Interior Photography 101

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Some people are surprised to find out that we do all our own photography ourselves (that’s right!). Taking interior photos can be tricky so we’ve put together some easy tips that anyone can use to up their interior photography game!

Clean up

This may seem obvious but take five or ten minutes to tidy your space before shooting. It’s super easy and makes a huge difference! Stash everything that isn’t furniture and decor; toys, dishes, clothing, newspapers, etc. Out of sight, out of frame, out of mind!

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Style your space

Take another ten minutes to pretty up your room and get it photo ready. All your favourite Instagram posts look effortless, but trust us, they’ve been carefully styled to perfection.

Furniture: Try to have your furniture pieces centered in the space (sofas in front of windows, coffee tables in front of sofas, etc.) It’s worth it to play around a bit. Sounds tedious but balance and symmetry make for like-worthy photos.

Decor: Use groupings of vases, plants (faux works but you can’t beat the real thing!), statues, storage boxes, picture frames, throw pillows and blankets to decorate your space. The key here is restraint, often times less is more. Trade secret: odd number groupings appeal more to the eye than even.

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If you can, shoot on a cloudy day.

Clouds are nature’s light diffusers, and diffused light is everything.  Shooting at night will make your house look like a bad Kijiji apartment ad. Natural light only, promise? Sometimes this means waiting out a sunny break, shooting at certain times of the day, closing the curtains or using white sheets to defuse harsh sun beams. Patience is key! Sometimes when natural light only pours in from one side we fill the other with studio lighting but we use all natural in as many shots as possible. This is our magic formula for getting the most equal looking light as possible. 

Here’s an instance where we had to close the curtains to reduce direct sunlight:

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Here’s the result:

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Harsh sun light without diffusion:

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Lights out

This one is so important. Turn off ALL interior lights. Yes, ALL OF THEM. When it seems like the room is too dark to shoot, you’re ready. A camera lens can do things our eyes can’t, like a long exposure, so trust your camera and trust us – lamps off.

 

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Shoot with a tripod (or make due)

Your favourite designers’ photos are crisp, bright, and high quality, right? Shooting with a tripod helps make sure the camera is perfectly still and prevents blurring. To further prevent blurring, use a remote trigger or a two second delay and take your hands off the camera. No tripod? No problem. Use a stack of books on top of a chair. Get creative to get the shot.

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More life

We’ve made it a point to always shoot rooms with some form of something alive in the shot. Flowers, greenery, branches, and succulents are all great ways to add a fresh, inviting feel and natural texture to your space.

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Be a straight shooter

Whenever possible, we shoot our spaces ‘straight on’ – I.e. the camera is level with both the floor and the wall (or open space) being shot.  This makes for crisp, clear lines and allows the furniture and styling to do most of the talking. You may have to shoot smaller spaces (like powder rooms or entry ways) from the hallway.

 

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Your room doesn’t mind being digitally enhanced

Your camera can only do so much to capture the masterpiece that is your freshly styled space, so editing is important.

Our top tips:

-Take as many shots as you can and then narrow it down to the best few.

-Invest in desktop photo editing software like Photoshop and Lightroom.

-If you’re strictly using a phone, we recommend apps: VSCO, Snapseed and Afterlight. The latter costs a couple bucks, but is so worth it!

-Cheat sheet: 1) straighten and crop 2) brighten shadows 3) tone down highlights 4) sharpen 5) increase exposure 6) increase contrast.

-A well edited photo shouldn’t look edited. Avoid heavy filters and scale back if the photo starts to look edited. The finished product should look natural, crisp and bright.

Gear:

Many of you asked what we use to shoot. Our main camera is a Canon EOS T6i and we mainly use a Sigma EX 10-20mm lens.

By no means do we consider ourselves pros and there are many other techniques out there that work just as well. Find the style that works best for you and your application. Like any skill, interior photography takes practice. Play with your space, experiment, and enjoy the process. Find your signature look. Your spaces, and pictures of them, should be a representation of you!

If you use our tips, we’d love to see your work! Use the hashtag #LDphotosquad on Instagram to show us any original interiors content and we’ll send you a 15% discount code for LD Shoppe!

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Photography by Sacha Leclair and Dominique Rioux

One thought on “Interior Photography 101

  1. Thank you for the tips! Love your work and definitely looking forward applying the tips and capturing some glorious pictures!

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