How to Take Photos of Your Home

How to Take Photos of Your Home

Sonia Zjawinski
Jan 8, 2010

We've all drooled over interior shots in shelter mags and websites like our very own Apartment Therapy, but how the heck can an amateur get professional shots worthy of showing off? Decorno has a great post featuring tips from photographer Paul Costello, who has shot for Elle Living, Domino, and InStyle.

From Decorno and Paul Costello.

  • Don't ever use an on-camera flash.
  • Get a tripod.
  • Bracket the exposures. If the lightmeter tells your camera to expose for 2 seconds, start there then do 4 seconds, then 8 seconds until it is obviously too bright.
  • Sometimes the best light is really low light. Don't be afraid of 30 second exposures.
  • Turn off your lamps and overhead lights. Not just in the room your shooting but in nearby rooms as well.
  • Natural light. It worked for the masters. It can work for you.
  • Even most point and shoot cameras have manual settings. People would be well served to get familiar with their cameras. They'll be suprised how many functions even cheap cameras have.
  • Get to know your camera. Play with depth of field and aperture settings. You can then focus on points of interest and the background sort of fades away.
  • If you're scouting for magazines (this is good advice for anyone) remember that editors want to see the whole room. Avoid tons of middle distance vignettes. Also try to show how rooms flow to each other.
  • Frame up shots with things in the foreground and middleground. Sometimes it's cool to let a chair close to the camera go all blurry.
  • Try things that are contrary to the obvious way you look at the room. Like get really low or get up high. Don't think you need to always be super graphic and at right angles.
  • Take a shot from a better angle of view. Be willing to move yourself, or your furniture, around.
  • The way a room looks best when you're standing in it is often not the best way to shoot it.Get ready to move furniture around.

Always try to shoot during the day with natural light, but if you're having issues with light, nicheinteriors, a reader of Houzz suggests, "Try adding artificial fill lights to get an even shot. You don't need to rent professional lights, just use what you have around the house -- removing the shades may help."

Now go take some photos of your wicked tech set-ups and email them to us.

Image: Houston Hi-Tech in a Small Space Tech Tour

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