I will be honest, i have been in two minds as to post this or not. I have only decided to because this year i have received a few "help" emails on shooting interiors........ As ever i'm probably a bit too blunt and opinionated, but well, there you go.
"Over the last six years i have been photographing property all over London, I like shooting Real Estate/property, its constant, consistent work, i have seen some amazing places. It allows me to pay the bills and pursue other interior work, photographic projects and It also has led to dipping my toe in the more architectural side of things-which is where i would ultimately like to be. I guess with my photographic background i take it seriously.................. and here is where i let my "grievance" out
There are alot of Estate Agents that want the place to look massive, they want photographers to slap on the widest possible lens and shoot right open, there is alot that still don't get that good marketing is important, good photos sell, a point and shoot doesn't cut it anymore. I have lost count this year of the complaints from sellers and buyers that the distorted "wide angle lens" images are completely misleading, not only that but, and i'm sorry this is harsh but... it's bad photography.
Ok, an example. The images below is what is currently online: (i must say here i'm not doing this to pick on the photographers who did these, just happened to be a place i had shot last week also)
The first kitchen shot It isn't horrendous for its purpose but look at the lines (in black). The chairs are the same size yet (same with the table edge) in the image they aren't, the top of those doors on the left isn't the same size as the bottom. Curved bookshelf on the left side of the frame!? It's just too wide.
I've screen grabbed two more images and popped in leading lines too, the reception shot is all kinds of too wide, those sash windows, just do not look like that at all and that sofa, i promise you, that sofa arm isn't that long and the reception isn't that big!
Below is one of my kitchen shots of the same property (further more can be seen in previous blog post). Ok i have lost the second door, but aesthetically (i hope you agree) it looks more "real", theres still a margin of distortion in the table but there will be as it is that close to the lens, but the room isn't elongated, it's more natural. The first kitchen image the room looks about 40ft long, when in fact its half that size. As for that second door, it's ok we can do another shot from another angle coming back if need be. I'd rather present this image to the client personally.
I am aware that not everybody has the same kind of level of enthusiasm for interior photography as i do (or several of my friends who also shoot), most property photographers don't shoot with a tilt shift lens, umbrella or more than one speed light like i do and they are pressured by agents to go in, shoot wide, shoot fast, smash the flash on full and BAM BAM BAM NEXT!! I have seen it and i have done it. The above three images are just three examples, i could pick out hundreds more, and while i hear the argument that "sellers want it and buyers expect it" in my experience it isn't the case. People are wising up to photography now, they demand high quality images, shot professionally even if it is for a grotty rental in the middle of Soho. Estate Agents need to wise up to this and start presenting the apartments/houses in their true light.