Shooting Real Estate Outdoors, in the “Rainy Season”

I have recently been asked to film a bunch of new properties on the market. As is expected, every shoot has to make the property looks its best, while giving a true representation of the location, condition, features and other sometimes subtle or overlooked things…….. like the view. To do this, the exterior has to be filmed and sometimes the surroundings and landmarks also make the cut.

However, I have been having a great challenge recently with the unpredictable weather we are having in Trinidad. The weather can go from sunny and clear skies, to stormy and lightning in a matter of minutes, making filming a challenge for those picturesque videos scenes. Im sure many others in photography and video work will agree that this can be a time consuming and even costly factor, when considering assistants, bookings lost and the other aspects that are required for a good shoot.

My solution? I have regulated my shooting down to two times of the day and tried to limit my shooting to two properties per day, sometimes that has been as many as four locations in a day, weather and traffic permitting. Ten AM and two PM, I’ve found that this is just when the sun is where I can do outdoor shooting, but also just after morning traffic and just before the evening traffic rush. Also, if the day starts off clear, it usually takes a turn for the worse just after these times… Any earlier than that and you would have noticed the bad weather from the beginning of the day and made it an editing day in studio instead.

Also, the sun can be extremely hot and bright just an hour or two before the weather changes for some reason, I’m sure the scientists can explain why , so in an attempt to solve this, I recently started using special UV and other filters on my lenses. Can I say, this has helped a lot and going from Broadcast Cameras to DLSRs for filming has also increased the number of lenses that I can use on a shoot, all adding to the lighting control I have and the look of the video with no post production, but those details are for another article.

All in all, It’s a fantastic feeling to get a great shot of a person’s home, sometimes when they see the video, they say they have “never seen it look so good”. This makes me, as an always learning videographer and television producer, feel all fuzzy inside, but its also a professional accomplishment when I can say I’ve learned how to use the tools available to make the shot, even when the conditions aren’t the best.