This one is totally going to offend our seasoned (grizzled?) old pro. Traditional “wisdom” holds that lens flares are bad, should be avoided, are the work of the devil, blah blah. I’m going to argue with this, obviously. Consistently, some of the most talked-about and commented-on real estate pictures of ours are those that feature a lens flare over some architectural element of a house. Especially if the flare can be aligned to lead the viewer’s eye toward the rest of the house, or to accentuate some other visual element in the photo—we consider flares as visual “gifts” … opportunities to bring something totally natural into a photo that will instantly make it stand out from the rest.
Getting a good flare can take a little practice. You might have to experiment with angles a bit, but you can first find a shadow on the ground that marks out an edge of the exterior or a house. Move forward and backward, or zoom in and out if you can (optically, not digitally) until you find that perfect place where the sun is just peeking above the roof, or the dormer or whatever. Take a bunch of different photos at slightly different angles here. Finally, the best way to create a good flare we’ve found is to add a simple (clear) filter to your lens, if you’re using a removable lens with filter threads.