Interior photography is an increasingly competitive market and as such it’s important you stay at the top of your game. Hopefully, these five interior photography tips will you give a greater grasp on how to shoot interior photography.

Five interior photography tips

1. Make sure the area is tidy and ready to photograph

Before you even get your camera out of the bag it is important that you take a few minutes to just walk around the area and remove anything which you don’t want to be in your photograph. There is nothing worse than getting back into Photoshop and noticing a glaringly obvious item has been left on a table or strewn across a chair. Of course, it is possible to remove most things afterwards but just taking five minutes here could save you hours in post-production.

Propping the room should also be on your mind at this point too and as they say, less is more. The less clutter in the area, the bigger that the space is going to look. Removing all items from worktops or big open spaces can really help open up a room and show the room to its full potential. It’s usually better to stick to two or three signature pieces in any area than to try and cram too many items in, as this can look too busy and confuse the eye.

While you’re walking around, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the room from different angles to see which angle best suits the image you are looking for and how the natural light falls within the room.

2. Be mindful of your verticals

As an interior photographer, most of the time you’re backed into a corner and trying to make the space look as large as possible. This means you will be using a wide angle lens, usually around 16mm to try and capture as much of the room as you can in a single image.

This brings a technical challenge to interior photography. Nobody wants to look at an image that appears to be stretched out because the photographer hasn’t taken the time to correct their vertical. There are specialist tilt shift lenses which can help in correcting this in camera, saving you time in post-production, but if you don’t have a spare two grand to drop on one of these then try to shoot around 5 feet from the ground and always keep your camera level – as soon as you tilt it up or down you’re going to introduce some kind of perspective shift.

Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid having the odd vertical slightly off in camera, but it’s important that you correct this afterwards either by using the cornerstone effects in applications like Capture One or the perspective tool in Photoshop. This will separate your work from that of a less experienced interior photographer.

3. Mix your lighting

The next of my interior photography tips is a bit more advanced but will really improve your interior photography above that of an amateur photographer – and it’s to mix up the lighting in the scene.

Natural lighting is always going to be the king in most situations but there are some times where it either just isn’t enough/is too much/isn’t at the right angle…. you get the idea. So it’s a good idea to carry some extra lighting with you, even something as simple as a basic speed light can really help lift those problem areas which would be a struggle to fix manually in post-production.

It’s also important to check the colour temperature of any lightbulbs which need to be on and it’s a good idea to carry adjustable temperature bulbs for these situations, to replace any bulbs which have a colour temperature which is causing an unsightly cast within the room. Little things like a bedside lamp casting a large orange glow across a wall can be really distracting to a consumer, and it’s these little extra touches which will improve your interior photography.

4. Don’t just use your wide angle lens

Although the safest bet in nearly every interior photography situation is to shoot a wide shot of the room, it’s sometimes the details which really set your work apart from the crowd. If you can use little close in shots or vignettes to create a story around the space you are photographing, it will help your audience visualise themselves within the space.

Carrying a standard zoom lens, such as a 24-105mm, helps you almost create a scene within a scene by zooming into specific interesting parts of your main shot which may otherwise be missed. This may be picking out a certain bit of craftsmanship which is unique, such as the light fittings, or just a small group of items clustered on a bedside cabinet. It’s the little extra touches in this area which will really improve your interior photography.

5. Use a tripod to get depth of field

After your camera and a wide-angle lens, a tripod will be the most important item you take to any interior photography shoot. Many of the shots will require a longer exposure than other types of photography and sometimes you will need to combine multiple exposures using processing such as HDR or layer masks to create the final image, especially if you’re having to introduce artificial light. Unless you have the world’s steadiest hands, this would not be possible without a tripod.

If you are using long exposures, it is also worth investing in either a cable release for your camera or using a timer so that your hands are nowhere near your camera when the shutter fires. Even the slightest bit of camera shake can ruin what looks like an amazing image on the back of your camera.

Another thing which a tripod allows you to do is use your aperture to bring the whole image into focus. It’s great drifting the focus out on your detail shots to create depth of field and add some interest in your photographs, but if you take a shot of the whole room with a really shallow depth of field so only a small section of it is in focus, the chances are you’re not going to get booked again.

Have you got any interior photography tips which have helped you improve your interior photography? If so please leave them in the comments below and if you like this post please be sure to check out others here.

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