1. Lighting Is Key
The word “photography” comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphe (to write/draw) and literally means “to write with light.” It’s no wonder lighting is the #1 key factor in good photography. Turn on every light in the room. This helps add depth and color variance to the scene. Make sure there are no reflections from lights on pictures, mirrors and windows and then look to see if you need additional external lights. One extra external flash can make a world of difference.
2. Flash Is Your Friend
Flash is a must in many situations where lighting is dim. Aim the flashes or strobes at a flat surface, such as a wall or ceiling off camera. This acts as a large softbox and projects the light through the room. Be careful to not bounce the light off bold colored walls, such as deep blues, reds and purples. This could cause some of the tint to reflect causing a red light in the picture.
3. Flash Is Your Enemy
Yes, you read correctly. While flashes can be very helpful, they can also be your worst nightmare. They can make your photos look dark in the background or just plain flashy. If you have a camera with a tripod and the ability to adjust the shutter speed, try slowing the shutter and letting the ambient light do the work of a flash. Check to see which photo you like best, don’t assume one would be better than another.
4. Styling Is Important
De-cluttering is important to help remove distractions for the eye. In particular, watch for piles of stuff, coffee tables full of magazines, too many items sitting on a bookcase, etc. These things clutter a picture and can be distracting in the final shot. Treat every shoot like a shoot for a magazine and stage the room.
5. Shoot Into The Corner
Shoot into the corner of a room to make the space appear larger. Similar to how mirrors work, shooting into a corner makes a room appear larger and more livable. Take this tip further by shooting from a low position and with a wide lens, but not too wide to avoid distortion.
6. Not Too Much Pan
While short panoramic photos are good for some spaces, be sure to keep them small. The farther you pan, the more distortion you will have and the less representative that photo will be.
7. Practice Almost Makes Perfect
As you get creative, try new angles and use new lighting tricks. You will learn what works and doesn’t for you and your camera. Take a few different shots of the same area. See what you like best and what works for you, and don’t get stuck in a rut. Look online for helpful hints for your camera type and educate yourself on those.