Pete Laakso's picture

New photographer - comfy house

Hi! I'm very new photographer here at fstoppers community. I work and live here in Finland and do shoot real-estates for a living. Here are few photos from house that I shot for the client, purpose of selling this house. I only use lightroom to adjust my photos, no bracketing or etc. I would be more than happy to hear some good or bad critique of this images. Thanks!

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Wouter Oudemans's picture

I like your photos very much. Nice details and colors.

My opinion as a starting interior photographer: Something that I learned but still find hard to implement is to narrow down my composition. On some photo's I see a 3 wall composition. It makes it harder to light the room properly.

The question I always ask myself: Do I need to show some parts of the room to express the atmosphere present?

Overall very nice photos!!

Pete Laakso's picture

Thank you for your comment and kind words.

I think that most important thing in inreriors is to shoot it with 3 wall composition. That way it gives immediately 3D impression instead of a flat image. And also I kind of try to find that angle which is cleanest and simplest and most pleasing for eye. But still in purpose of selling, it is very important (in my opinion) to show some details also with some larger views which gives a idea of character that house is. If you know what im trying to say, show livingroom and a bit of something else, where does it lead for example.

Thank you again for replying! =)

Edward Porter's picture

Solid RE photos. You do an excellent job of flow oriented compositions. I only noticed a few minor things that mostly have to do with personal preference.

Angle tip:

When shooting a room almost straight on (like the last two photos), it might be best to fully commit to shooting it straight on or doing perspective corrections in post. I personally liken almost perfectly horizontal lines to an almost perfectly made bed. However the second to last photo's back and left counter better mirror the vaulted ceiling's geometry at an angle, so it might be stronger as-is.

Cropping tips:

On the last photo there is slightly more white space given to the left side of the fireplace. I would compose/crop things like that so there is equal spacing (In the 2D sense) on both sides. I find the increased symmetry helps subdue dominant objects near the edge of a frame. Also the right side could come in a bit to the small black rectangle. I like to crop off slivers of intense contrast like the backside of the armchair, if it doesn't mirror or add to the geometry of the scene.

Look forward to seeing more of your work!

Pete Laakso's picture

Thank you for replying!

You have very good general tips to work out.

I really to try to avoid shooting the space straight on. With that living room shot, I tried to make it look like very spaceful and simple looking. And with kitchen shot I tried to give a little bit more to look for on the left side where you can see dining tables light which gives viewer more of an idea how the house is build. If that makes sense.

Sorry if my english is too confusing :D


Louis Hopgood's picture

Shooting RE at ~<20mm is fine. 3 wall composition is the norm and for RE I think it's fine when you are trying to show the flow of the house. Exposure and WB looks spot on. I like that you left the windows a little bright. The bathroom shot has me distracted by the doorway on the right. I know you wanted to get both shower heads, but I think you could have gotten a better composition from the doorway I mentioned. I like the angle on the kitchen shot. I use almost that exact perspective for my 3 sided kitchen shots.

One note I have for you that I have started doing is making decisions about window light on floors. You can't eradicate them all because it looks fake and you don't want that hardédged sunlight patterns either. I always bring big reflectors with me now to have the option to composite shots that display hard window light on the floors. It is especially useful for large areas and unfurnished properties. The living room+Kitchen shot draws your eye straight to blown out floor area on the right and while I love that shot composition and execution, I feel like that floor would have bothered me.

Man, I know what it's like being a RE Photographer. It's all about time management and you almost never have the opportunity to really think out your shots as you have only minutes to take dozens of photos.

Pete Laakso's picture

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it!

I shoot with aps-c censor with 10-22mm lens and trying to avoid shooting with 10mm because of distortion it causes. So yeah I agree <20mm is good.

Bathroom I shot that way because I wanted to show that there is sauna too. And with that angle of door, it almost disappeared. I could've shown less.

I dont really carry much of an equipment to my RE shoots, only tripod with flash on top, some cases 2 flash guns. Of course if I happened to shoot to some magazines or any other commercial purposes I would need to do much more effort to it. So that I can use an excuse for those burned spots.

In future your point of views and ideas are very valuable to me if I some day I start shooting for private individuals.

Thanks a lot!

Louis Hopgood's picture

I use almost the same stuff. I can bring all my gear in one trip with me and for RE that is a must since you are on a tight schedule. I also edit in lightroom only for easy photos for speed.

I take a big fold up reflector/scrim and a speedlight with a softbox on it as well as the two speedlights on stands to help control the light. It is still really quick to take the shots. Merging shots in photoshop only takes a minute so in my opinion, even for RE it's worth it. You don't even need it for a lot of shoots, but for a house like that one you did, you could get a couple of portfolio shots from it.

Happy to help, we are all here to help each other :)

If you are just using Lightroom to process a single image, and also possibly a strobe on or near your camera, I would suggest using the radial filter with an exposure and/or shadow increase to bring up the background of the shot to similar or greater exposure than the foreground.

Pete Laakso's picture

Very good point! But I think most cases exposure is close to even on foreground and background if space is relatively small. And I do open up shadows quite a bit if there is any. I have to try radial filter in future, thanks for the tip! =)