For many small businesses, having excellent interior photography is a must. Real estate, architecture, interior design, restaurants and the hospitality industry all require gorgeous photographs of indoor spaces to attract and entice audiences. For the photographers in charge of these shoots, the ability to make interiors look spectacular is a mandatory career requirement.
To help improve your indoor photography skills, we’ve collected some key expert tips. We recommend you read through them and practice in your own home, or at friends’ homes, until you feel confident with your technique.
1. Choose the Right Perspective
Interior photography calls for taking a couple of steps back and shoot from one of the corners, or with the camera pressed against the walls. When you scope out the space you are about to photograph, try all different corners for a variety of perspectives, and only then choose to focus on the one that captures the room at its best.
2. Use Correct Lighting
Your goal is to balance the light so that there are no over-lit or under-lit spots in the shot. Nothing too harsh. Make good use of the light that is available in the room. Play with the shades, try the lamps in the space, and test what they can produce, adding or removing lamps as necessary. If you’re fuly relying on natural light, the best time to shoot depends on the location and sizes of the windows. Soft light is what you’re after, so for best results, try early morning or late afternoon.
3. Wide Angles
When you want to capture as much of the space as possible, a wide angle is the way to go. For a good wide angle, you will need to use specialized gear. Most experts agree that a lens ranging from 16mm to 24mm will give you an optimal wide shot of the interior. Too wide will result in perspective distortion, though, so make sure you get a lens that is appropriate for the range of space sizes you intend to photograph.
4. Get the Verticals Straight
Creating a merging perspective effect of vertical building lines can add a great dramatic effect for external architecture shots, but when you’re inside, you want to keep the vertical lines straight. Start by leveling your camera. If the lens is turning upwards, the lines will appear to be moving diagonally. Another thing you can do is shoot from a higher perspective – how high depends on the actual space, but you don’t want to go too high and then get half of the room cut out of the photo.
5. Eliminate Blurring
Even if you have the steady hands of a surgeon, there’s no reason to risk blurry images. You want to keep your indoor photos sharp, so it’s best to use a tripod. As an extra stabilizing measure, use your camera timer to make sure the shot is untainted by any movement that might be caused by your excited fingers.
6. Set Up the Space
Think about what you want to show in your photo, and organize the room accordingly. You might wish to add accessories that create a vibe, like magazines stacked on a coffee table or a fancy laptop on the desk. In other cases, you might want to remove furniture or move it around in order to highlight or conceal certain parts of the room.
7. Be Versatile
Interior photography considerations can vary a great deal according to the size of the space, the items located in it and the purpose of your shoot. Whether you’re in real estate, furniture design, hotels or whatever else, think about what your photo is meant to “sell” to its viewers. It’s important that you keep an open mind and be ready for experimentation, because interiors can be so different from each other. Take plenty of photos – more than you think you’ll need. You will appreciate the ability to sort through them and choose the best ones later on.