Photographing anything takes a sensitivity to composition, practice and critical thinking, but I'd argue photographing a space, really making it come to life takes all these skills and then some. When we set out to photograph a plate of food, a person, a special object, it's pretty clear that this person/thing in front of us is the subject. We determine how to make that thing look the best it can, our emphasis is apparent.
When stepping into a kitchen, office, kids room, or entire home — especially an unfamiliar location — we have to think on our feet and determine a subject quickly. Yes we often use the home owner as the subject within their environment, but there are times when this isn't possible and there's also the rest of the tour's images to consider.
How do we make space become the subject? This is a difficult question with a range of answers. I believe it's about finding a foreground, middle ground and background within the room, so determining a piece of furniture or item that is closest to you and your camera, a middle ground and acknowledging the plane furthest back from where you are shooting. The relationship between these three points can help us create a subject within a room, where a traditional subject simply isn't there.
This is a big concept, and more of a food for thought type of post - something to consider when entering a space to shoot!
Note how the three above photographers created subjects within the room. The chairs and that pink desk are the stars aren't they?!
Leela the Photo Magician
(Images: 1, 2 by Bethany Nauert, 3 Leela Cyd Ross and 4 by Marcia Prentice for Apartment Therapy)