5 Simple Tips to better Interior Photography
If you’re interested in Architecture photography, Real Estate imagery, or something in between, knowing how to capture great photos of interiors is a skill beginner photographers should master.
“Like most “tips” post, these are more like… guidelines. Depending on the mood you’re going for, the client brief, and your own style,adjust these tips accordingly. That said, these 5 guidelines offer a great place to start.”
Here are 5 quick tips that’ll help up your interior photography game.
1. Shoot from Hip level
Shooting from a standing position will have your shoot showing more of the ceiling than needed,( and we ain’t shooting the ceiling now are we?) Shooting from the hip shows the furniture from a pleasing angle, a tripod is a must to make sure you get rock-steady shots from the perfect perspective.
2. Choose your subject and compose accordingly
Many (if not most) interior shoots will feature the most important feature in a space, so pick a subject and then compose your shot accordingly. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the furniture, remove distracting elements, and add (appropriate) touches like books, plants, and/or blankets.
3. Use a wide-angle lens for Establishing shots, and a normal lens for Medium and Detail shots.
This one depends a lot on the client brief or specific shot you’re taking, but most interior shots list have a few establishing (overall shots) and a number of medium shots and a few details shots. A wide-angle lens (24mm equivalent-ish or wider) will capture the entire space from different angles. The medium and detail shots, will require a closer crop and will be better served by, say, a 50-85 mm equivalent.
This is a medium shot with the bedside table as the focus
4. Use natural light, turn off interior lights, and use a reflector or LED panels for fill
Some photographers shoot natural light (usually during the brightest parts of the day) augmented by LED panels or reflectors to fill in shadows. They also suggest you turn off all of the artificial lights to avoid white balance issues(i.e colour cast is hard to remove in post), unless, of course, you need to show off those lighting fixtures. Then in that case a HDR composite of natural and artificial lights is the way to go.
5. Shoot with a smaller (f/5.6-f/11) aperture to keep everything in focus
Shooting wide open and getting that bokehlicious look is all good and well, but if your goal is to show off a whole room, you’ll want to keep the whole room in focus. Stopping down to f8-13 is a must and requires a tripod to create sharp images unless you’re shooting detail shots then f2.8-5 is ideal to isolate a smaller subject.
6. Shoot with all your lines parallel
One thing that shows an amateur photographer’s work is when the parallels in the image are off. Two images below show that example well, Image 1 is taken top down and Image 2 is straight on. Obviously Image 2 is more pleasing to the eye as most of the lines are parallel.
And that’s it. These tips aren’t ground-breaking, but they’ll definitely keep beginners from making some common mistakes, and they can help make interior shots look a lot more polished.