What are the Best Tips for Interior Photography?

Ken Black

Interior photography can be one of the trickiest forms of photography, whether you are talking about digital photography or film photography. The key to getting good interior photography shots is to understand what exactly you are trying to do. For those who are taking pictures for showing a home, the rules will be slightly different than for those who are taking pictures of people indoors. The following photography tips should help those who are having trouble or who are just beginning to learn photography.

Using a wide-angle lens allows a photographer to take pictures in small areas, though perspective can become distorted.
Using a wide-angle lens allows a photographer to take pictures in small areas, though perspective can become distorted.

Despite these differences, there is one thing that will be the same -- the white balance considerations. Interior photography is a different situation simply because most film, and even most digital cameras, are set by default to take pictures outdoors. Thus, when a photographer wants to take pictures indoors, some adjustments will be needed to get the best photos. This will include putting lens filters, such as a Tiffen FL-D filter. Digital cameras can often set the white balance through a process on the menu screen. Many have a one-touch feature which will automatically adjust white balance for different types of lighting, such as outdoors, incandescent and fluorescent.

Wide-angle lens are vital to interior photography, especially when taking photos of small rooms such as bathrooms.
Wide-angle lens are vital to interior photography, especially when taking photos of small rooms such as bathrooms.

Another factor, in addition to the color considerations, will be the lighting itself. Interior photography comes with its own special challenges regarding lighting. For those who are looking at taking pictures of architecture or different rooms, not people, the best advice is to forget the flash. Flashes do not distribute light equally. Therefore, to get the most natural reproduction, no flash should be used. Longer exposures will be necessary, which will require the use of a tripod.

If using interior photography to take pictures of rooms themselves, there are a number of other tips as that come in handy as well. A wide angle lens will make a room look larger, as will less clutter. Further, those taking pictures of rooms for use in a magazine or real estate usually want the viewers to imagine themselves in that room. Therefore, they often prefer the room to be empty. Other people in the photo will automatically draw the eye to those people.

Taking photos of people can be an entirely different situation. With digital photography especially, it is important to get as close to the subject as possible if the room is darker. This is because digital cameras often do not take very good pictures in low light situations from a great distance, even with a flash.

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Discussion Comments


I am in the vacation rentals business, so therefore I need a lot of apartments photos. Thank you very much for the article.

Even more, thanks to the commentators. They have given very useful and specific advice.


RGcraig (post 1) ways to eliminate glare would be to not have the sun reflect on it. This can be done by moving your camera until the sun's glare has gone, or wait for the sun to move, or use appropriate cpl filters.


No question, blown over exposed windows are a problem when trying to expose for the rest of the room.

Try this: expose for the window itself, the rest of the room will be dark, then you have to add flash to light the rest of the room. I use two off camera speed lights (my Nikon camera is the trigger for the lights). This is called creative lighting with a Nikon camera through the lens, works great. Paul


@Robert: I am a professional interior photographer in the uk, and I would recommend you invest in a polarizer. It's simple, adds onto your lens and you twist it until the glare goes. It is great for other shiny objects, too like cars. I normally wait till the light is in the right place for all my interior photography or shoot them at night.

You may want to look up HDR photography. It's a bit tricky at first, but great if you need a bit more atmosphere in your photos. Don't go too mad on the tine mapping, though; it's a bit too much for commercial imagery for properties.


Photography is a professional trade. People train for years and spend thousands of pounds on training and thousands more on equipment.

My tip would be to hire a pro. You wouldn't decide to post on a forum and strip your engine down on your car and find you only have a screwdriver in your tool kit or decide to do your own loft conversion over the weekend after reading an article.

If it helps try this: Tripod, remote cable,camera with wide angle lens, studio lights say x2 minimum

set camera to AV mode at F11, take reading by pressing shutter half way to get the time of exposure,remember it.

switch to M manual mode and set to F11 and time what ever the reading was you got when in AV.

Set up up studio flash light 1 right up at ceiling and one in direction of your focus point, if its a small room you may want to turn power down on lights. Don't forget to sync cable your flash light with camera to trigger flash when you press camera button using remote cable to stop camera shake.

Then hey, nice picture, all natural lighting showing from spotlights, etc. and a clean, warm inviting image.

If it's too bright, change the f stop to F16 if the natural lighting is too bright, less time.

P.S set color temperature to about 4600k 5000k depending how rich and warm you want it to look.


I'm trying to take pictures of furniture for my sister's new business, but every time I shoot the rooms the result doesn't look professional. However I tried different angles and different exposures, with flash and without and still can't get it.

When I make the ceiling look straight the bed comes out like it's falling and different other problems like that.

Could somebody please help me with a trick for interior photography?


When working with interior photography, lighting is crucial.

In some ways it's a lot easier to deal with lighting with indoor photos, since you have more control over the lighting than say, the sun.

However, odd angles, window reflections, mirrors and shadows can make interior photography lighting a nightmare!

I would advise anyone starting out with home interior photography to give themselves at least a third more time to mess around with the lighting than they would normally take -- it will creep up and get tricky on you when you least expect it.


So I'm trying to find out as much as I can about interior photography techniques because I want to take pictures of my home to sell.

I've also been trying out different things, but I'm still not too pleased with the pictures I get.

Should I just hire a professional interior photography service, or should I keep trying on my own?

Any opinions?


Thanks for this article -- I've been looking into opening a baby photography studio, and am trying to read up on interior photography as much as I can. Really helped a lot -- thanks!


Read and liked the article entitled "What are the Best Tips for Interior Photography." I am trying to learn to take interior architectural type photos for my wife's real estate business with a digital camera. Specifically, I am trying to eliminate the glare coming in from windows. I have been working with manual settings and no flash. Everything is working well, except I can't figure out how to eliminate the glare from windows.

Thanks, Robert

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