When I first started my business phones had just begun to come with cameras. There wasn't a way to document your life and share it like there is now. It was a much slower time. There wasn't the pressure that there is today to create magazine-worthy images for your life and your business.
C'est la vie.
So what are you supposed to do now that your photography skills haven't developed as quickly as technology?
1. Hire a Professional
Next week I am interviewing a professional interiors photographer on this very subject. You want clients to hire you for your interior design skills, but often I see interior designers not want to extend the same to professional photographers. And like interior design, photography is a skill and can make a big difference in the attentions you get from clients.
Professional photography is definitely something that you need to consider investing in. The learning curve to do it yourself can be very high. Not to mention the equipment cost. However, if you are not able to invest in professional photography here are some other actions to better interiors photos.
2. Use Natural Light
Use BRIGHT natural light. If the room is dark, take your photos at the time when it is the brightest and consider upping the exposure a bit. If your room is already nice and bright, take photos when there is good indirect light - when the sun isn't blaring through the windows. Nothing looks more dated than an interiors photo with a ton of lamps on. The art of lighting a room is best left to the professionals, so keep it simple and use bright natural light. I've never seen a flash I liked from an amateur.
3. Avoid Angles
Symmetry goes a long way in photos because it pleases the eye. So it's best to keep the lines of the room in line with the lines of the camera. In other words, shoot a room straight on. Line the top of the frame up with the ceiling. Don't shoot into corners. Avoid furniture at too many strange angles. Don't angle your camera up or down. Keep it level.
4. Keep it Simple
It's better to keep the shot simple and remove items from the frame. Minimize clutter and items on surfaces. Remove furniture that you just see a portion of. The camera sees rooms differently than the human eye. So what looks good in person may not look good in a photograph. Be ruthless with your editing, especially if you are doing whole-room shots. After the shot is taken don't be afraid to do a little cropping in editing if you need to simplify even more.
5. Give Yourself Options
Take a lot of photos with multiple exposures. Often you can't see how a photo will look on your phone or camera screen. It's only when you look at the photos on the computer that you realize that the photo is blurry or too dark. A multitude of sins can be erased in editing, but give yourself a solid image to work from. It's a good idea to pull up a few photos on your computer before moving onto another shot because sometimes that plant needs to move 2" to the left and the blanket needs to be folded just so.
6. Interiors Photos Are Not Real Estate Photos
The goal of real estate photos is to show a home to a potential buyer. The purpose of interiors photos is much more complex. You want to show how you utilized space and created a home for a particular family or individual. You are likely showing a lifestyle and personality. Real estate photos generally show the entire space as wide as possible. Interiors photos should be more intimate.
Here are some more helpful links to shooting interiors photos:
Like this article? Share with a fellow designer. #collaborationovercompetition