11 Tips on Shooting Interiors

Are you sitting comfortably in your sofa? Looking for ideas on what to shoot next? Well, just photograph what is right in front of you – your home (or any other you have access to) is your next model.

Here are 11 Tips on various stages of shooting interiors. Some are quite simple, some are starting points for new blog articles to come. As a stock contributor, you should realize there are no exactly the same rooms, so your subject potential is high. Fortunately, the commercial demand of interior images is also satisfying.

1.Each room has at least one point, from which it looks best . Before grabbing your camera, try to find that point, walk around, determine optimal camera height, then place your tripod there. Take a test shot. Spend some time perfecting the image (details below). After you’re done with it, move to those less attractive points of the room to find details which will later add to the atmosphere the room has.

2.The test shot will show you what elements are to be removed. Tidy the scene. Align chairs, straighten curtains, add some flowers etc. Elements that are hard to remove, but are still messy, can be improved in post-processing by clone tool, but you’ll save yourself some precious time by doing the cleaning/styling before taking the photos.

3.Analyze the light you have, this will determine techniques you may use, such as HDR, multiple exposures for layers, using speedlights or just ambient light etc. Windows and harsh outside light may cause particularly difficult situations and not always can you get back to the room at a better time. Knowing the tools and tricks will surely help.

4.Watch for vertical lines and make them really vertical in your image. Your camera probably has a LiveView function and grid lines – use them. I highly recommend a good tripod head, you’ll control those camera angles with less effort. So diagonal lines are bad, you may ask? No, go crazy diagonal for creative dynamic effect, but don't let false verticals spoil the shot.

5.Always shoot RAW. Bracketed RAW. Memory cards are big and cheap nowadays. I can’t count the times those saved my interior shooting day and provided me with material I was able to use in post-processing.

6.For general view of the room, use higher apertures (around f11 or more). At this point your lens usually performs best and the whole scene looks sharp. Focus on the point where your depth of field covers the whole scene. Wide apertures are great for room details.

7.Even when you’re shooting at daytime, try turning on the room lights. It is not much realistic but more often than not, the room looks better with bulbs/LEDs on. Experiment with that, take two or more versions with different lights combinations.

8.In post-processing, remove the unattractive elements such as dangling cables, stains/cracks on walls, sensor dust, etc. Assuming the image will be an RF-stock one, remove logos, brand names. Quite often you’ll find color correction useful – see if your image looks better with yellow channel dimmed.

9.Final part – keywording. It’s crucial you think as a buyer. So, say you have a kitchen photo. Apart from the obvious (kitchen, interior, room etc) think of the assets the room have (oak furniture, large windows, marble counter/counter, LED lights, vertical blinds) and the style (classic, modern, vintage, contemporary). Interior buyers use the images to illustrate their articles, and they are often about one of those details.

10.Even if the interior is the hero of your shot, consider adding people in it. Let them do something in the room. You can even go without MR, because it’s easy to nicely blur them when you shoot at slow shutter speed.

11.Follow up with your most successful sellers. Analyze your online portfolio and see which images sold best. If you can, take more photos of the location at different time/light. Check the „Buyer searched for” feature regularly. Compare with images that didn’t sell for a long time, try improving their keywording (see point 9). And find another interior to shoot!

8 Comments

You have to be logged in to comment.

Your article must be written in English

Publish
November 14, 2017

Haotian

Very useful tips. You are most generous to share.

November 10, 2017

Jonkio4

thanks for sharing :)

November 09, 2017

Aurelielemoigne

Thank you for these advises.

November 09, 2017

Heathse

A very useful article Sebastian. We've just moved house so I'll be trying out your tips. thank you.

November 08, 2017

Williamsphere

Great tips! Some of my most successful images have been shot around home or of building interior details.

November 08, 2017

Seawatch1

Excellent article. I've done some of real estate videos and learned some of your tips the hard way. Looking forward to more on the subject.

November 08, 2017

Merisser

Excellent post! I see too many interior shots being used in ads that would have benefited from this advice. Thanks!

November 08, 2017

Trinijacobs

Hi Sebastian,
The article is useful. Though I used to shoot interiors for some of my clients, not shot for stock. Now I must try some stock images.
Thanks for the tips. Regards,Trini Jacobs

Related image searches

Photo related image searches

This article has been read 1969 times. Photo credits: Irina88w, Yauheni Krasnaok, Petinovs, Photomall, Sebastian Czapnik.