Another week, another holiday home to photograph. This time a large, new house outside York with fantastic grounds and spectacular views. It was listed with photographs the owner had taken himself and this gives me the opportunity to demonstrate what it is that a good interior photographer will do for your property. The owner had contacted us after receiving a number of comments that the photographs did not do the property justice and was concerned that he may be missing out on bookings because of that.
Why use a professional interiors photographer? It’s a good question. Why pay for a specialist professional interiors and architectural photographer when you can take pretty good images yourself or get your wedding photographer pal to take them, because they’ve got all the kit anyway. Right?
Well, I’ve pulled together a few examples from the last few weeks to show you what you’re getting from an experienced professional dedicated to their field.
I’ve tried to demonstrate just a few ways the results can differ. Some of these are taken with lesser quality kit than we use on a day to day basis and other are taken with the same kit from the same place.
This lovely kitchen makes a good demonstration of how lighting and exposure blending can help transform the space from somewhere dark and somewhat oppressive to a much brighter, more airy space. It’s much easier to imagine baking some hot-cross-buns in the after image than in the before.
This is our first post in what we hope will become a regular how-to feature. We will be covering items such as composition, equipment and weather. Our first post however, is on the field or lighting, specifically added light.
Lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to interior photography. It doesn’t matter how great the space is, if the light isn’t good then neither will the photograph be. Generally speaking light in a typical interior comes from two sources. Natural – the daylight coming in through the windows, skylights and doors and artificial light – the light from ceiling lights and table lamps etc. As a photographer we have a few options for controlling these light sources. Time of day plays a major role in regards to natural light. As does the weather. Wherever possible will try to take our photographs in the most suitable weather at the best time of day, whatever that might be for that particular room. We can’t however control how the light enters the room, we can control how much enters by additional tricks such as scrimming windows but the natural light will always come from a fixed direction. We are also able to control artificial lighting in a number of ways, from simply turning lights on or off to using dimmers or lower wattage bulbs.
Last week saw a visit to a beautiful little Hamlet just outside York. I’d seen some before photography of the cottage so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. I think it’s important to go to a property without too many pre-conceived ideas. The very nature of a home means that it is individual to the owner. Shooting a formally presented house requires a completely different approach from that of an eclectic one. It’s back to the point I keep making about portraying the personality of a space.
Well this lovely cottage was just bursting with character. And I use the word in the property sense of beams, sash windows and fireplaces but also in the more human sense of light hearted and confident. A confident house? So what’s one of those? Well, the answer isn’t straightforward, as you might expect. It’s the kind of place that absorbs what is it in and makes it feel at home. Be that furniture, a newspaper or a five year old child. It’s the kind of property where what is in it is no more or less important than the walls containing it. The kind of place that you feel you instantly feel you could chuck a log on the fire and curl up with the newspaper.
In the centre of Richmond you can find the little military museum for the Green Howards infantry regiment of the British Army. Having just undergone a major refurbishment over the past year it is now once again open for business. We were asked by the builders to pop along and take some images of their handiwork. The building used to be a church and as historic builders William Anelay were well placed to apply their knowledge of period renovation to create a sympathetic yet practical renovation.
We were tasked with creating a set of photographs that demonstrated the range of works, from the installation of flooring, lighting and cabinetry, to stairs and masonry work. Only the stairwell and the meeting room contained any natural light and we had to carefully control exposure with filters and blending in post-production to ensure that detail was retained from the black beamed ceilings to the spot lit exhibits. Museum renovation photography requires careful consideration to be given to compositions. The exhibition spaces are usually set up to provide information on an exhibit by exhibit level and it can often be difficult to portray in a wider setting. With careful consideration to focal length, height and