Interior photography is not easy. There are rules and guidelines that should be followed if you always want to get the best results you could hope for. However, what exactly are these?
Does it mean that you cannot experiment and try different things? Is all the fun and creativity sucked out of photography?
Of course not! Some rules are made to be broken, especially in the arts. Just because there are guidelines and ‘rules’, doesn’t mean you can’t let your creativity take over.
Sometimes, your bold decision to try something different might work – but this will not always be the case.
This is simply because, over the years, photographers have done research to learn what works and what doesn’t. Yes, there might be exceptions to the rule, but don’t hold your breath.
To help you become a better interior photographer, we have compiled a few techniques that you might want to try out. You might be surprised by how well these work for you!
1. Use A Tripod
Using a tripod will ensure that you will always get clean, sharp images. It also allows you to make any adjustments you need to without losing the perfect shot.
Too often shooting by hand can give you a blurry picture, especially if you are using a higher shutter speed.
By using a tripod, you can take several shots of the same thing at varying exposures. This can allow you to get the perfect shot, so we will always recommend using a tripod if you can!
2. Focus On Details
Interior photography is detail-oriented and works in a collaboration with everything around it.
You need to make sure that you can pay attention to all the details that the client (and you) want to capture to make everything work cohesively.
The whole point of interior photography is to create stunning, eye-catching images that will draw people in. While the room as a whole is important, there must be details within it to be impactful and attractive to viewers.
Without implementing this technique, you will end up with boring photos that won’t capture the attention of anyone who looks at them.
3. Turn The Lights Off
We already said that natural lighting is your friend with photography. So, this means that you should also turn all the artificial lights off in the room you are photographing.
Doing this will help to even the light temperature and make everything feel more natural – which is what you are going for.
When you have lights on in the room, not only can it mess with the color balance of the images, but it can also result in unwanted shadows.
This is especially true with light fixtures that have multiple bulbs.
It’s better to simply turn off all lights and get fantastic results with natural lighting.
4. Avoid Shooting Too Wide
Yes, wide-angle lenses give you shots that can look really cool, but they do not fit everywhere. When you are taking interior shots, however, wide angles are rarely ever used.
This is because interior shots are all about design, not showing off large spaces like the case in real estate.
Tiger compositions are preferred in order to watch all the beautiful moments. Typically you will not want to go any wider than 24mm, but this will always depend on your shot.
Depending on how much room you have, you might even want to use a lens between 50mm–70mm, which will also minimize the potential for lens distortion to occur.
5. Create Depth With Different Objects
This interior photography technique can easily level up your shots and create stunning results. You can use simple things like furniture and items to add depth to a space and also make it feel more luxurious.
When you’re setting up a shot, just ask yourself if there is anything in the frame that draws your eye to the foreground, mid-ground, and background.
Situate things in places that you want to highlight, and make sure nothing distracts from what you are trying to achieve. Consider shapes and colors and work from there.
6. Declutter The Shot
Clutter isn’t going to help anyone. All it will do is distract you from what you are trying to achieve and make everything look too busy or messy.
Spaces should be clean and minimalist unless you are trying to capture a specific look.
If you are doing interior photography for a client, make sure to let them know what to expect – clean spaces! You will also let them know if there are any spaces or surfaces they need to prepare to get the perfect shot.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Add Small Touches
It will be up to you as the interior photographer to determine if a shot looks better or worse with particular items. The textures and colors need to work well together, and the placement must be perfect.
Try to make everything look as natural as possible, and create the perfect shot.
You will need to work with your clients to create the perfect shot, so it might involve some discussions!
8. Keep The Lighting Natural
Natural lighting is your friend in almost every shot you could hope to take unless there is a very particular image you have in mind. You want natural light – but not too much of it.
For this reason, shooting on cloudy days is going to be something that you immediately gravitate towards.
While bright, sunny days might look ideal, they will let in too much light.
This will cause issues with exposure and details can easily disappear. You want to avoid overexposed areas and harsh shadows, so stick to cloudy days and bright but not blinding light.
9. Show Personality
You will be surprised by how well you can get the property and the people’s personalities across through photography.
In interior photography, one of the most important techniques that you can use is showing the details of a space and vignettes when suitable.
A vignette is simply the term given to an effect that you can use to darken the edges of a photograph.
This can occur simply by playing around with camera settings and properties, and different camera accessories can also achieve the look.
When it comes to capturing the personalities of the people who live in or use the space, just take a look at what is around you. Are there vintage items?
Cookbooks? Something else that stands out? Get the interior’s personality across by showing these items in a captivating way.
10. Use Live View Or Tethering
A technique you can use to not only get great results but also involve the client more is via tethering or live view.
You can connect your camera to a setup via a computer, tablet, or even mobile phone, which will allow others to see the potential shot and test things out.
The client can give their input, and you can work together to achieve the ideal shot. Doing this will also reduce the number of shots you need to try out, as you will know if it works well in moments.
Tethering can be wireless or via wires, so just pick whichever option suits you best. Wireless would be recommended for most spaces, but do what works for you!
11. Always Plan Ahead
The importance of planning ahead is often overlooked in photography. However, you should always be communicating with your client and planning as soon as you are able to.
By doing this, you will know where you will be photographing, and what spaces you are going to work with.
You should also make a point to visit the site before the day of shooting. This will be immensely helpful as you will be able to assess which spots will get the best results when the photographing happens.
You will also get the chance to see what kinds of props you will be working with, and the kind of lighting you can expect at various times of the day.
While not technically a “technique”, planning ahead will save you from a lot of stress and trouble. It will also mean that your client is happier and stays in the loop throughout it all.
When you use the right techniques for interior photography, your shots can go a long way (see also “Landscape Photography Techniques For Beginners“). Even the most simple techniques such as turning room lights off and using natural light for your shots can make a huge difference in the final results.
Other techniques like making sure that shots are not cluttered, and that every image shows personality, will go a long way to improving your interior photography.
While some of these tips and techniques might seem simple, they are mistakes that everyone makes and ones that should definitely be avoided.
Take the time to work with clients and plan ahead when you can, and know which shots do and do not work, and you will get incredible shots.