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July 2, 2021 —

5 tips for shooting great interiors photography

Photographer Jemma Watts shares her five top tips from shooting great interiors photography
Jemma Watts
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Do you love taking photos of your home for social media? Sharing your ideas and the hard work you’ve put in creating a beautiful home? Or maybe you run a homeware business and need to take photos in an interior setting to show of your products? Or perhaps you own a shop or cafe and want to share it’s stylish interior online or with the press? If so, you’ve probably realised that shooting interiors to a high standard has its challenges. Light being a major stumbling block, but even just trying to get a cushion to look ‘right’ is harder than it seems.

One of last year’s most popular Creative Sessions was hosted by Jemma Watts, a 91 photographer who has been shooting interiors for many years for magazines and homeware brands. The online workshop is still available to purchase, but as a taster, Jemma is sharing her five top tips to help you on your way to better interior photography.

Photo: Jemma Watts of Heju’s home, featured in Volume 9 of 91 Magazine
Photo: Jemma Watts of Heju’s home, featured in Volume 9 of 91 Magazine

TIP 1: Turn off all artificial lights

To some, this might sound counter-intuitive – surely we want lots of light in our images? But the bulbs we use to light our homes do not emulate natural daylight and in fact give off an unattractive colour cast in our photographs. Why not try taking the same shot twice, once with the lights on and one with the lights off to see the difference. If the room seems much too dark, then read on for tip no. 2….

TIP 2: Use a tripod

A tripod is an essential piece of kit for shooting interiors photography. If a room is too dark you will need to set your camera on a slower shutter speed to allow more light to enter your camera. But, on this setting it is impossible to hand-hold your camera and not experience camera shake, which will result in out of focus images. The other advantage of using a tripod is that you can compose your shot through the lens, but can then walk around and move or style anything in the shot to get it just right, without having to constantly recompose the shot.

Photo: Jemma Watts of Little Dottie Designs studio featured in Volume 11 of 91 Magazine
Photo: Jemma Watts of Little Dottie Designs studio featured in Volume 11 of 91 Magazine

TIP 3: Shoot from the hip

Don’t be afraid to get down low with your camera as shooting straight on is the best way to get true-to-life interior shots. What this does is it eliminates ‘converging parallels’, which is when the lines in your room – the walls and straight edges of furniture for example – appear at strange angles in your image. We want to aim for the corners of your room to be straight, vertical lines so it is a true representation of what our eye sees. If we shoot from above or below hip level this is when the lines start to converge.

TIP 4: Use apps & software to edit and correct

What happens if your final shots still have converging parallels? Can it be fixed? Yes, although it is best to try to avoid it in the first place! But if not, you can try a phone app called SKWRT, which is great for straightening perspective in your images. Adobe Lightroom is another excellent program which can be downloaded to your computer and to your phone. You can even shoot directly through this app via your phone and make use of it’s editing tools this way. You can straighten up your converging parallels using the geometry tools in Adobe Lightroom.

Photo: Jemma Watts from our Instagrammer’s Guide to Mexico City
Photo: Jemma Watts from our Instagrammer’s Guide to Mexico City

TIP 5: Look out for unsightly mess

Once your shot is composed, you’ve got the lighting right and you’re ready to go, take a few moments to check every corner of the shot for anything that might detract from your beautiful interior. Is there any dirt or dust on the floor? Do you need to straighten rugs or soft furnishings? Always check there are no wires visible from lamps or other electrical items and make sure there is nothing peeking out from under sofas and beds. And finally, if you are a shooting a bathroom – try to avoid having the toilet in shot! No-one really wants to see that, so try and get an angle that crops out the pan! 🙂

Great photography is SO important to any brand or business, so if interiors play a part in what you do, whether you are an interiors or lifestyle influencer or your business revolves around a space such as a shop, restaurant or holiday home, then do have a look at the Creative Session Jemma hosted for us, as there is so much more great learning to be had. You will find HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH INTERIORS LIKE A PRO listed as a replay on our Creative Sessions page.

For more small business tips you can watch the short videos on our IGTV.

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