Remember THIS post about photographer Paul Costello? If you love Domino magazine, chances are you've drooled over his amazing work.
I emailed Paul recently to ask him for advice on interior photography, especially since so many of us are blogging and sharing photos of our homes on the web. Paul had great advice:
Don't ever use an on camera flash.
Get a tripod and bracket the exposures. In otherwords if the lightmeter tells your camera to expose for 2 seconds, start there then do 4 seconds, then 8 seconds until it is obviously too bright.
Sometimes the best light is really low light... Don't be afraid of 30 second exposures.
Turn off your lamps and overhead lights... Not just in the room your shooting but in nearby rooms as well.
If the room and the styling are ugly, it's likely your pictures will be ugly too.
Even most point and shoot cameras have manual settings. People would be well served to get familiar with their cameras... They'll be suprised how many functions even cheap cameras have.
If you're scouting for magazines (this is good advice for anyone) remember that editors want to see the whole room... Avoid tons of middle distance vignettes. Also try to show how rooms flow to each other.
Frame up shots with things in the foreground and middleground. Sometimes it's cool to let a chair close to the camera go all blurry.
Try things that are contrary to the obvious way you look at the room... Like get really low or get up high. Don't think you need to always be super graphic and at right angles.
Take a shot from a better angle of view. Be willing to move yourself - or your furniture - around.
In otherwords, experiment while you're shooting... The best pictures are often surprises.
Lastly, the way a room looks best when you're standing in it is often not the best way to shoot it... Get ready to move furniture around.
Get to know your camera. Play with depth of field and aperture settings. You can then focus on points of interest and the background sort of fades away.
Sometimes details matter. Get close.
Natural light. It worked for the masters. It can work for you.
Thank you, Paul Costello, for your advice.