Updated: Feb 18
If you’re anything like us, you probably spend much of your time swooning over unbelievable interiors on Pinterest. (Guilty!) In our eyes, the best thing about beautiful portraits and design is that there is enough to go around for everyone — even if the hard part is capturing that beauty in a photo. Especially when you’re not a professional photographer. Even though we have the perk of working with jaw-dropping brands on the regular, we know the feeling of snapping a less-than-great iPhone photo. So we thought, why not dish out another round of our go-to iPhone photography tips? If you’re dying for a few pointers on how to shoot better interior photography on your iPhone, then you’re in luck. Here’s how to capture your space like the pros — no photography equipment required.
1. Let the Light In
Let us clarify — let the NATURAL light in. Try as hard as possible to shoot during soft daylight hours, when you can turn off the overhead lights in your space. (Overhead lighting will cast a yellow tone across your image, and make editing much more difficult afterward. Natural light allows you to see true colors through your lens.) Then throw open the drapes and let the light in! If you’re getting too much direct sunlight shining through a window that is distracting from the image or overpowering parts of your space, try softening it up by pulling down a sheer shade to cast a “glow” of natural light. If your home has a lot of windows, overcast days are your best days for shooting
2. Shoot Straight & Low
If you want a little cheat sheet on how to keep your lines as straight as possible when shooting on iPhone, go to your settings and turn on your grid. (This can be found under Settings > Camera > Grid > On). Once you’ve turned on your grid, look at your space through the screen and get low. Or in other words, don’t shoot from your natural point of view! Shooting too high will make your image look like you are looking down on your furniture, and distort objects within your image. Instead, shoot with your iPhone between your chest and your belly button. It may feel unnatural at first, but you’ll be surprised at how it will result in a more natural perspective that will make the room look larger. Line up your grid guidelines with other straight objects in your image until they are parallel —think walls, doorways, and picture frames — then shoot away.
3. Tidy Up (But Not Too Much)
Yep, we mean it. Think perfectly imperfect here. It may be an obvious point to say a tidy space results in a prettier overall image, but don’t be afraid to leave a few natural accents thoughtfully strewn about your space. A throw blanket, pair of glasses on a side table, a coffee mug, an open book, etc. instantly add that element of lifestyle that every interior should have. After all, interiors are meant to be lived in — and they should look that way!
4. Make Sure Your Lens is Fingerprint-Free
Before snapping a photo of your space, make sure to clean off your lens with a soft cloth (or even just your T-shirt). It’s easy to forget how easily your lens can get greasy from being handled all day, so make sure it is sans fingerprints. What your lens sees, your lens will capture in your photo, so any residue left on your lens will result in a hazy photo and get in your way of shooting crisp, clean, detailed images.
5. Corner Yourself
Capturing everything you want to show in your image can be difficult on an iPhone, so you might have to get creative with your stance. And we mean creative. Don’t be afraid to get in the tiniest corner you can find (or in the bathtub, or standing on top of the toilet—seriously) to get every part of your space in the shot that you want to capture. You’d be surprised what you can get in one iPhone photo by just changing where you stand!
6. Adjust Your Exposure
If you didn’t know this already, your world is about to be changed forever. You can adjust the exposure in your iPhone camera, just by squaring up for your photo, tapping the screen once to lock your focus, then dragging your finger up and down to brighten your photo or make it darker. It’s always better to under-expose than over-expose your interior photos, so keep that in mind as you’re shooting. Any shadows can easily be brightened as you’re editing your photo, but highlights are harder to gain back if you shoot a blown out photo from the start. If you do adjust your exposure and your images has over-exposed areas, I show you exactly how to fix them with a little dodge and burn editing, right in your mobile phone.
7. Edit With Indoor-Friendly Photo Presets
If your indoor location has a lot of discordant colors going on, use a stylistic and warm edit to even out those tones. A warm and earthy preset can subdue the colors that look jarring, evening out the tones and adding gold and copper hues that bring out the cozy feel of some indoor spaces. If you want to go the extra mile, move distracting colors, objects, and textures out of frame to focus on a statement piece of furniture or minimalistic space to really focus on your subject. Try our Golden Preset Collection, made for indoor photography and our Mobile Editing Guide for iPhone Photography.
8. Hold Steady
When taking photos in low light, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the shutter speed that your camera is using. Shutter speed simply refers to the length of time that the light hits the camera’s sensor during the exposure. In low light conditions the camera has to use a slower shutter speed to allow more light in to create a well exposed shot. But the problem with slow shutter speeds is that if the camera moves while it’s taking the shot, the resulting image will be blurred due to camera shake. The solution? Use a tripod for camera stability and for clearer images. I use this gooseneck tripod for most of my indoor photography.
Do you have any other iPhone photography tips that we didn’t cover?
We hope these tips were helpful! Here’s to many, many swoon-worthy interior photographs in the future. ;)