The #1 Mistake You’re Making with Your Interior Photography

Interior Photography Tips to Make Your Next Design Project Magazine-Worthy

I review countless interior design projects per month over at my company, The Storied Group, a pr firm for interior designers. I always ask to see photos of recent projects as step one before we begin working with you. The biggest mistake I see designers making in their images (aside from simply not having enough images), is the use of mixed lighting.

What is mixed lighting in photography? Mixed lighting is when there is more than once source of light in any given photograph. For interior photography specifically, mixed lighting usually happens when a designer makes the choice to leave the lamps turned on—even though natural light is plentiful through a window. It can also mean recessed lights or pendant lights are left on.

Examples of the Same Room Shot Two Ways: One with Mixed Lighting and One With Natural Light

Interior photography with mixed lighting

While there are always exceptions, the general rule is: Do not use mixed lighting in your interior photography. Rather than showcasing your beautiful lights, what you get is a yellowish tint to your images. If you go with all natural light, you will have an image that is way more magazine-worthy.

This image below is our same client’s office shot with only natural light. It ran in the Wall Street Journal as a full home tour.

Take a look at your favorite design magazines. You will rarely see images with mixed lighting, and when you do, it’s usually because natural light was not an option.

interior photography example with natural light

The below photo is another example of two different photo shoots of the same room. In the first shot, the photographer kept all the lights turned on, which casts a yellow tint over the whole image.  Keep scrolling for the better shot.

This photo of the same room of my client Hammer and Spear’s project is the winning shot using all natural light. It was photographed by Roger Davies for Architectural Digest.

Do you want your interior design project published in a magazine? I can help! We offer a project placement service over at my company The Storied Group. Read how the process works here.

You can find more interior pr tips here.

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