Interior Design Photography is a very technical profession that requires a lot of experience and knowledge not only to create beautiful imagery but also the right one that sells the vision and hard work.
So what can you do to take your visuals to the next level?
Table of Contents
Choosing the right angle for Interior Photos
Choosing the right angle is always crucial to tell a story that sells the work of the designer.
- Scouting the space, the elements, and the view
- Understand what was the work that has been done to the space
- Try to achieve it by choosing the right angle that covers all elements but has a focus point.
- Don’t go too wide with the frame, the design is about the elements and not the “wall to wall” frame like in real estate.
- Stay away from ultra-wide lenses. 24mm is a good focal length to start with to avoid lens distortion and give a focus on the design. If you are working with your smartphone make sure you zoom slightly as zooming too much will impact the quality.
- Try to avoid corner shoots and keep it straightforward.
- Include all the key components of the design, from flooring, to furniture, and light fixtures.
While you don’t have to shoot end to end or include all elements in one visual, it is important to showcase the big picture with a focus on the design design.
Lighting for Interior Photos
- Work with the light, open all the lights, and try to avoid multiple-color lightings such as tungsten, lead, and florescent used together as they can impact your colors (those blue, white, and yellow lights mixed together).
- A great trick to avoid color contamination (multiple colors) is dimming the light to the minimum, this will allow you to see the light fixture working (light bulb on) but won’t impact too much on the colors in the image.
- Utilize the sunlight, by shooting the spaces based on the sun’s location and light angle.
- Open shades and close curtains depending on the result you would like to get and depending on the sun’s position.
- Use supplemental lighting like strobes, flashes, speed lights, and continuous lights to embellish the light gently.
- Try to work with the sun coming from the side and not directly towards your lens to avoid lens flare and to have some dramatic and natural light when the sun comes from the sides.
How to handle blown-out windows in an Interior shoot
Windows are hard to capture, you always have to decide between blown-out windows or the views from them.
You have a few options when it comes to photographing windows within your space :
- Don’t include them, the easiest way and the most beneficial for quick photography, and for those that don’t have the tools to overpower them just leave them outside the frame.
- Blowing them out is simply letting the exterior light overpower the interior exposing them to the light inside. If you are on mobile, just press the inside part and it will adjust the exposure. This is also a great way to avoid unwanted views such as power lines or views that are not interesting or beneficial to the shoot.
- The last option is the most tricky one, in order to view the exterior you have to overpower the exterior light with interior light, this can be done by doing multiple exposures and then combining them in post-production (HDR) or using supplemental (strong) light in the interior.
Focus on the work, not the details
While interior design is all about the details, the work of the designer is measured by the overall results in the space.
Leave those closeups of furniture and accessories unless you are photographing for those purposes (light and furniture manufacturers), focus on the overall experience of the space.
Don’t forget that the purpose of the photo shoot, it’s to translate the work of the designer into a few images so that the client can see the overall results.
Try to avoid empty walls, too much ceiling, or too many details.
Framing your shot should focus on showcasing the overall visual, surface, texture, color, and feel and not showing how big is the ceiling or how much space around your shoot.
When the surrounding is distracting or taking away the focus, keep them out of the shoot to better highlight the design.
It’s all about the Details
Wait for what? Yes, it’s all about the details, and I am not talking about the last tip I gave you 10 seconds ago, I am talking about the actual details.
You need to have an understanding of what the designer did in the space, what makes him or her special, and what their clients are looking to see in the photos.
Keep attention to details, things like garbage cans, cables, rugs, carpets, blankets, and pillows, turn the lights, and fireplace, open the windows and close the TVs.
Make your frame include as much work possible in one space and always have in mind how would the image justify the client buying into your client services.
Don’t forget “clients think they can do this by themselves” We should show them that they might be able to buy furniture but designing an experience is much more than that.
Keep it straight
One of the basic rules is straight images, this is our starting point.
Use the level of the camera and tripod to make sure you are parallel to the floor, and keep the camera to the front and not up or down to avoid crooked lines.
Avoid using ultra-wide lenses that can create a distortion of the image and try to avoid photographing from an angle.
Use the “Grid” function on your smartphone, which will help you see if your lines are straight.
A great way to help you keep those images straight is balancing the camera to straight lines in your frame.
It can be done by choosing a straight line on the tiles and also on the ceiling as a starting point.
I hope those tips will help you to take your photos one step further.