Top Tips for Great Design Photography


Beautiful design should be artfully captured and shared. Whether you are new to design or looking to upgrade the quality of your photography,  it’s critical to know what to look for in a photographer and their work. Here are some key considerations when booking a photographer for your next design project.

1. Communicate your goals 

Make sure the photographer knows how you are going to use the photographs and what needs to be featured.  If you want to display the elements used to decorate or how you overcame a specific obstacle, make sure to communicate that. 

Also, communicate the senses you’d like to get from the photograph – this will help guide their approach.  If you want it to convey: light an airy and playful, the photographer will take a different approach than if you want to convey a feeling of formality or drama. 

In addition to the spirit, make sure the photographer also knows the tangibles.  Will there need to be space on the photograph for a graphic designer?  Will this be displayed in a space where dimensions are limited?  This will also influence the choices the photographer makes.

2. Make sure they capture a wide perspective

Your photographer should try and capture as wide a perspective as possible.  That often means standing in a corner of a room or pressing the camera against a wall to get as much of the room as they can.  When choosing a photographer for your project, make sure you share a similar sensibility and ideally, that the photographer has experience capturing other interior design projects. 

3. Make sure the lighting tells your story

Photography is 90% lighting.  You want to capture the spirit of the space you’ve designed, and things like too many shadows or bright highlights can tell the wrong story.  Use the light that is available in the room – natural light from the windows, a fire in a fireplace, lamps, etc. to really convey what it’s like to be in that room.

If you are using natural light, make sure to shoot when the light is more golden, generally early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

4. When choosing your photos, notice spacing 

Vertical correction can make an image more appealing.  Every view of an interior should be 90 degrees to the wall and there should be a balance between the right and left, top and bottom, and the foreground and background.  The ensures that the composition is pleasing and that things look in proportion.  The human eye does not see tilted verticals or horizontals, so this balance is key.

Generally, a photographer will place the camera at eye level to get a more natural feeling of the room, though that may change based on the feeling you want to convey.

5. Choose someone with whom you can communicate

Communicate your expectations up front – that means where the photography will be used, the rights to future photos and more.  Negotiate terms early, so no one is surprised.

Finally, once you find a photographer that meets your criteria, stick with them.  You want your website or platform to have a consistent look and feel.  You don’t want beautiful photos next to ones taken by your phones or with the wrong lens.  Potential clients and platforms like Dering Hall want to see polished, professional, beautiful images.   

Beautiful photographs are key to booking your next project, creating a beautiful website or getting published.  If you have wonderful photography of your design projects, post them on your Dering Hall portfolio.  For more information about getting your own Dering Hall portfolio, contact us today.