Monday, 18 December 2017

How I Photograph my home

how I style and photograph interior design images. blogging and photography tips, how to take interior shots

I feel like this is something I probably shouldn't admit, but I'm a complete beginner when it comes to photography - I'm talking 'fake it until you make it' level of beginner. I've taught myself how to use a camera (I blogged about the basics of photography here), and have learnt a few tricks for photographing interiors since starting my blog...

I use an Olympus Pen E-LP7 (the more recent model can be found here), with the basic kit lens - however all these tips can be applied to whatever you use, from a phone to a professional camera:

Lighting really is everything

Shooting in natural light makes everything look nicer. This is something I find really annoying during the winter months, when I leave for work in the dark and get home in the dark, but its so true that images taken in daylight will always look fresher and sharper than those in artificial light (unless you're going for the cosy 'hygge' style image, of course!)

Don't be tempted to have a light on in the room when you're taking your picture either, even if you think it appears a bit dingy (story of my life in my house!) - you can sort this out when editing. Below is an example of an image taken in my bathroom with the lights on and off - that artificial 'glow' given off in the left picture doesn't work as well as the image taken in natural daylight.

Photography tips for beginners, including how to use the Olympus Pen camera to take better pictures and how I style and photograph interior design images. Explanation of camera settings, and what shutter speed, aperture, F-stop and ISO means. How to get the most out of your Olympus Pen camera, as a beginner to photography.

Look around before you snap...

Get rid of anything that's not aesthetically pleasing. Can you plump that crumpled-up cushion a bit better? Move that mug out of the way, and light that candle in the background - it doesn't matter if afterwards you blow it out and move all the junk back to where it was! I've previously shared the reality behind my images with some behind the scenes pictures showing what happens when I'm photographing my home - its all about removing the crap before you snap!

... but leave some signs of life! 

Saying that, while I'm definitely guilty of tidying my home within an inch of its life when prepping to take some pics - sometimes a 'lived in' image can be even more effective. It's so nice to see some slippers by the bed, or a cup of tea and an open book on the sofa - it shows that a real person lives there, and its not a set-up show room.


Braving a Flat Lay

I'm not going to lie, I find shooting a flat lay image quite hard, and can often spend a ridiculous amount of time setting them up - so I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on these at all! But as a general rule it's a good idea to think about all the items you're featuring and how their colours compliment each other. Also think about the background you're using too, I often use my dining table, or even a blanket laid out on the floor - make sure to do this by a window to optimise natural light.

Photography tips for beginners, including how to use the Olympus Pen camera to take better pictures and how I style and photograph interior design images. Explanation of camera settings, and what shutter speed, aperture, F-stop and ISO means. How to get the most out of your Olympus Pen camera, as a beginner to photography.

Bend over backwards to get 'the shot'

We've all been there - perched on a wobbly chair or laid flat out on the floor to get the 'perfect shot', because the right angle can completely change a picture. 

This might sound odd, but I always try to get on the same level as whatever I'm taking a photo of - especially if I'm focusing on an particular item in my home. For example, how much better does this image of my lounge look in the version on the right, where I crouched down to focus on the coffee table. 

how I style and photograph interior design images. blogging and photography tips, how to take interior shots

The Final Magic Wand

So you've taken a really great insta-worthy snap - now I would recommend a bit of editing to improve it even further. You don't need to spend a fortune on fancy software to do this either, there are some really great free apps you can use to enhance your images, such as VSCO, or my personal favourite Snapseed. These can let you brighten your image even further by increasing its exposure, to really make it pop. Be careful though, the more you edit an image the more the quality will be affected.

Below is one of my images before and after increasing its exposure a little:

Photography tips for beginners, including how to use the Olympus Pen camera to take better pictures and how I style and photograph interior design images. Explanation of camera settings, and what shutter speed, aperture, F-stop and ISO means. How to get the most out of your Olympus Pen camera, as a beginner to photography.

Hope this has been helpful if, like me, you're a newbie photographer. Be sure to share your images with me over on Instagram (@dove_cottage) - I'd love to see what you've been shooting!

Do you have any helpful tips I've missed?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx
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2 comments

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