I’ve had a few emails recently requesting I write up a post offering tips for taking better pictures of interiors. I really don’t consider myself an expert by any means in the field, but I have learned over the years how to take a pretty good picture of a DIY project, vignette, or room reveal.
I wrote an article last year about better blog images, and it was mostly about moving out of automatic settings and into manual mode. It’s a good read, and today’s post really piggybacks off what I wrote last year.
As decorators and home bloggers, we are constantly surrounded by gorgeous interiors, whether it comes from shelter magazines, other blogs, or the newest sensation, Pinterest. The bar continues to be set higher when it comes to photographing our projects and our homes. Don’t be discouraged by this, feel the opposite. Any novice can improve his or her ability to take great images of homes, projects, or spaces with patience and practice. I know. I’m proof.
I look back at my pictures from a few years ago and I cringe. Just take a look at this and you’ll see what I mean. Back then I knew nothing about photography beyond the simple point and shoot. But I realized that I had to better my ability to take decent pictures if I was going to grow as a blogger and have my work recognized and featured. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and along the way I’ve taught myself a few of the basics of better photography.
So to answer the questions of a few readers, I’ve narrowed what I’ve learned to these ten very basic tips for taking better images of your interiors or projects.
1. Invest in a Good Camera
I’ve read a few posts here and there from bloggers who use a regular point-and-shoot camera, and yes, I do believe a more basic model has the ability to take a really good picture. So does my iPhone. However, a good SLR digital camera with variable settings (F-stop, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.) is the best ticket to high quality interior photography simply because it allows the user to manipulate the amount of light that enters the lens. And if one thing is true, a great interior shot is all about proper light.
Both Nikon and Canon offer excellent choices, personally I use a Nikon D90 and I stick mostly with two lenses, my 18-55 mm lens (the standard one that came with the camera) for close ups and a Tamron 10-24 mm lens for larger room shots. A great camera will do most of the work for you, so I consider it a worthy investment.