Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interior Design Photography

When you have a blog, particularly one that showcases fabulous photos of interior design, it's important that you have a dependable camera that can bring your work to the public in the best possible light.

I take lots and lots of pictures, and although my camera is fine, it's not working as nicely as it once was. I have been in the market for another camera, and I thought I can't be the only one. When I bought my current camera, it was a knee-jerk purchase, that I regretted soon after, and often said, if I had only done my research; so I asked some of my good bloggy friends who photograph their own homes what they use ...

Interior Design and Photo Credit: Steve: An Urban Cottage blog

A myth of interior design photography is that you need an expensive DSLR camera with multiple lenses and separate flash for brighter aperture and other fancy photography talk. Steve from An Urban Cottage blog shocked me when he said this photo, along with most others featured on his beautiful blog were captured using a Canon G6 point and shoot camera.

Shop Amazon for used cameras like this one here.

Granted, the camera is a good one, with a hefty retail price brand new, but it debunks the idea that you need a fancy DSLR to take great photos, and proves that it's just as important that the person behind the camera be educated about how to use the camera, and understands light and shadow. Steve has given several informative blog lessons about aperture and light with photography of interiors on his blog here

Case in point, the photographer for the magazine our home was featured in took this photo of the front of my house with an extremely expensive camera which had equally expensive lenses and auxiliary flashes:


He arrived that morning when the light was terrible. With my much less expensive DSLR I took this photo of the front of the house when the light was better:


 Much better right? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not putting down the skills of one photographer or pumping the skills of another; certainly not myself - because I really haven't put the necessary time into understanding how to take great shots. These photos just illustrate a point that I think is valuable when thinking about switching or investing in cameras of great expense. 

Design and Photo Credit: Me

I had been using a Sony a200 DSLR camera for all of the photos on the blog since about October of 2010. I got the camera for a great deal at Target, and until recently it had been working great. Then I broke the motor for the auto focus during a flight when I shoved the bag under the seat without regard to the camera, and long story short - I need a new one. 

Shop Amazon for used cameras like this one here

Steve also used a different point and shoot camera for the last few months, capturing equally beautiful, professional quality photographs like this one: 

Photo Credit: Steve: An Urban Cottage Blog

This time, Steve used a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. Another point and shoot, that with the right angle, stability, natural light, and an eye for the content and composition gives book quality photographs.

Shop for Camera's like this one here

Natural light is also the preference of Valorie Hart, of The Visual Vamp Blog who uses a point and shoot camera and has the flash permanently black listed. In this shot of her living room, she catches lots of different objects with great clarity:

 Interior Design and photo credit: Valorie Hart of The Visual Vamp

And surprisingly, she captures this great photo with a point and shoot Sony Cybershot 14.1, in red, of course!

Shop Amazon for used cameras like this one here

Typically with point and shoot cameras you are limited to the width of the photo you can take because there are no attachments and the makers of cameras like this focus solely on the ability to zoom in, and not pan out. But Valorie got this great shot of her living room with the same camera:

Interior Design and Photo Credit: Valorie Hart of The Visual Vamp

This photo gets a lot more of the room than I'd expect from a point and shoot, especially taken in the portrait  position, as this one was. 

By the way, because I know there are a few of you who will want to know, Valorie's orange velvet chairs are indeed from www.homedecorators.com. The Marie Chair, available in lots of different fabrics, including this solid orange velvet are a great looking chair at an even greater price. 


I had looked at getting chairs like these for my living room a few months ago, but skipped them thinking that the price was "too good to be true"; but when I asked Valorie what sort of review she could give of the chairs, she said this: "I have had the chairs for nearly a year, and they are comfy, and they don't look cheap. But they don't look like a fine antique either :-) The velvet fabric is as pretty as any velvet at any price. My Alberto is a big guy, and the chairs are stable and comfy for him, as they are for more petite people :-) The legs screw on, and sometimes get loose after a few months, but just one twist sets them right and sturdy again."

A very popular blogger, and friend, Brooke Giannetti of Velvet & Linen and her husband, Architect and designer Steve Giannetti take fabulous photos of their homes, projects, and gardens. 


I've always loved the way the camera picks up Brooke's love for texture and subtle color, so when I asked what she uses for her stunning photography I wasn't surprised to here that it's a professional quality DSR Nikon D90 with a broad spectrum 18-105 lens. 

Shop for cameras like this one here

Shop for the lens attachment like this one here

When you have a business like Brooke and Steve's, investing in a camera of this quality is important - but what I was really excited to hear from Brooke, was that some of the photos from her beautiful blog were taken with none other than her iPhone!


I have to tell you that if you hold still enough, or find a way to brace your iPhone, you can get some REALLY great photos (like this one). I actually blogged a few weeks ago about flowers in my garden taken with my iPhone. I've been really happy with the quality! 


The clarity of the photo, even the zoom on the iPhone can surprise you! And the video quality is just as good, given a sturdy hand!

Get an iPhone through your provider, or shop here.
(I love my white one!!)

My friend Deserae, who writes Peeking Thru The Sunflowers, like Brooke uses a Nikon. 


Des has a beautiful home that I blogged about here, and she takes a lot of pictures of different vignettes and all of rooms to share on her blog. Her photos are always so beautiful and clear. 


And the width of the lens really captures the totality of her rooms - which is just as important as those glamour shots of the vignettes in the room. I asked a lot of people to share their photos and cameras, but I understand it's summer and not everyone is able to take a break to share with me. So that's where I leave you - maybe more confused that when we started? 

I am torn between the Canon Rebel T3i, here; and the Nikon D500, here. I am so lucky to be able to count on Scott to get me the camera of choice as a belated birthday/anniversary present, which I have delayed until I make a decision on which is best. 

So, thoughts? Anyone own a Canon? Care to share the photos with me?