Every interior space is unique, there is no one size fits all solution for interior photography. When photographing inside spaces there will be numerous problems for the photographer to overcome. Above all, varying light conditions, reflective surfaces, tight corners and open spaces must be dealt with to find the best composition for the room. In conclusion, the interior photographer’s mission is to combine technique with creativity and produce high a set of high quality images with a unique and creative style.
Interior photographs – my style & approach
For me, natural light and simple composition make the most successful interior shots. Firstly, I like to shoot a location wide to capture reference points and establish the environment. Wide shots set the scene but then it’s the details that start to tell a story. My establishing shot will usually be taken from an angle that shows off as much of the room as possible. And, importantly, will incorporate any key architectural features. For instance, a bay window, a fireplace or kitchen island. After that, I like to add balance with wide flat shots, because this technique allows for a little more creativity.
Interior photography is all about straight lines, square corners and symmetry. Therefore, capturing the geometry of a location well can be what separates an average photographer from an excellent one. Square on or flat shots that have an almost 2D feeling have definitely become part of my signature style. In addition, I often like to shoot into a room from outside of it – including open doors, handles and door frames in the foreground of images. Elements that other interior photographers may purposefully crop out. I think this approach creates a sense of being “in the space” and adds an informal and relaxed quality to my style.
In short, I like to travel light and move fast. If at all possible I’ll use the natural light in a space to shoot with because I think that looks best. However, I do always carry lighting equipment but using it is always a last resort. Instead, I prefer to rely on other tricks and techniques to maximise all the natural light I have available. Similarly, my tripod will make an appearance for establishing scenes, or if I need a long exposure, but generally I prefer to shoot hand held.
I’m a loyal Canon user with a 5D mark iv full frame DSLR. I use prime lenses because they maximise image quality and print size. To elaborate further, (and for all you geeks out there) I use a 24mm tilt shift lens (Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L) for wide shots. Then, I use my 50mm (Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM) for close ups and vignettes.