Trade Talks: How to photograph your work
Capturing imagery of the projects you've worked on is vital for your business. Whether it's for social media or for your portfolio, making sure your photographs are up to a high enough standard is essential to giving a good impression, reflecting your professional values and filling your clients with confidence.
Amandine Alessandra, A.K.A. The Interior Photographer has been a professional photographer for 10 years, working with the likes of Domus, the New York Times, and Wallpaper*, as well as architecture practices and businesses. The best thing about her job, she says is diversity: 'One day I can be working on an editorial shoot, the next day photographing an object for a designer’s portfolio, a whole house for an interior designer's website, a flat to be listed on AirBnB, or creating dozens of shots for a social campaign on Instagram.' Having photographed such a spectrum of different subjects, who better to give us some tips on how to capture your work’s best side?
'Disable the built-in flash. Natural light allows you to better reflect the mood of the space you photograph. Daylight tends to be the most flattering; I have a preference for early morning and late afternoon, which are also known as the golden hours, when the sun is low and that light rays may create pools of soft light and long shadows on walls or on the floor.'
'I would say that the most important piece of equipment is a tripod! A tripod allows you to get away with very little light, and to avoid using a flash, especially built-in ones which tend to flatten everything and cast dark shadows.'
'Using a tripod allows you to create crisp and sharp images, but also to better construct your picture. Take the time to see if anything needs to be removed from your frame, if a detail can be hidden or finger marks removed from a surface etc, to avoid bad surprises when editing your pictures.'
'Avoid using zooms when using a compact camera, just get closer to your subject or crop the picture when editing.'
'Squeezing yourself in a corner usually allows you to comfortably have 2 walls in the frame. This gives an interesting feel of the room and makes it seem larger. Shooting from the door via which you enter the room also allows you to win a few steps to make the space look larger; I even sometimes resort from entering fireplaces or cupboards to achieve a wider angle!'
'Very wide angles that create monstrous distortions on the sides, so try to avoid using these.'
'Push the furniture around (with permission!) and give yourself more room to stand and have a larger angle of the room. Moving furniture along in your frame also can also allow you to avoid visual overlaps and create an illusion of space.'
'Sometimes you can say more by showing less, focusing on the general atmosphere rather than the exact content of the room. This will give character and focus to your pictures. For example, bathrooms are often too small to be photographed entirely, unless you use a very distorting wide angle lens, which doesn't necessarily make the picture interesting. Instead, just try to give the viewer an idea of where the different elements are (bath, shower, sink, toilets, window) and what kind of material they are made of. Seeing a little bit of each element in the picture is more than enough to create an interesting image and reflect the mood of the space, leaving room to the imagination, rather than having an exhaustive but unglamourous list of everything there.'
'Think of the kind of images you're after. Do you want pristine images were everything is very controlled and tidy, or are you after a more lived-in feel? If so do not hesitate to style the room; maybe adding a shoes and a handbag on the floor next to a console, a pair of glasses laid on a open magazine to give the feeling that someone just walked away from the scene. Use props to tell a story.'
To see more of Amandine's work or to contact her, visit theinteriorphotographer.co.uk.
For more tips, read How to use social media to build a good reputation.
Images: Valentine Place, SE1 by Crest Nicholson © Amandine Alessandra / The Interior Photographer Design, interior styling and special paint effects by Honky Design Limited