Creating Light w/a Make Shift Bounce
My job as a Real Estate and Architecture Photographer is to bring a space to life by adding and enhancing the light. Not all homes and spaces are created equal. Some require a lot more work and some creativity.
I recently was commissioned to photograph a home for sale in Anchorage that was the perfect example of a home that required some creativity and additional lighting techniques. The large majority of homes I photograph have white walls or at least a white ceiling that I can use for my lighting technique. This home, however was almost all wood. Wood does not bounce light. This poses a problem.
Over the years I have acquired a lot of little tricks to get light where I need it. Luckily, I had all the tools in the back of my vehicle I needed for this job.
I make it a habit to walk through each home I photograph first, so I can start to get an idea of what tools I will need to make it stand out. As I walk around the house I am looking for areas that I need to add some additional lighting. I am looking for ways I can hide those lights and still get the look I am shooting for. When I saw this shot above, I knew immediately that I would need to bring in the whole tool kit to make this one work. I needed every light. Every stand. Every bounce, tape, etc. that I had on me.
A lot of my peers take the easier road and photograph homes with no additional lights. They are able to get in and out in a few short minutes and then spend more time on the computer processing the images to get the desired result. I, however feel that lighting the scene with lights gives a much better image, so I take the time needed to do it. This home took me about 4 hours to get all the lighting I wanted.
I have found having some white boards handy really makes a difference, especially in homes like this. The following images show how I use white boards or foam core to bounce my lights in areas I need. I am always trying to find new ways to hang them, prop them up, or whatever I can to get them in the right spot.
The little boards give me just the right amount of light to make the area look how I envisioned it when I walked through the home.
Here are a few more images from this photo shoot.