Real Estate Photographer vs Interior Design Photographer – What Is The Difference?
Real Estate Photographer vs Interior Design Photography
Interior design photography is a different language than that of a real estate photographer. Photography is like a language and knowing what language you are speaking is essential to getting the right people to hear you.
Real Estate Photographer vs Interior Design Photographer - What Is The Difference?
It's About The Vibe
It’s About the Vibe - As an interior design professional you are not selling the house. You are selling your perspective and the feel of your designs. Your images should focus on the pallet that you use and the moods you create. Real estate photography however, is a language of fast and literal captures of whole homes for quick sale. Although real estate photographers also capture rooms, the interior elements are secondary to the physical views of the structure itself.
Real estate photography is a game of quickly capturing every element of the house. It's not about the individual shots standing on their own. It's about the collection of shots communicating info to a home buyer. As an interior designer, each moment you capture should stand on its own. You need to take care with each image to focus on your contributions to the spaces and work with the photographer to make sure that they are showcased in your images. Is that a custom wall treatment or fabric? Is there something special about that chair or that piece of art? Your images should showcase those elements. The way all the furnishings and fixtures work with the room to create the breath of the space is what you are after.
More Control Than Real Estate Photography
Many real estate photographers don't work with extra photography lighting because it can be time more consuming and often not essential to their client’s needs. The best real estate photographer might also not consider it ethical to alter the light in a space too much from what you can get from your camera alone. They don't want to misrepresent what the buyer will see. For your interior design photos, it is quite different. Your clients will probably never step foot in the house you are photographing because the house is not what you are selling. In fact, the mood and design aesthetic that you are showcasing has very little to do with the home they are being staged in. You can get creative with lighting without being deceptive because whatever you decide to put into your photos is still expressing your creative viewpoint. Working with an interior design photographer who uses photography lighting gives you control to express your designs under ideal lighting conditions. Would you like an evening shot of a room but it's a daytime shoot? In many cases lighting can alter the visual time of day. Is there a custom texture on the wall that does not seem to show in a natural light photo? Proper use of lighting can fix that. Many designers have great images of their white rooms with lots of natural light but struggle to get good shots of darker spaces with a saturated color pallet. Lighting can create a consistent life in all of your images.
Collaborate and Conquer
Most real estate photographers use a high amount of editing after the shoot to complete their images. They shoot multiple exposures of a room for different areas of light and dark, then merge them all together later in an editor. This technique allows them to shoot faster on location. The down side to this, beyond the lack of control over mood explained in example 3, is that you can't see the final result until all the editing is done. So what if the shots don't communicate what you want? You would not know until long after the shoot is over. If you are working with an interior design photographer who uses lighting the mood and lighting of the shot can be controlled and visible to you in real time on a screen. This means you can work with the photographer to edit each shot as you go. You can put more light on elements to make them stand out, increase shadows to show more texture or alter the lighting of an area to see through the glass in a shower with less glare. You can collaborate and get the image you need.
None of this is intended to suggest that a photographer who shoots real estate can also not be an interior design photographer but it’s important to know they are two very different languages of photography. Many of our interior design clients have been unsatisfied with real estate photography prior to working with us but without the knowledge to articulate why. How can we work together?