Back in August I did my first photography gig that involved me shooting interior design. A family friend reached out to me with a need to photograph her home for the purpose of advertising it on AirBnb. This was a unique request for me because in all my years of being behind a camera I had never shot what would be considered architectural or interior design work, and I had also never considered it. However, I’m always up for a challenge and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it.
The day of the shoot, I came prepared with my usual camera gear, plus a tripod, but rather than wearing comfortable shoes I just wore my socks. My client doesn’t allow guests to wear shoes on her carpet so I wore Hanes instead of Nike’s while working.
The first thing I noticed once I started shooting was how peaceful this type of work is compared to some of the other photo work that I’ve done. Coming from a world of shooting in busy cities and protests the quiet of an air-conditioned home was like being in a photographic meditation longue. My mind was free to focus solely on the camera and the space without external distractions. I could also shoot at my own pace without feeling the rush of a motion-driven environment and capturing split-second moments. It was very therapeutic.
My choice of camera and lens was a Nikon D750 with a Nikon 20mm f/1.8G, which served me well both in term of full-frame capabilities and an articulating screen. The simplest way of explaining the how this setup was beneficial to me is that I could get a wide field of view, low noise while shooting indoors, and the movable screen saved me from having to stoop and squat to get the angles I wanted.
The first room I shot was the sitting room, the room with the chair and coffee table surrounded by blue accents. This was the most time consuming because this is the room where I set the standard for how I would the rest of the house. It was here that I determined how I wanted to dial my exposure settings and perspective so that I would use the same standard throughout the house. I spent about 20 minutes here alone. Once I figured out what I wanted the rest of the rooms were pretty simple.
The most challenging room was the living room because of its unique balance of light in relations to other parts of the house. There were no windows in the central portion of the living room which meant that all of the natural light it received was reflected off of the wall from other portions of the house, essentially making it darker than the rest of the house. However, the kitchen that it’s connected to received ample light from a glass sliding door. It took me a while to find a suitable exposure that would accommodate both spaces. I made additional exposure adjustments in Lightroom to provide additional balance.
Overall, this was a great experience that taught me a lot about the comfort of shooting indoors and lighting. It was nice being able to focus solely on the space that I was shooting and have the time to do so. I also learned a lot about photographing using natural lighting. I was able to observe how sunlight flowed throughout the house and interacted with the color of various surfaces. I would happily do a shoot like this again because I found the experience to be very therapeutic and creatively stimulating.
Below is a gallery of the entire home.