Interior Photography: 10 quick tips to get you started

How to set up your camera to shoot pictures of buildings both old and new

Interior photography may at first sound fairly easy, but rest assured it is quite challenging. From tricky exposures to mixed lighting causing white balance issues, to hordes of tourists walking through your frame, there are all sorts of problems you must overcome in order to shoot quality interior photography.

Below we’ve chosen 10 of our best tips on shooting interior photography. Follow these tips and you’ll have a solid foundation for shooting the interior photography you set out to achieve.


1. Day tripping

Harsh sunlight streaming through windows can create too much contrast between light and dark areas. Overcast weather and its softer light usually makes for better daytime shooting indoors.

2. Better by night

Many buildings take on an almost magical quality at night, whether they’re period properties or new designs with funky modern lighting. Use ambient lighting rather than resorting to flash.

3. White balance

Conventional artificial lighting used in most buildings can be outside the range covered by Auto white balance. Switch to the Tungsten or Fluorescent white balance setting to suit the dominant light source.

4. Shoot handheld

Handheld interior shots are quite possible, especially if you have a fairly recent DSLR it will likely boast great quality even at high sensitivity settings. Switch to a high ISO value and use IS (Image Stabilization) if fitted on your lens, to fend off unwanted camera-shaken shots.

5. Firm foundations

For interiors, you can’t beat using a tripod where possible, not only because it gives a solid foundation for sharp shots, but also because you can more accurately frame your shots.

6. Go live

Unless your camera has a virtual horizon or the option of superimposing a grid on your viewfinder display, preview the picture in Live View so that you can use its grid display to level the camera.

7. In deep

To keep relatively close and distant areas of the interior simultaneously sharp, switch to Av (Aperture value) shooting mode, and use a small aperture of around f/22 to maximise your depth of field.

8. Invisible people

Using a small aperture will require a longer exposure, often for several seconds. This can be a bonus for busy interiors in public places, as any people milling around the scene will then blur into invisibility.

9. Think mono

Effective interior shots are often more about structure and form than colour, and you can accentuate this by converting your shot to black and white.

10. Get an angle

Experiment with different angles to add excitement to your shots. Even moving the camera just a few inches can sometimes make a big difference


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