Each room has its own atmosphere and personality. It is them that I must convey interior photographer in their photographs. Let's talk about the features real estate photography from the perspective of a photographer.
Photographing of premises is based on working with lighting and controlling the location of objects in the frame. Before you start shooting, you need to determine the optimal angles, as well as the location of objects in the frame. Individual elements (such as lamps, books, vases, etc.) can either be added to the frame or removed from the frame. There is no single rule of when they should be present and when not. The photographer, depending on the chosen angle, must, based on his vision and experience, determine the best option.
The perception of disorder and organization by our eyes and the camera is very different. In the photo, any imperfections in the room will only be enhanced. The same goes for clutter and dirt. Therefore, an experienced photographer must be very attentive to detail. Interior and product photography is a job for meticulous pedants who are literally confused about details. If you want to get a good shot, then you should notice the subtlest nuances, such as turning the chair 10 degrees in the wrong direction, or, for example, how careless the cushions on the couch look like: nice-casually or chaotic repulsive.
The photographer somewhere has to align the chairs so that in the frame they stand in one line, and somewhere on the contrary put papers / other objects on the table so that the room looks habitable, and not like an unreal 3D visualization.
In any case, the room must be clean and prepared.
Choosing the right time
The ideal time to shoot is an overcast day with dim sun and clouds. This weather provides soft and even light from the windows. Although not necessary. I have experience shooting in bright sunny weather, when the light from the windows is hard and gives embossed shadows on the floor. Each type of lighting creates its own atmosphere. As with angles and subjects, there is no one correct piece of advice - you need to shoot only this way, and not otherwise.
I can say that rooms with large panoramic windows look good in the evening under artificial lighting. In such a situation, the emphasis is shifted to the interior space, and not to the view outside the window.
In general, it's better to rely on natural light of course. It gives a feeling of comfort and naturalness. But you cannot completely ignore artificial lamps in the room. Often they allow you to emphasize the volume of furniture and reflect the designer's idea. In good interiors, designers put a lot of effort into artificial lighting. Accordingly, the photographer must demonstrate the result of their work.
A tripod is an indispensable attribute professional photography of interiors... To achieve maximum effect, you cannot do without it. There are so-called "agency»Shooting, which is inherently less demanding - there you can shoot and hand-held high ISO, but we will not talk about this. A tripod allows bracketing for focus, exposure, highlights, etc. With a tripod, you can shoot at low ISOs in any light level. By the way, about matrix stabilization in interior photography you can forget.
One rule that always works is the direct camera positioning rule. The camera should not be tilted in any direction. Considering that architectural / interior photography uses ultra wide angle optics, which will give tangible geometric distortions when blocking in one direction or another. There are very rare exceptions when staircases or individual elements of rooms are removed with a tilted camera.
Almost all modern cameras have a built-in horizon indicator, allowing you to accurately level its level.
How many walls to remove?
There are recommendations that you need to shoot no more than two walls in the frame. One or two walls in the frame allow avoiding distortion, but on the other hand, they do not give complete information about the whole room. Therefore, you need to balance here.
When you capture 3 or even 4 walls of one room at a wide angle, you give the viewer the opportunity to create a complete impression of the room from one photo at a time. This is important for renting out premises. If you shoot for designers interiors, it is often not necessary to use the widest angle and it is really better to show 1-2 walls in the frame and make more accents on individual elements of the interior.
Playing with focal lengths
The optimal focal lengths for shooting interiors are 16-24mm at full frame, 10-16mm on crop cameras or around 23mm on medium format... Cameras on the system micro 4/3 for such purposes it is better not to consider at all. However, a lens with full frame 14mm is also a frequent tool for such tasks. When capturing details, 24-70mm full frame optics will come in handy. But the main tool will be a 16-35mm lens or 17-40mm.
You need to be very careful when using the flash on occasion. The use of additional artificial light must be justified. After all, you will bring into the interior something that was not there without you and will not be there. Flash completely justified for filming storage rooms, corridors, office premises, where for some reason there are no bulbs.
The flash can be used as additional fill lighting for ordinary rooms, but it must be done very carefully.
Setting the White Balance Correctly
Often times, interior photography takes place under mixed lighting - artificial light inside a room is mixed with light from a window. For this reason, the photographer must be very accurate in setting white balance... Of course, BB is now easily corrected when processing raw files in the editor. However, it is better to place it correctly already in place.
I described the main nuances of shooting interiors here. But this is only half the battle. Next is the stage post-processing.
In more detail about the processing and shooting of interiors, I talk in the following videos:
By the way, these videos were filmed at different times, you can see how it changed my technique.