Mike Butler – Architectural Photographer

Interior Design Photography: The Definitive Guide

Interior design photography is all about capturing the beauty of interior spaces. It can be used to showcase the work of interior designers, or to capture the beauty of your own home for your own records. In this guide, we’ll explain what interior design photography is, give you some tips on how to take beautiful interior design photos, and post-processing your images to look their best!

Luxury Apartment Photography

What is interior design photography and why is it important?

Interior design photography is the process of capturing still images of interior spaces. It is often used to capture the look and feel of a space for promotional or informational purposes. Interior design photography is important because it can help to promote or sell a space by providing potential buyers or clients with a realistic view of what the interior will look like.

The process of interior design photography is very similar to that of commercial photography. The photographer must be able to capture the space in such a way that it looks attractive and inviting for viewers, while still accurately portraying the size and dimensions of the room. The best interior design photographers create spaces that look larger than they actually are and also manage to display furniture in their proper perspective within the room.

Interior design photography is important for a range of reasons: from images for real estate sales, to portfolios for interior designers, marketing and branding purposes, to creating material for use in interior design magazines or books.

The most important part of interior design photography is to capture the space with aesthetic flair, while still being faithful to reality – no easy feat considering most interiors are often very challenging. Many times it may be necessary to do some post-processing work on images in order to produce quality results.

Interior design photographers must consider how they want their images to appear when printed or viewed online, and also how existing colors will be represented by the chosen medium. For example, bright white paint will reproduce as gray if not corrected for in post processing

How to take beautiful interior design photos

Interior design photography can be a challenge, but with the right tips and techniques, it can result in stunning photos that capture the beauty of your interior design work. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose the Right Location for the photos

When shooting interior design photos, it’s important to choose a location that will show off your work in the best light. Try to find a space with plenty of natural light, or if you’re shooting indoors, use bright artificial light sources to create evenly lit photos.

Use a Wide Aperture

When taking interior design photos, using a wide aperture can help create a shallow depth of field that brings attention to your subject. This technique can be used to make small spaces feel bigger and minimalistic designs appear more striking.

Over-Expose Your Photos

To further enhance the beauty of your interior design photos, try slightly over-exposing them by up to half a stop in your camera’s settings menu. When brightening the entire photo with this technique, it can help keep shadows from turning into black holes that swallow up texture and detail.

Use a Tripod

When shooting interior design photos, using a tripod can help keep your camera steady and your photos free from blur and shakiness. Even the slightest movement caused by pushing the shutter button can cause focal planes to shift and ruin an otherwise beautiful photo. Keep this in mind when framing your shots. If you find that you need to move just a little bit forward or back to frame your shot perfectly, take time moving slowly instead of quickly so as not to ruin the shot with camera shake.

Avoid Lens Flare

Lens flare is created when unwanted light enters through the front element of a lens and hits either the camera sensor or film directly, producing an undesirable bright glow across your photo. To avoid lens flarewhen taking interior design photos, be sure to use lens hoods or keep your hand in front of the lens when shooting with natural light.

Use Smaller Apertures

When shooting interior design photography, it’s usually best to use smaller apertures (f-stops) because this will help you achieve more depth of field. Using smaller f-stops can also create a longer depth of field between your subject and background, which makes it easier to blur out areas that are distracting or aren’t contributing to the story you want to tell through your photo.

Photography of Apartment in Brickell Miami

Add Texture With Props

Although interior design photos should always have an emphasis on form over function, there are some instances where strategically placed props can help create a fuller story and add depth to your photo. For example, if you’re photographing an under-lit kitchen with minimal countertop space, adding a cutting board and knife can help ground the scene and create a sense of realism.

Use Photoshop for Color Enhancement

Once you finish shooting interior design photos, use programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust colors and contrast levels as needed. You can also edit color levels using free software like GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program).

Experiment With Angles

Angle is important when taking interior design photos because it allows you to tell a unique story about each individual room by showing different perspectives and views. You don’t have to just shoot from eye-level. Try going up or down a stairwell, stooping down to the floor or getting on your knees and shooting upward at a high angle for some interesting perspectives on otherwise flat spaces.

Be Creative With Shadows

When you photograph interior design photos, be sure to pay close attention to shadows created by natural light. Using these designer tricks can add depth and texture while accentuating architectural features such as crown molding and built-in shelves that would normally go unnoticed in a typical photo. By candlelight, your subjects will cast gorgeous long shadows that stretch across walls and floors alike!

Watch Perspective

Take time when photographing interior design work by taking two or more shots from different angles of the same object or scene. Doing so will help you have options to choose from when editing your photo, allowing you to accentuate objects in an order that tells a cohesive story.

Avoid Filling Shadows When Shooting at Night

When shooting interior design photography at night, avoid filling up the shadows with props and accessories because they can end up looking like black holes that swallow up texture and detail. Instead of thinking about what you would normally see during the day, take time imagining how each object would look illuminated by moonlight or candlelight instead.

How to post-process and edit your interior design photography

Residential Photography with a view

Interior design photography can be a challenging art form to master. However, by following a few simple post-processing tips, you can create stunning images that capture the essence of your design work. There is one important caveat with these tips though – always err on the side of what your client needs the most. Marketing and branding a space might want colors that pop and light and shadow play, while documentary-style photos will want photos to be as natural as possible!

Color Grading

Every great interior design photographer knows how to use color to set the atmosphere of a room, so play around with your image’s colors to create a certain mood. For example, if you want your image to be more electric and colorful, convert the photo into black and white, but leave the blue channel untouched. This will give a strong contrast between the black and white with the pop of electric blue. If you want to add a more mellow or romantic look, then convert your image into black and white but add a sepia tone. This will give you a similar effect but is much more natural-looking than the first option.

Contrast and exposure

Contrast is another way to create a certain mood or atmosphere in your image. Contrast and exposure go hand in hand. To make an image pop and seem more electric, add exposure to the photo (increase brightness) but reduce the contrast. To make an image softer and more natural-looking, convert it to black and white but decrease the image’s contrast.

Noise Reduction

If your interior design images are suffering from noise problems, you might be tempted to remove it. But try not to – interior design photography benefits so much from raw files because they can capture more detail than JPGs. However, if the file is still suffering, then reduce the noise until it’s at an acceptable level or convert the image into black and white.

Perspective correction

If you’re photographing furniture, such as a couch or table, then perspective correction can be a great way to create a dynamic and interesting image, to account for errors during the shoot or even to achieve an objective your client has asked you for!

First, open the image in photo editing software such as Photoshop. Choose free transform and drag one side of the object away from the center. This will push the object away from you so it looks further back in the image. Then click on Distort and pull the other side of the object out towards you. Now, transform your image so you can see both sides of your couch or table. Once finished, drop the contrast to make it look natural again.

Thank you for reading our definitive guide to interior design photography! We hope that these tips have helped you learn how to create beautiful and evocative images of your work. If you’re looking for more in-depth tutorials on the styles of photography I produce, be sure to check out our other blog posts. And if you need help with executing any of these principles, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for assistance!

Need My Photography Skills?

I have decades of experience in photography and have been hired all over the world for a range of drone, hospitality, architectural and resort photography. If you want to give your marketing a new, fresh and eye-catching look, get in touch with me and let’s start working together!

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