There are several different reasons a person may have for wanting to take a fantastic, magazine-worthy photograph of their home. A recent remodel or renovation has possibly left you breathlessly impressed with your own creative skill and now it’s time to share the final result with the virtual world.
Perhaps, you’re reaching out to an interior designer who has requested shots of the space in order to aide his/her planning and design. Or maybe you are selling your home and want to take stellar photographs to post online.
Regardless of your reasons, the task of taking professional-looking photos of your home sounds easy enough, but the reality is —amazing pictures take amazing effort. Luckily, even if you don’t have all of the professional equipment and skills, it doesn’t mean a professional-esque picture of your home is out of the question.
Here are few simple tips and tricks for making your home photos magazine-worthy:
Clean Your Home First
Before snapping any photos, you must de-clutter first. Especially if the home is for a real estate ad, you’re going to want to clean up and eliminate anything that takes away from the space in an effort to give prospective buyers a clear view of the potential.
If the photograph is being taken for a rental as or Bed and Breakfast that you run out of your home, these pictures need to be extremely tidy. Clients will be looking for clean lines that indicate order within a homey space. This may require the hiring of a home staging expert—they know how to make your home look open and welcoming.
Additionally, it may be necessary to create a focal point where one didn’t before exist. Sometimes, capturing the entire room isn’t the most effective choice. It can create an overwhelming visual that doesn’t give the viewer a real chance to focus in on what’s great about the space. Consider picking a corner or specific set up, such as a dining room or fireplace, to focus on—this will help you photograph your home like a true professional.
Above all, take enough care with your photograph to keep blurriness at bay. Nothing screams amateur like a well-staged interior photograph of a home with blurry edges or lines. If you’re going to do this the right way, make sure you put as much care into the actual picture as you do setting up for it!
Lighting Livens Your Home (Inside and Out)
One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to photographing your home like a professional is lighting. This ever-changing dynamic can make or break a picture. Similarly, it can alter the feel of a photograph drastically within a matter of minutes depending on the time of day.
Go into your photography session with a plan. If you’re looking to create a softer feeling around your photograph, consider taking the majority of your shots in late afternoon as the sun filters dimly through the room. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bright and airy photograph of an interior room, mid-day is going to be your best bet for the clearest light. And don’t forget to turn on all the lighting sources in the room such as lamps, overhead fixtures, and wall sconces—layered lighting creates an overall sense of warmth and openness (and gets rid of any dark corners in the room).
If you are taking exterior photos, then be sure to take them when the weather conditions allow for a clean and clear shot—without any harsh sun glares. You will not want to take a shot of the front facade when the sun is on its way behind your house as this will create glare and dark shadows.
If all else fails, it may be necessary to turn to technology in order to achieve prime results. Sometimes, no matter what angle you attempt, the best-laid shot of a room is only going to happen with a wider lens or with the help of photo-fixing software.
Invest In The Right Photography Equipment
It would definitely be convenient to just pull out your smart phone and snap a perfectly professional shot of your home or business interior. However, this just isn’t a realistic expectation. Without a little assistance, homemade shots just aren’t going to make the cut.
Professionals in the industry spend extraordinary amounts investing in the right equipment to get the perfect shot every time. While it’s not recommended that one spend their life savings on equipment for a single picture, it is highly beneficial to invest a little into buying (or possibly borrowing) the proper equipment— no matter what, it will be less expensive than hiring a professional photographer for the project.
When it comes to the right camera, there are plenty of choices to be considered on the market. One that often finds its way into homeowner hands is the SLR, or single lens reflex camera. Many agree that this type of camera gives a very stabilizing effect and creates very clear shots overall.
Even if you’ve invested in the right type of camera, don’t be afraid to spruce up a photograph when all is said and done with a little photo editing. While you don’t want to create a falsified image, giving your photo a slight face-lift is all the norm in the world of interior home photography. There are several apps available that can help you erase any flaws out of a photo— and it’s really not cheating.
Take Time Playing With Angles
While the end goal is obviously to get an amazing shot of any given room, many people make the mistake of stopping the photo shoot too early. In order to get the perfect shot and angle, you’re going to have to invest a significant amount of time and memory card space.
When it comes to photographing your home like a professional, you’re going to have to buckle down and think like one. This means you’ll need to take more pictures than seem necessary and be willing to play up all the weird and funny angles you can find. As lighting changes and angles change, the best photo can be born out of the most unexpected of shots!
Similarly, it’s important to be brave with your setup choices. If getting a stellar photo means taking the time to set up some helpful artificial lighting—so be it. And don’t be afraid to move furniture and accessories around to improve the space, even if it’s only temporary.
If you find yourself struggling with the final results, never hesitate to reach out to friends and family—they are sure to give you an honest answer. Run some of your final pictures by them and ask them what type of feeling it invokes. If you get the answer you’re looking for, great! If not, it’s time to keep on clicking because after all, you’re out to do this like a professional.
While doing your own home photography can be a challenge, the results are often worth the risk. It gives you a chance to not only create your own space, but put your personal touch into the final product in nearly every way.
If you’re willing to invest a little in order to save a lot, photographing your own home can be an extremely rewarding experience. Why not challenge yourself to take one professional looking picture of each room in your home in 2015? Even if you never use the photos for anything other than memories in your scrapbook, at least your photos will be a lasting keepsake of your glorious home.