Best time of day for Real estate/ Architectural photo shooting

Best time of day for Real estate/ Architectural photo shooting

Basically, every object and situation is different and many factors need to be counted into the decision about WHEN to shoot. As we all know nice sunny weather is much better than rainy and/or cloudy (grey) days because the colors in the photo look more energetic, and not as dull and flat as on cloudy/rainy days. Even Photoshop has a hard time correcting that so… choose a sunny day.



Best lighting conditions are 1+ hours after sunrise and 1+ hours before sunset. The goal for the real estate photographer is to have the sun in the camera’s back or high up is still good, basically any time when the sun is not shining right into the camera.

For Exteriors you will likely best know whether it looks nicer during morning or evening hours. I like mornings because the light is bright and still warm, but not as orange-ish as shortly before sunset.

Exteriors facing EAST: morning hours to early evening. / Morning sunlight is bright and warm.

Exteriors facing WEST: midday to late evening hours / the closer to sunset, the warmer the light even warmer than in the morning.



For Interiors, there are so many factors that matter, from window sizes, how many windows, orientation, wall colors, furniture, style, etc. I think it is difficult to have the same TOP conditions for all rooms at the same time because every room has the ‘best’ time for taking a photo so pick a time when most rooms have good lighting, meaning they offer an inviting feel.

The picture can be taken in a way that the sun goes full force through the window, flooding the room with warm light, creating some highlights and shadows, and without being in the photo frame, that can look pretty nice.

If the VIEW is important to show off pick the time of the day when you think the room with the view looks best. If you have a sea view you might want to pick sunrise or sunset. However, KEEP IN MIND that you might want to show the interior not only with a nice sunrise/sunset but also during sunny ‘normal’ daylight conditions.


Midday sun is giving us the hardest, most neutral light and also the highest contrast (shadows) level which is not ideal but can be adjusted a bit in Photoshop.

All houses have multiple exterior sides and if you need to take photos of more sides not just the front and/ or the back I would face good and not-so-good lighting. So unless you want to come out multiple times you should decide which exterior side is the most important one. That one determines if I go for a morning or evening photo shoot or you just book two appointments, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.


Exterior (after sunset/dawn photos). The sun should set behind the house. The sky will be blueish and has a cool character, whereas the house with its lighting will look warm and inviting.
About 30 minutes before sunrise or after sunset you don’t have any direct sunlight for the scene overall you experience a gradient ranging from warm orange to cool dark blue. That time period is great for real estate (twilight) photography because the house with its illuminated interior and
the exterior will look pretty warm and inviting.

Shooting after sunset makes the property looks luxurious, cozy, and warm (because of the house’s lighting fixtures) however, that won’t be enough
for your clients because he/ she also wants to see how that home looks during the daytime.

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