My methods

Why I use off-camera flash

So you've bought a fancy camera—or hired a photographer who owns one— but your interior photos don't look as good as you'd hoped. It's not about the camera! These examples show why off-camera flash is the answer. It takes a little longer but I think the result is worth it.

Slide the vertical bar back and forth in the images below to see the difference between all ambient light and off-camera flash + skilled post processing.


When shooting with ambient light only, window views are often overexposed while adjacent rooms can look like dark caves. Adding off-camera flash balances the extremes and can help viewers get a feel for the flow of a home. In addition to allowing lighting of adjacent spaces, taking the flash off the camera helps avoid harsh shadows as well as overly bright foregrounds.


Shooting with interior lights on can introduce strange color casts as the camera's sensor chooses a white balance for either daylight or the incandescent, fluorescent or LED bulbs in the interior fixtures. Again, adding off-camera flash fixes the problem while also bringing the window view into correct exposure. 

Elevated exteriors

I'm certified to fly a drone commercially (yes, the Federal Aviation Administration has required this since 2016), but I don't deploy my drone on every shoot. I'm sensitive to the privacy concerns of neighbors in sub/urban settings, and I will not fly in areas restricted by the FAA. I understand that sometimes it's necessary to get higher than the average human-eye level, which is why I always bring a camera mounted to a 20-foot pole to my real estate shoots. See the difference?

Back yard photo taken at eye levelGroundLevelBack yard photo taken at eye level   Elevated shotElevated shotBack yard photo taken from about 15 feet up using a camera mounted to a pole. By the way, these photos were taken on a drab Ohio day. While I can't control the weather, I do swap out skies in Photoshop. I try to keep it looking natural; note the lack of shadows you would see on a bright, sunny day. A bright, cloudless sky would look a little weird (in my opinion). The original image is below.

NoSkyReplacementNoSkyReplacementWith a little work in Photoshop, I can bring life into an otherwise gray sky.