Many photographers are looking at real estate photography as a potential photography business. The job of a real estate photographer can be a fun one. You get to spend your days visiting different buildings and homes to take photos. It’s fun, but still a lot of work! Each location is likely to be different, so you’ll need to spend extra time with each one studying the light and layouts. On top of that, you gotta know a thing or two about shooting interiors.
Here are four top tips to get you started:
1. Natural Light
When it comes to lighting interiors, natural light is king. It is hard to replicate the quality of natural light if you are trying to shoot an indoor living space in a natural way. So on your next interior shoot, leave all that lighting gear at home. Those fancy lamps in the room you’re shooting? Turn those off. The gorgeous chandalier hanging in the center of the room? Yup, turn that bad boy off too. Open up the curtains and let the natural light flood into the room. No artificial lighting necessary. If you’re wondering what you’re supposed to do if the natural light isn’t bright enough to light up all the shadows and dark spots, the answer is use a slower shutter speed. Whip out your tripod, mount your camera onto it, and adjust the settings so you can take a long exposure with a narrow aperture. Of course, in some instance, you will have to call on the help of some lighting. When this is the case, make sure to expirement with different options and find what best lights the space.
2. Avoid Shooting At Angles
Normally, perspective is something I would consider a perfect thing to expirement with. However, photogrpahing interior spaces is a little tricky. Weird angles are really hard to make work. Shooting from unusually high or low perspectives causes the walls to appear slanted, furniture to become oddly shaped, and just generally makes the space look unbalanced.
Always make sure your horizon line is straight when shooting. Make sure the end of lens is parallel with the wall it is facing and not tilting up or down. Rather than shooting from eye level, lower the camera slightly to chest or waist level. Check the viewfinder to make sure the perspective is correct.
3. Wide Angle Lens
A wide angle lens works well for shooting interiors. It can help you capture a large space in a single composition and it can also be used as a tool to help make small rooms and spaces appear larger. An important thing to keep in mind when using a wide angle lens, however, is distorition.
You want your images to appear as they do to the natural eye. Wide angle lenses often cause distortion and can warp a composition. There are post production tools you can use to correct this, but it is still something you should think about when you are shooting. Objects in the center of the room may become distorted. Which leads me to the next tip…
4. Setup The Space
Move stuff around! As the photographer, it’s your job to make sure the image you take looks awesome. When you’re shooting interiors, this can mean setting up a space so it looks awesome before you photograph it. Just as a fashion photographer will have his subjects head to hair, makeup, and wardrobe before a shoot, interior photographers should make an effort to spice up their subjects too. If interior design and styling isn’t your think, hire someone to help.
Additionally, there will be times when you will want to move certain objects in a room to accomodate your composition. This could be something as small as moving a floor lamp out of the foreground to completely rearranging the furniture to a more aesthetic look. Don’t be afraid to make things look how you want them too!
Try Different Things
As with most photography, the best way to do what works best is to experiment with different settings, room design, compositions, lighting. What works great for one space, may cause another to look tiny, cramped, and uninviting. Don’t forget to think outside the box either. Or, outside of the room. You can always move to a neighboring room and try shooting through a doorway.