How to take interior photos

How to take interior photos

In this post, I will touch on the topic of interior photography, which has become extremely popular in recent years. Interior photography is the name for indoor photography of, for example, furnishings, furniture and other things that are in the home or in a workplace.

There are of course many different ways to photograph interiors and I will here go through a little of what to think about and give some solid tips on everything from equipment to procedures.

Bild på ett Golf klubbhus i Dubai, Al Badia Golf Klubb

Equipment

To take pictures indoors of, for example, furniture and interior details, you do not really need super-advanced equipment, but everything depends on what you want to achieve with your pictures. If you want the images to have a certain style that requires a large amount of light and a large aperture, then you may need professional lenses while if you have completely different wishes, simply manage with your mobile phone or a newer compact camera.

For those of you who want "tighter" images, perhaps a zoom lens such as 24-70 mm or similar is an option to get close to the objects but still be able to get a certain type of wide angle in the images if desired. If you want a real wide-angle feeling in the pictures, I recommend going down to, for example, 14-24 mm lenses or similar. Then you get everything you see in front of you.

Accessories that can be good to have for interior photography:

  • Flexible tripod for your camera / mobile phone
  • Reflective screens or large white pieces of corrugated cardboard to bounce light
  • Gray card for easier white balance adjustment
  • Remote trigger if, for example, you shoot with a long shutter speed and do not want to risk bumping the tripod and then get camera shake in the images 
  • Tether cable to the camera to connect to the computer and for example Lightroom or Capture One and shoot the images directly there 
Inrednings bild på en lobby i ett hus i Dubai

10 tips for interior photography

1 Set goals . What is the purpose of the pictures, which / what emotions should they convey? Is there any special product, interior detail or furniture that should be seen more prominent than other items and should the image convey a certain feeling? By setting goals for photography, you also have a clear idea of ​​what you want to achieve with the images.

2 Location . Once you have selected the end goal for the photo shoot, it is time to select the location for the photo shoot. Do you have a clear idea of ​​WHAT you want to achieve with the photography shoot but are unsure of which place is most suitable? Then a hot tip is to ask a friend or go out on your social media and ask if anyone there has any tips on locations that are suitable for your particular photography shoot.

By place / location I mean a house with a special kind of kitchen, living room, light entry or a place that has special details that you want. Just like when you shoot outdoors or in the studio, it is important to keep track of things like where the light comes in and at what time of day the light is in a certain way. There are smart apps for the phone that show how the light falls towards a specific geographical location depending on the time of day. One of these is called “TPE App” and you can find it here: https://www.photoephemeris.com/

3 Composition . The composition in the picture is often very important. Of course, there are certain types of composition that are more or less eye catching, such as the so-called rule of thirds, which is a classic "photo rule". It is more of a guide, than a rule, that shows how to place the subject in the image to achieve a feeling.

Briefly explained, you use the rule of thirds in image composition to create a depth in the image by dividing the imaginary image into three parts and placing the subject on the border between the middle part and the  edge part, either to the right or left of the middle which you can see example below.

En inredningsbild med tredjedels inrutningar

When it comes to composing interior images, it is important to think about where in the image you have placed important details and elements that you would like to highlight. The composition is simply about where you want to direct the viewer's gaze. Feel free to work with different compositions but try to take pictures straight from the front of the object / objects, it creates a feeling of depth.

4 Influence the light and use shadows. Once you have selected the location and composed the image, it's time to light it up. Ask yourself the following questions, where does the light come from? Is a nice shadow formed or maybe even a shadow that somehow destroys the image? You already have a clear picture of what you want the picture to look like, what prevents you from creating that picture?

For example, if you have a window to the left of the table, the sofa and the interior details and the light is low and falls straight in from the side of the table, it will form shadows that go to the right and may disturb important details. Then it can be a good idea to take advantage of the "left light" and bounce it back over the image by, for example, placing a white reflective screen on the right side of the image so that the light from the window partially bounces back and thus blurs some shadows that previously disturbed.

In many cases it is just as well to use a white foam board or something similar that the light can bounce against.
Another question that is worth asking is whether there is any lighting in the place you are going to photograph. A lit lamp often gives a yellow and often becomes a pleasant detail that gives the image more life if you use it correctly. Try taking pictures with and without the light on if you can control it.

Many people want to use shadows to create a mysterious feeling in pictures and just like with much else, we all like different things so go ahead and test for yourself! To see what you prefer. 

TIPS! Cloudy days provide a softer light.

5 Long Shutter and Multiple Exposures (HDR). In many cases of interior photography, the photographer uses a method called HDR and is an abbreviation of  "High Dynamic Range". This means that in "one and the same image you can have both dark and light areas but individually exposed for maximum readability and richness of detail". Read more about HDR on Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/High_Dynamic_Range ). Imagine setting up the tripod and setting the camera to a specific subject. You first take a picture that is slightly underexposed to get, for example, the sky through the window and then a picture that is slightly overexposed to remove parts of the shadows and then merge these two pictures and you get a bit of “the best of both worlds ". You can take more exposures than that and then merge, but in this case you get an image that contains both the sky and the details where the shadows might otherwise have taken over.

Many broker photos are taken with a camera where the settings have have been adapted to get sharpness over the entire image and thus used a small aperture (high aperture number, for example f / 22 or similar). To do this, you often have to use long shutter speeds and go down to shutter speeds that move around a few seconds. Taking such a picture handheld without getting motion blur is impossible I would say and therefore you use a tripod and maybe a remote shutter release.

Inrednings bild med två stolar och spegel

6 Symmetry and straight lines. We all have our own style, it's that simple. Then there are different ways of doing things that are more or less proven to attract and interest in people. One of these things is when you look at an image that is symmetrical and has straight lines. This means that the image is experienced in a certain way while a conscious or unconsciously skewed image would not feel as good to look at.

Interiör av sovrum

7 Height . Does height matter? Yes it absolutely does! Many nice interior photos are taken at about waist height for a normal tall person. It provides an angle that often includes everything important. If the picture had been taken at a height of two meters in relation to the objects in the image, it would probably give a strange feeling. Try working with the height of the camera when shooting and decide which height is right for you.

Interiör av ett barnrum

8 Photograph directly to the computer . Technology is advancing all the time, this is nothing new. One technology that in this particular case is worth looking at and testing is to connect your camera directly to your computer that you may have with you on the photo shoot. By connecting a special cable between the camera and the computer, you can shoot your images directly to the computer to be able to see the result within a few seconds. If you have a finished goal with the photography, you can immediately see where you stand in front of the goal and what you need to change to achieve it.

A tip is to connect directly to, for example, the image processing programs Capture One or Adobe Lightroom and quickly edit the images you have just taken to get an idea of ​​how the images and the intended end result can be. Such a so-called "tether cable" costs anywhere from a few tens up to over 100: - depending on how long it should be. (US Dollars)

Interiör detalj bild av kafe bord med kaffe

9 Play with the editing. When you have finished shooting and started with the editing and processing of the images, it is definitely time to play a little with editing. You may have had a specific goal with the photography, but that does not stop you from trying to pull the sliders in your image processing program to see what happens.

You learn a lot from playing with the editing and it prepares you for the next shoot you learn how certain compositions, lighting and settings affect the end result.

10 Dare black and white! All right, you have now finalized the pictures the way you wanted. Then try to switch to black and white. When an image goes from color to black and white, it gives you a completely different opportunity to create a different feeling in the images.

TIP! Increase and decrease shadows, exposure as well as blackness and the level of highlights. If the image is taken with the “right” settings, you can bring out the mystery in the images by lowering the exposure afterwards and maybe brightening up the shadows and much more. 

Good luck and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

/ Helen Shippey

Photographer in Västerås!

Interiör av ett sovrum på ett hotell
Interiör bild av ett sovrum på ett hotell

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Företagsfotograf Helen Shippey

About me

Hello!
My name is Helen and I love to create and happily share what I create with my cameras / drones.

Join me on my photography assignments.

You can call me Shippey, my friends does!

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