In the current age of social & digital media, the importance of having proper interior design photography skills is a must for any growing interior design photography business. Without quality imagery, it’s near impossible for your future clients to know the character of your creativity, competence or even your attention to detail.
Therefore, if you’re looking to master the craft of interior photography, we have formulated an assortment of tips & tricks that you can follow.
15 Tips For Interior Photography
- Always Plan Beforehand
If you want to create a valuable & memorable experience for your client, then you have to plan your schedule. Try to be open (in terms of communication) with your client, as much as possible. For instance, you have to know what interior spaces your client wants you to photograph, along with the specific style needed for the same.
It’s recommended that you visit the site before the specified shooting date so that you can get a proper idea of the areas that will look the best for the photos.
- Social Media Influence
Since Instagram has become a hot topic in today’s real estate photography business, you have to click your pictures that look bright, airy & social-media-ready. Moreover, you have to maintain a consistent shooting style throughout all your photos.
Try to opt for portrait orientation rather than utilising the landscape orientation. This is because portraits take up more space on people’s phones, when browsing through Instagram, compared to landscape, allowing viewers to get attracted more towards your work.
- Natural Over Artificial Lighting
As a professional interior photographer, you have to minimise the use of artificial lighting as much as possible. This is because light bulbs can cause terrible colour casts & shadows. The same can be said about your camera flash because it can similarly ruin the colour temperature of your interior design photography.
If you want to obtain the best possible results, then you have to use natural lighting whenever possible.
- Utilising A Tripod
It must be remembered that the interior lighting conditions are rarely ideal to perform handheld interior shoots. Thus, a tripod is a must-have. Try to keep the aperture between F/9 and F/11 and the ISO as low as possible (preferably 100), so that you can obtain a sharp image. And when your camera is mounted on a tripod, you don’t have to worry about the shutter speed anymore.
It’s recommended that you invest in a sturdy tripod that can last you almost a lifetime.
- Ideal Lens For Each Shot
It’s extremely crucial to learn which lens is ideal for which shot. If you’re just starting, you can start with a 50 MM and a wide-angle lens. Apart from investing in cool lenses, you also have to keep them clean from any dust or dirt, so that you face no difficulties while shooting.
- Consistent Photo Height
In case you’re planning to shoot a series of interior photographs inside a single area, you have to shoot them from the same height. Doing so will help you create a much more balanced overview of the entire interior space, making it easier for the viewer’s eyes to go through the photos.
Changing the camera height with each photo isn’t recommended because that will make the viewer feel that he or she is hopping up & down throughout the area. It’s suggested that you hold your camera at your chest height.
- Prefer Overcast Over Sunny Days
When the sun shines and the sky stays blue, the incoming sunlight creates a drastic difference between the dark & light indoor areas, especially if the sunlight is shining through the windows. So, when you’re shooting interiors, it’s better to opt for overcast days because the cloud will function as a massive softbox in generating beautiful soft shadows.
- Stage The Shots
If you want the best interior photographs for your client, you have to carefully style your shots. To do that, you have to first get all the clutter out of your way, such as cables, boxes, cords and so on. Anything that’s not required for decoration purposes should be removed from the capture frame. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to reposition or remove furniture or accessories to generate a stellar composition.
Additionally, depending upon the needs of your client, you can also remove items such as light outlets or switches when tweaking your photos in Adobe Photoshop or any other professional photo editing software.
- Occasionally Use Wide-Angle Lens
If you’re just starting with interior photography, it’s easy to get sucked into the habit of utilising your wide-angle lens more & more. However, when you’ll flip through an interior design magazine, you’ll notice that there’s rarely a wide-angle shot.
When it comes to real estate, wide-angle can help in showcasing how large & dramatic the space is. But, interior design photography is all about the design, which means that the photographs will show tighter compositions. Thus, for interior photography, don’t go wider than 24MM unless you have the software to correct converging verticals.
- Do Close-Ups
Creating overviews of interior space is great but don’t forget to shoot close-up shots & vignettes as well. Vignettes & close-ups can help you capture the current mood of the space you’re trying to photograph. To perform close-ups, change your camera’s aperture so that more light can enter your camera sensor, which will also be responsible for creating the depth of field. For instance, a close-up of a potted plant will always look better with a blurry background.
Finally, don’t forget to crank up your camera lens aperture when you’re reshooting for a broader view.
- Live View Mode Is A Must
Part of being a professional interior photographer is to make the process more collaborative. This means – you have to take your time to take each shot and ensure that your client is also participating in the same. The ideal way to do this is to tether your camera to a tablet or laptop, which will help you to display the photos as they’re being shot in real-time. This is known as the ‘live view’ mode.
Using the live view mode, the client will be able to style the interior space before you take every shot. Since the client will be playing an active role in making sure that each photo looks as he or she wants, there will be no disputes later on.
- Focus On The Composition
Learning about interior photography also involves knowing about the shot composition. Therefore, you have to work on the basics of colour science such as colour temperature, white balance, white space, depth, leading lines and more.
If you can focus on your shot composition, then you’ll easily be able to elevate the quality of your image. The image will be presented as a work of art rather than a traditional interior photograph. Moreover, with the ideal composition, you can make all the design elements on your photograph stand out, keeping your client satisfied.
- Utilise Bracketing
When you’re shooting indoors, there will often be a huge difference in the range of light, which makes it impossible for your camera to capture in a single shot. Moments like these are when you need to use the bracketing process. In case you’re unaware, bracketing is the process of taking several shots of the same object using multiple camera settings.
Thus, you have to take a normal exposure shot, an underexposed shot and an overexposed shot. Later on, during the photo-editing process, you can combine all these shots to get the perfect interior photography. Adobe Lightroom has a special ‘Merge-To-HDR’ bracketing feature for combining multiple shots such as these.
- Always Shoot In RAW
RAW images contain all the photographic data that you’ll be capturing using your camera’s sensor, unlike JPEGs. Even though RAW files take more space than usual formats such as JPEGs, the trade-off is worth it because the additional data comes in handy when editing the photos.
- Good Quality Editing Software
By capturing a photo with your camera, you only complete half of your task. The other half will be completed when you properly edit your photos. And to do that, you’ll require top-notch photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Pixelmator Pro, Luminar 4 and the like.
You’d be amazed how much good photo-editing software can assist in enriching the final resultant photograph.
Creating those magazine-worthy interior photographs might have looked out of reach at first. But, by utilising our above-mentioned suggestions, you can make your job a whole lot easier.
Producing exquisite-looking interior design photography will not only make your clients happy but also help your business maintain a long-term relationship with them.