All kinds of indoor spaces – whether beautiful bars, hotel lobbies, unique architecture, museums, or even your own home – can make for meaningful images. But photographing interiors can be a tricky business. We chatted with a professional photographer friend at CDP, Inc., and got schooled on taking great interior images with your smartphone, no fancy camera gear required.
1) Shoot Horizontally
Even though we’re all used to holding our phones vertically, don’t exclusively take pictures that way. Shooting vertically can limit the amount of space you can see, and let’s face it: most floors and ceilings are not that compelling. People naturally want to view a room from left to right, which calls for a horizontal format. Back up a few steps, as well, so you don’t miss anything.
2) Change Your Perspective
When taking photos, most of us hold our smartphones head high while we’re standing upright. Aside from good posture, we’re not showing the world anything new because everyone sees the world from this point of view. You’ll wind up with a more interesting photograph if you move the camera lens just a few feet higher or lower. Find a focal point in the room, like a fireplace, a bed, well-lit artwork or a cool sculpture, and let that be the hero of the shot.
3) Use Available Light
Try to take photographs during the day so you can take advantage of natural light. Say you’re in a coffee shop and there’s a wall of windows. Don’t shoot toward the windows, but instead let the light come from behind you, over your left or right shoulder. The room will be naturally lit with little to no editing required. Also, make sure the flash is turned off. The cold “blue” light from a flash is never flattering to your environment.
4) Add the Human Element
Whenever you can, incorporate people into your interiors. This gives the room scale. That said, resist shooting selfies, only because your head will be the largest object in the scene, obliterating the rest of the room. Okay, if you can’t not take a selfie, hold your smartphone as far away as possible. Even better, set a timer and place your smartphone on a shelf or windowsill. Then step back and let people see where you are.
5) Never Stop at One
Even professional photographers don’t assume they’re so talented that only one shot is needed. Every room has one “best” angle. To find it, take multiple photos, aiming the camera higher, lower, three steps to the left, four steps to the right. Give yourself some choices. In editing it will become obvious which viewpoint is best.
Keep these helpful hints in your back pocket along with your smartphone, and we’re confident you’ll see big improvements in your interiors portfolio!