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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.

Pho­to: stocksnap.com

Training

Decor

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.

The laid out books give the room char­ac­ter, and the lit fire­place and lamps make you think that the own­er has gone out for a minute and is about to return. Pho­to: 1zoom.me

Shooting accessories

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.

Composition

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.

The pho­to is rem­i­nis­cent of how an artist would draw a blue­print for a room. The max­i­mum view­ing angle is to see how the inte­ri­or items inter­act with each oth­er. Pho­to: pixabay.com

Geometry

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.

Shooting technique

Nat­ur­al and indoor light do not inter­rupt each oth­er thanks to the HDR mode. Pho­to: pixy.org

Lighting

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.

HDR

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.

The focus is on the inte­ri­or paint­ing and pil­lows that match its tone. Pho­to: stocksnap.com

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?

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