Capture a lifestyle
James Paterson shows you how to take flawless lifestyle shots of attractive interiors using natural light plus some extra flash
How to set up your camera and light a room for splendid interior photos
From magazine features to advertisements, trendy lifestyle interior shots have massive – and marketable – appeal. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how to compose and light your own fashionable lifestyle interior set-up.
The composition of your interior lifestyle shot is key to its success. Look for elements that lead the eye through the scene, such as gaps between furniture and open doorways or windows, and make sure there’s not too much clutter within the frame. You may also want to bring in a model to help give your image a focal point and sell the lifestyle dream.
In addition to the composition, another important factor is lighting. Ideally the light should be balanced and bright, making the room seem airy and welcoming. Natural light is best for this sort of shot, as it’s soft and flat. If the room has large windows, make the most of it. However, try to avoid shooting when direct sunlight
Look for elements that lead the eye through the scene, such as gaps between furniture and open doorways or windows, and make sure there’s not too much clutter within the frame
is coming through the windows as it brings in too much contrast.
As well as using natural light you may also have to bring in an external flashgun to light the back part of your image. In our example the front living space was lovely and bright, but the back room was gloomy, so we had to use flash to brighten it up.
If you’re going to try this yourself, you will, of course, need to find an interior worth photographing. You can google apartments to rent in your local area and you may be able to contact the landlord directly, and offer them the pictures in return for a couple of hours in the space. It’s always worth asking!