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How to Shoot the Flambient Method for Real Estate Photography

Are you interested in learning the flambient method for real estate photography? This technique combines flash and ambient light to capture stunning shots that highlight the best features of homes. In this article, we will...

Are you interested in learning the flambient method for real estate photography? This technique combines flash and ambient light to capture stunning shots that highlight the best features of homes. In this article, we will provide you with a simple introduction to flambient and guide you through the basic shooting techniques.

The Basic Flambient Shooting Techniques

When using the flambient technique, it is recommended to take at least 3 shots of a room to produce the final image. Let's explore each of these shots:

1. The Ambient Shot

For the ambient shot, rely solely on the natural light of the room and avoid using flash. Expose the shot in the middle to achieve a balanced overall picture of the room. Shooting in RAW format allows you to push the boundaries of the dynamic range. Imagine this shot as the "if only" exposure - if you could only use this one shot to create the final image, would it capture the essence of the room?

If you encounter a room with extreme dynamic range, consider shooting a bracket of 3 images. Set the "if only" exposure at 0 and capture additional shots at -2 and +2 to ensure that you capture the shadows and highlights. In some cases, the ambient shot forms the base of the final image, while other photographers prefer using the flash shot as their base image.

2. The Flash Shot

The goal of the flash shot is to achieve a well-exposed image with a good view out of the window, brightened interior, and natural wall colors. To achieve this, take your flash off-camera and position it 18 inches to 2 feet below a white ceiling. This position allows the flash to bounce off the ceiling and evenly illuminate the room. Alternatively, you can keep the flash on the camera, but make sure it is close enough to the ceiling to avoid unwanted shadows.

Adjust the flash power based on the exposure needed to capture a nice window view. The flash may not reach outside the window, so prioritize the exposure for the window and adjust the flash power accordingly. Bouncing the flash off a white object in the room, usually the ceiling, helps recover the natural color of the walls and objects.

3. The Window Shot(s)

When you have a beautiful window view that you want to capture, shoot a third shot specifically for the windows. Expose the shot to properly capture the details outside the window and use a high-powered flash pointed directly at the window frames. This may seem counterintuitive, but it simplifies the blending process during post-production.

Ideally, use an off-camera flash for this shot. However, if the flash is powerful enough and the windows are not too far away, shooting with the flash on-camera can work as well. Experiment with angles to minimize flash reflections, and if possible, take one additional shot without the flash to ensure a natural look.

Why Shoot Flambient for Real Estate Photography?

The challenge in real estate photography lies in finding a balance between natural-looking shots and vibrant images that capture the true colors of the room. Relying solely on ambient light can result in faded wall colors and excessively dark shadow areas, especially if the room lacks natural light. On the other hand, using only flash can create artificial-looking images with distracting shadows and hotspots.

Flambient photography combines the strengths of both ambient light and flash to create images that showcase the best of both worlds. By blending the two techniques, you can capture natural-looking shots with enhanced brightness and vibrant colors.

Beyond the Basic Process

While the three-shot flambient method serves as a great starting point, you can further enhance your technique with additional steps. For example, you can shoot a bracket instead of a single ambient shot or capture multiple window shots to incorporate reflections. The complexity of the process depends on your preferences and the specific requirements of each shoot. Remember, the more you experiment and learn, the more you can refine your flambient style.

Leverage Professional Real Estate Photo Editing

To save time and focus on high-impact tasks for your photography business, consider using a professional real estate photo editing service like PhotoUp. They have a team of highly talented photo editors who can enhance your real estate photos at an affordable cost of $1.50 per image. Their services include correcting exposure levels, eliminating harsh shadows, enhancing blurred images, and applying various editing effects. PhotoUp also offers a range of real estate marketing services like virtual staging, home walk-through videos, custom websites, property flyers, and more.

By utilizing PhotoUp's user-friendly photo management system, you can easily upload and receive photos, provide instructions and feedback, and manage your team and clients effectively.


The flambient method offers a fantastic approach to real estate photography, combining flash and ambient light to create stunning images that capture the true essence of a home. By following the basic shooting techniques and experimenting with different variations, you can achieve outstanding results. Don't forget to leverage professional photo editing services like PhotoUp to enhance your images and streamline your workflow. Start shooting flambient and elevate your real estate photography to the next level!

Note: The images used in this article are from the original source article.