The amazing interior photography shots you see in magazines may seem impossible to be taken by a non-pro photographer. However, that is not true! Let’s dive in and walk through these short tips. Soon you ’ll start creating magazine-worthy interior photography in no time.
Get your gear
- Camera - It doesn’t matter which system you choose, despite what the internet will tell you. All the major camera brands are very similar in terms of quality and it will come down to what you feel most comfortable with.
- Lens - For your first interior photography lens, I would be looking for something which covers a range of focal lengths. Something like the 24-70mm or 24-105mm.
- Tripod - You’re going to want to grab yourself a sturdy tripod to hold your camera and lens steady.
- Shutter release - To avoid having unnecessary shaking and to ensure a solid-crispy image. Check out MIOPS remote devices to control your camera remotely.
Clean-up and stage the space
If you want a space to look appealing, it has to be clean. Wipe down everything. For some reason, tiny things like smudges, greasy spots, and dust don’t look so bad in person but then look glaringly awful in a photo. Cleaning can seem like a pain, but 20 minutes of cleaning can save a ton of Photoshop work later down the road
When you are doing a series of photos in one single interior, shoot them from the same height. It creates a more balanced overview of the space, and that’s a lot easier on the eye going through the photos. Otherwise, the viewer will feel like he or she is hopping up and down through the room when looking at the pictures.
Watch out with your lines
Keep your verticals vertical and, when shooting a one-point perspective, your horizontals horizontal too! Our brain is capable of realizing that doors are vertical even if we see them from an angled view, but the camera is not. Using a tripod and a tripod head with bubble levels makes it easier to keep the lines straight.
Shoot with layers
You’ll want to do several bracketed shots at varying exposures. This way, you can layer them for a subtle natural-feeling HDR final image when photo editing. Try to bracket 3-4 exposures for any shots that include windows.
Don´t shoot too wide
In real estate photography, you’re often shooting wide shots at about 16mm. For interior photography, you won’t want to go wider than 24mm, normally.
If you have enough room, distance yourself further from the composition and use a tighter lens such as a 50mm or 70mm. This minimizes any possible lens distortion as well.
Use natural light (when possible)
Turn all the lights off. Light bulbs cause terrible shadows and color casts. As human beings, we are very capable of interpreting the yellow color cast of incandescent bulbs or the dull green of fluorescent lights as white light, but the camera has no brain to understand colors as we can, and the results could be messy.
Create depth of field
Creating depth with styling items and furniture placement is crucial. It will add interest and a luxurious feel to the place. Also, make sure that your f-stop is consistent with what you want to have sharp in the photo. Interior photos have f-stops that are in the f8 to f16 range.
Composition is all
In learning how to photograph interiors, the composition is what guides most shots. This means that you need to brush up on the basics, from balance, color, leading lines, depth of field, contrast, etc.
Hopefully, you’ve found these tips helpful for getting started doing interior photography. Remember that practice, consistency, and preparation are more important than any gear you could carry on your assignment.
Manuel Delgado is an award-winning photographer with a specialization in travel and documentary photography. He writes for Contrastly and is a Mentor for NGO Photographers Alliance, having led workshops in Africa with a focus on ethical and humanitarian photography. His work has been exhibited in Europe and the Americas.
Driven by an innate curiosity for his surroundings, Manuel´s process is mainly focused on capturing people in their natural environment; translating through his lens the subtle threads of daily life that are shared across cultures, borders, and races. Depicting people from diverse backgrounds, his work is united by a shared aesthetic that serves to tell each individual’s story. Manuel is currently living in Düsseldorf, Germany.