No matter how good a photographer you hired, there is not much you can do if it is raining
If you live in Central Florida your best bet to schedule a photograph for your property is in the morning because during most of the year when it rains, it rains in the afternoons.
House orientation is not that important if the weather does not cooperate. In a perfect world, you would have the sun hit the front of the house, that is east in the morning, and west in the afternoon, but if it is raining orientation is meaningless.
Photographing houses on a cloudy day
Cloudy or overcast days might be great for black and white photos, but they are terrible for real estate photography, and here in Florida we can have overcast days for weeks, especially during hurricane season.
Since time is money and the house needs to go the MLS ASAP, the best solution is to do a sky swap in Photoshop or Luminar.
How to deal with bad weather
If you know that there is going to be rain or the day will be overcast, then you can plan with your photographer to go out and get some quick photos of the outside of the home only.
I have personally done this many times in order to get the outside photo taken while the weather is good.
If I’m in the area and happen to drive by the home, there is usually no charge. If I must drive across the city for just that one photo, I will try to reach an agreement with either the real estate agent or whoever is contracting the photos on extra compensation for time and travel.
Other lighting obstacles
Things such as trees can also influence how your photo will look. Too much light and the trees will cast very harsh and dark shadows onto the house, giving your photos “dark” spots.
If you try to compensate and expose your camera for the dark spots, then the sky and any brightly lit part of the home will be overexposed and look washed out.
How to overcome bad lighting situations
Dark spots and uneven lighting caused by trees and other objects can be overcome by several methods.
The best, yet the most impractical way, is by brute force with strobes. Artificial lighting is one way of overcoming the lack of light, but this for most homes is not practical due to the increase in costs.
Illuminating the outside of a house with flashes requires very expensive equipment and several persons to set it up correctly. This makes this solution only viable for very expensive homes.
The second choice for overcoming lighting problems when photographing a house is HDR photography.
HDR combines several photos taken at different lighting exposures in order to create an image that has the best of each individual one.
While HDR does not create the best quality photos, in my opinion, most people would never notice, especially if they are just browsing for home on their smartphone.
Not every day is a good day for photos, especially for real estate photos, so plan ahead, watch your local weather forecast, and if you live in central Florida, try to schedule all your photoshoots in the morning after 9 am and before 2 pm.
“What can I say? I love taking photos of houses.”
Based in Orlando Florida, Jose is a real estate photographer specializing in vacation homes, working for realtors and property managers to make their properties look great.