A great skill that photographers can develop is learning how to take good pictures of interior spaces. It can be a struggle to deal with tricky lighting, unknowing subjects, and a rapidly changing landscape. Try to integrate these 5 easy tips for better photos.
Include Some People
Sometimes there are some interiors that just look good completely empty. However, one of the most intriguing elements of interior photography is capturing how people interact with their environment. You can use this to your advantage by placing yourself at odd angles to frame people in interesting ways, or by using people as a scale for understanding size (for instance, a photograph of people gathered around the Lincoln Memorial would help to show off the sculpture’s massive scale). In many cases, isolating groups of people or individuals in a frame can create a more powerful image than shots without humans.
Assume it Will Have Low Light
One of the primary difficulties of interior photography is dealing with light. Digital cameras have more trouble in low-light situations than film cameras, which is what will be the case in most interior environments. You can minimize this problem by working with a tripod. The support that the tripod gives allows you to take pictures at lower shutter speeds without getting a blur from your body movement or the pressing of the shutter button. Additionally, pack a filter or adjust your white balance to help avoid the nasty hue of fluorescent lights.
We spend a lot of time looking forward. When we’re trying to get from one place to the other, we don’t usually have time to observe our surroundings. Remember that as the photographer you can take the extra time that you need to look around and examine everything in your environment. When you are photographing interiors, there are so many wonderful images that won’t be captured if you keep your eyes on the horizon, such as interesting ceiling textures, obscure wall details, and beautiful floors. Every interior has its beauty but it’s up to you to discover it.
Tell a Story
Taking pictures of walls and ceilings can certainly be nice looking but as a photographer you need to be able to tell a story about your surroundings. Use people, construction, graffiti, building degradation, signage, or anything else you can find to make your photograph tell the story of that moment. Remember that even in the case of interior photography, there should always be a reason for the photograph. While “it looked pretty” works every now and then, challenge yourself to see through the layers of the world and find the connections we all share, but often miss.
Always be thinking about what is visually more interesting. Always try and make yourself see and create new and interesting ways that you can shoot an object. As with people, you can make architecture look ugly, beautiful, or somewhere in between just by cropping out certain elements or finding a different angle.
Interior photography can be tricky so it can be more fun to practice learning through trial and error. Set aside some time to shoot some of your favorite interiors, and let yourself discover ways to see them that you have never discovered. Just make sure that you have permission from the building owner – there are many interiors that are quite unfriendly to photographers. If you are passionate about shooting photos, however, you will probably be welcome, so get out there and explore as many as possible.