What is Interior Photography .?
Have you ever photographed for real estate listings?
Then you may have gotten a taste of what shooting interior photography is like.
But architectural or interior photography is different than real estate photography. Part of it is because it takes more time and energy to put into each part of the process, including post-production.
The expectations are also higher when working with interior designers or builders, as opposed to more traditional interior shoots where it’s just you.
Interior photography shoots are very collaborative and detail-oriented. From the client meetings to the styling and the editing.
This high attention to detail is part of what allows it to demand higher rates, as well! It doesn’t only mean a lot of detailed shots of the interior spaces but also paying more attention to post-processing too.
The end goal is always to produce eye-catching interior photographs. These have to work in magazines just as well as they would on Instagram.
Preferably The Lights Should Be Off
This one comes down to personal preference.
But this is the general consensus for high-end interior photography. Keep the lights turned off for all photos of the interior.
This helps to create a natural feel and an even light temperature, meaning better photos.
Having interior lights on also creates all sorts of shadows. These will appear on walls, floors, and furniture. It’s distracting and takes away from the actual interior design elements.
Is there a lighting feature that you want to show in photos, such as recessed lighting? That’s the only time that you’ll want to consider having lights on for interior photography.
In this case, make sure you bracket at least a second exposure that’s a bit darker. Like that, you can soften the brightness of the light and keep the lighting looking even.
Also, you might choose to have some lights on for any design features. Be sure to balance out the light temperatures in editing. A great tool to use for this is the local adjustment brush or gradient filter in Lightroom.
This will help you counterbalance the light temperature and remove color casts.
Get Rid of Any Clutter and Organize the Space prior to the shoot
It may seem obvious, but clearing the clutter is an absolute must.
We want to see that gorgeous counter-top marble. Or see how the light hits the custom alcove with only one stunning sculpture in it.
As an interior photographer, it’s part of your job to tell your client or Real Estate agent how to prepare the space for photos. Relay the value of a clean space before the photo shoot.
Also, take a look around the space when you arrive. Give your client any recommendations on surfaces that should be cleared.
They’ve made a high investment for your services. They’re looking to you to be the expert and to guide them through the process.
Also, don’t start shooting the interior at random, visualize the images you want to capture before taking the photographs. Add features to a room to create an appealing atmosphere, especially if you find the space on its own dull. Some carefully placed props that fit with the type of interior can give a significant boost to the whole photograph.
Walk around the place for a while and get a feel for it before starting taking the shots, speak with the owner and ask him what he wants to highlight most or any, not so obvious features.
Interior Photography Styling
While less is definitely better, don’t be afraid to add some small styling touches! When working with interior designers, your role is to give a professional opinion while setting up. And then to adjust décor as needed.
When looking at pieces to add into space, consider how it looks both without and with the item.
Does the decorative piece add something to the vignette? Do the color and texture work well? Does it feel cluttered or too empty? Does it feel natural? Is the decorative piece high-end and beautiful?
Take a few moments to ask yourself these questions.
Keep the Look Natural, Even if You Use a Strobe or Flash
Make the space look and feel natural. You should try to use natural light only as much as possible.
But you’ll still most likely need the aid of strobes or flashes to fill in shadows.
When using any artificial light, you want to make sure to bounce or diffuse it. And to adjust the strength of the lights so that it maintains a natural look.
Bouncing the light can be a simple matter of pointing it towards a wall behind you or the ceiling.
If the walls have a color to them, be sure to keep that in mind. The color of the wall will affect the color tint of the light. Otherwise, you can also diffuse the light with various types of soft boxes and umbrellas.