Twilight vs. Virtual Twilight: Which is The Best Option For Your Listing?

Oct 9, 2019 1:24:00 PM / by IMOTO photo

You’re looking at real estate photography products to help you promote your listing and you find two options - twilight photography and virtual twilight photography. Both forms of twilight photography are incredibly effective at increasing online listing views, as the darker listing photo draws the viewer’s eye when they are looking at a page with competitive listings that only feature daytime photos. As all Realtors know, more online views lead to more showings, less days on markets, and high sale prices - so both forms of twilight photography yield a return on investment.

So how do you know if traditional twilight or virtual twilight is best for your listing? It depends on a few key factors. But first, let’s uncover the differences between the two.

What is Twilight Photography?

Twilight photography is widely used in listing photography for its visual appeal. The calm blue hues and soft lighting can turn a listing into a buyer’s “dream home”. Photographers can only do one twilight shoot per day, and they typically schedule the shoot 15 minutes after sunset. There is only a small frame of time to capture the perfect twilight lighting so it is critical that the home is ready to be shot when the photographer arrives. Twilight photography is ideal for luxury homes with exterior lighting, pools, balconies, and luxury patios with features like string lights and patios.



  • Showcases luxury features
  • Increases perceived value
  • Increases online listing views


  • Expensive
  • Need to schedule separate shoot from daytime/interiors & requires more preparation
  • Not effective on all properties

What is Virtual Twilight Photography?

Virtual twilight is becoming an increasingly trendy product in the real estate photography industry. Like twilight photography, virtual twilight adds an extra level of ambiance to the exterior listing photos, giving the viewer an insight to what the listing looks like at night. The primary benefit of virtual twilight is that it is much more affordable than traditional twilight photography because photographers take exterior photos during the day and edit them to look like twilight photos. Virtual twilight is a great product for Realtors who are looking for an extra edge to market their listing with a smaller budget. 

Virtual Twilight-1


  • Only need to schedule one shoot for all the listing photos
  • Affordable
  • Increases perceived value
  • Increases online listing views


  • Editing can appear digital
  • Not ideal for luxury homes
  • Not ideal for balconies/city views

How to choose?

When choosing between twilight photography and virtual twilight photography, you must consider the listing that you are trying to promote. Ask yourself the following questions before making your decision:

1. What is your marketing budget? If you have a smaller marketing budget, a virtual twilight shoot might be the best option for getting the best return on investment. 

2. What exterior features are you trying to promote? If you are marketing a property that has unique lighting or exterior features (like balconies/pools), a traditional twilight shoot will be the most effective way to show off these assets. If you listing doesn't have extraordinary exterior features, a virtual twilight shoot will usually do the job! 

3. Is it a luxury listing? Luxury listings are better suited for traditional twilight photos. Leverage your use of a professional twilight shoot to win more listings and give your luxury listings the best possible photography results. 

4. What is the timeline? If your listing needs to go on the market ASAP, you may not have time to schedule a separate twilight shoot. Opting for virtual twilight will save you time and be much more convenient for you and your client. 

In the end, whether you end up adding a twilight shoot, or just supplementing your daytime shoot with a virtual twilight shot, you are providing your client with an invaluable tool to help their listing stand out from the crowd. 

Topics: Twilight, Realtors, Real Estate Trends, Virtual Twilight

IMOTO photo

Written by IMOTO photo