How To Shoot Better Interior Photography

Hi,

Hope you are well! I’ve been asked over the years to give some photography tips to aspiring photographers and interior designers who want to shoot their own work. As you all may know, I taught myself how to shoot by carrying a camera with me everywhere, every day, for years. I trained my eye by devouring tons of interior design content, and I have assisted some pretty fantastic photographers. Here are my best NON TECHNICAL tips that can be implemented no matter your skill level or camera.

 1.  Natural Light. This is my number one tip: natural light is USUALLY the best way to shoot interiors. Turn off all interior lights, do not attempt flash unless you are very skilled. Use a tripod.  You can even lean your body, phone or camera on something solid to keep it steady. If the photos are still dark, you can brighten them in post production. Pay attention to the light in the room you are shooting before you shoot. You want to avoid blazing sunlight, because then the lighting will be very unbalanced with harsh bright spots and shadows in the room, but you want a nice pretty glow coming in from the windows. Some rooms are naturally moody and dark, that is ok and you can use that in your photograph to convey the feeling the room gives you in person.

Design by Yael Weiss

Design by Sue de Chaira

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

Design by Sue De Chiara

Design by Raquel Cayre

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

Design by Roxanne Assoulin

Design by Christene Barberich


Design by Nicole Cohen

 

 2. Choosing your lens. In interior photography, people tend to use a really wide angle lens, this is NOT the best way to shoot editorial interiors. I generally prefer a natural feeling angle, neither too wide nor too narrow. I like the lens to feel like your eye would in real life. If you cant visualize what “your eye” sees in terms of a photo – not wider than an iPhone shot and preferably around 35 mm.  I try never to go wider than 24 MM and never narrower than 50 MM. The photo should tell the story of the room. You don’t need to get every moment in the room into one shot, nor should you zoom in on minutia that don’t further the story you are telling. Beware of fish eye feeling photos that can come from shooting too wide. Beware of 1/3 of your photo being ceiling or floor. Use negative space wisely. You can always crop in post production if you need to. I like to shoot the room with two lenses and then choose my favorites later. As you can see in the photos below, I try to convey intimacy and closeness but not focus on tiny details which can get boring to scroll through.

Design by Sue de Chiara

Design by Christene Barberich

Design by Yael Weiss

Design by Nicole Cohen

Design by Alison Rose

3. Choosing your height. Another trick is to be aware of is the height of your camera. Sometimes the best photos are taken from waist level, or even from knee height. With furniture and with children, I like to get on the level of the subject of the photograph. This perspective draws the viewer in and places them into the room.

Design by Sue De Chiara

Design by Emily Butler

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

Design by Raquel Cayre

Design by Sasha Bikoff

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

4.   Vertical Lines. Straighten your vertical and horizontal lines. You may have to do this in photoshop, but you can also make your photographs much more eye pleasing by simply being aware of the vertical and horizontal lines in a photo and attempting to keep them straight. Change your camera settings to have a grid in the view finder. Use that to guide the lines of your photograph.

Design by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo

Design by Nicole Cohen

Design by Nicole Cohen

5.   Composition. Shoot through doorways, rooms or furniture to give a sense of the space at large. Think about the composition of your shot as if it were a painting. Do you want it to be symmetrical, are you going for asymmetry? You can use furniture in the foreground to help you express the size of the room and the placement of the vignette.

Design by Roxanne Assoulin

Design by Sue De Chiara

Design by Alison Rose

Design by Sasha Bikoff

Design by Sue de Chiara

6.   Style before you shoot. But feel free to move objects and furniture in between shots if you need to fill the frame.

Design by Sasha Bikoff

Design by Jennifer Shalom

Design by Chriseine Barberich

Design by Jennifer Shalom

Design by Christine Dovey and Natalie Kraiem

7.    Keep your watermarks tasteful. It can prevent larger blogs and websites from picking up your photographs for a story!

All photographs taken by me. Hope you enjoy these tips and tricks! You can ask me some questions in the comments!

Best,

Nicole

Source: How To Shoot Better Interior Photography

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