Last fall I took some photos at a friend’s bed and breakfast unit around the Liberty Village area of Toronto and I wanted to share five things I learned from it:

  1. Use the absolute Widest Lens possible
    When taking indoor photos of rooms, you’ll want to get as much scenery (information) as possible. The wider the lens, the more information you’ll capture.

    But J, what is considered ‘wide’, what would you recommend

    Honestly, if you can afford an 8mm or 10mm wide angle lens, use it. Anything 30+mm would make it more difficult.

    The more narrow the lens, the harder it is to display how big the area is (even if it is tiny). Per below, this kitchen had enough room for only 1 person, any normal (non-wide) lens would have an incredibly hard time even taking a picture without being far away.
    U1 Kitchen1.jpg

  2. Bring a Tripod and utilize Stitching
    Even if you do have a wide angle lens, the space may still be small/cramped. By using a tripod, you can take multiple shots from left to right and then stitch them together to create one wide photo.
  3. Placement and Ambiance matters
    Make rooms bright by turning on lights, opening windows and blinds/curtains.
    Use a flash.
    The brighter the room is, the better, larger and more welcoming it’ll look. It’ll also allow you to use optimal camera settings for a sharper appearance.
    Turn on any televisions as well.
    U1 Washroom.jpg
  4. The Seasons matter
    I took my photos late November and it was an awkward time: the trees were bare, the leaves had been collected/blown away, the sky was gray and there was no snow. What was left for outside shots were bare/dead lawns, mud and dirt. Better photos (with windows/backyards/lawns) would be during full seasons when there is a lot of snow, or the trees are dazzling in fall, or just full (green trees) in summer.
  5. Communicate¬†Client’s Expectations
    When I take photos for friends, I tend to have the bad habit of showing them photos, or say how many photos I’ve taken. Be confident in your ability and try to refrain from that. Also discuss upfront whether you’ll provide unedited photos, and whether the client may request to have additional edited. In saying this, I have never come across a situation where I refrained from editing a photo that I thought was up to my high standards. Anything that remains unedited are photos that are not worthy of spending time on.