Whether you’re photographing the inside of a house for pleasure, real estate or an editorial, these tips will help you get better, brighter interior photos.
There’s hundreds of methods you can try, but these are ones that work the most consistently for me through a range of home styles and lighting situations:
Use a tripod
And shoot from about chest height. This gives the viewer the perspective of walking into the room rather than the angle being too low or too high. A tripod also allows you to keep your camera stable while lowering your shutter speed to let more light in. Light rooms feel more spacious.
Advanced tip: Use a lens 35mm or less to capture more of the room in frame and use a 50mm for detail shots.
Diffuse the light
Windows of course bring in that beautiful natural light, but sometimes they let in a little too much, creating uneven shadows. If you want an airy feel, try diffusing the light by draping a sheer white fabric or curtain over the window. This evens out the light and lowers shadows, meaning you can use a lower shutter speed without blowing out highlights.
Advanced tip: If you don’t have a sheer curtain, try diffusing light from the other side of the room with a soft box light or have a try of bracketing with your camera.
Get the camera settings right
Take your time to shoot different angles in a room to get all the details. In particular, if you’re shooting editorial style you’ll want to capture images both of the room at large and of small details. This is where your camera’s aperture comes into play. On your camera, this is the f-stop number. If you’re shooting the whole room that had details in the foreground and background that you need to capture, use a high f-stop such as f/16.
If you’re shooting up close details like a candle on a bedside table, or a feature fitting in a kitchen, you’ll want a lower f/stop such as f/2.8 which will keep your subject in focus but blur out the background.
Advanced tip: Shutter speed and aperture work together. the higher your f-stop number, the lower the shutter speed needs to be to let in the appropriate amount of light. Ensure that when you adjust one, you adjust the other.
Don’t forget the details
Especially if you’re photographing editorial style. Viewers want to get a sense of the room but also want to seem some of the items close up. After you take your room shot, spend some time going around the room to photograph trinkets on side tables, interesting furniture and other decor.
Advanced tip: If allowed, don’t be afraid to move items around to better style them. A plant from the bedroom might work equally as well on the coffee table.
Edit and Brighten!
There’s so much cameras can do these days but holy wow, the editing capabilities of photoshop and lightroom! To make your interior photos pop, you should definitely consider post processing them and playing with brightness, contrast, white balance and saturation at a minimum.
Advanced tip: Purchase some Lightroom presets to use as a foundation edit for your photos. They’re quick to apply and adjust and will save you hours of fiddling. My Wild Collection presets work best for interiors.
If you’d like someone else to create your content for you, look no further than little old me! You can find my styling packages here or you can get in touch for a custom quote!
Emily is the lead photographer and creative eye at Emily K Creative. She enjoys creating scroll stopping content and is passionate about her family, women’s rights and sustainability