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Interior photography for high-end interior brands

Wayne McMaster

30 October 2014

A brand’s photography is key to its success, as it allows a company to differentiate itself from competitors, connect with its consumers and build brand equity. The essential ingredient many good marketing campaigns is beautiful photography.

We enjoy a strong working relationship a number of photographers, in this new series we ask a select number of high-end photographers what principles they work to and the driving questions they seek answers to have when embarking on a shoot.

What's the story

Charlie Birchmore says, "The one thing I always ask is 'what is the story ' and from that we can then prioritise the shoot list."

Charlie Birchmore

Charlie Birchmore

© Images by kind permission of  Charlie Birchmore

Think of the overall space

One principle that Marc Wilson always abides by is "To always think of the overall space that your kitchen is set in and the ensuing lines and perspectives in the photograph."

© Images by kind permission of Marc Wilson

Consider the details

Oliver Edwards is keen to manage the space and edit-out the eroneous details that can detract from the overall picture. "By focussing on the detail and paring back we cn remove the small distractions, which greatly improve the overall image"




© Images by kind permission of Oliver Edwards

Consider the light

Philip Edwards considers both spaces and products: Styling and Lighting for interiors – Styling needs to be planned according to the message you want to portray. Less is more, for example clean empty work surfaces in a kitchen. Lighting makes or breaks an atmosphere. Bringing a balance of both shadow and lights adds atmosphere – imagine the sun streaming in through a window as opposed to a flatly lit showroom. Balancing hard directional light with gentle soft fill light so you get the shadow – light effect.

Philip Edwards photography
For high-end products – We need to consider emphasing an aspirational lifestyle, can we do this with or without people or additional styling. What are the characteristics of the product – size, shape, colour, finish and what do you want to emphasize. All these considerations go into the planning of the finished layout, along with the lighting and environment and angles you will shoot in.

Philip Edwards Photography

© Images by kind permission of  Philip Edwards

What do you want to achieve

Anthony Harrison often finds that…"a client has not thought through what he or she actually wants: it's not enough to say, Oh, we must have some photography of this... You need to have a clear idea of what you want photography to achieve, where the photographs will appear, what audience they will have. A photographer will need to understand exactly what you're looking for.
What is the response sought from these pictures? What have they got to "say"? What values, what cultural connotations, must the images impart to the product, the interior?
Is the photographer to shoot a product isolated from context – or something depicting a slice of life, a "lifestyle" image?

What are the room's dimensions? There needs to be space to move around, space to re-arrange things, space in which to position lighting. Provide a floorplan showing the windows.
If any exteriors are required, be aware that this is very weather dependent! Most photographers (including me) have a weather clause in their T&Cs

Will a stylist (an experienced one...) be provided, or must the photographer bring one? This latter is best: photographers work most effectively with stylists they're accustomed to, and whom they trust. It makes the workflow vastly quicker and more efficient.

© Images by kind permission of  Anthony Harrison



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