You’ve tried to show a home in its best light. You’ve taken photos of all of the rooms and features, but they just lack that wow factor.
There are a few key factors to consider when shooting interiors that can mean the difference between a dark, dingy, lackluster home and a bright, inviting, sharp interior.
The room or vignette has to look good before the camera can record that beauty. Remove clutter, keeping just a few items on each surface. Simplicity of material objects helps bring the details of the home out instead of the focus being on the items within.
Always use a tripod. This will steady your shot – a necessary action when shooting in interiors, especially with low light. If your tripod doesn’t have a built-in level, bring a small one with you so you can make sure your angles are straight. This is very important when shooting interiors as a small degree off can throw converging lines and, therefore, the whole room off balance.
Make sure the lights are turned on. Turn off any lights of a different variety than the main lights to avoid contrast between them. Also, try taking some shots with the natural light coming in unobstructed and others with the natural light filtered through blinds or curtains. See which one you like better for the space. Avoid using your flash, it will make everything appear harsh and less inviting and create distracting shadows.
You want a low ISO (around 200 will work) to keep the colours vibrant and reduce the noise in your pictures. A higher ISO would be used for extreme low-light situations, which you shouldn’t encounter with the lights turned on inside a home.
You want a strong depth of field and this is where you get it. Set your aperture to f.11 or higher so the whole room is in focus. Use this setting unless you want to take a picture of a detail and wish to blur the background. In this case, you would use a low aperture like f.3.5. If shooting in automatic mode, keep your camera set to aperture priority to keep the look of the photos consistent throughout the home.
This is where you can change the exposure. Try allowing more or less light in depending on the available light in the room. The quicker the speed, the less time light has to enter into the shot. You will need a slower shutter speed for interior shots to show the details and create that bright, inviting feeling.
Colour balance or white balance is very important when shooting interiors. You want the colours and tones to show true and changing the white balance according to the type of lighting you encounter in each room will help you create great pictures. Use a white or grey piece of cardstock to determine the correct setting. Place the card in the shot and take a few pictures with varying white balance settings. Once you match the colour of the card in your photos to the one in the room, you have attained the right white balance. This will change from room to room as the available light changes.
Following these simple steps when shooting interiors will lead to stimulating photos that capture the home in its best light.
Paul Baron is with Leading Edge Realty Inc. in Scarborough, ON