Interior photography tips for during the shoot
Arranging your compositions
“From my work as an interior designer, I know that objects work best in groups of three or five rather than two or four, hence the three candles,” Julie says. “Max encouraged me to set a very wide aperture to ensure a shallow depth of field, and he also advised me to crop in really close, to give a sense of the space beyond the frame.
“Finally, he suggested placing a small sheet of paper just out of frame to the right, to reflect some daylight from the window over on the left back into the scene. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it for a first attempt!”
“Max encouraged me to switch my lens to manual focus,” Julie says. “As well as giving me control over what to focus on, it also meant I wouldn’t have to re-frame if I decided to focus on a detail that wasn’t covered by one of the lens’s AF points. He also showed me how to check it on-screen by zooming in and toggling around the shot.”
It’s all in the detail
“Initially I was keen to shoot quite wide, but Max explained that it’s sometimes better to sum up the mood or feel of a place using a selection of carefully chosen objects or elements. He also encouraged me – as I encourage my clients – to keep an eye out for different textures, shapes and colours, and to combine them in a single image,” says Julie.
Dealing with the dark
“I wanted a shot of the sumptuous curtain and matching lamp, and included the harder-edged brass objects to add interest and detail. I set an aperture of f/8 to get good depth of field while softening the tassels and background slightly,” Julie says.
“As the alcove was quite dark, I had to use a large white reflector to bounce some light from the window on the left onto the back wall.
“Finally, because the energy-saving bulb in the lamp took a while to reach full brightness, I was able to turn it on just before I released the shutter without blowing out the highlights.”
“One of the big things that Max taught me was to bracket my shots. Even with the help of a light meter it was sometimes hard to tell whether we were getting the best exposure across the whole scene. Bracketing each exposure by a third and two-thirds of a stop either side of the ‘correct’ exposure gave us a range of exposures to choose from.”
Dealing with reflections
“This was a tricky shot to get right because of all the reflections. In the end we had to use a large white reflector to block out the distracting dark background in the mirror,” Julie says.
“Because the depth of field is quite limited, you can’t tell that it’s actually a reflector in the background! We brought in the handmade soap from another bathroom to add a touch of luxury, and used the reflections of the bottles to create a more balanced photo composition.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Interior photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day