8 Tips to Master the Art of Interior Photography

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Photo 1: Designed by @ladlab.in & Photographed by Noaidwin Studio

Capturing the essence of stunning interior design is an art form in itself. It requires a discerning eye, technical finesse, and a unique perspective. Here’s how to get it right. In this article, we explore the tips and techniques that can elevate your interior design photography, allowing you to capture spaces in all their visual glory.

What is Interior Photography?

Interior photography is the artistic portrayal of indoor spaces. It unveils the essence of a room, portraying its design, character, and atmosphere. By accentuating architectural details, decor, and lighting, it transforms ordinary interiors into gripping stories. Photographers orchestrate the elements of a space, offering viewers a window into its unique world, combining style and function within four walls.

Scope of growth & demand in the market

From real estate, architecture & interior business to heritage conservation & tourism industry, interior photography has proved to be the ‘X factor’ for creating & expanding businesses. Increasing demand for luxury housing combined with cutthroat competition among architectural & interior design firms make online presence & social media marketing a binding prerequisite for success. Moreover, the increasing demand for luxury & lifestyle accessories has led to innovations in marketing & promotional ethos, giving rise to bespoke unconventional illustrations employing a variety of interior settings.

Renowned photographers like Mike Kelly & Rickan Desai advocate that the job of photographers is to capture a three-dimensional structure or space and then present it in a two-dimensional form of media.

Here are some tips and tricks suggested by the most successful Interior photographers on how to achieve your perfect ‘Editorial Look’.

Photo 3:By Matthew Anderson

Key tips & tricks for captivating interior photography

These are some essentials to keep in mind throughout the process of creating an engaging and succinct piece of interior photography.

Tip 1: Equipment pre-requisites

Proper preparation & keeping handy essential gear is most important for a smooth process. Minimal kit required: one camera, two lenses, and a tripod. Full-frame mirrorless DLSR camera with manual settings, a wide-angle lens (16-35mm) for room shots to capture spaces without distortion. A 50mm lens for detail shots. A tripod is essential for stability, sharpness & long-exposure shots.

Tip 2: Active listening

Rush the scope out of the space. Walk around & observe. Notice all the different lines and angles, and how your eye wanders through the space. Remember that Architecture photography is about telling a visual story and a good photographer will lead the viewer through the frames to showcase what the space has to offer.

If possible, communicate with the architect or the interior designer and dive into the elements of inspiration and focus. It will help you to capture the essence & spirit of the place.

Photo 4: Designed by @yuugadesigns & Photograph by turtlearts_photography

Tip 3: Mood & Composition

Focus on capturing the intended mood and adjust the composition accordingly and you are 90 percent there to get that perfect click. Capture different compositions for a dynamic set of images. Wide, flat angles, detail shots, and unique angles or mirror reflections.

There is no absolute way of creating a perfect frame. Interior design photography requires patience and attention to detail.

Photo 5: From unsplash.com by @felipepelaquim
Photo 6: From unsplash.com by @spacejoy

Tip 4: Avoid Flamboyance

Flamboyance involves blending flash with natural light which is recommended for interior design photography. Emphasize, mimic, or recreate natural light instead. Take time to customize the lighting & placement of elements to see what compliments the desired character of the space.

Tip 5: Direction of Light & Consistency of Temperature

The primary light source should come toward or perpendicular to the camera. Light angles create highlights and shadows, adding texture and depth to the image. Tame the ‘highlights’, raise the ‘shadows’ & maintain ‘white balance’.

Photo 7: Author

All the light in the photo should be of a uniform color temperature or at least a similar color temperature. We want our colors to be accurate or at least close to accurate to how they appear in real life. If a space has white walls well, in our photo, we want the walls to look white. If a couch in a living room is vivid blue well, then we want that couch to look vivid blue in our photo. Inconsistent color temperatures can result in messy images. Shoot with either all-natural light or all-interior light to avoid mixing color temperatures.

Photo 8: By Matthew Anderson
Photo 9: Designed by @ckarchitect12 & Photographed by Noaidwin Studio

If you’ve ever seen an image where you thought to yourself, wow, that’s a really clean photo, the photographer probably had this principle in mind. A big exception to this is photos that are taken around sunset or twilight, the contrast of bluish tones from outside against the.

Photo 10: From unsplash.com

Tip 6: Level and Straight Vertical Lines

Basic fundamental principle of architecture and interior photography is to keep the camera leveled and have to ensure the horizon is straight. Vertical lines should be straight up and down to maintain architectural accuracy.

Tip 7: Use Narrow Focal Length

Keep your composition in mind and shoot at a narrow focal length to achieve a professional and refined look. Avoid ultra-wide focal lengths. Shoot in manual focus with focus peaking. Zoom in and double-check focus for sharpness. Wide room shots at f/8 or f/11, while detail shots at f/1.4 to f/2.8. Consider ‘focus stacking’ for multiple objects in focus. Shoot in multiple exposures for mid-tones, highlights, and shadows. Use post-processing to blend or select individual exposures.

Focus stacking in photography is a technique used to capture images with an extended depth of field, especially in situations where achieving sharp focus from the foreground to the background in a single shot is challenging. It involves taking a series of photographs of the same scene, each with a slightly different focus point, and then combining these images in post-processing to create a single image with exceptional depth of field.

Tip 8: Post-Processing

This step is not very necessary, while many photographers avoid it, it becomes necessary in some cases. Edit interior shots neutrally to maintain a natural look. Be cautious when blending exposures to avoid halos. Use the Clarity tool judiciously to prevent unnatural effects. Make selective exposure adjustments when necessary.

Conclusion

By using these 8 interior photography tips, and experimenting just a little, you’ll find that you’ll be able to capture some stunning interior images that will bring out the story of the space, and in doing so, bring it to life for the viewer. Moreover, remember to continuously refine your technique, harness the play of light and shadow, and harmonize composition elements to consistently produce captivating interior masterpieces that leave a lasting impression.

References

  1. VIDEO 1: How to Shoot Interior Design Photography in 2023 – 7 Tips (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaHqhNYDbLw
  2. VIDEO 2: 5 Basics of Architecture Photography – Tips & Tricks

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCu_JaxaxX0&t=386s)

  3. VIDEO 3: How to Shoot & Edit for the ‘Editorial Look’ | Interior Design Photography (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XmBszDmyck)

  4. Madden, K. (2023, April 13). 6 tips for the Best Interior Design Photography. Architectural Digest India. https://www.architecturaldigest.in/story/6-tips-for-the-best-interior-design-photography/ 
  5. Gaither, C., Iv, T., Jacoby, J., & Kotecki, D. (2023b, March 3). 9 quick and essential tips for interior photography. Photography Course. https://photographycourse.net/9-essential-tips-for-interior-photography/
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Mehar Deep Kaur
An Architect and Urban Designer by vocation, Mehar Deep Kaur is an accomplished educator and writer in the realm of architecture and design. She helms an academic journal, dedicated to disseminating knowledge about the built environment, and has authored multiple research papers on sensitive urban development, published in esteemed peer-reviewed and Scopus Indexed journals. An innovative designer at heart, she holds patents for her designs, focused on optimizing multi-functionality within compact products. Mehar is also empanelled with some online education platforms as a mentor and course instructor. The young academician is driven by the belief that living a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life requires approaching every endeavor with unwavering passion (Meraki).

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