Welcome to the blog today friends. I feel like this blog has been requested for such a long time and I’ve strayed away from writing it as I’m
A) Not a ‘real’ Photographer
B) I haven’t had any ‘real’ training
But what I have learned over the past 12 years of shooting on a DSLR and five years of blogging works for me! So many of you have asked what equipment I use, how I shoot and what presets I use, so I’m here to unpack all of these questions today.
Interior Photography Basics For The Beginner
First let me say once again, I’m not a trained Photographer. I’m sure there are more proper ways to shoot and when in doubt – hire a real photographer. I’m just here to share what works for me as hiring a photographer for every single blog wasn’t feasible for me and so I taught myself the basics of photography.
So let’s start unpacking all the questions I’ve received over the last year specifically.
The Basics of Interior Photography
What Camera Do you Use?
I use a Canon R with either a 24mm 1.4 or 30mm 1.8. This is a mirrorless full frame camera and honestly takes the most crisp and beautiful images. I switched over to this camera in April and I was using a Canon 6D Full Frame Camera prior. But I started out with a Canon T3!
Please keep in mind that I’ve been blogging for over 5 years. I started out with a super cheap DSLR camera and no special equipment. Also, the tripod I got used at a camera shop and I only paid 1/4th of what it’s priced at new. BUT, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a decent tripod. I used a cheap Tripod from Amazon for years and it just always resulted in crocked images.
What Settings Do you Shoot on?
When taking Interior Photos, I usually set my aperture between F8 – F11. This gives a wide range and crisp image. But for up close shots or portrait images of my kids I shoot at 1.4-2
I normally always have my ISO at 100 ( or Auto if I’m outside ). Shooting on a tripod indoors is IMPERATIVE. Normally my shutter speed is extremely low at 4″ – 1/10… I live in a really dark home. But you can still get images if you don’t have a ton of natural light – Tripods are golden!
I shoot on perfect exposure, unless I’m shooting into a window, I will under expose.
What Height Do You Set Your Tripod At?
I typically shoot with my tripod at Chest Height. I’ve read a lot of places to shoot at hip height, but if you’re shooting a master bedroom with a high bed, you will want a higher point of shot. I’ve always made the mistake up until April of shooting at hip height and my angles always looked odd. The bed was always too high and I always got too much of the ceiling in my shots. I since hav adjusted to shooting at chest height and I’m much happier with the end product.
How Do You Know What Angle To Shoot At?
I typically line my camera up with the walls/floor/ceiling. When shooting portrait or lifestyle shots this isn’t really necessary. But when shooting an Interior, you want it to look straight and even. I also like to frame my images with layers. Below is an example, you can see the picture is framed on the left side by my hanging plant and the bottom of the photo is framed by my washer/dryer. I’ve also taken this photo straight on and lined up the angles with the pictures and washer and dryer.
What Presets Do You Use?
First of all, if you’re not familiar with a preset it is custom filters applied using Adobe Lightroom, a photo-editing tool. It helps to create an aesthetic and help make a feed or blog look cohesive.
Using a preset cuts down on hours of editing. If you’re writing a lot of blogs. For me, I used to spend hours editing my blog images and now I’m usually done in under 20 minutes!
I love the presets from SMAL PRESETS and I typically use #3. I’ve been using them for quite a long time. I used to use Sena Nelson’s Pack 2, which I still love. But for shooting people, I find her presets almost distort skin.
I’ve gone through so many presets over the years and these two are the ones that I love and don’t have to make too many edits on.
Below is a photo straight out of my camera – no preset or edits applied.
As you can tell, my tripod was *slightly* unlevel, but there’s a really cool feature in Lightroom where you can straighten out a photo.
You go into “Geometry” and then click “Auto” and it will straighten it out.
Below is the same photo with the preset applied, lens corrections made ( which is a button in Lightroom ) and “Auto” clicked. I also made a few smaller edits ( exposure, blacks and contrast up a bit ).
I have so much further to go and learn. But photography is one of those complex hobbies that you will forever be learning.
Basic Interior Photography Tips
When shooting indoors you want to make sure you’re shooting on “auto” White Balance. You also want to make sure AF is turned on and Stabilizer ( if you have it ) is also turned on. I also shoot in raw so I can make lens corrections in Lightroom. But this is not a necessity and some cameras you do not have this option.
Also, this shouldn’t even have to be said, but always shoot with the lights OFF. Even if your room is super dark. If need be, you can also turn up the ISO.
Let me know if you have any additional questions about Interior Photography in the comments and I would love to help!