A local builder asked us to photograph a kitchen renovation to show off his company's craftsmanship. He wanted the look of natural light, but the rainy autumn day made the room gray and the built-in task lighting was not widespread enough to evenly light the cabinets.
To help out mother nature, we brought in two strobes (see lower photo). A softbox placed to camera right lit the stove wall, but the extra light it provided made the lower cabinets seem even darker. So we added a second strobe and reflector to brighten the cabinets under the sink. The camera was positioned at an opening in the wall (see red arrow) such that neither strobe could be seen.
The camera has a radio transmitter and each strobe has a receiver. This setup lets the shutter fire the strobes even though they are not in the camera's line of site. By adjusting the output of the strobes so that they didn't overpower the ambient light coming in from the window, we were able to get the effect we wanted. Well almost. The view out the window was so much brighter than the interior that it looked like winter outside instead of fall. To compensate, we shot a separate exposure for the outdoors and then blended it into the photo later during post-processing.
What I've described above is typical for an architecture shoot. Some setups are simpler and some more complicated, but you almost always have to add some light and/or take multiple exposures to make a picture that looks natural.
Credits: Kitchen renovation by Newschool Builders. Staging by Kelly Dudash.