How to Take Killer Interior Photographs for Your Portfolio

For any interior designer, one of the most powerful tools for getting new business is your portfolio. This important body of work showcases your style, your knowledge, your attention to detail and ultimately is what will get a potential new client to notice you. The most essential part of your portfolio is the images of completed projects. A picture speaks a thousand words and people find it much easier to see what you’re all about than with endless text describing what you’re all about. These pictures then should be representative of your most beautiful work and the projects that you are most proud of. With this step-by-step guide, you will be able to take those killer photographs of your interiors that will make your portfolio pop.

take killer photos

To go PRO or not go PRO

As a designer, it’s important to know your strengths, and those may not necessarily include photography. And that’s okay – you can’t be awesome at everything! While it’s always better to get a professional to make your portfolio pics shine, lack of time or resources may prevent you from doing that right now. If that is the case, then you can attempt the job yourself, with our help of course!

Before we get into the details, let’s first look at equipment.

Much has been written on the virtues of an SLR camera (that’s the big one with lenses that professionals use). Technology has advanced so much in recent years though, that new smart phones can take as decent a picture as any novice with a DSLR. And because smartphone cameras are much more user-friendly, you might just get an even better picture than you would with your camera. Test both and see which one works for you.Whichever option you choose, always use a tripod and a shutter release to help stabilize your images and be sure to follow these steps for the best interior photographs.

How to Take Killer Interior Photographs


#1. Get the Lighting Right

Lighting is crucial to make your photographs look their best. Ideally, you want to only use natural daylight, so choose a time of day when the light is brightest in the room. While daylight is essential, you want to avoid shooting directly at a window. If you want to include a window in your shot, get it at an angle or only crop it in on one side of the picture to prevent the light from blowing out the shot. Sheer curtains are a great way to diffuse harsh light, so close them if too much light is coming through.

#2. Set up the Frame

Deuce Cities Henhouse

A camera does not capture a whole room the way the eye does. Before you start snapping away, look at your camera screen and critically analyze what you’re seeing. Are you getting everything in that you want to show? Are there any strange reflections in mirrors, glass, or other shiny surfaces that you want to avoid?

#3. Square Off


Always aim to have your camera set up at such a height that the vertical and horizontal lines in the room are parallel to the edges of the image. This will prevent the image from looking distorted. Take your cue from the natural lines in your image: frames, walls, ceiling and floor lines all provide great guides.

#4. Style Your Shots

Planete Deco

Your interior may be styled already, but once you have set up the frame, move accessories and items to complement the image. You can even have something cropped in the foreground, like a leaf from a plant, to soften the edges of your image. Styling is often where your personal style is most obvious, so take your time when you’re doing this.

#5. Shoot from Multiple Angles and Play with Depth of Field

You’ve already set everything up, so make sure that you get your image from all the angles. Play around with depth and use the selective focus function on your camera to blur items in the fore- or background. Take close-ups to show details and wider shots for the whole picture. Rather take too many pictures than too few – you can always delete them when you don’t need them!

#6. Edit to Make It Perfect


There are many great photo editing software packages available. If you are savvy with Photoshop, then play with the brightness and contrast settings to get the balance right. You can also get Photoshop functionality with free programs like or even by just using the auto fix functionality in your photo manager on your PC. Make sure that your photos are bright, straight and clear.

Beautifully shot photos are the best way to show off your interior design talents, so spending the time in getting them right will be well worth your investment. We’re looking forward to seeing your beautiful portfolio right here on Scout & Nimble!

Feature Image: Picsart