Bought something new but not sure how to show it off on Instagram? As more and more of us share public photos of our homes, it becomes harder to stand out from the crowd. A beautifully styled home will always capture the attention of others but to elevate your photos to the next level, there are a few simple thing that you can do. You don’t need a fancy camera to take eye-catching photos of your home – here are our top five tips for photographing your own interiors spaces, all just as relevant if you’re shooting with your smart phone.
Use natural light
Always turn off the lights in your home and never use a flash when photographing interiors. The lights in your home will cast a blue or orange tone over your images which isn’t attractive. Using natural light will show off your home to it’s best, making your images cleaner and brighter. If you pay attention to how the light moves around your home during the day, you’ll be able to figure out the best time of day to photograph each room. For the perfect soft, natural light choose a bright day with white clouds to take photos. Direct sunlight can be fun if you want to play around with shadows, or you can use a tripod and a slow shutter speed to lighten up photos taken on gloomier days.
Style your home
Get out of the habit of just picking up your camera, pointing and clicking. Your home will look different through a lens, so it’s good practice to look at the shot through your camera or phone, then move things around into the most aesthetically pleasing positions. Even if something looks unnatural to your naked eye, tilting a few angles or even something as simple as rotating a vase can make a better shot. Don’t be afraid to change things around to make your photo more interesting, adding a cushion to a chair or adding a finishing flourish by moving around accessories gathered from other rooms in your home.
Clean and tidy up
Take some time to clean and tidy your home before you start shooting. Once you start taking photos, you’ll realise that you can see the dust bunnies on the floor and the coffee cup stains on your side table. Dust, hoover, mop and polish the area you are going to photograph, to show it off to its best. Then spend some time tidying up, hiding away power leads, internet routers, children’s toys and other clutter. If you want to hide away permanent features such as plug sockets, simply place something (such as a plant) in front of them.
One easy trick to instantly improve your interiors photography is to make sure that any lines in your frame are straight. Most phones and cameras will allow you to display grid-lines on the screen when framing your shot, helping you to line up those tricky horizontal and vertical lines in your home. You can always edit your images later if you’ve taken a great shot that looks a bit wonky, but it can be hard if there are multiple lines in the image. If you’re finding it tricky to get straight lines, try using a tripod to hold your camera steady.
Pay attention to composition
Think about the composition of your image. What is the focal point of your photo? Don’t just position this focal point in the centre of your frame and shoot, think about ways to frame your shot to make it more interesting and visually appealing. Play by the rule of thirds – imagine two vertical and two horizontal lines dividing up your image equally. Position your camera so the focal point sits around one of the intersections of these lines. For a sofa, for example, rather than shooting straight on with the sofa in the centre, shoot your sofa coming into the side of the shot, with a side table beside it (as pictured below).
Bonus tip – what to photograph?
Are you now wondering WHAT to photograph? Mix up your shots to show off multiple aspects of one room. Take wider shots from different angles (don’t go too wide, or your photos will look like an estate agent’s brochure) then come in closer to capture the details. Think about what makes the room interesting – beautifully styled shelves, a collection of plants, your fireplace or a wall of prints. Photograph vignettes of grouped objects on coffee tables or sideboards. Zoom in on textures and details. Get down low or stand on step ladders to shoot from above to play around with different angles.
We’d love to see your photos of your homes. Tag us on Instagram using #myroseandgrey and we’ll share our favourites.