Interior photography - photographing interiors professionally
Are you interested in interior photography but not sure what equipment you should start with? Just try it out with your cell phone before you take the next step and get yourself some professional equipment!
No matter which device you end up using, here are a few rules that apply regardless of the camera you use.
A vase of flowers, a small plant, a bottle of wine and two glasses on a table can make a big difference. However you want to style the room beforehand, make sure it’s tidy and textiles like ceilings are painted flat (unlike in our pictures below 😉). You can also place a chair at a slight angle to make the room look lived in.
No matter which device you end up using, here are a few rules that apply, regardless of the camera you use.
Aligning your camera
Whether for real estate photography, landscape photography or almost any other subject, the most important thing is to align your camera horizontally. By this I mean not only the left-right orientation, but also that the camera should point neither up nor down, but exactly horizontally. You will immediately recognise that your left-right alignment is not horizontal, as the horizontal lines in the real environment (e.g. the corners between walls and ceiling or floor, table edges, shelves, etc.) appear slanted on your screen.
The same applies if you tilt your camera up or down. In this case, the vertical lines appear crooked.
So if you want to change the section of your photo, you can change the angle of your lens, move the camera up or down or to the right and left, …but don’t tilt it!
There is another important point to bear in mind when taking a photo with one-point perspective. One-point perspective means that the camera is aimed at a wall or other flat surface at a 90° angle. In this case, it is important that you make sure that the angle really is 90°. If you turn the camera just a few millimeters to the left or right, this will result in slanted horizontal lines in your photo.
In the following picture, the camera was horizontal but turned to the right, i.e. it was not at a 90° angle to the wall.
Sometimes we tend to overdo it with the wide angle. Shooting at too wide an angle can result in distortion, i.e. everything either curves away from the center (as with a fisheye lens) or tilts inwards. Also, the captured image shows a room that is far from reality, which can lead to disappointment depending on the purpose of your images (e.g. a client expects a spacious room, but the room is actually tiny…).
If space permits, it is better to move backwards to capture a complete room than to use the wide-angle mode.
However, if you can’t avoid taking photos with a wide-angle lens, there are apps that can be used to correct the distortion afterwards.
Height of the camera
It is generally recommended to position the camera at a height of approx. 150 cm or approx. 50 cm above the dominant surface in a room. Take a piece of furniture as a reference. For example, a bed in a bedroom or a large table in a dining room can serve as a reference surface to which you add 50 cm for your camera height. In kitchens, I would make sure that the camera is slightly higher than the worktop so that you can’t see the underside of the cupboards.
If the photo shows a pendant light, you should make sure that the lamp suspension is visible in the photo so that the lamp has a virtual suspension point and does not appear to float freely in the room.
The photo below was taken with the camera at too low a height.
There are many other topics relating to professional interior photography, such as symmetry, the rule of thirds and lighting in living spaces.
Professional interior photography is a science in itself and we are happy to help at reasonable prices. Find out more, without obligation.