificial light.

A flash was used to even out the lighting and the brighten up some of the furniture close to the camera. If a flash wasn’t used, everything facing the camera would have come out very dark since the natural light is only coming from the back of the photo.

The outcome of using both natural light and artificial light is a perfectly lit photo that highlights all the best aspects of the room.

Best Practices for Using both Natural and Artificial Light

As previously stated, the way to get the best results is to make sure that you are using artificial light to highlight the natural light. Let the natural light steal the show when it’s great, and use artificial light to fill in the gaps.

When there’s not a lot of natural light available, artificial light needs to play a bigger role. The key is to not let one over power the other. The more you practice using both natural and artificial light, the better you’ll get at balancing the two.

Be sure to check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of articles with helpful ideas and tips exactly like this one. Our Business Resources page has all the resources you’ll need to get your Real Estate Photography business started on the right path.

Additionally, if you are looking for real estate photography courses to help you learn more, including the best lighting techniques, check out our article Best Real Estate Photography Classes.

Finally, go check out our Gear page to get up-to-date reviews and recommendations on todays best gear for Real Estate Photography.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get the best lighting for indoor pictures?

Generally speaking, letting in as much natural light as possible and then filling in the dark areas with artificial light is the way to get the best lighting for interior photography.

What kind of lights do you need for indoor photography?

You don’t need any extra light for indoor photography, but using a flash will help to increase the overall quality of the images as long as you know how to use the flash properly.

Should I use flash for indoor photography?

The quick answer is yes, you should use a flash for indoor photography. However, you need to know how to use the flash properly in order for it to help increase the quality of the photos.

Best Lighting for Interior Photography
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