It is important to make your property the one that people remember. Simply turning the camera on and taking a quick snap just won’t do it these days. When photographing your property there are a number of basic rules that can make all the difference. (guest article and photographs by Lauren Mitton)
1. Be your own stylist.
In magazines there are a team of people making sure the room looks just so. Now I’m not saying you need your own army of stylists, but looking at the finishing touches can help you with some DIY styling. Some key things to look out for are:
- When photographing rooms with beds and sofas, are the sheets/throws flat and the cushions plumped?
- Have you taken care of the details- Are the curtains hanging straight? Have you made the bathroom smear free? Have you hung the towels nicely? Are the kitchen work tops clear and clean?
- Are there homely touches you could add such as a bowl of fruit on the counter in the kitchen, a teapot with 2 cups of tea on the coffee table or even a book on the nightstand?
- Are there any wires/unsightly plugs etc that can be hidden from view to make the room look more sleek?
By just keeping your eye out for anything out of place and giving your property the home from home look, your photographs can be dramatically improved.
2. Choosing your angle
If you can buy or borrow a tripod for your camera it will help you no end. Getting a nice level photo is one of the most basic rules to adhere to in order to make your property look its best.
It is also a good idea to take photos from different positions in the room and look at them together to see which one does it most justice.
3. Lighting Matters
There is nothing worse than a dark dull photo or one with an over exposed flash. When photographing for magazines or high quality hotels I will 90% of the time use natural light rather than setting up my lighting kit. Nothing shows off the rooms atmosphere and feel more than how the light naturally fills the space. It can be a nice touch to have the fire place lit if it is appropriate or table lamps on if they aren’t too bright, but over head ceiling lights very rarely look good switched on.
Using natural light may mean setting your camera to having a longer exposure (you can probably find out how to do this in the instruction manual), but it can be well worth it. This is when the use of a tripod is very important for a steady shot. Again, it might be a good idea to photograph the room a number of times to get the right light combination.
4. Does no Photoshop mean a Photo flop?
Being a computer wizz and editing all your photos perfectly to look like the inside of a flashy homes magazine isn’t necessary to get a great shot. However, if you really want to give your photos a photoshop style polish, there are a number of programs where you can get the lighting and colour levels just right in just a couple of minutes. You may have one that came with your camera software, or with your computer. If not there are lots of 30day free trial programs that can be found on the internet.
There are also a number of programs that are free to download, but with anything you download be careful where you download it from. There is a program called Photoscape which is free to download and probably one of the most used.
Otherwise Adobe do free trials of Photoshop for those thinking about taking it a little more seriously.
You know how you want to present your property so make sure you get this across in your photographs. It is also a great idea to have someone else impartial look at them and give you some feedback. It is better to have to go back and reshoot the photo than to miss something out that could make all the difference.
Lauren Mitton is a photographer based in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, specialising in interior, still life and product photography. She started her career assisting for magazines such as Living etc and Homes and Gardens, as well as working with well known interior designers such as Kelly Hoppen and Sophie Conran.
Lauren now works full time as a freelance photographer and has worked with a number of high profile clients such as the Dhillion group, photographing the prestigious Stoke Place Hotel in Stoke Poges and The Crown Inn Hotel in Amersham. Lauren’s work will also be published in the April 2011 issue of Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms magazine.