Should the white balance be 100% accurate in real estate photography?

Should the White Balance always be accurate in Real Estate Photography?

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White Balance Does not have to be true to the light all the time. Here is the perfect example
White Balance Does not have to be true to the light all the time. Here is the perfect example

My take on white balance is totally subjective. Recently, I had a popular photographer tell me that my main hero image in the charlotte pixels home page’s white balance is totally off (ref image below). I did tell her that, Yes I’m aware but I did that for creative reasons, and in fact, I didn’t push it too hard. I tried to best replicate how I saw that space, and also it looked much better in this manner than the true colors.

Airbnb Photography Charlotte NC
Airbnb Photography Charlotte NC

The reason I try to do some color grading in my images based on different spaces is because of my filmmaking background, and video color grading techniques. When the white balance is dead-on accurate, that tends to give a feeling of watching a video, vs the color graded footage will give a film look.

Now, the reason I’m even writing about this topic is that in the real estate photography world there are certain rules that need to be followed like a bible. Examples are,

  • -verticals need to be 100% vertical,
  • -white balance has to be 100% accurate,
  • -show spaces in certain compositions that are standard, the list goes on.

I went to track a Mac book order in Apple, and I noticed the support page in apple has a hero image, that resonates with my thought process about white balance. Below is the image screenshot from Apple’s home page, where the white balance is 100% off, but it gives that unusual creative look, making it more appealing.

image source: Apple


In Real estate photography, we tend to keep the white balance accurate to avoid any misrepresentation of the space. But for the Airbnb photography, and Interior Design photography we do color grading that is creative. It helps the space stand out from the rest of the similar images.

To conclude, there are no rules when it comes to creativity. It’s a matter of liking. It’s hard to please all the audience. Even though Charlotte Pixels website has 100’s of images that don’t look like one another, we’re fine with it. It was intentional. It’s all about giving what our clients want, how to present their interior space much better.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

What is white balance anyways?

White balance is used to adjust colors to match the color of the light source so that white objects appear white.
source: Nikon

It is so important in Real Estate Photography that the white balance is set right to present the true representation of colors.