Welcome to the blog today, friends! I’ve actually wanted to blog about this for a while and then it got lost between all the paint projects and room reveals! But I’m here today to tell you everything I’ve learnt in the last 5 years and give you my tips for shooting interiors.
A little bit of back story. In late 2015 I started this DIY Blog. I felt people were so tired of seeing project after project on my personal Facebook and I finally decided to launch my website. In mid 2016 my page views per month reached over 130,000 and so I’m here to tell you that if you’re thinking a better camera or method will get you better page views – they won’t! Your content and the value you bring people is what brings you the page views… so if you work on bringing people better content and tips that they can use in their everyday life, your blog will start to SOAR! I started off with a cheap camera that I shot on auto. I also had no clue how to edit my photos either. Back in 2016 presets weren’t really a thing.
Now, even though I said that better technique and photos it won’t bring you more page views, it WILL help you be seen by magazines, publishers, agencies and brands. In the past 5 years I’ve had brands hire me, insert ads into my site, purchase my photos and so on. So yes, there is a method to this madness but don’t feel overwhelmed that you have to learn it all overnight. It takes time. Lots of time.
So without further ado..
Tips For Shooting Interiors
- Turn the lights off
I don’t care if your room is super dark. Either wait for the part in the day there’s light in the room or turn your ISO up and shutter speed down on your camera. Don’t shoot at night if you can help it. Photos from artificial lights can be done – but they’re best left to the professionals. Shooting in natural light will give you the best photo straight out of your camera.
2. Buy a Tripod
You can purchase pretty cheap tripods on Amazon. I used a 20 dollar tripod off Amazon for 3 years. It wasn’t until a year ago that I actually bought a professional one. Tripods help you get a straight on shot. Also, if you need to turn the shutter speed way down ( below 1/150, you shouldn’t be shooting free hand anyway as it will be a blurry shot )
3. Learn Manual
If you have a DSLR camera, learning manual is the best thing you can do for your blog or Instagram. It gives you the full control on an image and allows you to shoot in any type of conditions – even REALLY low light. Learning manual honestly isn’t hard at all. Give yourself a weekend to watch a few tutorials and you’ll be set. Of course, it will take practice over time, but so worth it. I love Skillshare. It’s free, but you can upgrade and I believe it’s like 9.99 a month. But it has some amazing tutorials on how to shoot manual and any type of tutorial you want. I would recommend looking up “Sean Dalton” he has some great beginner tutorials.
4. Line Up Your Frame With Your Subject and Structures
Composition is so important and one of the things that can take your photo from okay to great is making sure your camera or iPhone is lined up with the structures around you.
As you can see from the above photo, my picture is straight on. My camera is sitting on a level surface ( my tripod ) and I have made sure it’s straight on by making sure the angle is right. You can do this easily by looking at the walls, the furniture and anything with a structure to see if your camera is straight on.
But what if you don’t want to shoot straight on? Same thing, line your camera up with the structures in your photos. For me, I often line them up with the walls.
5. Shoot At Hip Height
When shooting at hip height, it is a straight on shot that won’t distort your image. If you shoot at eye level, you will have to angle down to get the full room which will give your photo a birds eye view and if you shoot at floor level, it will give readers a fishbowl view. Hip height is a good rule to shoot at to make sure your image isn’t distorted or having any weird angles.
6. Edit Edit Edit
Did you take a gorgeous shot but it’s not totally square? Go into Lightroom and click on “Geometry” then click on “Auto” and it will instantly fix your photo.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to use Lightroom to edit all Phone and Camera photos. It’s such an amazing editing tool and if you purchase a preset, most will require you to use Lightroom. Below you can see the first photo is before using “Auto”. The door and closet on both sides of the shelf aren’t straight.
7. Clean your lens
This seems kind of self explanatory, but there has been so many times that someone posts a blurry or “Shadowy” photo and it’s most likely because their lens on their iPhone or Camera needs to be cleaned.
8. Low Light? Turn Up Noise Reduction
If you have to shoot in low light and you’ve turned up your ISO, it will give your photo a bit of a grainy look depending how high the ISO is. You can fix this to smooth out your image by turning up “Noise Reduction”. Go into your Lightroom and click on “Detail” and Noise Reduction will be found in there. The below shot was taken with an ISO of 1600, we have a supppper dark home with not a ton of natural light. I turned the Noise Reduction up to give it a more glossy and less grainy look.
9. Don’t Over Expose
If you’re using a DSLR camera, it will actually tell you the perfect exposure at the bottom, I like to stay under 1 when shooting. By over exposing, it takes a lot of the details out of your photos and also makes them really shadowy and grainy.
10. Turn Up Aperture
When shooting on manual, the aperture is what lets in more light to your photos, but it also controls how much of your room or structure is in focus. If shooting a person, I like to have it as low as possible ( 1.4-2.0 ) but if shooting interiors, I like to turn it up to 4.0-8.0
Even iPhones these days have aperture on them. So this is a good rule of thumb to follow. The smaller the number, the more blur. The higher the number the more than will be in focus.
Equipment I Use For Shooting Interiors
Canon EOS D6
Canon EOS R
Sigma DG 24mm 1.4
Sigma DG 50mm 1.4
Canon RF 35mm 1.8
I hope this helped you get a bit of a better grasp on how to shoot interiors and if you have any additional questions please feel free to drop them below and I would love to answer!