I'm very excited to share this blog written by the amazing photographer Rachel McClumpha from RJM Photography all about making your own home photos look like a professional's...
Read on to find out how to do this:
So you’re doing a home or workspace make over and want to show off your new space. But often taking photos inside can look grim or have a strange colour cast and not look as amazing as they do in real life.
Our eyes naturally adjust so we don’t always notice the subtle lighting differences, but the camera, although fabulous technology, records the colour temp and light according to its sensor, which may not result in good photos.
We’ve all seen great images posted by interior bloggers and professional photographers that make rooms look bright, airy and beautiful. There’s no doubt that professional cameras and lighting equipment will produce the best results but there are certainly ways to boost our smart phone imagery.
Sometimes smart phones can produce good results but here are 3 types of scenarios that confuse cameras or lead to undesirable results.
Low lighting: Dark or dimly lit rooms can lead to noisy (grainy) or even blurred images so always try to find a well lit location. Aim for natural, window lit scenes. Check for the best time of day. Sometimes the colour temperature of daylight can change too- ranging from warm to cool casts on your image.
Very bright scenes: Taking a photo of a nice bright white interior may produce a dull grey result which will be disappointing. This also goes for people wearing a lot of white, like a bride or talking pictures of the snow.
Unnatural light; especially indoors, strip lights that you typically find in an office, or tungsten bulbs that may be in the home environment. These give off awful colour casts on a photograph.
How on earth do we fix all this rubbish light! Don’t worry, whilst some Smart phones are better than others for taking photos you can always head into the editing software to correct and boost your images.
Although there are many editing apps to choose, I personally like the Photoshop Express app. There are many options to play about with but my favourites for quick fixes are right here….
Start by downloading the free app if you havent already, then open it up and load your image from your camera roll / library.
My original photo
Along the bottom you will see a range of parameters, there’s a lot there but really you can get by with the bare minimum to get good results. These are the ones I like best:
Let’s look at the crop tool first (the blue box on the bottom of the app)
I can now straighten out those vertical lines that are slightly skewed because of the angle and lens on the smart phone. Here I’ve selected the vertical skew and the Auto but you can also play about with the slider, rotation and crop too.
fix those warped lines
Next I went to the Light options (you will find them in the adjustment icon at the bottom of your screen). I scrolled along to find Shadows, I could then adjust the shadows with the slider. It’s important to bring up the dim areas so that they result in a fresher image however I still wanted to see depth and shape so I didn't boost them so much that it makes my image flat looking.
After making the shadows lighter I still wanted my blackest areas to be represented as black. This would ensure a punchy and crisp image. So in the same Light menu I selected Blacks and moved the slider a little.
Next Ialtered the Exposure so that all the tones would be a bit brighter. I only moved this a little as the cupboard doors and the image would have been too bright otherwise and since they are light grey I needed to keep some tone in them.
After you’re finished with the Light menu go to the Colour and adjust your white balance if you need to. In this case even though I had daylight to light my scene the original image was a touch warm for my taste. I changed the colour temperature to be more cool by moving the slider to the blue side (only a tiny bit). Now my whites look white which results in a fresh-looking room.
So here is the resulting image which I think looks tons better than the original! What do you think?
I hope you get lots of great images of your space now when you start using these tips! The main thing is, be careful to not over do it. Subtle tweaks look more authentic.
Wow, thank you Rachel, that's really helpful. Rachel is a commercial photographer in the North East and has the been owner of RJM Photography since 2007. She loves helping businesses with their imagery for their websites and social media. Why not get in touch to find out more about how she can help you: