The basic elements you need to improve your interior design photography

How to improve your interior design photography

With the increasing trend of interior design comes the interior design photography into play.

No longer we are trying to capture a side to side photos, our goal is to bring a lifestyle experience and call to action of the viewer to purchase.

This is the time to step our game and to better represent our designers clients in their tremendous competition.

So here are 5 tips to improve your interior design photography

01. Angle

The angle should reflect the space as a whole, with all design elements and space orientation.

Choose an angle that is a little bit lower than your eye level to achieve “viewer point of view” and keep the perspective.

Going higher or lower can impact the proportions of the photos in this case if we were going higher we would lose the side couch, going lower would make the couch a stronger point of focus and obviously we didn’t want that. 

Keep the lens and camera straight forward and parallel to the ground to avoid any distortions.

click the image to enlarge

click the image to enlarge

02. Lighting 

Turn on all the lights in the space, open the shades and use the sunlight for more glamours and bright look.

If the sun is too bright or the views are not appealing, use the curtains and just change the angle of your image.

If the sun is in sight or it’s too bright you can capture with the sun to your back or to your side, zoom slightly to avoid showing the windows or change the angle.

It’s always best to have a directional light coming from the sides and not from the back or front as the visual may be “flat”.

TIP: if you can control on the light with a dimmer I would suggest to lower the light power to minimum, using several light sources in different “light temperature” like tungsten, led and florescent” will impact the colors within the image, minimizing their intensity would make sure you see the light bulb but the colors of the photo won’t be impacted.

03. How do you handle windows in photos

Windows and views are the most complexes to capture, we will need to divide if we want to see the view out of the window or to “blow” it out (having the windows bright that you can’t see trough them).

If we want to avoid the views, we can close the curtains or change an angle to avoid the windows, other methods are to close the shades 3/4 this will reduce the light and block the view.

If we want to see the view outside of the windows we have to first understand, why the windows are usually “blown out”.

The exterior light of the sun is much brighter than the interior light, and sometimes it can be up to 10x times brighter.

click the image to enlarge

So in order to capture the exterior as well as the interior we need to bring the interior light to the same level as the exterior light. 

One simple way is to capture an HDR 3-7 images one of the exterior one mid and one of the interiors exposed correctly and than combining them in post-production.

The second way is to use studio light, speed lights or led light to enhance the interior.

Another way is when the sun is starting to set down or rise up, then the interior and exterior light are almost the same for a short period of time.

In the lower right image (on top) we used a big source of light with umbrella (70″) to create a direction of light, imitating the light coming from the windows.

04. Closeups 

As a professional interior design photographer, I am “against” photographing details shoots, I believe it direct your client to focus on the “accessories” and not the entire experience leading them to ask where I can buy this item and not why I need an interior designer.

If you do decide to capture those closeup and details shoot, try to find a corner or a spot with multiple elements crossing themselves. Like a sofa fabric with a throw blanket and maybe a corner of a coffee table. 

click the image to enlarge

A closeup shoot don’t have to be a full crop of an item, in the picture on the left you can see a somewhat of a close up including half of the bed, but featuring the cabinetry on the back.

Images are meant to share a story and we need to incorporate the bigger picture even in closeup shoots.

05. Few tips for interior design photos on a smartphone

Your phone can do a lot but it sometime need some help.

Avoid capturing directly into the sun and windows

Make sure you are parallel to the floor and in the hight of under your chin

Enable the grid function on your phone for better guidelines and straighter images

Try to avoid shooting wide, zoom so slightly for a better look, but don’t zoom too much as digital zoom in the phones will reduce your photo quality.

Zooming slightly will help also in reducing reflections in shiny materials 

You can upload today to Instagram and with another push of a button, you can send it to your Facebook as-well so enjoy both worlds in one click.

Using a smart phone in Interior Design images dose not mean you can use artificial light to embellish your photos, simply buy a strong led “wash light” preferability daylight color and place it to the side of your frame.

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