Taking photos of your home is a natural thing to do. Whether it’s new, old or you’ve just completed some sort of DIY project, photographing your space is something that you do from time to time and will want to make the most of.
While you might be wondering how magazine homes look so perfect, why the lighting is so great and how there’s never a bad angle involved, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that can make shooting your interiors (and exteriors) worthwhile, and show off worthy for a portfolio, or just for family and friends.
1. Determine your style and purpose. Your photographic style and tools needed will likely depend on the type of photos you’ll be taking. Are you going with more architectural shots, commercial or advertised based, interior based photos or is most of your focus on objects or people instead of the interior or exterior?
2. Work on composition. Look to classic photography rules, and some pretty wide known design tips. Symmetry always works beautifully to balance out a frame, the rule of thirds is always a good idea, and having a focal point is a must. Angles are also a great way to showcase scale and depth of a space as well, or those grooves in the reclaimed hardwood.
3. Capture the details. If your space has great architectural details, an insane match up of finishes, or a great texture and pattern on that sofa trim– be sure to capture it all. A beautiful table scape? Get that on film to remember it and portray its gorgeous details in all their glory.
4. Look to natural light… and artificial. Natural light is always important when capturing the allure of a space. Color will look best with an open window and shadows will be lesser if you are at the right angle. And don’t be afraid to turn on some of your lights, too. Under cabinet lights, pendants and display lighting are all great indicators of a warm and inviting space.
5. Style your space. Styling isn’t always necessary, but a great idea if your space is lived in. Make sure there aren’t too many knick knacks on surfaces, hide wires, and make sure linens, rugs and pillows are crisp and free of stains, wrinkles and pet hair. And if you’re in the market to sell, some like to take any personal photos out of frames and replace them with something more generic.
6. Use a wide angle lens– when necessary. A lens that’s anywhere from 10 to 24mm will be of a great use to those focusing on exterior shots. Most cameras come equipped with a lens that’s sufficient, but you don’t always need a wide angle. For a majority of interior shots, you’ll want to keep the proportions of the room in tact, so just try to use a regular lens and step back if you want to fit more of the space in your frame.
7. Add some life to your shots. People and animals always make a room, home or space feel more warm, inviting and alive. Having non-posed shots of just a regular “day in the life” kind of scene is great for telling a story or evoking a certain feel.
8. Turn off the flash. This goes well with tip number 4 (above), only the flash will draw attention to just how dark the space is without any natural light around. This artificial flash is trying to compensate for the areas of the room with more shadows, and creates a “hot spot” and an overall unprofessional looking shot.
9. Show continuity and progression. Sometimes, it can be difficult to photograph a space without just looking to a corner and shooting a chair, bookcase, or a kitchen island. It can be difficult to understand a layout or the progression of a floor plan without photos that show spaces and how they interconnect.
10. Practice! The age old saying rings true in this situation as well as any other, practice around the house and look to the same areas to make note of your improvements.