Home PhotographyShooting Interior Room Scenes
Home photography (or interior photography as some call it) focuses on shooting room scenes in your home.
You may want to do it just to show off your newly decorated pad or if you’re trying to sell your home. If you’ve ever bought or rented a house, then you’ll know how important the photos are to get you interested.
We’re going to look at some brilliant tips and ideas on how you can make photos of your home look like a paradise that everyone wants to buy!
Equipment Needs for Home Photography
Simply put you’ll need a camera with a manual mode to allow you to adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO to help you get the best exposure. Outside of that, there’s not much else you’d require from your camera for home photography.
Secondly, when it comes to lenses a simple zoom lens (covering at least 25-35mm) or short prime lens (25-35mm) will suffice for capturing detail shots in interior close-ups. A wide-angle lens can help you photograph an entire room all at once—especially useful if you’re in real estate photography.
Surprisingly, despite the harsh light off-camera flashes can be great for interior photography – but only when used with a diffuser. We’ll talk about lighting shortly, but get yourself a white reflector, diffuser cap or shoot-through umbrella to help.
A tripod will be very helpful for your home photography. You may set up your shot and then notice some furniture you need to adjust. Instead of moving with your camera then place it on a tripod so your composition doesn’t change if you’ve got it perfect.
Tip – If you’re using a full-frame camera 25-35mm lenses will be fine. But remember to compensate for crop factor on an APS-C or 3/4rds sensor. In those instances, you may need an 18mm focal length instead.
Lighting Tips for Home Photography
Look to shoot your interior room scenes with bright natural light where possible. To make sure your white balance isn’t going crazy turn off any ceiling lights and lamps – they’ll cast a yellowy incandescent glow over your room and leave heavy drop shadows over furniture.
Natural light will make for a far cleaner shot, without shadows that can distract from the focal point. But if you need to add a little more light (where the sunshine isn’t reaching) then grab an off-camera flash.
Don’t put the flash directly at the shadowy area! Bounce, or diffuse the light first. White reflectors will spread light evenly softening shadows or use a nearby white wall – if the wall is coloured, you’ll colour cast the light.
Alternatively, a diffuser cap over your flash or using a shoot-through umbrella will also work to add more light where needed. If you’ve still not got enough light after those previous tips then you’ll need to resort to tweaking your camera settings. But it’s best to add light first before increasing your ISO setting for example.
Dressing the Room
Sorry, you’re going to have to tidy up! We know, not the most enjoyable part of home photography – but vital to the end game. Unless your crib is like a show home then give it a little spruce up.
Hide any clutter in another room and make the space look like an interior designed has swung by. Disguise remotes, cables, cords, wires, sockets, phones and anything else that doesn’t look pretty. Give the edges of picture frames a dust over to make them shine.
Make sure that each object in the room scene is clearly defined. Don’t have items hiding behind other things and making it hard to understand for the viewer. Everything should be self-explanatory and quick to gloss over. Group similar items together – stack a few books, clump vases nearby and group candles together to give everything a clear area of their own.
When it comes to taking the shot, we find negative space helps to more clearly define each object. It’s always a case of less is more when it comes to dressing the room for home photography.
Keeping the Colours Simple
Try to keep the colour palette simple if you can. Lots of objects of different colours (unless the room is meant to be eclectic) can end up looking messy.
Work on the basis of featuring 3 clear hues.
The colour of the walls will be your base colour. Then choose something darker and also a lighter accent colour. You can have little shades and tints of the accent colour but try to keep it to 3 clear colours.
See these 2 examples;
Camera Settings & Angles
The best way to set up your composition home photography is to shoot with a one-point perspective. To do this, line your camera up with the most distant part of the room scene i.e. the furthest wall.
You’ve got to pay attention to the lines too. Chairs will have curved lines but tables will be straight – which creates a conflict. If the lines are off-balance i.e the corner of the room is at a slight angle, a viewer’s eyes will pick up on that ‘wonk’ quickly. Use the rule of thirds grid on your camera screen to help guide you on getting the vertical and horizontal lines straight.
Tip – If you are shooting really wide on your camera then it’s possible to distort vertical lines by accident making them bend at the top. This type of barrel distortion can be edited in Lightroom using the transform tool.
When it comes to camera settings for home photography you’ll want to keep your aperture between F/8-F/11 to give you a decent depth of field meaning more will be in focus and clearer.
Unless you have to, for exposure purposes, keep your ISO as low as possible (50 or 100).
If you know the limitations of your camera sensor you may be able to push this up to 400 and not incur any noise – but do your research on that first and take some test shots to review.
To get the best exposure set your aperture first and then adjust shutter speed and ISO to keep the exposure dial at 0 and the histogram away from the edges.
Because you may need to slow the shutter speed down to compensate for the smaller aperture get your camera on a tripod.
Shooting at 1/125th or slower? Don’t risk going handheld.
If you are going handheld (or even if you are shooting on a tripod) consider bringing your camera lower down. Shooting at waist height is a good angle for home photography. Use your flip-out screen (if you have one) to judge the composition. It creates a natural composition that mimics what you would see at eye level – even though you’re actually at waist height!
Home Photography – Editing Tips
If you’ve shot it right (as with many areas of photography) you shouldn’t need to do much editing. But a little check over isn’t a bad thing to inspect everything that you couldn’t on the camera screen.
- Adjust the brightness to make the room look light and airy (but watch out for blowing out highlights on your histogram)
- If the room had some strong colours which are distracting, then desaturate those areas using a local adjustment brush.
- If your photo is going online, then use a sharpen tool to make things look on point.
- If you do spot some distracting objects (wires) or marks on the walls grab a patch/heal tool to mask them out.
- If you want to get a little more dynamic range, then consider bracketing your shots and then blending them together through HDR editing for a hype-realistic room scene.
- Don’t get sucked in by using pre-sets and filters for home photography. Remember you want it to look natural – especially if you’re selling your house. You don’t want to be accused of fakery.
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