Real Estate Photography is getting top rankings in every list on "how to make money as a photographer." The real estate market is currently booming, and the demand for real estate photography is on the rise.
The purpose of real estate photography is to sell houses. Realtors are looking for unique styles that will catch the eye of prospects in a sea of those who are competing for real estate photography. While this is not easy money, but for a photographer willing to learn, it can turn out to be a gold mine.
Real estate photography is a genre of commercial photography that can be quite lucrative, especially for photographers who live away from major cities or business centres. Commercial photography jobs usually require you to be near major commercial centres where you can get in touch with companies and business owners. Real estate on the other hand is rented and sold everywhere. This makes real estate photography jobs, easily accessible and profitable for all kinds of photographers living everywhere.
If you are a photographer looking to get into real estate photography this guide is for you. We discuss all the ins and outs of real estate photography, how you can get into it, what equipment you will need, techniques, tricks and tips and more. By the end of this article, you will be fully equipped with everything you need to know in order to start your real estate photography business.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Real Estate Photography is all about creating captivating images that can sell a property and be worth thousands of dollars.
We have put together a series of real estate photography tips gathered from top photographers that would help you shoot images that sell homes and get ahead of the game.
How to get into real estate photography?
So how do you get your first few real estate photography jobs? The first and foremost step is to build a portfolio for yourself. Here is a complete guide on how to build an online portfolio, to get you started. A good real estate photography portfolio is the most important professional tool for any photographer looking to break into this niche.
If you don’t have previous experience with real estate photography, it can help if you take up a few jobs for free in the beginning. This could be for friends, family and neighbours who are looking to sell, lease or rent their properties. Once you have curated a nice collection, you will want to host these photographs on your online photography portfolio website. This will help you share your portfolio more easily. It can also help you get discovered or noticed by real estate agents, landlords or homeowners looking to sell in your area.
Once you have a professional real estate photography portfolio done and ready, you can start reaching out to realtors and property brokers in your area. These people are often on the lookout for good, affordable, professional real estate photographers and may have a gig or two for you.
What equipment do you need for real estate photography?
The most basic equipment that you need for most real estate photography jobs would include a high-quality digital camera and a tripod. Wide-angle lenses are good for shooting large areas like living and dining rooms and are therefore quite popular with real estate photographers. Good editing software is also necessary since most real estate photography needs quite a bit of post-production. As you become more successful and establish yourself in the industry, you can build up your repository of more high-end equipment. Eventually, you will want an advanced camera system that allows for multiple lenses, a wireless trigger or trigger app, and lighting upgrades.
“Remember, in real estate photography: Higher Quality = Higher Paycheck”
These are some of the most common and basic equipment that real estate photographers use:
Full-frame digital camera
Full-frame cameras are the right choice for most real estate photography jobs as they can shoot large spaces and produce the highest quality images. Focus on the sensor size of the camera, rather than megapixels, as a large sensor size would give you better quality real estate images even under low light conditions. There are a lot of good quality cameras out there but even so, it is important to do your research and select a camera that is best for your needs.
Most professional real estate photographers would tell you that a wide-angle lens is the best lens for real estate photography. Wide-angle lenses create a sense of depth and emphasize the space of a room. For a full frame sensor camera, it is advisable to use a wide-angle lens of around 16-35 mm.
Using fisheye or other bloating techniques to create an unrealistic sense of space should be avoided. This practice is deceiving, and will only put off potential buyers when they feel let down on seeing the real property. DO NOT misrepresent the property or remove permanent, unsightly objects. Your job as a real estate photographer is to take real estate pictures that represent the property in an aesthetic, appealing, and authentic manner.
Stability garners quality. Most real estate photographs are taken in natural light for exteriors or limited lighting available in the room. Using a tripod naturally results in sharper images and steadiness for slower shutter speeds. A tripod also helps you maintain a horizontal plane and get clean, vertical lines. Experiment with different heights using your tripod - the view of the room can change quite a lot at different heights. Pick the best angle after experimenting with different heights (above the head level, eye level, chest level, table level). If you are planning to shoot bracketed images for post-processing blending, it's essential to photograph using a tripod.
Remote triggers let you trigger the camera to take a shot without even touching the camera. The reason why this is important may not seem obvious at first but remote triggers eliminate camera shakes that can lead to blurry photos or loss of detail. This is especially the case with real estate photography that often uses extremely low shutter speeds. At these speeds, even slightly touching the camera to trigger the shot can lead to camera shakes and unfocused photographs.
Flash & flash trigger
Natural light is not always enough or better when it comes to real estate photography. Keep in mind that not all areas of a property are equally well lit in most cases. You may find the living space to be flooded with a good amount of natural light but the bathroom or hallways may be dark. Therefore keeping a flash in hand is always a good idea. Having a flash trigger alongside your flash is also a good idea because it allows you to position both your flash and your camera in the most appropriate position and then remotely trigger them both without having to deal with any complicated logistic issues.
If you are using flash, it only makes sense to have light stands. After all, you need something to mount your flash and other lights on. While lightweight stands work well for flashguns or strobes, if you are using larger moonlights a C-stand will be much more sturdy and reliable.
How to shoot real estate photographs?
So you have your equipment ready and you have contacted your local realtor for a gig. But how do you shoot a property to produce the best possible results? How do you approach your first real estate photography job? Let us go through some common real estate photography techniques to understand how it all works.
Here are some real estate photography techniques and useful tricks:
- Shoot wide
- Vertical edges
- Exposing to the right
- Shooting interiors
- Using flash
- Using light stands
- Blown out windows
- Camera height for interior shots
- Shooting exteriors
- Exterior lighting
- Camera height for exterior shots
Space and natural light sell homes. Therefore the space in the home needs to be represented accurately and expressively. There are ways of achieving this in real estate photography, the most important of which is shooting wide. Wide angle shots are much better at capturing space and this is the reason why wide angle lenses are so popular with real estate photographers.
When shooting wide, remember that:
- Every wall does not need to be in a successful photo.
- Zoom changes the feel of the room drastically.
- Shooting wide creates the illusion of a larger space.
Another real estate photography tip that realtors and photographers both agree on is keeping vertical edges straight. Wall lines must be straight up and down. A level can be placed in the hot shoe to level the camera to the room accurately. This method can result in objects like furniture being cut off so make sure to lower the tripod to prevent that.
A Tilt-Shift Lens can also help you alleviate this issue. The Lens Correction Tool in Photoshop and level options in Lightroom are options that can be used in post-production to correct any converging vertical lines.
Exposing to the right
Exposing to the right or overexposing is a somewhat advanced technique that can take a little bit of practice to get right. The name comes from the fact that when you look at the histogram showing the tone distribution of the photographs that are shot using this technique, you see a peak towards the right side. In photographs shot normally, with balanced exposure, this histogram peaks in the middle and tapers off to the sides. When mastered, shooting to the right can make a room look brighter.
Many novice real estate photographers begin with images that are too dark which is a problem because real estate photography jobs require you to produce bright and well-lit photographs of the property. Exposing to the right can alleviate this issue.
With this technique, you overexpose an image so that it looks too bright, while at the same time making sure you do not lose any of the details. Then, in post-production, you darken the image to your liking. You need to be careful though because if you overexpose too much, the areas of highlights will be pure white which means there is not enough data in there to render the details in post-production. This technique results in photographs that are more detailed and brighter than you would otherwise be able to achieve.
When shooting interior shots, you should use lighting to make the viewer's eye flow through the room. Figure out an angle in the room that captures the best perspective of the room and highlights the space and depth of the room. With proper techniques, you can create highlights and shadows to enhance detail and produce accurate and appealing images. Make sure to turn on every light in the room when you are shooting to ensure bright lighting. Even so, window lights and room lights may not be enough or give you enough control. Artificial lighting is always a good addition for more precise lighting. A strobe is another option for constant brightness. Here is an example of best interior photography portfolio website examples you can check.
Outdoor lighting mixed with interior lights often conflicts colour balance. If possible, colour match interior lights to the colour of the outside lighting. These issues can also be resolved in post-production so make sure to hone your skills in Photoshop colour correction.
Flash can be an incredibly useful artificial light source for all kinds of photographers. Using flash in real estate photography helps you quickly illuminate relevant areas of the room and spots that are normally hidden in shadows. While you can use varying shutter speeds to adjust ambient light, altering shutter speeds only affect constant light sources. A flash is an inconstant light. It is, therefore, better to use multi-flash wireless systems that let you enable repositioning for best results. A removable flash allows the "bouncing" of light off the ceiling or wall. Not the best results, but workable.
Using light stands
Small, well-lit rooms and closets require a single light source. Large areas like family rooms or kitchens can significantly benefit from more. An inexpensive light stand (or two) enables you to correctly position lighting. This small investment will allow you to produce more professional photography, especially in hallways, stairwells, etc.
Blown out windows
Unless the view is astounding, a photo that captures the view from the window is unnecessary. Overexposing the windows is sometimes an advantage to bring focus to the room itself.
Camera height for interior shots
Full-sized tripods come equipped with horizontal and vertical adjustments. By taking shots at different camera heights, you would get varying angles and perspectives. With experience, you would figure out which camera height is best for which space. But in the case that you are a novice, here are some commonly recommended camera heights for different situations and areas:
- Vaulted Ceilings: As high as possible to give the full effect of the height and shoot impressive photographs
- Kitchens: Counter height to represent the intimate and homey vibes of a kitchen.
- Bathrooms: Several inches above the counter
Today's real estate sales begin online. An exterior photo is the first thing a prospect sees. This is a shot that must grab a prospective buyer’s attention so be sure to take your time with this image.
“A real estate photography shoot comes with deadlines that may not allow time for proper setup. Timing is everything.”
Photograph the front of the property at the best possible angle and lighting. Make sure to feature highlights like:
- Deck / Patio
- Pool / Hot Tub
Do not shoot in harsh sunlight where shadows would be very strong. If a cloudy day is unavailable, sunset is your best bet. When possible, plan exterior shoots at dusk. The natural light around sundown can produce dramatic results; noted as the best for selling real estate. Turn on all the lights in the house. At sunset, the remaining natural light balances the house lights. To be sure that you get the real estate photography lighting correct, shoot many shots with varied exposures.
When dusk is not an option, the sun is a problem. Take photographs with your back to the sun. Keep in mind that bright, white skies lessen the impact of images.
Camera height for exterior shots
Exterior shots produce better results from greater heights. At times a tripod's limitations are not high enough; 6 to 12 feet is recommended. Use the painter's pole to extend the tripod. The pole must be secured to ensure your camera is safe. Stability is the priority.
How to plan your real estate photo shoot?
Like with any other photoshoot, a real estate photography shoot requires a bit of planning. Just because a house is a stationary, non-living object does not mean that it doesn’t require some preparation. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when planning your real estate photo shoot.
Just like with any other outdoor shoot, early morning and dusk are the best time for shooting real estate photographs. This is because the lighting is more diffused and you don’t have to deal with harsh shadows that could get in your way.
Staging - How to prepare the property for the shoot
Between you and the realtor, you will need to take some steps to ensure a successful shoot. It can help if you visit the property beforehand to get an idea of what you are dealing with and what equipment you will need to bring. Additionally, houses need some decluttering and cleaning beforehand to ensure the best results. If possible, forward a shortlist of tasks to the homeowner labelled, "Suggestions for Photos That Sell Homes." These instructions should include the following guidelines for different areas of the house:
- Clean and declutter all spaces
- Clear and wipe down counters
- Clean mirrors and glass surfaces
- Store personal items
- Mow and weed landscapes
- Garage, Shop or Basement
- Clear the refrigerator of dish towels, magnets, etc.
- Store cleaning supplies, including paper towels
- Set the table as if you are expecting guests
- Flowers or a fruit bowl adds ambience
- Toilet lid down
- Store toiletries
- Hang only a matching set of hand towels
- Add flowers or similar decoration
- Avoid including any of the current resident's personal effects in your photographs, such as family photos, pets, belongings, knick-knacks, etc.
Plan your shoot well in advance but be flexible
Discuss a flexible schedule with your realtor. You need to plan your shoot for a time of the day when there is optimum light. Considering that there are a myriad factors that can affect a shoot, including but not limited to weather, lighting, etc, success may require a second visit.
A successful shoot will take time; larger properties take longer. You need to get the hang of real estate photography pricing to make sure you are charging enough to adequately cover your time.
Advanced real estate photography services
Here we list some real estate photography services that are a little bit more advanced. These can take a little bit of investment to get right so you can try incorporating these services into your business if you are already successful or established or simply have time and capital to spare. These services can help you stand out from the crowd and provide a unique selling point to prospective clients making you more desirable.
Aerial Real Estate Drone Photography
Aerial images have become an expected addition in real estate photography jobs, especially when marketing substantial properties. An aerial view of a larger property is helpful in giving people a good understanding of what they are buying and see areas of the property that would not otherwise be visible or otherwise accessible for any reason.
Drones have made aerial real estate photography affordable. Real estate drone photography is not only a viable option in marketing today; it's becoming a necessity. Inexpensive drones are available that both record and take still images. You can start out with a cheaper drone to test things out and learn the basics and then move to a higher priced, more reliable model.
Real estate drone photography can provide details like:
- View of the entire property
- Closer inspection of the roof and hard to reach features
- The surrounding area, neighbours, and nearby amenities
- Property maps and surveys
Check out this complete guide to using drones for aerial photography.
Virtual property tours
With advances in technology, many realtors now request a Virtual Tour or 360-degree tour. For these kinds of services, you need a special camera that can take 360-degree panoramic shots of the property. You can use specialized virtual tour software that makes it easy for you to transfer your photographs to the computer and produce a comprehensive virtual tour. These value-added services help you gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.
Post-processing in real estate photography
Post-production is an important aspect of any digital photography. This is especially the case with real estate photography since your job is to ensure that the property looks good enough to sell as soon as possible. Post-production and editing should never be used deceptively or to hide flaws but to provide the best possible viewing experience for potential buyers, highlight the property’s merits and give viewers as comprehensive a tour as possible without having to visit the site.
Other than colour correction and other routine processes, blending images is a technique that is used extensively in real estate photography.
This technique is used in the following ways and for the given circumstances. The intention is always to provide a complete and honest representation of the property and never to deceive or fool the buyer.
In cases like a floor creating a glare, two exposures are necessary. Set one shot for the best exposure of the room; set another shot for the floor. These two images can be combined in the editing process for a perfect outcome. This is a situation where a tripod can be very useful. When you need to shoot two exact positions, your tripod is your best friend.
Flambient (AKA "A Kiss of Flash") is the combination of flash and ambient light. The premise involves shooting an ambient exposed image, then shooting a flash image. For these purposes, the flash can be bounced off a wall or ceiling. In Photoshop, the two images are combined to create the perfect image. This process allows for contrast and colour alterations. Again, using a tripod for this provides the best results.
HDR real estate photography is especially useful for beginners and can easily solve the problem of different exposure ranges in a photo. HDR is a photo technique that reproduces a dynamic range of luminosity. HDR snaps several exposures of an image then combines them for rich results with dynamic shades and a very polished product. Repeat: A tripod is a must for HDR.
Here are 10 Top tips on real estate photography from the best in the industry:
- Research and learn from the best real estate photographers
- Be adaptable
- Focus on the highlights
- Explore all the angles
- Shoot horizontally aligned images; Never vertical
- Always have a hero shot
- Take into account the post-processing
- Twilight photos can be a winner
- Pay attention to what's outside the windows
- Always keep your real estate photography portfolio updated
1. Research and learn from the best real estate photographers
For beginners looking to take up professional real estate photography, the best path to start taking excellent real estate photos is to study successful examples. Study and analyze real estate photographs. What grabs your attention and why? Look at the angles and lighting used in the images. There are plenty of websites like Houzz.com which have stunning real estate photos that you can favourite and refer to from time to time.
2. Be adaptable
Adaptability is the best gift a photographer can have and real estate photography is no different in this regard. Approach your projects creatively and infuse them with character, a unique perspective, and a fresh approach. Let the property that you are shooting guide you on the best way to photograph it. Don't follow a set pattern, or else you will end up with similar-looking shots time after time.
3. Focus on the highlights
Analyze each room for its best feature/selling point, (for example, great natural light, spaciousness, a private nook). Since real estate photography jobs are all about marketing, you need to focus on the selling point in your photos. Open houses are staged with a neutral colour pallet for wide-ranging appeal. Although contradictory, in real estate photography, it's best to add a splash of bright colour. Colourful yet tasteful artwork, lively pillows or a throw help photos pop and grab online searcher's attention.
4. Explore all the angles
Don't click dull, one-dimensional images by standing in the corner of all rooms. Explore all the aspects. Compose your shots to create interest and drama by focussing on the unique elements of the property. Your real estate photography shoot should cover the property in its entirety and tell a full story. By looking at your shots, prospective buyers should be able to get a full image of the property, its character, and all the spaces.
5. Shoot horizontally aligned images; Never vertical
Real estate composition has a landscape orientation (unless impossible).
A landscape orientation photo has four parts:
Understanding and using it creatively is where your artistic ability plays a role. Use available elements to guide the viewer's eye. Frame the picture with available objects. Trees in the foreground can frame the property in the background. Counters or furniture can cleverly obscure the view of a room. Images should be interesting.
6. Always have a hero shot
Every property listing needs a hero shot. This is the moneymaker photograph, one that can be the main cover image for the listing. This is usually an exterior shot but you can get creative. If the property has a beautiful garden or pool for example, that can be incorporated into the photograph for a stunning hero shot. Aerial shots can also make good hero shots as long as they incorporate the front of the house.
It helps if you can talk to the property owners or agents to find out if there are any special features in the home that can be highlighted.
7. Take into account the post-processing
Most digital photography, especially commercial genres like real estate photography will go through a good deal of post-processing and editing before being ready for delivery. Focus on getting the basics right, keep vertical lines straight, capture the details, get your exposure right etc. However, don’t try to achieve perfection in your raws. You can always adjust the lighting, temperature and colours during editing. Editing is not ‘cheating’, it is a legitimate and important aspect of digital photography, especially when you are a professional photographer running a business.
8. Twilight photos can be a winner
You’ve probably heard of the golden hour and the magic it does for outdoor portraits. Well, twilight can do magical things for real estate photography. With the outdoor lighting just dimming down and darkening and the house lights on, photos taken during twilight can create a beautiful effect. These photographs highlight qualities of the house that may not be visible in daylight and are very popular among buyers.
9. Pay attention to what's outside the windows
Attention to detail is a trait that pays good dividends for photographers. Minute changes and subtle details can add a brilliant amount of nuance and beauty to pictures. While staging the house, including cleaning, decluttering and decorating are no-brainers for most real estate photographers, many people forget to consider what's outside the windows. Keep unsightly objects outside the frame even when they are outside windows. This includes trash cans that may be visible outside, electric boxes or wires, parking lots etc. If possible, angle your camera in such a way that the glare falls on the windows and obscures the view outside. Conversely, if the view outside the window is stunning, make sure to try and incorporate it into the pictures as much as you can.
10. Always keep your real estate photography portfolio updated
When you are a novice or amateur, still dabbling with finer aspects of photography, it makes sense to take it slow and easy. However, when you are looking to start a real estate photography business you need to get serious about keeping your portfolio updated at all times. Your portfolio website is how new clients and customers can discover you, it is also the first place any potential client will check when they are vetting you for a job. As such, it is important to keep your real estate photography portfolio website updated, accurate and well-curated at all times.
How to start a real estate photography business?
Real estate photography is not just an art, at the end of the day like all commercial photography it is a business. And to make sure your business is successful and efficient you need to get your ducks in a row. These are some of the things you need to consider when starting out with a real estate photography business.
Contracts eliminate unforeseen issues and protect you from legal issues. Misunderstandings can always arise in business, either between you and your clients, real estate agents or even employees or assistants you hire. A clear, legal document is the best way to avoid misunderstandings and protect the rights and interests of everyone involved.
The contract should have complete detail of your responsibilities such as:
- Stage the house (whether you will do it, and to what extent)
- Shoot the exterior, list areas
- Shoot the interior, list rooms
- Will you create a virtual tour? If yes, give details.
- Will you offer aerial stills and footage? If yes, give details
Also, include your deliverables and payment terms.
When you are entering a stranger's home, you always need to consider the risk that you may damage or break something in the process of your photoshoots. Personal belongings can have monetary or sentimental value. Additionally, if you cause accidental damage to any of the fittings or other things that are a part of the house, this can cause issues for the homeowner who is trying to sell or rent their house. If the homeowner decides to sue, you are in trouble. No matter how careful you are, accidents can always happen and therefore you need to protect yourself. For real estate photographers, insurance is the best way of doing this.
Real Estate Photography Pricing
The best place to start researching real estate photography pricing is with competitors. To know how much to charge for real estate photography, examine their pricing and services. Advanced services like real estate drone photography will increase prices.
Consider your investment: Hardware (camera, lens, tripod, drone, etc.) and software (or outsourcing). A service menu is a great way to itemize pricing. Make sure you plan for the slow season as well.
Remember, just like any other photography field, the real estate photography business is also saturated. Price your services competitively, however, do not undercut your competition by a considerable margin as you may end up with an unsustainable business and a cheap/ low-quality tag.
Real estate photography prices depend on the assignment. You can shoot a house for a realtor for $200-300 or do an architecture shoot for a real estate magazine for $2000. The quality of your work, relationships, networking, and client references are a sure shot way to move upwards and become successful as a real estate photographer.
Check out this comprehensive photography pricing guide.
Consider outsourcing your post-processing to save time
You need to decide where you best spend your time. Even photographers skilled in state-of-the-art software should consider the time it takes to edit an entire shoot. Photoshop and Lightroom offer presets that make the editing process easier. But more advanced editing may be necessary to stand out among competitors. Hiring an editor specializing in real estate photography is wise.
Successful Realtors are movers needing everything done quickly. Communicate with your agent for accurate deadlines. The faster, the better will always be, the case. The project is only complete when you deliver the digital files to your client. Agents will typically request both web-ready and high-resolution print images in specific sizes and formats.
Using an online client proofing service can streamline and speed up the process of sharing the images with your client to get feedback and the final selection of images.
Here are some stunning real estate photography portfolio websites for inspiration:
Scott McFarlane is a real estate photographer in the Waller county area of Texas. His work includes aerial photography, interior and exterior real estate photography as well as ranch and farm photography. Scott makes excellent use of natural light in his photography, especially exterior and aerial photography. He takes full advantage of sunset and twilight lighting to produce stunning aerial and exterior shots that gives viewers an impressive sense of the scale of the property.
Joseph Choo of Choo’s Photography is a photographer based in Santa Clarita, California and does real estate photography in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Joseph provides interior, exterior and drone photography services for his clients. He also has a special category for twilight real estate photography. Joseph has a gift for making any house look and come alive irrespective of location, architectural style and scale.
Branpot is a real estate photography agency based in Dubai that specializes particularly in providing 360-degree virtual property tours. While they serve mainly commercial clients they also do tours of villas and other properties. They also do regular, still real estate photography including interior shots, exterior shots and more.
Dario Sanz is a real estate photographer born and raised in Ibiza. Dario’s clients include homeowners, real estate agents, rental companies, boat owners and more. He works with both home and commercial properties as well as boats and event photography. Dario’s work makes full use of natural light and the bright blue skies of Ibiza.
Real Estate Photography, just like any other profession, has cut-throat competition and yet space for new entrants who can deliver exceptional quality. While you can certainly choose to specialize in real estate photography, it is a great add-on genre for many photographers who usually practice other areas such as weddings, personal, portrait, or baby photography.
Always remember that your job is to capture the property you are shooting in a way that makes it sell instantly. If you can get that knack of clicking images that sell the house, you are on your way to becoming a successful professional real estate photographer.
We hope these real estate photography tips help you succeed. Realtors are looking for professionals. Become one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you shoot impressive real estate photography?
Good equipment, good technique and good editing is the secret to impressive real estate photography. Ensure that the property is clean and manicured to provide the best possible impression. Knowing how to use the correct camera height, exposure levels and lighting for different rooms and features is important. Remember there is no one way of taking good real estate photographs. Real estate photography requires you to constantly adapt to each property and its individual quirks and requirements.
How much do you charge for real estate photography?
Real estate photography pricing depends on a lot of factors. You need to take into consideration your own business expenses, including travel, equipment costs, labour costs, costs of hiring additional help and more. Whatever pricing you set will have to cover these costs while still netting you a tidy profit. You also need to take into account your competitors and how much they are charging so that you can set your prices competitively.
What camera setting should I use for real estate photography?
When working on real estate photography jobs, you should always adapt your camera settings according to the specific requirements of particular rooms or areas on the property as well as lighting conditions, client requirements etc. For example, when it comes to aperture settings, a smaller aperture setting can work when you are trying to highlight one single aspect of the room, like a fireplace or a picture window. But if you want a detailed shot of the whole room then a larger aperture setting is desirable. Flexibility is the key here. Don’t stick to one setting for the entire shoot. Change things up according to the situation at hand.