Twilight Magic, Why the Hype?

Can Evening Photos Really Sell Real Estate?

Twilight Photography - Maryland
Hometrack Twilight Photo

Updated: January 23rd, 2020

Would you rather have a first date over a candlelight dinner, or under florescent lighting? With 98% of buyers starting their real estate search on the internet, your listing’s first date will be online. Draw in potential customers by showcasing your listing in the best possible light with twilight photography.

What is Twilight Photography?

Twilight photography is the perfect way to highlight a great city skyline, waterfront views, decorative lighting, or a fantastic outdoor entertaining space. It is captured during the brief period of time when the sun is just retreating. The magic hour marries the emanating interior light with the dusky glow of ambient light.

In almost all photography it’s the quality of light that makes or breaks the shot. For professional photographers, chasing the light, waiting for it, sometimes helping it, and finally capturing it is a constant preoccupation — and for some an obsession.Michael Freeman, Capturing Light: The Heart of Photography

With the success of a photo hanging on lighting, twilight photography gives the photographer additional sources of light to manipulate into the perfect image. But don’t be fooled…the process is extremely complex and requires a skilled photographer with equal talents in professional photo editing to turn out the perfect image.

Preparation for a photography shoot is the recipe for success. With this in mind, amateur photography need not apply; it is best to invest in a professional photographer for your twilight shoot.

Benefits of Twilight Photography

In a highly saturated real estate market, twilight photography can set your listing apart from the competition by presenting a dramatic depiction of a property, emotionally appealing to the potential buyer and creating a sense of special treatment.

Camouflages Cosmetic Distractions

The gentle light can smooth over minor cosmetic distractions. The depth of the shadows and softness of the light highlight architectural details and evoke a feeling, rather than focusing on the color of the shutters or a chip in the paint.

Highlight Special Features

You can write “spectacular city view” or “gorgeous sunset” in a listing description; however, for maximum impact, the potential buyer needs to be able to truly envision it. And let’s be completely honest — if the photography doesn’t WOW, potential home buyers probably won’t get far enough to read that well thought out description before moving on to the next property on their list. A Twilight shoot captures these often referenced features and provides customers with a far better depiction than words could.

How to Capture the Perfect Twilight Shot

Twilight photography requires a coordinated effort between a real estate agent and their professional real estate photographer to lower the listing’s days on the market. Staging, timing, and technique all need to work in concert to achieve the ideal shot.


Prior to Photographers Arrival

  • Turn on all interior lights.
  • Turn on all exterior lights.
  • Open or remove window coverings.
  • Turn off all televisions and computers
  • Park vehicles in a garage or off-site


There is an extremely limited window of time to capture Twilight photographs; this means the property being fully staged, prepared, and ready to shoot upon the photographer’s arrival is essential. It is best to stress the urgency and advise the sellers to either plan to leave during the shoot or go to a room of the home where they cannot be seen from the exterior. Moving from room to room to avoid the photographer will only cost you precious time.

Photographer’s Skill

There is no way to capture a twilight photo in a single “snap.” The photographer uses several exposures, manipulating the light, to achieve each final shot. The majority of the technique is in the editing phase where several shots with different exposures are layered and enhanced to create the final image.

Beyond Your Listing

Twilight Photography for Your Real Estate Business

Beyond showcasing a particular listing, twilight photography is a premium service that can boost your real estate business as a whole. Compelling photography will not only increase the perceived value of a listed property, but also your perceived value as a real estate expert.