A bad photo can spoil the impression of even the coolest designer interior, while at the same time, a professional shot is quite capable of turning a modest room into a piece of style. We will teach you how to photograph interiors so that they look like the creations of the world’s best designers. To do this, we have collected 10 tricks that interior photographers use.
To make the room look cozy, it must give the impression of a habitable place. Even if this is a showroom, you will have to add a few elements not only of decor, but also of everyday life.
When renting a dining room or kitchen, be sure to add a few items familiar to these interiors and set the table. The living room can be revived with bouquets and indoor plants, and books and jewelry always look good in the bedrooms. Bathrooms are best decorated with textiles and hygiene items, such as hand cream or shampoos in stylish bottles. This is what gives the apartments and houses in the photo such a spectacular look and the feeling that people live there.
A camera and a lens are not all that is needed when shooting interiors. To focus or shoot at slow shutter speeds, you will need a tripod. You can also take pictures “hand-held”, but there will not always be enough light in the room. Moreover, some spaces, such as bathrooms or closets, do not have windows in principle, and studio lamps are not suitable for such photo shoots. Therefore, it does not hurt to have an external flash or light illumination with you (and additional batteries for the camera will not be superfluous).
As in the case of shooting water, it is not uncommon for interiors to use filters that protect against glare. This is especially important for rooms that have a lot of shiny surfaces, such as the kitchen or dining room.
wide angle lens
If you are photographing a large room, then in addition to standard shots, which will include only a part of the objects, you will also have to take several shots at a wide angle. Such photos are almost panoramic and more comprehensively show what the interior is like. So you need to have both a regular lens (~50 mm) and a wide-angle lens (~14–24 mm) with you.
Shoot from medium height
When shooting indoors, the picture will always be affected by perspective. If you rent a room from above, the size of the items may be distorted. Therefore, professional interior photographers usually shoot from an average height, approximately at the level of the waist or chest. So most of the pieces of furniture in the image will just have visually correct proportions. Sometimes you can deviate from this recommendation in order to intentionally show the height or scale of things. However, it is more suitable for additional photos.
As in architecture photography, in interior photography, the composition is based on lines, both straight and curved. If you divide the frame into 9 squares (remember the rule of thirds), then you can place the main lines directly on the resulting grid. For example, you rent a table and a cabinet behind it. The surface of the table can be built along the bottom line, and the cabinet — along one of the vertical lines. This is the easiest way, especially suitable for beginner photographers.
Use perspective to your advantage
Designers-planners have an unspoken rule: to build a room so that the perspective visually expands the space. The same technique works great for filming: show the direction in which the person in the room will look. To do this, leave the doors open, use arches and windows so that the viewer can fully perceive the entire room.
In interior photography, it is very important to correctly convey the color. The wallpaper, the ceiling finish or the exact shade of the flooring all show the result of the designer’s work. Therefore, natural lighting is used for indoor photography. If necessary, if the room is dark, you can use additional light sources. Spot lamps work best: sconces, table lamps or floor lamps. They create spectacular shadows and focus on a specific area. It is better not to rely on the main chandelier in the rooms. The light will be too aggressive and will give unrealistic shades.
If you need to shoot a white room, it will definitely need accents and harsher shadows. Otherwise, the room will look “flat” in the picture.
Of the different shooting modes, HDR is best suited for interiors. With the help of dynamic range, you will avoid overexposed areas in the photo. It corrects the difference between the lightest and darkest places, which is why it is very common to see interior photos in HDR. This mode is great for rooms with artificial light and spacious rooms with lots of reflective surfaces.
Shoot general plans and details
The impression of the room is created not only by large-scale plans, but also with the help of details. So, as with any other genre of filming, sometimes it pays to focus on one element, such as a designer piece of furniture, an antique piece of jewelry, or another characteristic item. With shots like this, you will be able to focus on what makes the room special, what creates its visual image.
Always choose the center element
Generally speaking, this is the task of the designer: when you enter the room, you should immediately notice one of the most outstanding details. But your duty as a photographer is to show it to the viewer. Choose the main element that will be the center of the composition, and take a picture based on that. So you immediately grab attention, and then the person will consider the rest of the parts and the project as a whole. The main thing is to be interested.
Anyone can learn to shoot like a pro. We have already talked about 10 tricks for unforgettable shots, and now you know how to photograph interiors specifically — be sure to try it on your own! And share in the comments: about the techniques for which type of shooting to tell in the next article?