Take Much Better Interior Photographs With Expert Advice From Michael Gane

interior photography tips

Home staging is an art. This is literally the level we are at right now because of the fact that there are numerous photographers out there that are specialized in staging images. These are the guys that can help you to take perfect interior photographs that you can then publish if you want to sell your home, or if you just want to brag a little.

You can easily imagine that there are countless important things to know about interior photographs.

 We will now highlight some that are particularly effective for those that are not actually professionals and do not know much about photography.

All the advice below is presented by Michael Gane from The FX Works. While nowadays Michael is only interested in Bath wedding photography, he is a highly experienced photographer that can shoot practically anything. Also, you know that he knows what he is talking about since there is a clear overlap between wedding photography and interior photography.

Before we get started, remember the fact that there are no strict rules you have to respect in photography. This is why you should use the tips below as general advice. You need to discover and respect your photography style.

Prioritize Natural Light

Turn off all lights because light bulbs always cause horrible color casts and shadows. As humans, it is easy for us to interpret colors associated with artificial light but a camera cannot understand these colors. Keeping lights off and taking advantage of natural lighting can make a huge difference.

Obviously, there are situations when there is nothing you can do and there is no natural light that you can use. In this case, see if there is a way to take advantage of natural light entering the room. No matter the case, look for options since the use of flash is almost always a very bad idea.

Take Photos With A Tripod

Shooting handheld indoors is rarely a good idea. The tripod should be seen as a must when you photograph interiors. Try an aperture between F/9 and F/11 and use the lowest possible ISO. This creates a very sharp image. Because of the fact that the camera is placed on the tripod, shutter speed is not something to worry about.

Make sure that you buy a sturdy tripod with bubble levels. THIS ONE from YoTilton should be more than enough for most photographs you will take. It is also only $39.99 at the time of publishing this article.

Keep Lines Straight

Try to keep all verticals vertical. Also, when you shoot from a single one-point perspective, you have to be sure horizontals are also horizontal. This is a good tip for interiors because we naturally see doors vertical, even if they are in an angle. However, this is not the same with the camera. Because of the necessity of keeping lines straight the tripod you use should have bubble levels.

Another thing that we should highlight in regards to the lines is that you want to stick to the same exact height when you create a series of photographs of one interior space. This creates a balanced overview. It is also a lot easier for people to go through all the images.

If you do not maintain the same height, it will not feel great for the viewer. You do not want to create any discomfort for the person that looks at the images of the interior, regardless of why this happens.

Overcast Days Are Better

Wet Streets with Traditional White Houses and Parked Cars on Overcast Day, Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland – image by freeimageslive.co.uk – photoeverywhere

The first instinct we have when we shoot real estate is to do it during sunny days. This is not at all a bad instinct because sunny days are perfect for all outdoor shots. The house simply ends up looking better if the sky is clear blue and the sun shines.

The problem is that sunlight will create a pretty sharp difference between dark indoors and the exterior. This is particularly true when light comes in through windows.

When you shoot interiors, it is better to do it during overcast days. Clouds work in your favor and can create really lovely shadows that are soft and make the images look better.

Staging Is Mandatory

You cannot have the best possible interior photos done if you do not style everything. You need to remove all the clutter, like mail, cables, and cords. The only things that should be present in the images are those that are meant for decoration. Reposition and/or remove accessories, furniture, anything in order to get the best possible composition.

Based on the goal you have with the interior photos, remove things like outlets and switches with the use of Photoshop. Obviously, you should not do this if you shoot real estate and the goal is to help sell the property as this is when things have to be kept completely real.

Create The Space You Need

One of the big problems with interior photography is that there is not much space available. This is why, as a photographer, you should never shy away from moving furniture. Do not let items stop you from a very beautiful shot.

Alternatively, you can shoot from a hallway into the room so that you do not see doorposts in your viewfinder. There are countless ways to create space in your interior photos. Use them.

Use The RAW Camera Setting

© Bill Bertram (Pixel8) 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This should go without saying but it is still a surprise to see how many interior photos are shot without the RAW setting. Inside a RAW file you have all the data that you are capturing. This is not the case with jpegs since they are compressed. While you do need to use software like Lightroom or Photoshop to read these RAW files properly, this does create a huge advantage when it comes to editing. You can basically deal with all underexposed or blown out area without quality losses. In addition, it is so much easier to accurately adjust white balance.

Edit Your Photographs

Speaking about editing, you NEED to edit all the photographs that you shoot in order to get the best possible results. While some people think that software like Photoshop is bad, this is just a misconception that most likely appeared because of the improper use of photo editing software by magazines.

Remember that you are not actually a photographer if you do not shoot RAW.


Since you have RAW files, why not take advantage of it and edit to create the BEST possible image?

Final Thoughts

Shooting great images of interiors is all about practice. The tips above are just some of those that can be mentioned and they will be completely useless if you do not practice. Take a lot of photos and master the use of photo editing software.

Do you have other interior photography tips that you think people should know? Let us know through a comment below.