Are you a beginner looking to learn the basics of interior photography? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, I will run through some of the easiest and quickest things to learn to help improve your interior photography, from camera and lens choice, through to tripod height and where to shoot from.
Interior Photography – The Basics for Beginners
Beginner Equipment for Interior Photography
Let’s take a look at the basic kit you will need to start shooting your own amazing interior photography.
Beginner Camera for Interior Photography
For my main camera I use a Canon EOS R, which is Canon’s professional level mirrorless camera.
In all honesty, if you’re just starting out this camera is probably going to have a lot of features which you don’t need.
My backup camera is the Canon 80D, which is one of Canon’s mid-range DSLR cameras and would make a great beginner camera for someone starting their interior photography career or simply wanting to take better pictures.
*Canon has released a newer version of this camera, the 90D, which has a few more features if you have a bit more spare cash lying around.
If you want a more in-depth look at the various cameras available for interior photography, check out my Best Camera For Interior Photography post.
Beginner Lens for Interior Photography
Your lens will be your next big choice for your beginner interior photography kit bag and in my eyes is more important than your camera choice.
Most of my work is shot in the 24-45mm range but I use very specialist tilt shift lenses for much of my work, which could be limiting if you’re just starting out building up your kit, so ideally you’re looking for a zoom lens which covers that range.
Whether you have decided to purchase a full frame camera or an APSC camera, such as the 80D, doesn’t matter too much at this stage and I would still recommend your first lens to be the Canon 16-35mm.
There are a few versions of this lens, as well as an f/4 and an f/2.8 version available.
For the most part, the extra stop of light from the f/2.8 version is going to be needed for interior photography and you won’t need image stabilisation (IS) either. So save yourself a packet and get one of the older versions for 25% of the price of a new version.
If you ever want to expand on your lens choice, I’ve put together an in-depth post to look at a variety of different lenses for interior photography.
Beginner Tripod for Interior Photography
A tripod is going to be your final purchase, but DO NOT go cheap on this!
A decent tripod will last you years, so my advice is buy right and buy once – don’t be tempted by the cheap versions on Amazon as they won’t support your camera sufficiently enough to get good images.
Manfrotto is the industry standard for tripods, but I’ve recently been really impressed by my Benro tripod.
It’s a fraction of the price of the other big brands and hasn’t let me down in the last two years once.
If you want a look at some other tripod options, check out my Best Tripod for Interior Photography post.
Beginner Settings for Interior Photography
For taking interior photographs, 90% of the time I have my aperture around the f8-f11 range.
This gives me the sharpest image with the least amount of diffraction issues with the lens.
My iso is ideally set to 100, but with most modern cameras you can go up to 400 with no real image quality loss.
Once you have your aperture and iso set, adjust your shutter speed to get the perfect exposure.
This is where your tripod comes in handy as, depending on lighting conditions, you’re probably going to be looking at a shutter speed which you aren’t capable of hand holding the camera for.
Anything above 1/60th of a second and my camera is on a tripod.
How to Compose a Photograph
The simplest way to choose your angle for interior photography is to shoot at what is called a one-point perspective.
To do this, line your camera up with the most distant part of the shot i.e. the back wall.
This makes the image look straight, even and pleasing to the eye.
It’s a good idea when shooting like this to try and make everything in the shot uniform to help frame the shot.
How to Choose Tripod Height
One of the trickiest parts for many beginner interior photographers is choosing where to put the tripod and what height to choose.
I like to put mine somewhere in-between my hips and my shoulders depending on what is in the room.
If I’m shooting over something like a kitchen counter or a bed, I’ll set it to a few inches above that so that you can clearly see the kitchen counter but you’re not looking down on it and it becoming the focal point of the image.
Editing Your Images
There are loads of different bits of editing software and presets available to interior photographers, but if you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep it simple.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are the industry leaders and you can get them bundled together as a photography bundle on Adobe’s website for next to nothing a month.
For basic edits and applying presets, you’ll find Lightroom can do 90% of the things you need. When you need a bit more, like removing unwanted items from an image or using layers you will need to use Photoshop.
I’ve put together a more in-depth post here on Editing Software for Interior Photography if you want to explore the different options available in more detail.
So that’s my beginners’ guide to the basics of interior photography. If you want some more tips, please check out these 8 Tips for Interior Photography and if you have any questions pop them in the comments below or feel free to drop me an email.