The perfect interior design photography shot — very promising title, we know. As with so many things, beauty and perfection are in the eye of the beholder.
If you are an interior designer or fellow photographer – this article will guide you through our approach to interior design photography and how we achieve our unique look.
Understanding the mission and align with the designer
“Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space.” (Wikipedia). We like this simple definition of Interior Design since it helps us determine our goal when photographing interior design.
We believe it’s important to reflect the purpose of the final picture, asking yourself the question: What do we photograph and what do we want to achieve?
As in most other photography categories, interior design photography is about highlighting the the final product, capturing the vision of the client and then finally attracting the customers’ eye and sparking an emotion. In short, interior design photography is less about the photograph itself.
Getting the interior design photography project started
Each new interior design photography project starts with us talking to the interior designer and understanding their vision. We try to gain as much insight and precise information about the project itself as possible. Together, we figure out what our clients want to highlight, what key features need special attention and what they hope to see in their final photographs. The interior design project can be as much as an entire building, multiple rooms or just a specific section they designed.
Shot list? Yes please!
Ideally, our conversation and exchanges result in a detailed shot list. This helps to maximize our time on set, focus on the objectives and give direction and an overview of the entire project.
How to prepare for the interior design photography shoot – and yes this is important!
The perfect interior design photograph requires preparation – in our case a ready staged home. Even though we will rearrange décor and furniture during our shoot to compose the final shot just right, cleaning up shouldn’t be our main focus once we arrive. A decluttered home is crucial for us to start promptly and not waste any precious photography time. BTW – we exclusively shoot with all lights turned off. It avoids orange color casts and weird shadows. Here’s a full list on how to prepare for your interior design photoshoot with us.
On set – scouting the photo location
We always start with a walk through. This helps us to clarify the shot list with the interior designer, answer questions we might have — as well as tracking the sun throughout our shooting time.
As you know, it’s all about the light in photography. And since our signature style is achieved with mainly natural light, we pay close attention to the sun and the change of light in the house.
Even though we use a flash to highlight certain project features (or subtract light) we try to avoid artificial light in general for interior design photography. We just love the more soft, natural and muted look sunlight provides. In case you were wondering, our goal is not to avoid sunlight completely, since shades and light can support, complement or sometimes even be part of a design, but to minimize harsh light.
And with all the gathered information we come up with a game plan. The interior designers usually know their project best and most likely they found the perfect angle already. However trust us if we come up with a different angle as well. A quick glance through our lens will show that what the camera captures can surprise you.
The perfect shot? – Will take time to set up…
… and this is important to keep in mind when scheduling a date and time for our photo shoot. To us, interior design photography is not an in-and-out job – like most real estate photos.
Finding the right angle, point of view and composition is key and might take a couple attempts.
Remember, the reason why we take those photos is to show off the design work which took months to complete, therefore we don’t rush things. This is also the part of interior design photography that requires extensive experience, patience and an eye for detail — on top of the technical aspects of course.
Side note: As we mentioned, before during the setup process we will be moving decor or even furniture to get the final shot right in camera. To make this as easy as possible we shoot “tethered” – meaning our camera is connected to a screen. Not only can the interior designer get a peek at the final photo but this lets us see the composition in real time and rearrange if necessary.
Post production – aka the final touch
Definitely one of the most important steps when photographing interior design. This part can take up to two times as long as the actual shooting time on set. We work with Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance our photos to the max without making them looking overly edited. Distractions like outlets, cables, air vents etc. will be automatically removed – another difference to real estate photography. And last but not least we will deliver the photos in a beautifully curated online gallery.
Et viola – there is our perfect interior design photograph. Easy right?
If you have a project you desperately need to be shot, just sent us some initial details via our contact form or give me us a call. We are excited to hear from you.