Quick tips on spicing up your interior images?
It is not strange that we as a commercial interior photographer to only be able to turn up at a space the same day as the shoot day and to find out how dull of a space it is. Knowing the fact that delivering the image as it is and blame the space and client isn't really an option for the level of work we are doing. We must know how to react and come up with creative solutions from time to time in solving such issue, having a handful of experience does help. This exact curve ball was thrown at me on my recent shoot and I have decided to share this as an example as it was pretty straight forward.
A little backstory for context, I had the opportunity to recce the spot when it was under construction and the next time I am there was during the morning of the shoot day. As usualthe first thing that I always do before starting any shoot is to walk around the property again to study the space, understand and make a proper plan. I had a mix emotion on the space. Yes its minimalistic, somewhat clean and trendy but it was pretty dull. Detailing wasn't good which makes it somewhat challenging to make an appealing photograph. (Raw image of the space below).
If you had notice, there were some directional light coming in from the right of the frame which is good! However, it wasn't enough for my liking to create any sort of drama and mood. Unless that is what you are going for then its perfect but to me I knew right away I could craft and spice things up. Which lead me to my first tips, Adding light!
Adding light is not rare in architecture photography especially when the on location light isn't achieving what we desire to deliver the message. However, you should be very delicate in your lighting placement, not every position works and getting it to where it is could sometimes be a game of inches. The light that you add should be realistic, intentionaland directional. In this case, I have added a 600w strobe light with a standard 7" reflector relatively high up to mimic incoming 9am morning sunlight. (The straight out of camera result below).
After 2 rounds of finessing, the result is finally looking like something I could start working with. If this is what you are achieving for or your client say strictly no human element then this is where you could stop, go back to your studio and give it some post production, it will be somewhat good image compared to where we begin. (Image below)
Being me, I wasn't going to just stop there. Yes it is deliverable and miles better than what we begin with. But there are still some things that we could do to spice it up further. This bring us to my second tips, Adding human element! Adding a human element can not only soften the space but also help viewers to relate and connect to an image. However, you should be mindful that not all images work with human and should always be very careful with your subject action, emotion, attire and outlook. All these could easily make or break an image easily. Another very important aspect when involving a human subject is to get them to sign a model release and appropriate permission to relief every party from legalactions. Be sure to brief them everything they need to know in regards to commercial usage. One bonus tip here is to test all your shots and make sure it work before calling in the human subject, that way you will not waste anyone's time while you are stressing out on your settings.
Back to the topic, after communicating with the client and yes there were a friendly receptionist that they could allow me to add into my frame. Next, I met up with the receptionist, brief her that I only need 2 minutes of her time, guided her into the right position and emotion. Bam! I was done. The straight out the camera result as shown below.
At this point I was pretty happy with what I got, and the final result after retouching and postproduction as shown below.
So there you have it, a handy 2 quick tips to keep at the back of your head the next time you are dealing with this kind of situation. Hope you guys find this article useful and I will share more from time to time whenever possible.