Updated: Dec 14, 2020
One of the things we shoot a lot of is homes and for me, it's truly an enjoyable subject to shoot. You get to see some beautiful architecture and see how other people live. I've learned a lot from shooting homes and there's actually a lot more to it than just point and shoot. There's a lot of little details to keep in mind and they're all important to capturing that perfect image that's going to sell. So, with out further ado, here's my top 5 tips for shooting home interiors. I hope this helps!
TIP 1. TURN ON ALL THE LIGHTS
If you want your home to shine bright like a diamond, turn on all the lights! This is the number one thing I do before shooting. Overhead lights, lamps, everything. Not only will this help make sure enough light is getting into the camera, but it will also make the home shine and sparkle... exactly what you need to grab a new buyer's attention.
TIP 2. REMOVE CLUTTER AND DON'T OVER-ACCESSORIZE
Just as I mentioned in my previous blog about shooting exteriors, you must de-clutter the inside as well before shooting it. Remember to hide things like trash cans, paper towel rolls, toothbrush holders, personal bathroom items, and other things that will clutter up an image. And really look around because it's the little things that make all the difference. Even things like magnets on the fridge or magazines in the living room can ruin the look.
If you look at the above picture I wouldn't say it's cluttered at all, but there's definitely a lot going on here. Nice decorations and accessories create such warmth in a home when living or visiting, but in pictures it can sometimes be too much. French fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” This was the rule she used to not overdo it with accessories. I think this rule applies here as well. So, take one more look at the area and maybe consider taking away some of the excess.
Also, I hate to say this, but put away the family portraits as well. They're incredibly distracting and draw the eye away from what people need to be looking at.
TIP 3. MAKE SURE PILLOWS & BEDDING ARE NICE AND NEAT
It's an overlooked detail but these things can really ruin the image if you're not paying attention. Always check the bedding from every angle to make sure it's laying smoothly across the bed. You don't want any lumps or uneven lines. You want everything to look nice and neat. With pillows make sure they're evenly placed and compliment the decor. And with both bedding and pillows please, please, please make sure the tags aren't showing. It's such a horrible distraction that cheapens your shot.
TIP 4. MAKE SURE PETS AREN'T IN THE SHOT
The pic above is one of a handful of living room shots I got... without the family dog in the background. He was sitting outside through the window and unfortunately, I didn't catch it while shooting. It was quite the unwelcome surprise when I went back to go edit and I ended up not using many of the beautiful shots I thought I had gotten. I absolutely love animals of all kinds, but trust me, you don't want them in the shot. Animals always steal the show! They will distract every time.
There is an exception though. If you're shooting a video or photos that are more of a lifestyle shoot, then I feel it's just fine to have the family dog or little miss kitty cat involved. In that type of scenario it works just fine.
TIP 5. WATCH FOR REFLECTIONS
When taking pictures or video, be careful not to get yourself in the image by way of reflection. This means you need to watch out for windows, mirrors, and glass items when composing your shots. Bathrooms can be tricky because they're sometimes small and contain a lot of surfaces that reflect such as shower doors and mirrors. I've had to get really creative at times when composing shots in tight spaces. So, you may need to crouch down, contort your body, and get a little flexible to make it happen.
It's really easy to make the interior of the home look inviting just by doing a few simple things. Follow these tips and you'll showcase the very best that the home has to offer. Happy shooting!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aja Vickers is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and visual artist.
Aja has spent over 15 years creating compelling visual content for network television, businesses, non-profits, and artists. She started shooting, editing, writing, and producing back in 2006 when she got her first job as an on-air reporter working for TV 30 News near the San Francisco Bay Area. Aja then moved on to become the Bureau Chief for the NBC affiliate KSNG out in Garden City, Kansas. After that she moved on to Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked for the NBC affiliate KJRH. From politics to crime, sports to tornadoes… you name it, she's shot it!
After experiencing all aspects of broadcast news Aja decided she wanted to start her own production company and began the journey to make that a reality. Aja Vickers Global Media was founded in 2017. She now works with businesses and entrepreneurs to help get their message out through video and digital marketing. She's also produced and directed a couple of award-winning short films. Aja has honed her skills throughout the years by producing countless videos in every type of genre and is now looking forward to sharing her knowledge with those looking to create their own videos.